Thursday, July 30, 2009

GUEST POST: C. Everett Co-op ‏

Kris and Leigh (that’s us) are on vacation this week, so we asked some hilarious friends to pen guest columns for CHG. Today’s post comes from the most excellent Federico.

If you are interested in good, healthy food at cheap prices, you've probably at least considered joining a food co-op. It takes more effort than belonging to a CSA, (I think joining a CSA is best only for those with the culinary imagination to make appealing meals out of one month of tomatoes and broccoli and eleven months of turnips and sand.) and isn't as convenient as shopping at the nearest grocery store, but gives members access to a wealth inexpensive, high quality food and an inexhaustible well of self-satisfaction.

Unfortunately, many would be co-op members are put off by the prospect of having to shop amid socialists that only stop hacky-sacking long enough to roil in hemp oil and pull tacks from their grubby bare feet. While there is some truth to this stereotype, it is far from the reality of the urban food co-op. You might find the truth equally unattractive, though.

I won't give you an argument for or against joining a co-op, just a description of my experiences at New York City's largest co-op, and provide a peek behind the veil that separates members and the suckers who pay $14 a pound for organic salad greens. What you choose to do with that is none of my business. I would only add that I am possibly risking my life by sharing this information with “outsiders.”


Your membership at the co-op starts with one of the four New Member Orientations that are offered each week. If you enjoy Powerpoint presentations about community-owned grocery stores, you are in for a treat. On the up side, you get free chips and cookies, so I advise going hungry or wearing loose pants, with tapered legs, suitable for stuffing with food, to get the most out of this once-in-a-membership opportunity.

When I went, there were about 30 people there, almost all of whom immediately paid their $25 joining fee and $100 member investment (which you get back if you quit) right then and there. Assuming that's typical, that's about 100 new members a month. Many of them quickly drop out or replace members that quit or move away, but the ranks of the co-op are bulging like an American child's stomach. That's why, as the newest of 14,000+ members, you can expect to get the worst job at the least convenient time. Once they sign you up for the 5 AM Tuesday “B week” janitorial shift, you're in. You'll have to work this shift once a month or you will be put on “work alert” and then suspended if you don't make it up, plus an additional punitive shift within ten days.

As a side note, I was personally relieved to find out that they dropped the “blood in, blood out” policy in the mid-nineties.


How is it possible to assign 14,000 people a monthly work slot in one grocery store? I have no idea. If you do the math, it would mean that more than 450 members would have to be working per day. Even with lots of people missing shifts, that number sounds absurd, so something screwy must be going on. Rather than speculate what, lets move right along.

I can attest that if you have enough people working at any given time, not nearly enough work gets done. Any job that involves “cleaning” usually entails wiping off the soap residue left from the last cleaning about two hours ago. The situation would be even worse were it not for the gross incompetence of most of the workers.

It would seem that most co-op members have either never worked at a job that required actual labor or did it so long ago that they have forgotten how to do it. It can take a team of two people an entire shift to stock one yogurt cooler about the size of a car. While sometimes frustrating, it can be fun to watch someone in business formal stock one apple at a time with a confused, embarrassed look on their face. It turns out that an MFA or law degree leave one ill-prepared for unloading trucks.

Luckily, my desire to keep my potential in its pristine “unrealized” state has kept me familiar with menial labor. The time passes fairly quickly, and when you're done, you won't have to do it again for another month, about the time it takes to forget how to do everything you just did.


The stuff you will find at the co-op is really good, and it's cheap. The produce is the biggest draw for me. They have everything that I would ever want, from kale to avocados (91 cents!), and almost everything is organic. Even more than for the pricing, I value the produce section for the selection and quality. The huge volume of shoppers and high turnover also insures that it's all fresh. That goes for the bulk section, too; you never have to worry about the oil in the walnuts turning because they never sit too long. You can save a lot on spices, herbs, and teas, too, many of which are hard to find other places.

The cheeses are very good, though the stock changes frequently, so when a favorite turns up, you have to grab it. At the prices, though, it's worth it to experiment and try to find a new favorite. If you are a big fan of dairy, you can finally afford to buy organic, grass fed milk. I can't vouch for the meats, because I don't eat 'em, but I think they are pretty good as well, though I think it's a bit pricier than other things.

The groceries are like what you would find in most “health food” stores, but cheaper. Like most of its ilk, a ton of shelf space is devoted to organic chips and cane-sugar-sweetened cookies, which, science has proven, actually reduce body fat and improve memory.

Lines, lines / everywhere a line / blockin' out the scenery / breakin' my mind

When do you shop? After work or on weekends? Guess what? So does everybody else. With so many people belonging to the co-op, any high traffic time becomes insane. On a Sunday afternoon, it's not unusual to see the non-express line weave through almost the entire store.

It would be a lot of work for anyone, but especially for people who use a register for three hours a month, and are oblivious/tickled pink by their constant errors. (If you can’t identify chard, why must you blame me for your ignorance, Blythe Danner-like cashier?) At least when subjected to horrible customer service at CVS, you can tell yourself, “I guess I'd be sluggish and angry, too, if I had to work in a CVS, and judging by those portrait tattoos on her neck, she's also got at least three children to worry about.”

At the co-op you get the rare luxury of being delayed and condescended to by “workers” who live in apartments you will never be able to afford.

In Summary

The co-op has good food for cheap, but is always crowded with people who buy “architect glasses” for their annoying children. I now realize that I am carrying more anger towards co-op cashiers than I would have guessed.

Federico Garduño has a blog with Dan Milledge called, which details their imaginary hero.

(Photos courtesy of Talking Retail, Bloomberg, and NextUp.)

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

GUEST POST: Chicken Shawarma (Insert Shawarma Pun Here)

Kris and Leigh (that’s us) are on vacation this week, so we asked some of our most hilarious friends to pen guest columns for CHG. Today’s post comes from occasional contributor and fabulous cook Rachel.

