Friday, June 29, 2012

Sweet and Sour Greens

I'm about to go on another teaching tour so I'm eating as many fresh greens as possible as that is what is usually lacking in my diet when traveling.  I really don't know why airports don't have restaurants with more vegetables and I end up craving them when I go anywhere for too long.  I also needed to clean out the vegetable bin in the fridge as I went to the farmer's market and bought lots.  I still had a big bunch of mustard greens and about 1/2 a bunch of Swiss chard.  I decided to put them together because the chard is sweeter than the mustard greens - they can be quite bitter.  Swiss Chard is also really pretty with those streaks of red in them.  My favorite way of cooking mustard greens and actually many greens is to saute them quickly with lots of garlic.  I think bitter greens taste best with a dash of something sour - vinegar or lemon juice and then they also need a bit of sugar as that balances that bitterness. Greens are so incredibly healthy for your liver so if you need to add more to your diet, this is a good way to cook them!

Sweet and Sour Greens

1 bunch Mustard Greens, washed and bottom stems removed
1/2 bunch Swiss Chard, washed with bottom stems removed
2 garlic cloves minced
2 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil
2 - 3 teaspoons White Wine Vinegar
1 - 2 teaspoons sugar
1/3 cup Chicken Broth
Salt and Pepper to taste

Cut the greens in a rough chop.  Heat oil in a large frying pan.  When oil is hot, put in the garlic and cook until you smell the garlic fragrance.  Add in the greens and stir until they are softened.  Sprinkle on vinegar and sugar and season with salt and pepper.  Put in chicken broth and cook stirring the greens for about 5 minutes.

Five Element Analysis

Greens are always part of the Wood Element and the vinegar and chicken broth in this dish make it very Woody. But the Mustard Greens also have a bitter taste so it does add in bit of the Fire Element and the sugar brings in just a touch of the Earth Element and the garlic adds the Metal Element.  So, in order to find balance, use this dish as a good Wood Edition to some other foods that bring in the Water Element like fish. 

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