Monday, May 14, 2012

Leafy Greens

Most people shy away from the leafy greens even though they are packed full of nutrients. I myself did not even know what kale and chard were until about a year ago when I tried a delicious veggie quesadilla from Patty Pan at the Seattle University District Farmers Market. It was fully of leafy greens and beets. Definitely something I would never have thought to make for myself. I found it irresistible and ate at least a small one every time I went to the market. After many months of farmers market trips for my veggie quesadilla, I was finally encouraged to buy some chard by one of the vendors where I usually purchased berries. It was on sale and he was a great salesperson, so I bought one bunch. When I got home I realized that I could now make my own delicious chard quesadillas. I've been a leafy greens lover ever since.

I actually enjoy the taste of most veggies, but I understand that many people do not. My husband is one of those people. That is why the chard quesadilla is great. The cheese and salsa mask most of the veggie flavor of the chard, so that veggie haters can get their daily dose of leafy greens and enjoy it too.

Thursday was the Bremerton Farmers Market and I purchased some russian chard from Abundantly Green to make these quesadillas for dinner. I usually get rainbow or red chard but decided to give this new variety a try.

Here's how I like to make it:

  • tortillas
  • shredded cheese
  • 1 clove garlic, minced (or garlic powder)
  • swiss chard, chopped (or baby spinach if you aren't ready for chard)
  • salsa
  • avocado, sliced (optional)
First you will need to cook the chard. Heat about 1 tbsp of olive of in a pan on medium. Add the garlic and saute for about a minute (until it is fragrant). Sometimes when I'm feeling really lazy, I use garlic powder instead of minced garlic, but it definitely tastes better with real garlic. Then add the chopped chard and season with a little salt and pepper. Cover the pan and let it cook for about 5 minutes.

After 5 minutes, flip the chard over so the other side gets a chance to cook. If the pan seems dry, add a little water. Replace the lid and let it cook for another 5 minutes. Set the chard aside after it is finished cooking.

Cook your quesadilla in the pan by putting down a tortilla, a layer of shredded cheese, cooked chard, salsa, sliced avocado, and another layer of cheese. Put the top tortilla on and cook with the lid on to help the cheese melt more quickly.

After it is done cooking, cut it into triangles and eat! I usually dip it in salsa and plain non-fat greek yogurt in place of sour cream.

Tip: If you don't plan on using your kale or chard the same day that you buy it then it will be wilted by the next day. In order to prevent this, cut up your leafy greens and store them in a container in the fridge. This will keep them fresh and crisp for a few days until you are ready to use them.

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