Dr. Oz, The Doctors, and every chef, nutritionist, and your mother will tell you to EAT MORE GREENS. But how do you actually do that? Children and husbands are notoriously picky and it's frustrating to scrape plates after a meal and realize those healthy greens are going straight to the compost.
Here at the farm we have gobs of greens. They're our specialty so we have dozens of varieties out in the field during the summer. And come winter, greens are the only fresh veg you're going to see at the market aside from squashes and a few roots. Here's how we sneak greens into every meal.
1. Don't make greens alone.
Picky eaters and veggie haters (they do exist) immediately crinkle their noses at a pile of greens on a plate. Don't abandon greens on the plate. You've got to incorporate them in with other ingredients. Add chopped peppers, beans, or diced tomato.
2. Cut them up small.
People are happy to see gobs of mashed potatoes, a hunk of meat, or a big gloop of pasta. Not so much for greens. Chop them up into tiny bits so they are easier to hide, chew, and disguise.
3. A little bit is better than none.
Don't feel like you have to cram huge volumes of greens on your family. If I make scrambled eggs for breakfast I'm going to add one or two Swiss Chard leaves at the most. I'm not going to cook the whole bundle.
4. Add greens to anything you cook on the stove top.
If there's a saucepan or a stock pot on my stove there's going to be a green in it. Breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Our breakfast always includes eggs. I'll wilt a couple of leaves in the pan with scrambled eggs, add a few into an omelet, or wilt greens with mushrooms and peppers and drop a fried egg on top. If I make burgers I'll wilt some rapini and use that as the topping with tomato and cheese. And for dinner I might boil some pasta and drop a few chard leaves in the boiling water. My other favorite trick is to stir spinach or bok choy into mashed potatoes or polenta. They don't need to be cooked separately. If everyone is eating the equivalent of ONE LEAF at each meal you've achieved a serving of greens for all. And I'll bet that's more than they were eating before.
5. Cover it in melted cheese.
If your family has figured out your sneaky greens technique continue to do everything in steps 1-4. Then just sprinkle a little shredded cheese over the top so they can't see the greens. I promise you it works every time.