Collared Greens

Collared greens are rich in nutrients and come from the same family as their fellow cruciferous vegetables, cauliflower florets, turnip greens, mustard greens, broccoli florets, and kale. Among these collard greens are typically more affordable with the same nutrient power pack.

Collared greens are a loose leaf species, they don’t grow as a head but as individual dark colored edible leaves. They are typically found in small bundles in the refrigerated section of the produce department. Smaller leaves are more tender, larger leaves are tougher and you would want to cut the stem out and perhaps some of the center rib.

These plants have been eaten for at least 2000 years and evidence has shown that ancient Greeks cultivated several varieties of collards as well as kale.

When I purchased these two bundles at a farm market the vendor was kind enough to fill me in on her preparation method. First she said they cook up great with a little bacon, but if you want to eat healthy don’t do that.

First cut the stems off and then blanch the leaves for 5 minutes. Remove from the water and roll each leaf on the diagonal and then slice in strips on the diagonal the other direction. Sauté the strips with a little garlic, red onion, and balsamic vinegar. Keep a little cup of water handy to prevent your veggies from sticking to the skillet. Enjoy this healthy little side. I used this as a side one night and as a section of a Buddha bowl the next.

Be creative and try new foods! Plant strong and heart healthy! ❤️ur❤️

Farmers Markets – Thai eggplant, or little purple Aubergines

Along with all the traditional American fruits and veggies found at the farmers market I recently found these little gems. The two women running the booth were Burmese. Burma as they referred to it, was renamed Myanmar in 1989. These women grow traditional fruits and vegetables from their home country. There are currently approximately 6,000 residents of Fort Wayne that were born in Burma.

I must admit I only recognized a few items on their table and decided to experiment with these “mini eggplants” as she called them. Through a translator I was told to sauté them.

I decided to start out by sautéing a handful of sliced button mushrooms and a small sliced onion in a bit of water along with 2 Tbsp of minced garlic. While these were cooking I cut off both small ends of these small round eggplants. I halved each one, left their skins on and tossed them in with my other veggies. I added a couple tsps (just a couple of shakes of the bottle) of balsamic vinegar. It seemed to need some greens for my tastes so I roughly chopped some baby kale and tossed it in toward the end of the sautéing process.

Once the mini eggplants were tender I decided the dish was done.

Success! The flavor of the eggplant was similar to the tender inner bites of large sized eggplant.

There are so many different varieties of fruits and vegetables! It is estimated that there are over 20,000 species of edible plants yet only 20 species represent 90% of our food. Get out there and look, don’t settle for just what your local grocery chooses to offer you. Stop in that Asian grocery store or that Indian market. Experiment and have fun!