A Must Try if You Hate Cooked Greens….
This must be my month for stepping into uncharted territory for myself, and I’m feeling pretty good about it. Last week I decided to try my hand at whipping up some Guilt Free Chocolate Pudding with an avocado base. It took me five years to get up the courage to do it, and now that I have I am revisiting foods that I never thought that I could eat. I have to admit that some foods will never cross my lips again like liver, squash, or eggplant, but I have renewed hope in the fact that if I can eat avocado and chocolate and have it taste so amazing, I am ready to dive in and try just about anything!
This week I went down the “beet avenue”. I remember as a kid I couldn’t stand beets. There wasn’t anything I liked about them, and I avoided them at all costs throughout my adult life. Since I’ve journeyed so deep into health, and fitness, I’ve seen a ton of research on how healthy beets are, so I knew I had to try them one more time. I will post my recipe for roasted beets later this week, it is a total game changer for those who don’t like beets in their traditional form. Today I am focusing on the greens. Beet greens are by far one of the healthiest greens you can eat, but when you don’t like cooked greens it can make it pretty hard to eat them. I’m sure you are thinking that I could just eat them raw, or in a smoothie, but with E. coli and listeria lurking around every corner I try to avoid raw greens like spinach, kale, beet greens, etc. (They seem to be the most affected.)
One little cup of cooked beet greens has over 700% of our daily recommended allowance of vitamin K, has over 1000 mg of potassium, and is loaded with iron, vitamin A, vitamin C, and manganese. And the best part is, all of that will only cost less than 40 calories!
I bought some pancetta on mark down the other day and even though I’ve never worked with it before I thought that it would be a nice compliment to the beet greens. Kind of like a spinach salad with warm bacon dressing. And if you are going to have pork and greens, you can’t leave out the garlic. First of all, the smell of the pancetta was out of this world. Not like bacon, really not like anything I’ve smelled, and I noticed that as it fried it is much leaner than bacon. A quick tip on the greens that is important to the success of this dish is do NOT overcook them. Just warm them through, and barely wilt them. Mushy greens of any kind are just gross. And after the greens are plated the tiniest pinch of coarse sea salt really brings out the flavors. I know that the pancetta is salted, but there is something about a little sea salt that goes a long way. So, if you are a cooked greens hater make sure to give this a try, it is amazing, and your body will thank you. Pair them with your favorite main dish, or eat them alone like I did, then you can sit back, relax, and enjoy!
How do you cook your greens?
Is there a food from your childhood that you would ever think about trying again?
Crunchy Pancetta Sauteed Beet Greens and Garlic
By Angie Gouchenour
4 – 6 cups beet greens – washed and chopped with big stem pieces removed (Leave the greens damp)
5 pieces’ pancetta – chopped
1 large clove of garlic – minced
Pinch of coarse sea salt
In a medium fry pan fry the chopped pancetta, and minced garlic together until the pancetta is crunchy, and the garlic is a golden brown (No need to drain the pancetta)
Add the cleaned, and chopped beet greens to the pan and gently coat with the pancetta and garlic
Sautee for 2-3 minutes just until the greens are warmed through and wilted by 1/3
Plate the greens and give a small sprinkle, pinch, of coarse sea salt over the top