Let’s start this year off right. Let’s talk about greens.
Did you know that collard greens are rich in vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B6, vitamin E, Calcium, and dietary fiber? Did you know that cooking them increases their nutritional benefits? The heat breaks down their cell walls and releases higher amounts of their vitamins and minerals. And do you know how delicious collard greens can be? (It’s okay if you didn’t know that last one because up until a few months ago I didn’t know either.)
I tend to feel guilty when I cook my vegetables because it often means that I’m losing nutrients. However, with collard greens, I can throw out my guilt and grab my pan.
For those of us living in the Pacific Northwest, we are pretty lucky when it comes to greens. Fresh local greens are available to us most of the year because of our wonderful cool and damp weather. Seattle often spoils me when it comes to good local food.
How did you ring in the New Year? Fireworks? A glass of wine? I opted for a low-key celebration involving a good movie, a cup of tea, a snuggie, and my cat. I even fell asleep before midnight. Yep, I’m that cool.
On New Year’s Day I ran my first 5K. I love running and this is something I’ve wanted to do for years. Unfortunately, I’ve had terrible shin splints in the past that even daily stretching, strength training, massage, and physical therapy couldn’t get rid of. I thought there was no way I’d ever be able to run again.
Last week I discovered compression socks and they are amazing. If you ever have shin splints I strongly recommend you get a pair. They not only alleviated my pain, but they made it possible for me to run my first race. 2011 is looking up.
If running a 5K, 10K, half or full marathon is on your 2011 wish list I hope this inspires you to get started. If I can do a 5K, you can too. Trust me.
And if I can love collard greens this much, I hope you can too.
1 bunch collard greens, de-stemmed and roughly chopped
1/2 – 1 cup vegetable stock
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
salt and pepper to taste
1 garlic clove, minced
1 Tbs olive oil
In a medium pot over medium heat, add your olive oil and cook your collard greens and garlic for about a minute.
Add your vegetable stock. It should be a thin layer and will probably not cover all of your greens, but they will quickly cook down. Put a lid on your pot and turn the stove down to a simmer. Add the red pepper flakes. Cook until the greens are tender, about 20 minutes. You want them to be chewable, but not mushy. Drain any excess stock. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.