For real, now: have you guys seen the August Food & Wine? Because sweet Alice Waters on a soapbox, it's awesome. Deeply, wonderfully, guy-who-founded-Le-Pain-Quotidien-spills-his-guts awesome.

With that said, I need to backtrack a little. I read the August issue before getting around to July's F&W. July is good, but after August's wonderment, anything short of Eric Ripert standing in my kitchen and being all, "After we eat this dinner I've lovingly crafted, let's make zee amour," would have been disappointing. (C'mon. You know you've thought about it, too.)

July still had a few things that lept out at me--specifically, F&W's simplified version of chicken shawarma. Shawarma is a Middle Eastern staple, and generally involves some combination of meat, vegetables, and yogurt sauce or dressing. It sounded delicious, and while I usually look more towards French and Italian inspirations, curiosity (and a brimming CSA basket) were reason enough to give it a go. Fairly fast, suprisingly satisfying, and really CHG-able, Jeff and I declared this one a repeat-worthy dinner. Because of the crumbly nature of pita, she ain't always the prettiest daisy in the school play, but by the time we stopped to care about the imperfect visual, we'd already cleaned our plates.

(This is also dish that really capitalizes on the virtues of ethnic markets. My local merchant charged me $.75 for six beautiful pitas, and the spices were practically free.)

There was just one hitch: yogurt. I'm the nerd who can't do dairy and this recipe called for a full cup of plain, low-fat yogurt. My intolerance has made me pretty skilled with subsitutions, so I hopped on the webternet and found this recipe at It turned out really, really well.

Tofu Sour Cream
(Created by Matt Eberhart)

1 10.5-oz package of lite silken tofu(firm), crumbled
1 tbsp. canola or olive oil
4 to 5 tsp. lemon juice
2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
1 tsp. of any sweetener
1/2 tsp. salt

1) Combine everything in a food processor or blender. Blend until all creamy-like. Store in fridge.

I whipped up a batch, used a cup of this instead of the yogurt, and it totally did the trick. So, without further ado...

Chicken Shawarma
Serves 6
From July 2009 Food & Wine

1 pound zucchini, sliced 1/4 inch thick
1/2 pound green beans
2 tsp. olive oil, divided
Cooking spray
Kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground allspice
1 1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
4 large skinless, boneless chicken thighs
1 garlic clove, minced
1 cup of vegan sour cream
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Six 6-inch pitas, split horizontally
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
Smoked paprika

1) Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with foil, and coat with cooking spray. Spread the zucchini and green beans on the baking sheet, coat again with cooking spray, and season with salt.

2) In a small bowl, mix allspice, black pepper, white pepper, cinnamon, cumin, coriander, and 1 tsp. of olive oil. Coat chicken with paste. Salt to taste. Place on a separate foil-lined baking sheet.

3) Roast chicken for 15 minutes on lower rack in the oven. On the upper rack, roast the veggies for the same amount of time. Poultry should be cooked when finished. Take out veggies. Broil chicken about 10 minutes, turning once halfway through. Slice into long strips.

4) While those are cooking, in a small skillet, heat remaining 1 tsp. of olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic. Saute until fragrant, about 30 to 60 seconds. Turn heat off. "Whisk in the tofu mixture and lemon juice." Salt to taste.

5) Place pitas on a cutting board, cut side up. Brush each with 1-1/2 teaspoons of sauce. Evenly distribute chicken, veggies, and red onion among them. Roll the bread into wrap-form.

6) Get out a heavy pan. Heat it over medium-high. Place rolls on pan seam side down. Cook 2 minutes. Flip. Cook 2 more minutes. It should be "golden and crisp" when done. Cut rolls in half. Sprinkle with paprika. Serve.

Rachel is an actor, writer, and aspiring cook. Given the opportunity, she will charmingly talk your face off about food.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

GUEST POST: Rest in Peas - A Working Mothers Guide to Not Making Baby Food

Kris and Leigh (that’s us) are on vacation this week, so we asked some of our most hilarious friends to pen guest columns for CHG. Today’s post comes from the talented and wondrous Michele.

For the last seven months of my life, I’ve been taking care of a child. To be more specific, I’ve been taking care of my child. The one I carried around for TEN months in my belly, and the one I have wanted since I was, oh, 13? The one I waited to find the perfect dad for. The one that came at the just the right time and is absolutely perfect. To me. Obviously.

Anyway, he’s seven-months-old now, and I can’t rely exclusively on the food I’ve been making for him from the ol’ feed sacks. (A.k.a. my bosom.) It’s one of those things you don’t think about when you’re 13: I have to feed him real food.

For the last month, I’ve been going with Earth’s Best and Gerber baby foods because, oh, I don’t know – it’s easy? But recently, I wanted to try my hand at pureeing steamed peas at home.

So, I opened up my internet and looked at the awesome Wholesome Baby Food website, plus a book (I know. How retro!) called Super Baby Food. And from both of these, I’ve gotten some great recipes. It is pretty much just as easy as steaming peas, throwing them in your blender, and then adding a little steaming water for consistency.

(Oh, and apparently, if you throw the hot peas into an ice bath beforehand it makes the pea jackets puree easier. Also, a blender is better than a food processor - again, those pesky pea jackets. If you think junior can't take the texture of it at the end of this process, just strain it and get rid of the lumps.)

It seems that I’ve come to the end of my, “Hi! I’m Michele and I have a baby; let’s make baby food,” segment, but really, opening up the website and the book just made me more confused. Which, I’ve found after seven months, is what motherhood is all about.

Seeing how easy it is to make the baby food was nice. It’s not this big ordeal I thought it would be. However, then? You have to store it.

