Thursday, July 26, 2007

Easy Greens

Including a healthy amount of greens into your family's diet can prove challenging, but I may have a solution that will help.

First, start off with a baseline dish that allows your kids to figure out what greens taste acceptable all by themselves. I recommend using the recipe attached below because it is quite simple and, at least with bok choy, I haven't met a kid who didn't like it when it was prepared this way.

After bok choy, I would recommend going to collards, then kale, then our new favorite, molokia, then spinach. While I haven't been successful in converting kids to fans of mustard greens nor chard, you may have better luck. Every kid is different.

Once you know which greens are acceptable to your kids, you can then start adding the greens to a multitude of dishes. A handful in their spaghetti, in burger patties, casseroles, meatloaf, lasagna, soups, stews and even breads. If done slowly, your kids aren't likely to rebel against it and in no time at all you will have them eating a serving of cooked greens a day. And they may not even know it. My kids expect that their boxed mac n' cheese will have green specks, and maybe a tomato or green peas to boot.

So, here is the basic recipe. Let me know how it turns out for your family.

Kid Friendly Greens

Servings: 4
Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Start to finish: 2-15 minutes (depending on the green)

4 large bok choy, Cut into 1" pieces (or four cups other greens such as collards, molokhia, spinach, kale, etc.)
1 cup Low sodium broth. Any type will do. (Add slightly more for collards, slightly less for spinach)

1. Heat your largest skillet to 300 degrees or medium.
2. When hot, toss in the Bok Choy. Let it wilt a bit and brown lightly.
3. Pour in the broth and allow to simmer until the broth is mostly evaporated.
4. Beware to not let your pan go dry. If the simmer is too fast you can either
turn it down or add a bit of water or broth to the pan.

Nutrition Facts

If using bok choy it gets good marks for the 13 Calories per serving with Zero grams Fat, Sat Fat and Cholesterol, 63 mg Sodium and 6% Potassium with 53% of your Vitamin C, 42% of your Vitamin A and 13% Folic Acid. Other greens will have different nutritional breakouts, but all are very good for you.

Cheers to your health!

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