I haven’t ever put a recipe on this blog, but I’ve had a couple of appointments with a wonderful Ayurvedic practitioner and since getting what seem to be very sensible and nutritious dietary recommendations based on my dosha, or constitution, I’ve been trying some of them out…with a good attitude. This is notable because my cooking has been perfunctory for the last few years. When my husband and I separated, I didn’t cook at all. I didn’t feel like it. The love I used to have for making food, planning meals, and time in the kitchen, just wasn’t there. Some days I managed to put together a simple meal for the girls. Most nights, we’d have family meal time next door where my mom would handle 95% of all cooking while I brought my meager veggie or salad contribution. This scenario went on for so long that my 9-year-old once accused me of trying to trick her into thinking that I was cooking when I’d say, “let’s have dinner” and then walk her next door. Can’t pull anything over on that one.
The wind seems to be changing directions. Dave and I are together again. Our family feels more whole and I can’t help but think that this has a lot to do with this renewed interest in food. I find myself thinking about it, reading about it, and interested in the colors, the textures and the nuances of preparation. Now, I’m also looking for foods that will help bring me and the people I cook for into balance. It’s nice to feel that stirring again.
I made this breakfast for myself this weekend and it was delicious. All together, this dish is pretty special. I tend toward vata imbalances, those that relate to wind and movement, so I’m better with foods that are cooked, sweet, warm, earthy and nourishing. This combo fits the bill. There are three different recipes beneath the main one, but none of them are complicated and if you time it just right, assembling this combination can take as few as 6 minutes in the morning. Try them all or incorporate just one of the elements into your repertoire. This method of cooking greens is wonderful, and this egg technique is so easy and delicious, i don’t eat them any other way. It just might change your life.
Pan-poached egg on a bed of beet greens
Toss ½ cup of warm quick boiled greens in 1 tbsp garlic-lemon dressing
Pan-poach one egg to your liking and top the greens with your egg.
Salt to taste.
This is my #1 go to for mellowing out strong flavored greens like beet greens, collards, and even kale. When you master this technique, the flavor of the greens comes through without the edge, making it easy to enjoy this healthy addition to mealtime.
Quick Boiled Greens
This recipe comes from “Feeding the Whole Family” by Cynthia Lair. I buy this cookbook for every new mom and dad I know.
Choose 8 cups of
Chinese cabbage (napa)
Brown rice vinegar
For greens with tough stems, such as collards, kale or chard, cut the leaves away from the stem before washing. Wash greens carefully.
Bring 2 quarts of water to a boil. Submerge greens. Boil tender young leaves (such as watercress or escarole) for about 30 seconds. Tougher leaves (such as mature collards or kale) need to be cooked fro 5-10 minutes. Timing is everything. If you remove the greens too soon they will be bitter. If you let them cook too long they will lose nutrients and have a flat taste. Remove a piece and test every minute or so. You are looking for a slightly wilted leaf that still has a bright green color and (most important) a succulent, sweet flavor. Pour cooked greens into a colander in the sink. Let cool. Squeeze out excess water with your hands. Chop into bite-sized pieces. Serve with a few drops of lemon juice or vinegar.
Juice of one lemon
¼ tsp finely minced garlic
½ tsp maple syrup
1 tbsp water
3 tbsp olive oil
Combine lemon, garlic, syrup and water in a small bowl. Whisk with a fork. Add olive oil and whisk to combine.
I learned this technique from my mom. It doesn’t require the lots of oil like a fried egg or the delicate hand needed for true poaching, and it involves significantly less clean-up than those little egg cup-poachers. Get the hang of this, and you may never go back.
Pat of butter or non-stick spray
¼- ½ cup water
skillet with tight fitting lid
Heat your non-stick or well seasoned iron skillet over medium heat
Spray pan with oil, or melt a little butter
Gently crack your egg into pan
Add ¼ -1/2 cup of water
Cover with a tight fitting lid and allow egg to “poach” to desired consistency, 1-2 minutes.