Now, I live in Brooklyn. I don’t have a deep freezer, nor do I have a pantry. I have a freezer that is currently overloaded with breast milk and meat because my mom has been on this kick of sending us Omaha Steak packages that are less steak and more hot dogs and hamburgers, plus these really weird Potato Au Gratins. So what I’m saying is, room is at a premium. What’s a girl to do? Make just a wee bit of peas every day? Learn cannning?

The solution is pretty awesome – I just put them in ice cube trays.

What I’m left with though, is enough peas to skin a cat, but little else. And apparently, if you only give your child one of anything, they can develop an aversion to that one food. So, I have to go back to jars of baby food for variety.

The more I read about making baby food, the more I realize I may not be able to do this for him and you know what? That’s ok. I would rather spend the four hours a day I get with him Monday through Friday, than stress over what I’m not doing for him. The good news is that breast milk is still more important than regular food this first year anyway, so I have another five months to figure out how to feed him healthy, fresh foods and be okay with supplementing when necessary. In the meantime, I’ll give him my puree of peas sparingly and gobble up his giggles and coos.

And when those run out, I can try my hand at making mangos!

Michele O Medlin is a wife, mother, and voiceover artist. She sometimes writes on her blog over here. When she does, she generally swears. Users beware.

Monday, July 27, 2009

GUEST POST: White Sangria - I Am a Thoughtful Hostess

Kris and Leigh (that’s us) are on vacation this week, so we asked some of our most hilarious friends to pen guest columns for CHG. Today, we’re kicking everything off with the lovely Cindee.

Who doesn't love throwing a party? Good friends, good food, good drink. Those few minutes of pure adrenaline right before the first guests arrive...I love it all.

I'm currently planning a housewarming party. My boyfriend and I recently moved into an actual adult apartment, which we have furnished with actual adult furniture. We are now required to have an actual adult party. A celebration of good fortune and adulthood!

If I put every party that I have ever had on a timeline, it would go something like this:

1980's Theme: Parents away!
Guest List: Andrew Warde High School
Menu: Beer

1990's Theme: I Like Parties!
Guest List: NYC friends
Menu: BYOB and "doctored" hummus

2000's Theme: The Holidays!
Guest List: Extended NYC friends and friends from Brooklyn
Menu: light appetizers and wine

I've definitely moved beyond the kegger, and have spent a few anxious nights trying to figure out what kind of party it should be.

So without hesitation, I turned to Martha.

It was as if she knew I would be seeking out her advice. I was led to a simply delightful quiz that aimed to set me straight on the path to housewarming enlightenment:

What Kind of Hostess Are You?
You are undoubtedly A Thoughtful Hostess

You plan ahead to ensure that the events you host are special and that your guests feel welcome. Friends feel comfortable in your home and enjoy bringing signature dishes to your table. You're known for featuring unique touches without going overboard.
Martha's assessment of my hostessing skills was eerily similar to my horoscope for that very day. Now THAT'S a good thing!

I am so relieved. I have focus! I am unique!

This is going to be a great party.

I can already feel the adrenaline.

White Cingria (Sangria) With Fresh Fruit Ice Cubes
A perfectly unique beverage

2 bottles Pinot Grigio or any light, citrusy white wine
1 bottle Looza Tropical Fruit Nectar
Various and sundry fruits that freeze well: grapes, peaches, nectarines
Various and sundry fruits for garnish: tangelos, blood oranges, apples, blackberries

For the Fresh Fruit Ice Cubes:
1) Cut up peaches and nectarines into 1" or so chunks.

2) Place grapes and other fruits in freezer bags and freeze overnight

3) These are your ice cubes!

For the White Sangria:
1) Mix wine and nectar in a pitcher, add fruit cubes, garnish, and drink to your good fortune!

Cindee Weiss enjoys making food funny. She does this at Little Kitchen Mouse. She is also a contributor to Media Freak.

(Photo courtesy of Drink Recipes.)

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Stuffed Eggplant and Some (Good) Housekeeping

You guys! Things!

1) Both Leigh and I are on vacation next week. Leigh will still be checking comments, and we’ve recruited a few hilarious friends to write guest posts for us. There’ll be at least two entries, and they don’t necessarily adhere to the cheap/healthy/good theme, but they’re super-fun. We’re excited to have them, and are sure you’ll dig them muchly.

2) A few weeks ago, I solicited reader suggestions for leafy green recipes. And then? On Wednesday? I posted a 246-link compilation that ignored those ideas completely. I’m an idiot. The Escarole and White Beans comment thread has some, but beyond that, here are two fantastic reader submissions, with gigantic apologies.

From Anna:
1) Raw Tuscan Kale Salad with Pecorino from The New York Times. If you can get some Tuscan kale (aka dinosaur or lacinato kale), this is amazing.

2) Pasta with Greens and Ricotta from The Wednesday Chef. Add a splash of white wine.

3) My Mom's Kale and Potatoes
1 bunch kale, with tough stems removed, chopped
3 med. potatoes, boiled until almost cooked, then sliced into rounds
1 clove garlic, minced
2 Tbs? soy sauce or tamari (I don't really measure this)
1 Tbs olive oil
Optional: 1/2 Tbs sesame oil
Heat a skillet with olive oil. Add garlic and saute, then add kale. Add a splash of water and cover to steam kale until bright green and slightly wilted. Then uncover and add sliced potatoes. Add soy sauce. Stir and turn off heat. Drizzle sesame oil on top if
you want.
From Neideep:
Escarole and Bean Soup
1) Heat several tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil & saute at least half a head of garlic (I use a whole head), plus a large chopped onion, and several red skin potatoes cut up - you can add chopped carrots, too.

2) Add homemade (or boxed) vegetable stock (or poultry stock)

3) Clean & rinse the escarole well. Tear into pieces and add to pot (I use a large head or two "small" heads)

4) Add a few bay leaves, salt, pepper and Cayenne to taste - a little pinch of fresh oregano or basil is good, but don't go overboard.

