Today is the “Wearin’ of the Green,” but also consider eating something green every day, since greens foods carry chlorophyll as well as other nutrients that are good for our bodies. Here are two side dishes to try with your St. Paddy’s Day dinner.
Spicy Green Rice
Utensils: cutting board & knife, 2 pots, bowl for serving
Prep. Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: about 30 minutes
one cup brown rice
2 cups water or stock
1-2 cups chopped spinachÂ
one-two garlic cloves, minced
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
salt & pepper, cayenne, freshly grated ginger to tasteÂ
Optional: grated carrot, sesame/poppy/dill seeds
1. Bring 2 cups water or broth to a boil in a medium-sized saucepan. Add rinsed brown rice; bring to a second boil; turn to low, cover, and cook for about 25-30 minutes, until all water is absorbed.
2. While the rice is cooking, wash and chop spinach, minced the garlic, and place both in a small saucepan with water and simmer for about 10 minutes. Drain.
3. Place about one tablespoon olive oil in the bottom of the blender. Add cooked spinach and garlic (If you used 2 cups of spinach, you may need a little more olive oil.) Puree spinach and garlic until smooth. The water from the spinach leaves plus the olive oil should be enough moisture to puree. If not, add a little stock or water, depending on your blender’s power to puree easily.
4. When the rice is cooked, stir in the pureed spinach and garlic, add spices to taste. (I used about one Tbl. grated ginger.) Simmer for another 5 minutes to allow flavors to mingle and the “wetness” from the spinach to be absorbed.
5. Serve in an attractive bowl garnished with carrots and sprinkle on some seeds. (I used a mixture of sesame, poppy, and dill.) Yield: 2 1/2-3 cups
Note: The total cooking time depends on the type of rice you use. Short-grain brown rice takes about 30 minutes; long-grain may take longer, and white rice shorter. Also, since spinach cooks almost to nothing, one cup might be too scanty, so use 2 cups for a greener dish.
Greens & Beans
Utensils: cutting board & knife, 2 sauce pans
Prep. Time: about 10 minutesÂ
Cooking Time: about 20 minutes (using canned beans)
2 cups organic, chopped greens (kale, chard, collards, or mustard greens)*
1-2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2-1 cup cooked beans of choice (pinto, Great Northern, garbanzo, etc.)*
Mixture of 1 T. olive olive, 1 tsp. mustard, dash of lemon whisked together
Sesame seeds for garnish (optional)
1. Wash and chop greens of choice. *(You can use one or a mixture of several, just not spinach, since it cooks down so much there isn’t enough “bulk” for this dish.)
2. Cook greens on medium heatÂ for about 15 minutes, until tender. Drain. (I cook my greens, especially kale, instead of steaming them, because they taste less bitter. You can use the cooledÂ cooking water for your plants…or to rinse your hair!)
3. While the greens are cooking, chop the garlic and place the beans in a Â small saucepan to heat.Â If beans are new to your diet, start with 1/2 cup.
(Note: If you use beans that you soaked and drained, you will need to cook them at least 1/2 hour. I used canned beans for this recipe because I wanted something that was quick and simple.)
4. While the greens and beans are cooking, Â whisk together the olive oil, mustard, and lemon. (You may also add a dash of salt & pepper if your canned beans are low in sodium.)
5. Drain the greens, toss with dressing and sesame seeds (optional) and place in a bowl or serving dish. Scoop beans & garlic over the greens. Â (If your beans came with a lot of liquid, use a slotted spoon.) Serve warm.
Serves 2-4, depending on how hearty your entrÃ©e is. This was my entrÃ©e, so I ate all of it!