Tuesday, June 5, 2007


One thing I've been doing while shamelessly neglecting this blog is eating lots and lots of greens. Anything green!


I love beets and I also love beet greens, lightly steamed, but they are available as tender baby greens for only a short while. The other day they had some lovely little organic beets with their pretty leaves still attached, so we bought a bunch - and wished we'd bought more!

I cooked them in their skins, because the skins slip off so easily once they're done, then sliced them through while still warm and put them in a fatless 'vinaigrette' of vinegar, mustard, horseradish, pinch of sugar. Then I roughly sliced and cooked the greens until just done (although they look a little overdone in the photo, I think). The greens were then tossed with the beets (I made enough dressing to coat the greens too) and served the dish warm. You could make this ahead of time, but it's best, in my opinion, either warm or at room temperature rather than chilled.

My husband is wild for this dish - so guess who is getting up early for the next market day!


Broccoli goes beautifully in stir-'fried' dishes, and when teamed with tempeh needs little more than some nice fluffy brown rice to complete the meal.

I like to 'marinate' the tempeh, cut into little strips, in a little low-sodium soy sauce, a spoonful of minced ginger, another spoonful of minced garlic and one of minced chilies (I use sambal oelek, an Indonesian chilie sauce/paste sometimes made in California, but I doubt it matters much). Then I cut the broccoli into florets (saving the stems for another use another day) while I steam 'saute' a small sliced onion in some water to which I have added a couple of slices of ginger root (cut into tiny matchsticks) and a couple of large cloves of garlic (finely chopped) and one or two hot chilies (minced). The trick to getting broccoli to taste its best is not to overcook it, so must before it is 'ready' I throw in that tempeh along with its marinade, heat the tempeh through, then get the whole thing out into a heated serving dish before the broccoli starts to lose its crispness. Lovely!


When I can get kale, I buy a couple of bunches and we have it over a couple of days. The rest of the time I just pine for it! Preparation is a cinch - remove the tough stems and slice thinly (or keep them for stock), then slice the leaves at about quarter-inch intervals. It is much quicker and easier if you face them all the same way and then rolle them lengthways into a long cigar shape.

Kale is indeed a favourite of ours, and we especially like it when it is lightly steamed with a little sliced onion and a handful of raisins - The raisins puff up beautifully, and their sweetness adds a pleasant surprise when encountered in the occasional forkful (which is why we use only a small handful - to keep up the surprised factor). A squeeze of lemon over the finished dish makes it perfection!


Carrie™ said...

I really like beets & the salad sounds delicious. I've tried cooking tempeh, but I didn't much care for it. I've read it's an acquired taste. I don't eat nearly enough greens. I like kale & with raisins, it sounds very interesting!

River said...

Hi Carrie, if you don't like greens much (and many don't) it really helps to know how so many are changed by the addition of a small handful of raisins. You can also add some chopped dried apricots instead - or as well - for an interesting change. The sweetness really counters the 'regular' taste of the greens in a good way - so if you vary them in this way now and then it makes them into an entirely new dish!

Whoops. Lecture. Apologies. But I'll let it stand ;)

Love and hugs!