5) Use a can or two of red or white beans - drained and rinsed - or cook your own beans, with garlic, onion, salt and pepper for more flavor.

6) Cook till the flavors blend - about an hour - and serve with a hard Italian grated cheese.
3) Today’s recipe – Stuffed Eggplant! It’s delicious, meatless main dish that pairs well with pasta. To make the original recipe a little lighter, I halved the olive oil and the pine nuts. It cut about 40% of the fat from the original, and the changes are reflected below. If you decide to make it yourself, you can use one small eggplant instead of two smaller ones.

Enjoy your weekend and next week's guest posts, and we’ll see you again on August 3rd!

Grilled Stuffed Eggplant
Serves 4
Adapted from Andrea’s Recipes and Stonewall Kitchen Favorites.

1 large eggplant (or 2 eggplants, about 6 ounces each)
2-1/2 tablespoons olive oil
Fresh ground black pepper
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 anchovy fillet (optional)
1/8 cup pine nuts
1 large ripe red or yellow tomato, finely chopped
1/2 cup plain bread crumbs
1/3 cup finely chopped fresh basil leaves (or mint)
1/4 cup packed freshly grated Parmesan cheese (or crumbled feta)

1) Preheat grill or oven to 350° F. Line a baking sheet with tin foil and spray with cooking spray.

2) Chop the stems off both ends of your eggplants. Slice eggplants in half lengthwise. Remove flesh, making sure there's about 1/2-inch shell left over. Plop eggplant halves on baking sheet so the bucket parts are facing upward. Sprinkle some salt and pepper on them. "Finely chop the eggplant flesh and set aside."

3) Heat 1/2 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over low heat. Add onion. Saute 10 minutes. Add anchovies. Saute 2 minutes. Add chopped eggplant and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Salt and pepper to taste. Saute 5 minutes. Add pine nuts. Saute 2 minutes. Kill heat, remove from burner, and let cool a few minutes.

4) Add 1 cup chopped tomatoes, bread crumbs, basil, and cheese to mixture. Stir. Salt and pepper to taste.

5) Even distribute mixture among eggplant shells. Make a dome with each one when you're finished. Drizzle remaining olive oil all over them. If there are any tomatoes left, pour them into the pan and salt and pepper to taste.

6) Grill or bake 40 minutes, until "eggplant shells are soft and the stuffing is hot." Serve.

228 calories, 13.9 g fat, $1.42

Approximate Calories, Fat, and Price Per Serving
1 large eggplant (or 2 eggplants, about 6 ounces each): 132 calories, 1.1 g fat, $1.15
2-1/2 tablespoons olive oil: 298 calories, 33.7 g fat, $0.32
Salt and fresh ground black pepper: negligible calories and fat, $0.02
1 small onion, finely chopped: 29 calories, 0.1 g fat, $0.26
1 to 2 anchovy fillets (optional): 8 calories, 0.4 g fat, $0.45
1/8 cup pine nuts: 109 calories, 11.1 g fat, $1.24
1 large ripe red or yellow tomato, finely chopped: 33 calories, 0.4 g fat, $1.00
1/2 cup plain bread crumbs: 213 calories, 2.9 g fat, $0.24
1/3 cup finely chopped fresh basil leaves (or mint): 5 calories, 0.1 g fat, $0.33
1/4 cup packed freshly grated Parmesan cheese (or crumbled feta): 86 calories, 5.7 g fat, $0.68
TOTAL: 913 calories, 55.5 g fat, $5.69
PER SERVING (TOTAL/4): 228 calories, 13.9 g fat, $1.42

Veggie Might: Carrot Top Scramble — No Joke!

Written by the fabulous Leigh, Veggie Might is a regular Thursday feature about all things Vegetarian.

Twice now I’ve gone to the farmers’ market and they’ve asked if I want them to remove the greens from the root vegetables I’m about to purchase. “No,” (in a kind of huh?/duh! but more polite tone of voice) I’ve replied. Who would give up perfectly gorgeous turnip, radish, or carrot greens?

But the stand workers must be asking for a reason—either they want them for compost or they’ve been asked by enough people that they started offering.

I guess the latter wouldn’t be that crazy, especially in a city, where people have 1 ft x 2 ft counter tops and refrigerators under 10 cu. ft that you still have to defrost. But I love greens (as you’re well aware), and I will find the space and a use for those tops, whatever root vegetable they’re attached to.

Until this weekend, I’d only used carrot tops once—for making stock—and seen them once—in the gumbo z’herbes recipe I made at Easter. (I didn’t have any, so I didn’t use any.) But faced with a ginormous bouquet of feathery carrot greens from a beautiful bunch of local carrots, I knew I had to do something.

First I made stock for later. Then I improvised a little something for brunch with a pal visiting from Boston. It was morning; we were hungry; and I had a fridge full of possibilities. As I threw things in my trusty cast iron skillet, I asked C if she minded being a test case, and no surprise, she was game.

Here’s the play-by-play: I sautéed some onion and garlic in a little olive oil, tossed in the chopped carrot greens, and added a couple scoops of diced tomato from a can. You’ll want to remove the thicker stems—they get a little woody.

After the greens cooked for a few minutes. I cracked a few eggs over the mixture and scrambled it all together. At the last minute, I threw in a little fresh cilantro, salt, and pepper. We ate it with toast and veggie sausage.

It was a true go-with-what-you’ve-got-moment that came out surprisingly well. C doesn’t cook and was way more impressed than necessary that I didn’t use a recipe. But I was pretty pleased myself—mostly that carrot greens are good. The flavor is a bit unusual: a little bitter, but with a hint of sweetness and carrot essence.

Not only are the carrot greens tasty, they’re good for you: packed with potassium, vitamin K, and cancer-fighting chlorophyll. So when they guy at the market asks, say, “No, I’ll take them.” These carrot tops won’t leave you feeling icky.

