Monday, March 30, 2009

Green Life (Greens on green gnochi)

Ahhh Miami. I was there this past week for a Health Counseling conference. This conference came none too soon, as I had been lacking motivation since my morning sickness and waining energy. I got a nice healthy dose of Vitamin D, yoga on the beach, and a room full of 2oo Health Counselors who never cease to amaze. It was very exciting, motivating, and strengthening.

I returned home wanting lots and lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. Unfortunately it will be a while before I can get any of these locally, and for now I rely on Wholefoods to provide me with Organic produce that looks beautiful and tastes good too. Although spring brings little to us here in the Northeast, lots is growing all around the country. I do my best to buy produce from the closest areas I can find, this ensures freshness and less fossil fuel reliance. It is so nice to see so much green!!

Clockwise from top left to right: spring green onions (the same as the bags of onions we get dry, but fresh out of the ground), Kale, Carrot greens (I cut these off of my carrots to use for juicing), Escarole, Beet Greens (cut these off my beets to juice or cook), asparagus, Italian flat leaf parsley, and Ruby Chard.

One difference I can really appreciate from the greens I buy at the farmer's market verses the supermarket is the elastic bands and twist ties the supermarket uses to keep each bunch together. One band works fine, the big farms ship so much that they have to use 2 or 3 bands and I always feel like I need to set my greens free! My poor escarole seemed bruised by its cinched waste I was happy to release it, wash it and store it.

The seasons tell us by what is growing, what we should be eating at that time. Greens are perfect for spring. We have all eaten a heavier diet this winter, we eat rich stews and warming foods to stay warm and full in the cold. As the buds green up the trees and the grass starts to grow, we can take full advantage and clean out out winter diets. I always introduce greens to a new clients diet, this helps their bodies to start to detoxify from all the pollutant foods they may have been eating, it oxygenates the blood, and gets much needed nutrients into their systems. Greens make the transition to a healthier diet much easier!

Step by step Greens on Green Gnocchi: So simple, this was not a recipe, but something I threw together for dinner after bringing home my bounty. I want everyone to realize how delicious and easy green cooking can be!

1. Slice 2 green onions and 3 cloves of garlic.
2. Heat Extra virgin olive oil in pan and saute for a few minutes till translucent.

2. In the meantime slice the asparagus in 2 inch pieces and add to onions.

3. While the asparagus is sauteing, rinse and chop the escarole. My escarole had little tiny buggies on it. This was comforting for me to see, if microorganisms and other life-forms can live off of my food I know that I can too. I rinse it, by plunging it into cold water and then straining, repeat this 2-3 times till all dirt and bugs have been set free. Escarole is a great versatile green because it is soft enough to enjoy in salads, but strong enough to stand up to cooking, and you know if you have any left over you can always throw it into soups!

4. The escarole will cook down pretty quickly, once you've mixed it all around made sure it all got hot you can add a handful of arugula. (Another green that goes both ways) As all of this cooks I sprinkled a dash of sea salt and a little garlic powder over all of it.

5. The greens start to wilt and should turn a nice bright green color, this is when you know they are at peak enjoyment time. I had a little left over pea shoot pesto which I mixed in with the greens. You can always use fresh basil pesto, or just garlic, olive oil and Parmesan for a nice fresh taste.6. I mixed the greens with the green gnocchi (colored with spinach) and a little extra Parmesan. It had a nice lite garlic flavor and the gnocchi's add a nice creamy texture without being overpowering. Deliciouso!

To learn more about these greens and other awesome Organic farming practices I suggest visiting my friend Madeline's new blog here

Her husband is a knowledgeable and smooth Organic farmer who walks the talk with providing beautiful, sustainable foods. They also have a pretty fantastic life which is always fun to follow!


Hannah said...

pea shoot pesto? You may be brilliant.

natalie said...

The greens with gnocchi looks delish, I'll try it this week.

persephone said...

Hi Hannah and Natalie,

Ok first, I must confess the pea shoot pesto was not my idea. Although I've since loved making it I first found it at the Winter Farmer's Market in Pawtucket (there's a guy there with all kinds of pesto...and the women selling the pea shoots was right across the way)

And Natalie this is what I wanted to suggest to you, either indulge in a container of the pea shoot pesto ($6) or get a nice big tub of pea shoots ($4) and make your own. It is delicious, really fresh tasting a very nutritious!