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I had never really eaten greens until I embarked on a strict vegan diet (which for those of you wondering, I don’t follow very religiously these days.)  Everything I read said that dark, leafy greens were an essential way to get nutrients while eating a plant based diet.  Okay, cool but I didn’t have the slightest clue how to prepare them in a way that seemed even remotely appealing.  My only experience with greens were the slow-cooked-in-pork- fat variety that my best friend’s father used to place on the stove and smell up the house with for hours on end.  To me, these were not only visually unappealing, but had a sloppy, wet, and mushy texture I could never get past.  As part of Annie’s Organic Buying Club, I am now a weekly, if not sometimes daily, consumer of greens. It took a little research, several cook books, and a lot of experimenting to discover ways to make them appetizing. Kale, collards, spinach, and chard have become a delicious and normal part of our family meals, both as a side or main dish, and often oh-so-slyly-and-cleverly included in everything from soups and casseroles, to chili and tacos. Greens are nutritionally dense, containing essential vitamins and minerals, like iron, calcium, potassium, vitamin B, K, C, and E.  So be healthy! Eat and actually enjoy your greens while taking in all those fantastic nutrients.  Plus, it is an awesome and creative way to use those Moroccan Lemon Preserves from my previous post.  I bet you never knew greens could taste so good!

Organic Mixed Greens with Moroccan Lemon

1 TBS organic extra virgin olive oil

½ cup diced organic yellow onion

2 organic carrots, peeled and diced

2 ribs organic celery, diced

1 small jalapeno, diced (optional)

4 cloves garlic, diced

¼ cup sundried tomato, chopped

Pinch of paprika

Pinch of salt

Zest of one lemon

1 TBS of Moroccan Lemon Preserve, chopped (see posted recipe in preserves category)

1 8 oz. container of organic Cut N Clean Garden Greens (this came in our weekly organic box from Annie’s – it contains a mix of chard, kale, mustard, turnip greens, and beet greens.  If you can’t get this item, simply replace with whatever green you have on hand or whichever  mix you prefer)

3 large handfuls of organic spinach

1 cup organic vegetable broth

Heat oil in a large skillet.  Sauté onion, carrot, and celery until soft and onions are translucent.  Stir in jalapeno, garlic, sundried tomato, paprika, and salt.  Cook for a few minutes, until the garlic is slightly browned.  Stir in remaining ingredients.  Cover skillet and steam until greens are tender and broth becomes a thick sauce.

Serve over a bed of rice or pasta for a full meal, or enjoy alone as a light lunch.