Carrot Top Scramble
Serves 4

1 tbsp olive oil
1/3 med onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
carrot greens, chopped
1 cup canned diced tomato (or fresh)
4 eggs (I used two whole eggs and two egg whites)
2 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

1) Sautée onion in a little olive oil for 2 – 3 minutes; add garlic and continue to cook for another minute or so.

2) Toss in chopped carrot greens. Stir and cook for 2 – 3 minutes until they begin to wilt.

3) Add diced tomato and simmer covered 3 minutes.

4) Crack eggs into mixture and scramble until well combined.

5) Top with cilantro. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

6) Serve with toast and veggie sausage. Marvel at how resourceful you are.

Approximate Calories, Fat, and Price per Serving
115 calories, 6g fat, $.48

1 tbsp olive oil: 120 calories, 14g fat, $.08
1/3 med onion: 13.3 calories, 0g fat, $.17
3 cloves garlic: 12.6 calories, 0g fat, $.04
4 cups carrot greens: 88 calories, 0g fat, $.33
1 cup canned diced tomato: 50 calories, 0g fat, $43
4 eggs (2 whole + 2 egg whites): 174 calories, 10g fat, $.75
2 tbsp fresh cilantro: 2.75 calories, 0g fat, $.10
salt and pepper: negligible calories and fat, $.02
TOTAL: 460 calories, 24g fat, $1.92
PER SERVING (totals/4): 115 calories, 6g fat, $.48

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Cheap, Healthy Leafy Greens: 246 Recipes for Cabbage, Kale, Spinach, Swiss Chard, and Beyond

The Husband-Elect and I have been really into leafy greens lately, since they’re some of the cheapest and most nutritionally sound vegetables in the supermarket. We were running out of ways to prepare them, so, in the grand tradition of CHG, I made a recipe compilation. (First it was out of felt and glue, but then sending it via the internet just seemed easier.)

As always, there were some rules I set before beginning the hunt:
  • The leafy green itself had to be a/the star of the show.
  • To limit the scope a bit, the leafy greens chosen were: arugula, beet greens, bok choy, cabbage (green only), collards, escarole, kale, mustard greens, spinach, and Swiss chard. We'll leave turnip greens and watercress for next time.
  • If a recipe came from an aggregate recipe site, it had to have at least 4-1/2 stars or an 88% approval rating. If it came from a food blog, I’m taking the blogger’s word for it that it’s good.
  • Naturally, the dish had to be both inexpensive and healthy.
  • There were to be almost no salads, ‘cause they’re kinda boring.
  • I could only include a few simple sautéed dishes. (This part was hard)
  • Certain leafy greens have dishes associated with them (escarole and white beans, etc.), so I had to give one or two examples of each, and steer away from them for the rest of the search.
In addition to the 246 findings below, there are dozens and hundreds over at Martha Stewart’s website, from both Everyday Food and Martha Stewart Living. The sites run slowly on my computer(s), and their search functions aren’t the greatest at isolating healthier dishes, which is why they’re not included in this list. Still, great food.

With luck, after this, you’ll never need to look for leafy green recipes again. Enjoy!

(P.S. I was going to put pictures in this, but the file is massive already, so apologies for the lack of photography. If you can imagine a head of lettuce, though, you've pretty much got the idea.)


All Recipes: Goat Cheese and Arugula Pizza

All Recipes: Jen’s Tomato Arugula Bruschetta

Cooking Light: Chicken, Arugula, and Wild Rice Salad with Sauteed Apples

Cooking Light: Grilled Peaches over Arugula with Goat Cheese and Prosciutto

Cooking Light: Linguine with Arugula Pesto

Cooking Light: Nectarine, Prosciutto, and Arugula Bundles

Cooking Light: Orecchiette with Shrimp, Arugula, and Cherry Tomatoes

Eating Well: Risotto with Edamame, Arugula, & Porcini

Eating Well: Spaghetti with Arugula, Roasted Peppers & Prosciutto

Eating Well: Warm Arugula Bread Salad

Eating Well: Warm Chicken Sausage and Potato Salad

Epicurious: Arugula and Fava Bean Crostini

Epicurious: Bruschette with Chickpea Purée and Arugula

Epicurious: Chicken, Arugula and Red Bell Pepper Sandwiches

Epicurious: Grilled Portobello and Arugula Burgers

Kalyn’s Kitchen: White Bean Salad with Roasted Red Pepper, Arugula, and Parsley

La Tartine Gourmande: Red Radish and Arugula Soup

Recipe Zaar: Arugula & Chicken with Pasta

Recipe Zaar: Pasta with Tomatoes, Smoked Bacon, and Arugula
I’m pretty sure you could halve the olive oil (at least) and cut two pieces of bacon, and it’d still taste good.

Serious Eats: Pasta with Tuna, Arugula, and Chili
Cut back on the olive oil a bit for less fat.

Simply Recipes: Arugula Corn Salad with Bacon

Smitten Kitchen: Arugula, Potato, and Green Bean Salad


All Recipes: Roasted Beets and Sauteed Beet Greens

Being Cheap Never Tasted So Good: Beet Greens with Sausage and Spiral Pasta
Use turkey sausage here for less fat.

CHG: Beets and Greens Curry with Chickpeas

CHG: Vaguely Moroccan (or something) Beet Green Omelette

Cooking Light: Beet Greens with Oregano and Feta

Cooking Light: Beet Soup with Potatoes and Beet Greens

Cooking Light: Pasta with Beet Greens and Raisins

Eating Well: Roasted Beet Crostini

Epicurious: Farfalle with Golden Beets, Beet Greens and Pine Nuts
Ease up on the olive oil for less fat.

