The goat cheese, salmon, and mushrooms are all optional.
I just wasn’t sure how well a recipe for “Greens with Some Other Stuff” would go over. This recipe is really “how to use up what you have in your fridge” with greens.
Our first CSA box ever included kale (use it all the time), swiss chard (used it once in my life), collard greens and arugula (never had them before). I knew I would need some new recipes beyond just having sausage, kale and bean soup and green smoothies every week!
The day after the box arrived, we had greens (I think they were collards) in our eggs.
We had greens in our smoothies.
And I felt it was important to have greens in our main course at dinner. I wanted to use a lot of them, right away.
I had looked up some new recipes, but they all seemed to be about sauteeing a pile of greens and leaving them that way on the plate, as a side dish. I didn’t think that would go over very well wit the fam, so I began to imagine differences.
In my mind, I sauteed some onion, pepper and garlic (because that’s always a good way to start dinner, mmmm!). I knew I had two packages of mushrooms in the fridge, so they made a prominent appearance.
I crammed as many greens as I could into the cast iron pan. This was going to be a green meal, doggone it!
What I had in my imaginary pan so far reminded me of a good base for spaghetti sauce, and something my family wouldn’t eat on its own (see “pile of greens on a plate,” above). I remembered that I had 2/3 of a jar of tomato sauce waiting to be used, as well. A fun benefit of having my tomato sauce in glass jars is that I can use what I want without dirtying a dish to save the leftovers. In went some tomato sauce, about a cup.
Now I knew we needed some spices, so a palmful of pizza seasoning quickly followed the sauce. I was pretty happy with what I had so far, but I wasn’t sure what to do with it. Serve it over pasta? Almost too mundane, and plus, I was kind of grain-free at the time. I needed to make two changes: add a protein and figure out how to present it on the plate (see “pile of greens” problem, above).
Incorporating cheese was a no-brainer, but I was also about to fall asleep in my bed with my imaginary pot, so I knew I couldn’t soak beans or rice overnight. What options did I have that I could start in the afternoon?
I slept on it.
Waking up with mushrooms and tomato sauce in my hair, I figured out the perfect solution.
First, don’t sleep with your food.
I added a can of salmon to the mix, gave cheese choices to the fam, and wrapped it all up in the grain-free crepes we love from Cara’s grain-free menu planner. Ta da! Dinner.
- 2-4 Tbs. your favorite fat (olive oil, coconut oil, lard, tallow, butter)
- 8 oz. fresh mushrooms, sliced
- 1 medium sweet onion, sliced thinly
- ½ colored pepper (or mix), sliced thinly
- 8-10 large leaves kale, swiss chard, or equivalent smaller greens (maybe 4 cups?)
- 2-3 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 c. tomato sauce (add more if it seems too dry)
- 1-2 tsp. Italian or pizza seasoning
- (or use pizza or spaghetti sauce in place of the tomato sauce and seasoning)
- 1 small can (6 oz.) wild Alaskan salmon, drained
- 1-2 slices mozzarella cheese per eater
- goat cheese
- Saute mushrooms and onions in lots of fat until tender and as caramelized as you have time for.
- Add peppers, if using.
- In the meantime, wash the leafy greens and remove the hard center rib (for kale, swiss chard - you can chop the center rib separately and add with the onions and peppers).
- Chop rather finely; I stack up the leaves and make vertical, then horizontal slices, then chop through the pile a few times back and forth with a large knife.
- Add all the greens to the pot and stir around for a minute, then cover to steam for 3-5 minutes. (It looks like a lot of green, but trust me, it will cook down.)
- Once the greens are wilted and stirred up with everything else, add the garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes.
- Pour the sauce and seasoning in and stir and heat until fragrant, Italian-restaurant smells are filling your kitchen.
- Add salmon, if using, and heat through.
- Serve in a crepe with a slice of mozzarella cheese on the bottom.
- The hot greens mixture should melt the cheese, or you can toast the crepe in a frying pan to melt it.
- Crumble goat cheese to taste on top if you like.
- This dish could also be served over rice or pasta, or simply eaten in a bowl. (Or as a pile of greens on a plate, but proceed with caution.)
You could leave out the peppers or mushrooms, switch the salmon for cooked beans, any cooked meat (sausage, perhaps?), or just leave a vegetarian mushroom base like I did for my husband before I added salmon for the rest of the family.
Also, don't worry about the meal looking like a pile of greens.
You'll think you're adding a massive pile of greens, that your dish is totally green-centric, but then they'll cook down so much that it's not "greens with other stuff" anymore but honestly "stuff with some greens."
You might not even taste them all that much.
Now my problem is that I used up most of our greens too fast! I have more swiss chard recipes I want to try, but I have to wait until next week’s new delivery…
If you enjoyed Cara’s grain-free menu planner, check out her eBooks:
What are you doing with your CSA greens this year?
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