Meatless Monday: Easy Stir-Fried Leafy Greens

One of the first crops to pop up in backyard gardens in Nebraska is lettuce and a little later, some leafy greens. What do you do with all that green stuff, huh?

A while back, I gave you a quick and easy recipe for spinach. Here’s one that uses any leafy green, So, if you see some new variety at the farmer’s market, be adventurous and try it out in this recipe.

Here’s an easy stir-fry dish to accompany your Asian-flavored main dish. It’s a quick one, too (cooks in 20 minutes).

Why have leafy greens in your daily diet? Check out this article for some good reasons. For one thing, calorie for calorie, they are “perhaps the most concentrated source of nutrition of any food. They are a rich source of minerals (including iron, calcium, potassium, and magnesium) and vitamins, including vitamins K, C, E, and many of the B vitamins.”

Back to the recipe now. I found this in “Veganomicon: The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook.” It provides instructions for cooking greens with thick stems, but if you are using thin-stemmed greens (like watercress or water spinach), skip the step of separating the stems from the leaves. The cookbook authors recommend using tongs for sautéing the greens. I recommend them, as well.

Easy Stir-Fried Leafy Greens

Serves 4 to 6 1 pound dark, leafy greens, such as: Mustard greens, Chinese broccoli, large bok choy, chard, water spinach, dandelion greens (use 2 pounds), watercress (use 2 pounds), green choy sum, etc.

1 tablespoon peanut oil

3 cloves garlic, minced finely

1/2-inch cube ginger, grated (I don’t know what cubed means, I just use fresh ginger)

1 tablespoon rice cooking wine, cooking sherry or mirin

2 teaspoons soy sauce

Pinch of sugar

1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil or chile-sesame oil (optional)

Holding the greens together in bunches, slice into 1- or 2-inch-wide sections. If the greens have any thick stems or bottoms, remove and place the stems in a bowl separate from the leafy tops. Wash and dry both bowls of greens, and shake off any excess water.

In a large, nonstick skillet or wok, heat the peanut oil over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and ginger; cook, stirring constantly, for 30 seconds. Add the thick stems and stir-fry for about 1 to 2 minutes until stems begin to soften.

Add the leafy tops, stirring constantly for another 2 to 3 minutes, until the tops begin to wilt and soften. Sprinkle with cooking wine, soy sauce, sugar and chile-sesame oil. If the leaves are very large and piled high in the pan, cover the pan for 1 to 2 minutes to sweat and wilt them so that they can be easily stir-fried. Stir to combine all the ingredients. Stir-fry until the vegetables are bright green and the stems are tender but still slightly crisp. Remove form the heat and serve immediately.


About kareiner

I'm an active mom who loves to cook. I'm passionate about health and fitness. I'm no expert, nutritionist, personal trainer or miracle worker. I just like being active and I like good food.
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