Epicurious: Roasted Beet Salad with Oranges and Beet Greens

Everybody Likes Sandwiches: Sauteed Beet Greens with Lime and Garlic

Fresh Approach Cooking: Fideos with Chickpeas and Beet Greens

Recipe Zaar: Beet Greens with Caramelized Onions

Recipe Zaar: Lemon and Butter Braised Beet Greens

A Veggie Venture: Beet Greens & Three Onion Pesto Pizza

A Veggie Venture: Beet Green Risotto

A Veggie Venture: Farro with Beet Greens


All Recipes: Spicy Bok Choy in Garlic Sauce

Eat This: Bok Choy with Sesame and Garlic Tofu

Eating Well: Roasted Baby Bok Choy

Epicurious: Provencal Bok Choy

Epicurious: Chicken, Shiitake and Bok Choy Soup

FatFree Vegan Kitchen: Herbed Polenta with Beans and Bok Choy

The Joys of Greens: Chili Tofu with Beans and Bok Choy

Pink of Perfection: Rice Bowl with Baby Bok Choy

Recipe Zaar: Bok Choy-Broccoli Stir Fry

Recipe Zaar: Bok Choy, Carrot and Apple Slaw

Recipe Zaar: Chow Chow Bok Choy

Recipe Zaar: Crunchy Bok Choy Slaw

Recipe Zaar: Sesame Bok Choy

Simply Recipes: Baby Bok Choy with Sherry and Prosciutto

A Veggie Venture: Soy-Glazed Baby Bok Choy

CABBAGE (Green only)

80 Breakfasts: Cabbage, Chickpea, and Chorizo Soup

101 Cookbooks: Rustic Cabbage Soup

All Recipes: Farikal

All Recipes: Summer Grilled Cabbage

All Recipes: Turkey Cabbage Rolls

CHG: Beet and Cabbage BBQ Slaw

CHG: Hot and Sour Cabbage Soup

CHG: Napa Cabbage and Red Onion Salad

Cooking Light: Asian Pear-Cabbage Salad

Cooking Light: Barbecued Cabbage with Santa Fe Seasonings
Wow. Let me know if anybody tries this. I’m intrigued.

Cooking Light: Cabbage Gremolata

Cooking Light: Plantation Beans and Cabbage

Cooking Light: Sweet Cabbage Salad

Cooking Light: Waldorf Cole Slaw

Daily Unadventures in Cooking: Linguine with Green Cabbage and Pancetta

Eating Well: Beef Cabbage Stirfry

Eating Well: Hot and Sour Slaw

Eating Well: Red Potato Colcannon

Eating Well: Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

Epicurious: Napa Cabbage Kimchi

FatFree Vegan Kitchen: Irish White Bean and Cabbage Stew

Kalyn’s Kitchen: Braised Napa Salad with Shitake Mushrooms

Karina’s Kitchen: Stuffed Cabbage with Roasted Sweet Potato & Quinoa

Orangette: Braised Green Cabbage with Onions, Carrots, and a Poached Egg

Recipe Zaar: Cabbage Salsa

Recipe Zaar: Curtido De Repollo - El Salvadorean Cabbage Salad

Recipe Zaar: Curried Cabbage

Recipe Zaar: Hungarian Noodles and Cabbage

Recipe Zaar: Weight Watchers Zero-Point Cabbage Soup


All Recipes: Lentil and Green Collard Soup

All Recipes: Southern as You Can Get Collard Greens

All Recipes: Tasty Collard Greens

Bitten: Collards Braised in Red Wine

CHG: Collard Greens and Black-Eyed Peas

CHG: Sweet Chili Lime Tofu with Collards

Cooking Light: Long-Cooked Collards with Cane Syrup

Cooking Light: Slow-Braised Collard Greens

Cooking Light: White Bean and Collard Greens Soup

Eating Well: Collard Green & Black-Eyed Pea Soup

Epicurious: Brazilian Collard Greens

Epicurious: Ham and Black-Eyed Pea Soup with Collard Greens

Herbivoracious: Farro with Collard Greens and Bacon Salt

Kalyn’s Kitchen: Pasta with Sausage and Collard Greens

Modern Beet: Collard Greens with Spaghetti

Recipe Zaar: Awesome Collard Greens

Recipe Zaar: Collard Greens and Red Beans

Recipe Zaar: Healthy Collard Greens Soup

Wednesday Chef: Collard Squares
Use a few egg whites for less fat.


All Recipes: Escarole and Bean Soup

Champaign Taste: Escarole and Chickpea Soup with Pesto

CHG: Escarole and White Beans

Cooking Light: Italian Bean Salad with Escarole

Eating Well: Grilled Polenta with Shrimp & Escarole

Epicurious: Escarole and Orzo Soup with Turkey Parmesan Meatballs
170 reviews, 95% would make again. That’s a LOT for Epicurious. This has to be good.

Epicurious: Pasta Shells with Escarole, Sausage, and Cheese

Got No Milk: Escarole Lentil Soup with Chicken Sausage

Recipe Zaar: Escarole and Beans in Red Sauce

Recipe Zaar: Pasta Shells With Chicken, Mushrooms, Escarole, and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Serious Eats: Baked Escarole Torta

Serious Eats: Pappardelle with Escarole

The Unemployed Cook: Cremini, Eggplant, and Escarole Saute


First, go to I Heart Kale. They have everything you need. Then, click on these:

101 Cookbooks: Kale and Olive Oil Mashed Potatoes
I think you could use low-fat milk and a tablespoon less of olive oil here and still be okay.

All Recipes: Bean and Kale Ragu

All Recipes: Bean Soup with Kale

All Recipes: Chili-Roasted Kale

All Recipes: Kale Puttanesca

All Recipes: Simple Kale Soup

All Recipes: Sweet and Savory Kale

All Recipes: Tracy B’s Callaloo Soup

Apartment Therapy: Kale and Potato Gratin

Bitten: Kale, Sausage, and Mushroom Stew
Use turkey sausage for less fat.

