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Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Greens -- Spinach and Chard

Spinach was the only cooked leafy vegetable I'd had growing up. In the early seventies, apparantly, it was only available frozen -- precooked and compressed into a frozen brick. It cooked up so limp, slippery, and stringy it could slip down my throat while I was still chewing. It was not my favorite vegetable.

Then, one year, my mother planted chard. It was like spinach, but not really. It came straight out of the garden, fresh and green. Cooked, it was slightly sweet, something I could sink my teeth into. We ate a lot of it, too. I remember watching the stockpot lid slowly settle as the enormous pile of chard subsided under the influence of steam. And the tiny baby chard leaves oftened livened up our green salads.

Later, we had the chance to try fresh baby spinach, too. It was a novelty, and we always had it as a salad, with a slightly sweet dressing that featured bacon and chopped eggs.

Now, chard, triple-washed baby spinach are available every day at the grocery store, and (in season) at farmer's markets. Sometimes, I can even get great-looking beet greens. I've tried them all in salads, in soups, and as a vegetable side.

Spinach is so tender I still prefer it raw, quickly sautéed, or added to a soup. Chard can stand up to being served as a cooked vegetable, and my kids prefer it to Collards, Kale, Mustard, or Turnip greens.


Peter Chen said...

Hi Family Nutritionist,

Thanks for leaving a comment in my post Caption for images uploaded via Blogger. Great info you are giving. Looks like a case of a disciple overtaking the master. Congrats.

BTW I wish I am a nutritionist myself as I place great importance on nutrition and a conventional Doctor in a talk confirmed that nutrition is number 1 for health, plus somewhere in my blog Food as Medicine was a post about a state in USA which has introduced compulsory study on nutrition as a subject in medical faculties, and no longer just as a mention in passing in a different subject.

And any post on dhal or tumeric?

Peter Blog*Star
Blogger Dough
(Blogging helped my put 2 sons through college on my pension and if not for blogging, I would have been in financial difficulties. We want to help you do the same)

Family Nutritionist said...

Hi Peter,

I do not have any training as a nutritionist. But somebody has to tell this family of mine how to eat!

I appreciate the tips you give on your blog. They give me lots of helpful ideas.

As for dal and tumeric, look for an upcoming recipe for red lentils with Bengal spices. Delicious.