Broccoli Leaves!

Who knew you could eat broccoli leaves? Until I started growing broccoli, I had never thought of it.  At the market and in the grocery store, I had never even considered the remainder of the plant.  The same goes for cauliflower and cabbage.  There is a ridiculous amount of waste generated from having our perfectly manicured vegetables in the grocery store.  At best, it is composted.  Those leaves are the supporting leaves that allow the part we are used to eating, to actually grow.  But it turns out, they are also versatile and good tasting, too!

Here is a simple recipe I found, and is an easy way to cook any vegetable, really.

Ingredients:

Use any leaves:  Cauliflower, Broccoli, Kale  (don’t forget all those thick cabbage leaves, too!! ) or any green:

Soy Sauce to drizzle over the leaves.  (We use organic Tamari, wheat free sauce low sodium instead of Soy Sauce)

Scallions

Four cloves of garlic.

Sesame Oil or Olive Oil, or both.  We only used the Sesame  Oil.

Salt and Pepper to taste

What To Do:

  1. Pre-heat the oven at 200 °C/400°F .  (I usually cook on convection since I find that food cooks better.  If  you have a convection oven, adjust the temperature accordingly.)
  2. Wash the cauliflower and leaves and cut into bite-size pieces.
  3. Smash a few cloves of garlic and chop them coarsely. Chop some scallions as well.   The whole scallion, not just the white part.
  4. Toss the garlic, onions, and cauliflower with a generous splash of soy sauce and oil in a roasting pan. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Note, we omit the salt.   (I used a Pyrex  9 by 11 pan and just filled it up with the leaves.  If you have to many leaves make another batch.)
  5. Place the uncovered roasting pan in the oven for about 20 minutes, or until the green leaves are crisp and both the florets and the thicker stalks are tender and can be pierced easily with a fork.  (Change the time if you are using a convection oven.

We tried it here with cabbage leaves, topped with toasted sesame and sea salt.  Addicting!

Here’s a fun recipe…I don’t usually cook with tofu, and spinach is hard to come by this time of year unless from the grocery store…BUT…the great thing is you can use ANY GREEN! We made a raw version last night with the loads of mustard greens that are piling up.  This recipe says use a slow cooker and one of those weird looking immersion blenders.  I use a blender after I sautee everything in a regular pan.  But CAREFUL!  Steam builds up in the blender if you put too much in when it’s piping hot, and if you don’t hold the top on it can explode! (Yes, this happened to me, processing tomatoes last year for canning. Tomatoes on the cabinets, and wicked unsafe!) Anyway, let it cool down a bit, or frankly, you could do all the pureeing raw, then cook it down.  That’s easy, too. Send your recipes to http://www.nuestrohuertoworcester.org and I’ll post them here to share with others.

Vegan Saag Paneer
Print
Prep:: 15 mins
Cook:: 4 hours
Total:: 4 hours 15 mins
Serves:: 8
4 Points Plus Per Serving Recipe Makes 8 Servings Individual Serving is 1 Heaping Cup
Ingredients:
  • 4 to 5 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons ginger root, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt (separated into 1 tsp and 1/2 tsp)
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 15-ounce can light coconut milk
  • 2 16-ounce bags frozen chopped spinach
  • 1 bag baby spinach leaves
  • 2 packages savory marinated tofu (I like the Trader Joe’s Organic), cut into cubes
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • fresh cilantro, chopped for garnish (optional)
  • cooked brown rice for serving
Instructions:
  1. Add all ingredients EXCEPT for fresh spinach, tofu, peas and 1/2 teaspoon of salt to slow cooker 
  2. Set to low and cook for 4 hours.
  3. At about 3 hours and 30 minutes, add in fresh spinach and stir 
  4. When fresh spinach is wilted, puree entire mixture with a handheld immersion blender until creamy. 
  5. Next fold in tofu cubes, frozen peas and remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt 
  6. Put lid back on slow cooker and let tofu and peas warm up.
  7. Serve over brown rice and chopped cilantro.
  8. Keeps well in the fridge for leftovers and freezes great!
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