Monday, June 15, 2009

Blogger Secret Ingredient (BSI) ASSIGNMENT: GREENS

Yup, Ms. Kim, the Ungourmet has left me in charge of choosing this week's Blogger Secret Ingredient...and I choose GREENS. Collard, Turnip, Mustard, Beet, Dandelion...you name it. Your assignment is to create a recipe that features or incorporates Greens. Make sure you link back to me (preferably this post) and then email me with a link to your post. Or if you don't have a blog and would still like to enter, then just email me your creation and I'll include it, as well. Throughout the week as I receive entries, I will add them along with a link to your post at the end of this post! I will then choose my "favorite" entry and that person will receive a little prize from me. That will definitely be the hardest part. Please have your entries to me no later than noon, Eastern Standard time on Sunday, June 21st (so I can choose and post a winner ASAP)!
When I chose greens, I knew that they were an amazing source of antioxidants and that they had many health benefits...I just couldn't really remember exactly what those benefits were. So, I asked my friend Rebecca from Chow & Chatter (remember, she's a dietician) if she could refresh my memory on those benefits. Greens are rich in folate, iron and vitamins A & K. Vitamin A is great for your vision and your skin health. Vitamin K increases bone mass (ladies), helping to stave off osteoporosis. I do remember enough from my nutrition classes to know that dark greens contain good amounts of calcium & fiber, as well. So, are you convinced to go out and cook with greens yet? Get some of those beautiful leafy tops (and I gave you so many choices...you should be able to find at least one) and show us what you can do! A traditional way of cooking greens, especially in the South (U.S.) is with some fat back or smoked pork product. Yum. Rebecca reminded me that cooking with Olive Oil would be much healthier...but is it as tasty?
I found some beautiful Turnip Greens that I wanted to cook with this past weekend. Turnip greens aren't as dark as some of the choices, but they are still high in these vitamins and they add a nice bite!

Greens & Spicy Sausage Soup

yield: ~3 qts.

by girlichef

Olive Oil- 2 Tbs.

red onion, sliced- 1

garlic cloves, smashed-4

Hot & Spicy Smoked Italian Style Sausage, sliced on the bias- 12 oz.

canned, diced, fire-roasted tomatoes- 1 (14.5 oz) can

Cannellini Beans w/ their liquid- 2 (15 oz.) cans

Sprigs of fresh herbs- I used thyme, marjoram, oregano and some bay leaves

Crushed Red Pepper- to taste (optional)

Chicken broth/stock- 2 qts.

Turnip Greens (or another kind of green), washed well & chopped- 1 big bunch

Black Pepper- to taste

Red wine vinegar- 2 Tbs.

Heat olive oil in a dutch oven over medium-high. When hot, add onions and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally until they start to soften, ~5 minutes. Add sausage and cook for a few more minutes, until everything starts to brown a bit.

Add tomatoes, beans and herbs and crushed red pepper (if using). Add broth/stock. Bring to a boil.

Add chopped greens and stir. Return to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for ~15-20 minutes.

Greens will have cooked through and turned a deeper shade of green (and shrunk considerably). Remove from heat.

Taste for seasoning. The sausage adds a good deal of salt, so you may not need to add any. Add black pepper to taste. Stir in vinegar. Serve with a nice loaf of crusty bread for sopping up the juices.

How will you use your greens?

Here is a list of entries for this week's BSI: Greens-

Dinner at Christina's- Orzo Soup

Cookbook Cuisine- Sauteed Chicken and Baby Bella Mushrooms w/ Garlic Spinach

Chow and Chatter- Easy Spinach South Indian Style

Angie's Recipes- Escarole and Alaska Pollock Cutlets

Dianasaur Dishes- Fresh Greens with Buttermilk Salad Dressing in Parmesan Lace Bowls

5 Star Foodie- Collared Wrapped Sockeye Salmon with Shiitake Mushrooms and Fried Potato Cream

feeding maybelle- Red Veined Dandelion Salad with Roasted Chicken, Dried Cherries and Almonds

Baker's Corner- Bosnian Green Strudel

Health Nut- Radish Greens Brown Rice Soup

Cooking Stuff- Rotini with Broccoli, Peppers, Spinach and Italian Sausage

Once Upon a Gourmet Gin- Gin's Mustard Greens Fresh Pesto

DoggyBloggy- Green Genie

Cinnamon, Spice & Everything Nice- Kale w/ Garlic & Cranberries

Bread + Butter-Spinach Pizza w/ Cream Sauce

Johnstone's Vin Blanc- Spring Vegetable Lasagna

The Ungourmet- Wasabi Ginger Kale Slaw

(envision your name & dish here...updated all week)

Here is a list of BSI Assignments to date:

Week 35: Girlichef - Greens Week 34: The Ungourmet - Watermelon Week 33: Bread + Butter - Bell Pepper Week 32: Burp and Slurp - Corn Week 31: Say Yes to Salad – Kabocha Week 30: Thinspired – Bananas

Week 29: To Be The Whole Package – Almonds

Week 28: Kristas Kravings – Lemon

Week 27: From French Fries To Flax Seeds – Coconut

Week 26: Plentiful Plants – Avocado

Week 25: Training Fuel – Eggs

Week 24: Dinner at Christina’s – Cabbage

Week 23: Hey What’s for Dinner, Mom? – Strawberries

Week 22: One Bite at a Time – Basil

Week 21: Just Sweet Enough – Black Beans

Week 20: What I Ate Yesterday – Kale

Week 19: What’s for Dinner – Orange

Week 18: BranAppetit! – Spinach

Week 17: Tales of Expansion – Dates

Week 16: Biggest Diabetic Loser – Zucchini

Week 15: Sweet & NaturalPeppermint

Week 14: bella eats [and runs] – Ginger

Week 13: Coffee Talk – Walnuts

Week 12: For the Love of Oats – Pumpkin

Week 11: Trying to Heal – Sweet Potatoes

Week 10: The Inner Workings of a College Graduate – Eggplant

Week 9: Itzy’s Kitchen – Pears

Week 8: The Fitnessista – Cranberries

Week 7: Tri to Cook – Lentils

Week 6: Rhodey Girl Tests – Polenta

Week 5: Eating Bender – Butternut Squash

Week 4: Care to Eat – Apples

Week 3: On a Lobster Placemat – Mushrooms

Week 2: Hangry Pants – Tomatoes

Week 1: Sportsnutritionliving – Quinoa

I'm also sending this over to Deb (early) at Kahakai Kitchen for my contribution to this week's Souper (soup, salad, sammie) Sunday!

Photobucket