CHG: Kale and Mushrooms with Polenta

CHG: Kale and White Bean Soup with Turkey Sausage

CHG: Kale Chips

CHG: Kale with Garlic and Peppers

CHG: Not-Quite Colcannon

CHG: Potato Leek Soup with Kale

CHG: Relaxed Kale and Root Veg Salad

Cooking Light: Braised Kale with Pinto Beans and Pancetta

Cooking Light: Kale with Lemon-Balsamic Butter

Cooking Light: Quick Kale with Bacon and Onions

Cooking Light: Sweet Potato, Sausage, and Kale Soup

Eating Well: Black-Eyed Peas with Pork & Greens

Eating Well: Fusili with Lentils and Kale

Eating Well: Indian-Spiced Kale and Chickpeas

Eating Well: Kale and Potato Hash

Eating Well: Kale with Apples and Mustard

Eating Well: Southern Kale

Eating Well: Spicy Potato and Kale Soup

Epicurious: White Bean, Kale and Roasted Vegetable Soup

FatFree Vegan Kitchen: North African Chickpea and Kale Soup

Kath Eats Real Food: Nutty Vanilla Sweet Potato and Kale Soup

Orangette: Boiled Kale with a Fried Egg and Toast
I think you could halve the olive oil here.

Recipe Zaar: Chinese-Style Kale

Recipe Zaar: Hearty Portuguese Kale Soup
Reduce the chorizo by half.

Recipe Zaar: Kale and Ginger Stir Fry

Recipe Zaar: Spicy Rice and Kale


CHG: Quinoa with Mustard Greens and Shitake Mushrooms

Coastal Living: Vidalia Mustard Greens

Cooking Light: Polenta with Sausage and Greens

Cooking Light: Warm Salad of Mustard Greens and Black-Eyed Peas

Eating Well: Sauté of Cauliflower & Mustard Greens with Peanuts

FatFree Vegan Kitchen: Balsamic-Glazed Chickpeas and Mustard Greens

Food Mayhem: Pickled Mustard Greens

Kalyn’s Kitchen: Macaroni with Mustard Greens, Lemon, and Parmesan

Kath Eats Real Food: Mustard Greens and Beans Quinoa

Recipe Zaar: African Peanut Soup with Mustard Greens

Saffron Trail: Fried Rice with Mustard Greens


101 Cookbooks: Bulgar and Spinach Pilaf

101 Cookbooks: Spinach Rice Gratin Recipe

All Recipes: Creamy Italian White Bean Soup

All Recipes: Espinacas con Garbanzos (Spinach with Garbanzo Beans)

All Recipes: Greek Pasta with Tomatoes and White Beans

All Recipes: Penne Pasta with Spinach and Bacon

All Recipes: Spinach and Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta

All Recipes: Spinach, Red Lentil, and Bean Curry

All Recipes: Wendy’s Quick Pasta and Lentils

All Recipes: Wilted Spinach with Cherries and Goat Cheese

Andrea’s Recipes: Spinach and Basil Lasagna

Baking Bites: Crustless Spinach, Onion, and Feta Quiche

Bitten: Carrot, Spinach, and Rice Stew

CHG: Italian White Bean and Spinach Soup

CHG: Spinach Rice Casserole

Cooking Light: Curried Couscous, Spinach, and Roasted Tomato Soup

Cooking Light: Creamed Spinach Gratin

Cooking Light: Grits and Greens

Cooking Light: Individual Spinach-Asiago Gratins

Cooking Light: Mini-Spanakopitas

Cooking Light: Pork Chops Stuffed with Feta and Spinach

Cooking Light: Spinach and Artichoke Dip

Cooking Light: Spinach and Gruyère Souffle

Cooking Light: Spinach, Sun-Dried Tomato, and Parmesan Rolls

Cooking Light: Spinach with Raisins and Pine Nuts

Cooking Light: Turkey-Spinach Lasagna

Cooking Light: Warm Sesame Spinach

Eating Well: Cheese-&-Spinach-Stuffed Portobellos

Eating Well: Creamy Spinach Dip

Eating Well: Parmesan Spinach Cakes

Eating Well: Quinoa Salad with Dried Apricots & Baby Spinach

Eating Well: Sauteed Spinach with Pine Nuts & Golden Raisins

Eating Well: Spinach Soup with Rosemary Croutons

Eating Well: Wilted Spinach with Garlic

Eating Well: Spinach-&-Brie-Topped Artichoke Hearts

Eating Well: Spinach Pesto Appetizer

Eating Well: Spicy Stewed Potatoes & Spinach with Buttermilk (Aloo chaas)

Eating Well: Sautéed Spinach with Red Onion, Bacon & Blue Cheese

Epicurious: Lemon Turkey Soup with Fresh Spinach and Farfalle

Epicurious: Lentil Stew with Spinach and Potatoes

Epicurious: Spinach and Feta Turnovers

Epicurious: Spinach and Mushrooms with Truffle Oil

Epicurious: Spinach and Sun-Dried Tomato Frittata

Epicurious: Spinach Salad with Grilled Eggplant and Feta
This has a lot of oil, but I think at least half of it will go unused.

Epicurious: Spinach with Olive Oil and Lemon

Epicurious: Spinach with Sesame Miso Sauce

Recipe Zaar; Baked Asparagus Spinach Risotto

Recipe Zaar: Greek Spinach Rice Balls

Recipe Zaar: Israeli Spinach Fritters

Recipe Zaar: Lemon Spinach Rice

Recipe Zaar: Spinach Orzo

Recipe Zaar: Tortellini Tomato Spinach Soup

All Recipes: Swiss Chard with Garbanzo Beans and Fresh Tomatoes

All Recipes: Red Chard and Caramelized Onions

CHG: Grilled Swiss Chard

CHG: Swiss Chard with Mushrooms

CHG: Swiss Chard with Pinto Beans and Goat Cheese

CHG: Tunisian-Style Greens and Beans

Cooking Light: Braised Chicken with Mushrooms and Chard

Cooking Light: Garbanzo and Greens Stew

Cooking Light: Lentil Soup with Chard

Cooking With Amy: Syrian Lentil Swiss Chard Soup

Eat This: Swiss Chard Scramble
Sub in some egg whites for less fat.

