Getting into Green

by Deena, the Deceptive Chef

As I look around the Pacific Northwest, even in the deepest of winter, I see green. Sparse as it seems, Nature still provides life in these cold times. Even in these wintery months, deciduous trees that look bare to the naked eye are holding tight bulbs of life just waiting to bloom and bring more and more green when the weather turns.

We grew into what we are today mostly from eating greens and other dense nutrient-rich plants in Nature. Eating dark leafy greens like kale, Swiss chard and collard greens provide chlorophyll, which is great for your respiratory system and also provides high levels of protein and essential minerals which support the many bodily functions vital to our survival.

Of course, not all aspects of going green are easy to swallow in the beginning. Take kale, for instance. Since its rise to stardom in the healthy food arena, many jokes have been made about kale, yet consumption has not slowed down. It helps immensely that you can season kale and bake it into chips, cut it into small pieces and sauté it with other veggies for soups or pasta or better yet – blend it into a smoothie.

My only experience with kale growing up was seeing it with an orange slice or some other piece of garnish on a plate at 24-hour diners. I also remember hearing stories from my dad about how collard and mustard greens were bitter, thus the standard, heavy use of butter and seasonings to make those greens more palatable.

Starting out with dark leafy greens can be daunting.

Take it slow. Start with some organic baby spinach and field green mixes for your salad base or add spirulina or other concentrated greens to your smoothie.

Graduate into something like sautéed broccoli and asparagus scrambled with eggs. Remember that conversely, some of nature’s least colorful foods also pack a nutrient-dense punch. Think cauliflower, parsnips, and horseradish – just to name a few.

Don’t worry, The Deceptive Chef and Marlene’s are here to offer you the best ingredients with the simplest recipes for using leafy greens, which are also great because they are allergen-free. There are no restrictions to noshing green!

As you begin enjoying your salads, graduate to the colorful array of harder vegetables like broccoli and asparagus. They pair well with red bell peppers, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts… and the list goes on!

Baby Spinach And Field Green Recipe Ideas
• Pear and pecan or strawberry and cashew salad, served with a creamy poppyseed dressing
• Bacon, tomato, egg salad served with shaved carrots and thousand island dressing
• Taco-seasoned walnuts, black beans, corn, red bell pepper, salsa, avocado slices
• Pumpkin and sunflower seeds, slivered almonds, cucumber, carrots and beets shaved or julienned, peas, dressing and any other items you like.