Posted by: Barbara Evanhoe | December 18, 2011

Eat Your Greens!

About the only green food my family ate while I was growing up was canned green beans, iceburg lettuce salad with cardboard-style hot house tomatoes, and an occasional side dish of canned spinach with vinegar.

Luckily, my sisters and I have expanded our repertoire of tasty and healthful green foods, as we moved away from home and became more adventurous in or eating.

At this time of year, when most of us are munching on way too many things that are not that good for us, I offer the following recipe in an attempt to counteract some of the “food evils” we are committing……and, besides being healthy and nutritious, it’s easy to make, delicious, and visually pleasing in festive red and green!

The recipe is simple. Pasta with a sauce of cooked greens, tomatoes and mushrooms.

The greens are cooked soft, but they hold up much better than spinach, and when you eat them, they chew like a tender piece of meat, so that you really don’t notice the absence of meat in the dish, and you are satisfied after your meal.

The first time I tried it, was last winter when we were in Florida, where the eating of “greens” is a cultural “must do”, and you can always find a variety of fresh greens at any grocery store.

It’s been a bit more difficult to locate fresh greens here in Truth or Consequences, but the other day when I was at the store, I found a large bag of chopped collard greens that looked pretty good.

Normally I use a mix of several different greens, but Keith and I were hungry for this recipe, so I decided to give the solo collards a go.

We were not disappointed….

Greens with Pasta

Here’s how to make it:

1 lb. Greens of your choice, chopped or torn into fairly large pieces

1 tsp. Salt

8 oz. Whole wheat spaghetti noodles  (you could probably use shiratake noodles if you need low carb, wheat free or diet noodles – I have not tried them, but am intrigued – more info at this link.)

2 TBSP. Olive oil

2 Garlic cloves, crushed

1 Cup Sliced mushrooms (can use canned)

1 Cup Cherry tomatoes cut in half (can use canned diced tomatoes, drained)

Grated Parmesan Cheese

In a large stockpot, add the greens and enough water to cover them. Stir in the salt and cover the pot. Bring the greens to a boil on medium high heat and simmer 5-7 minutes, or until they are as tender. Drain the greens but save the cooking liquid and put it back in the pot. You will cook the pasta according to package directions, in the water saved from the greens.

While the pasta is cooking, prepare the vegetables. Add the olive oil and garlic to a medium sautee pan and cook 2-3 minutes or until soft. Add the mushrooms, tomatoes and greens and sautee for 5-7 minutes or until the mushrooms are tender. Add the cooked pasta and sautee for another minute. Stir in the Parmesan Cheese, season with salt and pepper if desired, and ENJOY!

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