Eating Well: Chipotle Cheddar Chard

Eating Well: Skillet Gnocchi with Chard and White Beans

Eating Well: Stuffed Chard with Fresh Marinara

Epicurious: Barley and Lentil Soup with Swiss Chard

Epicurious: Black Bean Chili with Butternut Squash and Swiss Chard

Epicurious: Swiss Chard with Raisins and Almonds

FatFree Vegan Kitchen: Savory Swiss Chard Pie

Kalyn’s Kitchen: Baked Swiss Chard Stems with Olive Oil and Parmesan

The Kitchn: Israeli Couscous with Swiss Chard

Recipe Zaar: Blitva (Croatian Swiss Chard)

Recipe Zaar: Creamy Swiss Chard Pasta

Recipe Zaar: Swiss Chard and Penne Soup

Simply Recipes: Swiss Chard Tzatziki


All Recipes: Greens with Cannellini Beans and Pancetta (beet greens and kale)

CHG: Gumbo z’Herbes (any leafy green)

Cooking Light: Braised Greens With Chipotle-Chile Vinaigrette (mustard greens and turnip greens)

Cooking Light: Rolled Greens (collards or kale)

Cooking Light: Sicilian-Style Greens over Polenta (endive, kale, and turnip greens)

Eating Well: Basic Greens with Garlic, Oil & Hot Pepper

Eating Well: Turkey Sausage & Arugula Pasta (arugula or spinach)

Epicurious: Sauteed Greens with Cannellini Beans and Garlic (spinach, mustard greens, kale, spinach, or broccoli rabe)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Tuesday Megalinks

Wow. It’s feast or famine here, folks. After last week’s 24-link funfest, this week only yields 14. Still, they’re pretty great: Lifehacker’s covering coffee, the Kitchn comes through with tips galore, and Newsweek has a provocative article on momblogging’s wavering indie cred. Enjoy!

The Atlantic: How a Cruise Ship Feeds 4000 People
Neat little travel essay in which the head chef of the QE2 is interviewed. Did you know “the crew alone goes through 400 pounds of rice per day”? Where do they put it all?

Being Frugal: My Foray Into Nourishing Traditions
Lynnae’s attempting a total overhaul of her family’s diet with the help of whole foods-centric book called Nourishing Traditions. So far, the food is delicious and her grocery trips have been much shorter. I’m really rooting for this to work out.

Casual Kitchen: Does Healthy Eating Really Cost Too Much?
Dan surveyed five food bloggers to answer the titular question, and across the board, we say “absolutely not.” We say other things, too.

Consumerist: For Extremely Obese, Surgery Can Shrink Costs as Well as Pants Size
I feel so lame when I cut-and-paste article excerpts, but check this: Vincent Daswell dropped more than 100 pounds over the course of a year. “In the first five months of 2008, taxpayers provided Daswell with 17 medications for obesity-related health problems at a cost of $8,374.19. In the first five months of 2009, taxpayers provided Daswell with 13 medications for obesity-related health problems, many at reduced dosages, at a cost of $5,106.54.” That’s a $3000 difference.

Grub Street: How to Be a Regular
“#3: Lubricate the Staff.” No, not like that.

Internet Food Association: Is the Cheesecake Factory Gross?
As I’ve only been there once, it’s hard for me to say. The consensus seems to be: CF food tastes great, but each dish contains 46,000 calories and may not be tremendously environmentally sound. So … maybe … partly gross?

The Kitchn: 5 Things to Do in the Kitchen Before You Leave for Vacation
There’s nothing nicer than coming back to clean counters after a holiday. And don’t forget to use up your milk!

The Kitchn: How Do You Stay Cool in the Kitchen?
With August approaching, this is a super-timely and valuable post. Especially for those of us with no A/C in the galley.

Lifehacker: Assemble a Zero-Waste Dining Kit
Lunchboxes for grownups ensure little waste and cold beverages. My name is Kris, and I endorse this message. I will endorse it even more if I can get one with She-Ra on the lid.

Lifehacker: Top 10 Tips and Tricks for Better Coffee
Java lovers, behold! Lifehacker’s compiled the best in general coffee-making knowledge. Here’s my favorite: whenever you brew at home, make an extra cup and stick it in a thermos in the fridge. Later that day, *poof*, instant ice coffee.

New York Times: Foie Gras Palates, Hot Dog Pocketbooks
Downscale junk food (donuts, pizza, etc.) is more scrutinized than ever, but also more appreciated in these economic times. The Times explores how nitty-gritty the review system has become.

Newsweek: Trusted Mom or Sellout? How some mommy bloggers are being co-opted by corporate concerns.
I know a lot of you guys out there are mom bloggers (good ones), and I wonder what you think about this article. On one hand, it’s making a lot of sweeping assumptions, and there ain’t nothin’ wrong with making a little cash off blogging. On the other hand, it makes some really good points about corporate advertising and reviews – giveaways and free stuff don’t exactly promote objectivity.

Small Notebook: 20 Tips to Waste Less Food
Great tips, huge comment thread. I think you’ll throw out a lot less after reading this.

Utne Reader: Eating Meat for the Environment
Grass-fed meat helps ecosystems, apparently. Hey, those cows have to poop somewhere. (Thanks to Jezebel for the link.)

(Photos courtesy of Zimbio and The Green Head.)

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