For being vegan and avoiding processed foods, I’m quickly discovering that my “healthy” diet is serioulsy lacking in nutrients. Things like calcium, iron, protein… you know, those little semi-significant things…

In my efforts to do something about my nutrient shortage and figure out a way to keep from feeling like I’m running on fumes and in need of a constant caffeine kick, I’m seeing a trend in everything I read… dark, leafy greens, dark, leafy greens and more dark, leafy greens.

I love spinach but there’s always something a little weird to me about the texture of it. It always feels a little gritty. It’s one thing to have gritty-feeling food when you’re on a picnic at the beach, but it’s an entirely different experience to be eating your veggies knowing that you’ve cleaned your food and it still feels funky.

Then, the other night, we had stuffed collard greens, and they were really good.  They were simply boiled, pretty tasty and not too bitter. Then I started finding even more recipes that I want to try with collards, still knowing they were nutritious but not really realizing they were the equivalent of the nutrient jackpot.

Fast forward to this morning, when googling something totally different brought up this information:

  • 1 cup of cooked collards has 357 g of Calcium. That’s nearly double the amount in Kale and second only to black strap molasses
  • More than 1000% the daily recommended value of Vitamin K (which is an anti-inflammatory and I’ve heard can help stop bruising… )
  • They help lower cholestrol. The reasoning is a little complex but essentially it gets rid of bile acids so that the liver has to use up the cholesterol that’s hanging around in order to produce more bile acid to help us digest food.
  • 5 grams of fiber per cup – which doesn’t sound like whole lot but that’s 85 percent of the RDA and only 200 calories. Compare that to, say, almonds where a 1 oz. serving (about 25 nuts) has 3 grams of fiber and 15 grams of fat. Not to knock almonds. They’re a regular feature in my diet, but that’s a whole lot of fat for the same amount of fiber.
  • It’s also high on the Vitamin c, Folate, and iron scales.

I discovered some really good ideas on Pinterest, like just using it in place of a flour wrap for veggies and hummus.

Since I’ve been totally craving falafel lately, yesterday I made baked falafel and wrapped it with cucumbers, tomatoes, sprouts and a tahini-lemon dressing. It was really, really good!!

I think this is going to be tonight’s attempt… thank you, Whole Foods recipes ….

 

     Indian Spiced Garbanzos and Greens

 

Ingredients

1/2 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
1 (15-ounce) can no-salt-added diced tomatoes
2 (15-ounces each) cans no-salt-added garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
1 bunch collard greens, stems removed and leaves thinly sliced
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves (optional)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Method

Heat broth to a simmer in a large, high-sided skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic, ginger and jalapeño and cook until onion is tender and translucent, 5 to 6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in curry and garam masala and cook 1 minute. Add tomatoes, garbanzos and 1 cup water and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium and simmer 15 minutes. Stir in collards, cover and cook 10 minutes more, stirring occasionally, until greens are tender. Stir in cilantro and lemon juice and serve.

Sounds tasty and easy. I’ll let ya know!

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