Eat your greens

We have lots of produce coming in from the garden right now, but in sheer bulk, greens, namely, Swiss chard and kale, take the day.

Dino kale (foreground) and White Russian kale

While I get stressed about refrigerator space every time Matthew returns from the garden with a huge bag or cooler-full of greens, they do make for some tasty, healthy eating.

What do I do with these greens?
This Garlicky Greens recipe from 101 Cookbooks is a great starting point for either kale or Swiss chard.  We cooked up a big batch and used it in multiple ways throughout the week — it makes a quick and easy side dish, or pile some cooked greens on top of a piece of toast or a bed of grain, then top with a fried egg for a main dish.

Soups are also a great way to use a bunch of greens.  We currently have a bunch of kale earmarked for this Kale and Black-Eyed Pea soup recipe.  And for something very easy (and tasty and nutritious), check out Emily’s One-Pot Quinoa and Greens.  (The coconut oil is key to this recipe.  Tomatoes also make a good addition to this dish.)

I also made a big batch of crispy kale/kale chips, this time using tips from the Steamy Kitchen for the best way to get a nice, crispy result.  Another hint: Putting too much kale on the tray will prevent the desired crispiness — for best results, do small batches.  Crispy kale is delicious simply salted, or with a drizzle of homemade catsup (okay, pretty much anything is delicious with our homemade catsup, but that’s another story).

Finally, when life gives you Swiss chard (and not spinach, which we’ve never had success growing in quantity), make Swiss Chard Spanakopita!  We followed the Swiss chard prep tips from this recipe*, and then just subbed the appropriate quantity of Swiss chard in our tried-and-true spanakopita recipe.

Swiss chard spanakopita -- mmm, mmm, good!

*Don’t discard the stems!  Unlike some greens (like kale), that do have rather inedible stems, Swiss chard stems are not only 100% edible, they are super delicious.  If the stems are large, you may want to chop them and prepare them separately to ensure adequate cooking.  For this recipe, we blanched the chopped stems for a bit longer than the leaves.


  1. EcoCatLady says:

    I LOVE this time of year for this very reason! One of my favorites is potato kale soup with cannellini beans (or any white bean for that matter).

    1. Melissa @ HerGreenLife says:

      Oh, we have potatoes, too! I bet they would be good with kale and beans. We’re trying a variation of the kale soup with fava beans tonight.

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