Until late in my life, I didn’t really eat greens, and when I’d had them they’d always been Collard greens cooked forever with ham hocks or salt pork – delicious, but something I’ve avoided because of the high fat and long cooking process. That was a shame, because any of the greens, turnip, kale, collard and beet greens are powerhouses of nutritional value.
Then steps in my sister in law - her Turnip Greens were fresh, bright, healthy AND delicious – and I’m a convert. She doesn’t use recipes – just throws things together and they turn out wonderfully. Me, I need a little guide, so I’ve cobbled together a rough recipe. Greens are so good for you, we eat good sized servings.
The date is a surprise ingredient, I know! My sister in law used a bit of sugar, but I was inspired…try it, it is truly wonderful in the recipe. A few raisins would work as well.
Braised Turnip (or other) Greens, serves 4, cost $2.25
- 2 bunches of greens, washed, stem removed, sliced across into ribbons 1/2″ thick
- 2 teaspoons oil
- 1/2 onion, finely diced
- 1/2 cup chicken stock
- 2 teaspoons brown sugar (I like to use 2 dates, finely chopped)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons any vinegar. (I like balsamic or red wine)
Saute onion in oil until softened. When nearly soft, add in dates, if using. Add greens and stir with a tong until they’re beginning to wilt. Add in the rest of ingredients, cover and steam until tender, but still bright in color, about 10 to 15 minutes.
Serve with additional vinegar for drizzling over the top.
Money and Time Saving Strategies:
For pricing, remember to use your coupon matching sites for your local stores. My favorite is Pocket Your Dollars in my area, but every store has a group of enthusiastic couponers who can point you to the best bargains. Don’t be discouraged if your prices are higher at first – just keep shopping the best sales and follow the strategies and you’ll get there! Check under Saving on Basic Ingredients for more detailed information and storage hints – use <control f> to search each page to bring you to the item you want to check out.
You can make greens in a large pot and freeze in ziploc bags for a quick side later.
- Greens: Buy whatever is on sale, although if you’re new to eating greens, you can’t go wrong with turnip greens. From the name, you might expect them to be stronger and more tangy than other greens, but they’re milder than most of the greens. A bunch runs between 89 to 99 cents here in Minnesota – other regions may well have lower prices. Because they are so good for you and cook down so much, I always use two bunches. We eat a good sized portion. Cost: $2.00
- If you fold the greens so the stalk protrudes, you can very easily remove most of it. I don’t worry about the thinner bits of stalk higher on the leaf – I like the texture.
- Olive Oil: See my strategies for buying Olive oil, but basically watch for sales and coupons! My buy price (I pick it up whether I need it or not when it’s at my ‘buy’ price!) is about 8 cents an ounce, so two teaspoons is 6 cents.
- Chicken Stock: Again, I make my Chicken Stock from bones and scraps that I save. I don’t count it as costing anything, although I do suppose the small flame for simmering (not much higher than a pilot light) costs something…I freeze for use later. If you don’t use all the chicken stock for this recipe, try adding it to your cooking liquid for vegetables later in the week. Cost: Zero.
- Onion: You’ll see me say this over and over – buy a bunch when they go on sale. They’re cheapest in the fall, but even cheaper on sale. Put them in a brown paper bag in a cool place away from your potatoes. You’ll need to check for any that may be getting shoots and use those first. Cost for one onion, about 11 cents, 1/2 is about 5 cents.
- Brown Sugar or Dates & Vinegar - about 3 cents, vinegar less than a penny. You can use lemon instead of the vinegar. Total 4 cents.
Nutrition: Cal 126; fat 7.38g; sod 134mg; carb 10; sug 3.35g; prot 4.32g; fib 3.77
Put Your Own Spin on It:
- You can use Kale or Collard greens here, too; they will need to cook a little longer, and you’ll need to watch your liquid. Beet greens are wonderful – if you buy beets in the fall, use the greens in this recipe.
- Go Italian and use red pepper flakes and garlic; saute in an open pan until tender. Throw in an anchovy instead of the dates for extra flavor.
- Although it seems contrary (to me) to the whole point of this recipe, you could use bacon.
Turnip (or other) greens made April 2012.