Recipe: Quick Kale Huevos

Colorado weather can be frustrating. April comes and we think spring, then a snowstorm blows in. May’s gentle spring rains come, but turn to freezing sleet on a dime. And in June, when we’re ready for the riotous color of tomatoes, peppers and eggplant–we get greens. Our gardens and Farmer’s Markets are filled with chard, kale, collards, lettuce, spinach–all lovely but all green.

There is a reason for the bounty of greens. They are cold weather crops capable of surviving Colorado’s unpredictable, often-brutal springs. Take spinach. Not only can it successfully “hibernate” all winter, it practically relishes a spring snowstorm–emerging unscathed and actually tasting better. Meanwhile, hot weather tomatoes, peppers and eggplant can’t even be planted until mid-May and don’t start flourishing until well into July and August.

So in June, it’s all about the greens. While a radiant sight after winter’s brown and grey, they can get tedious. So in the vein of making lemonade from life’s lemons, find a quick idea for kale below.

Want more ideas?  Come to our class:  “Vegetables, Tasty, Tasty Vegetables,” a seasonal meal-making class focused on the greens–buying, storing, prepping, lots of versatile uses.

  • 5 Tuesdays:  June 3 – July 1   ~   5:30 to 8:00 p.m.
  • Register Online through City of Boulder–Class Code:  215238  Or simply call Parks and Recreation: 303-413-7270 (before 5 p.m.); 303-441-4400 (after 5 p.m.)

Also see one of the first posts, “It’s a Green, Green World,” with four more unique recipes for the green season:

  • Spinach and Sweet Potato Soft Shell Tacos
  • Red, White and Greens Stir-Fry
  • Wilted Spinach with Radish Dressing
  • Pasta Frisee

 Recipe:  Quick Kale Huevos

 A great way to get in a couple servings of vegetables at breakfast time–but equally good for lunch and dinner. Be sure to use 100% whole grain bread for a 100% healthful meal.

Quick Kale Huevos–or substitute chard or spinach

Step 1–Stem and Chop Kale  Stem an entire bunch so you’re set for several meals. Once stemmed, bunch kale leaves together and chop into pieces roughly 1″ square, then wash and spin dry in a salad spinner.  Tip: Remember to chop and save the stems for soup, stir fires, etc.

Step 2–Simmer-Steam Kale Use about a cup of liquid; broth provides a great flavor boost. Cover and cook over low heat until kale is tender to taste, then remove the lid, turn up the heat and cook to evaporate any remaining liquid.   Tip: Kale can be harsh-tasting (why a lot of people are leery of it.) Experiment with cooking it a little longer than usual–past where it loses its vibrant color, it may even become fairly limp–but you may well like it a lot better!

Step 3–Two-Pan Cooking  To speed things along, I use a second pan to fry the eggs and toast the bread while the kale cooks in its own pan.

Step 4 Assemble Toast, kale, eggs, salsa. I also had leftover slow-cooker beans in the frig. Why not throw those on as well after a quick heating in the microwave?  Other additions: cheese, avocado, chiles, low-fat sour cream . . .

 

 

Don’t Be Stupid

. . . or How to Be Smarter Than the Average Food Marketer

Food marketers must smirk with glee at how handily they seduce the American consumer. “Americans are so gullible!” they must all be laughing in their cubicles.

Green Giant Veggie Chips

Just because “Roasted Veggie” is in its name, don’t be misled into thinking you’ll get a serving or two of veggies while snacking on a few handfuls of chips. Just eat a real, fresh pepper!

Fortunately for us, the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) is watching our backs. This group actually examines health claims on packaged foods, going so far as to measure the amount of healthy ingredients a product claims to have. I have followed their investigations for years and the results are nothing less than astounding. Hence this post’s title: “Don’t Be Stupid.”

Green Giant’s Roasted Veggie Tortilla Chips are a case in point. “The deliciousness of garden vegetables and ranch flavor are paired to create a truly flavorful snacking experience.” So says the package.  Before you get too excited about snacking away a couple servings of healthy roasted vegetables, here’s the real scoop from CSPI:

Since when does a snack that’s made mostly of corn (even if it’s whole grain) and oil deserve to talk about “garden vegetables”? Turns out the chips have more ground corn, sunflower oil, and buttermilk powder than dried bell peppers, and more evaporated cane syrup (sugar) and salt than dried broccoli, tomatoes, or carrots.

Our best defenses against food marketers:

  1. Be suspect of any processed foods; by definition, they are “far from the tree” and frequently contain ingredients better left on the factory floor.
  2. READ INGREDIENT LABELS. I’m surprised by the number of people who don’t monitor what’s going into their mouths.  Judging by the (ill) health of our country, it’s fair to say that merely being “food grade” does not assure that a factory-created product does what food should do, i.e., supply vital nutrients for our bodies.
  3. Check out CSPI’s Nutrition Action blogs and newsletters, and start educating yourself on the marketing gimmicks we are bombarded with by the day, hour and minute. You’ll soon start getting the hang of being smarter than the average food marketer.
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