Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Help! Help! I am joining a CSA and I HATE leafy greens!

I am two weeks late, but they said they would let me in for a full share. The price is normally $550, but they took $50 off for the first two weeks. I have to confirm tomorrow. Among my many feelings (Hooray! I found one where I can WALK to the delivery location on a cool enough day!), I am unsure where I will come up with the $500 by tomorrow. I am also doing this, so far, without having consulted G. Finally, I am terrified because I am seriously not a fan of leafy greens. I can put up with small doses of romaine and iceberg lettuce, but that is the extent of it. The problem? In New England, at this time of year, that is pretty much what you get. Eeeeeewwww! Leafy, leafy greens!

Anyone with survival tips on cooking with leafy greens when you generally don't like them? "Oh laaawd, the drama!" you say? I probably am being a little overly-dramatic, but I guess I just need my moment to do the juvenile thing. I am already collecting some smoothie recipes, that apparently folks love even when they hate greens. But what else? I can stand a small, single leaf of almost any type of green on a sandwich with many other flavors. Spinach can go in lasagna if there is a day cool enough to heat up the kitchen making it. (I guess I could blanch and freeze in the meantime???).

But cabbage, chard, and kale have been known to make me vomit...or nearly so! What will I do if they want to send me cabbage? I've only eaten one coleslaw I could stand-- and yes, believe me, I am going to be contacting this church member for the recipe.

I don't want to sautee up a bunch of leafy greens because the slimey texture will make me gag. If I chop it up small enough, I might be able to add small doses to soups and stews, if not now, maybe in the winter (can I freeze everything but lettuce?). What else?! What else?! I am having CSA panic!


Sara said...

Hmmm. I hesitate to give you suggestions, because I'm afraid you will still hate them if you have such a huge dislike! But, with our CSA I have had to find a lot of new ways to cook greens, so here goes. Put them in chili and other soups. Saute them, mix them with cooked lentils and rice, and then melt cheese over the top for a casserole. Mix them with other things, like mushrooms and green beans and tofu, to make an asian stir fry over rice. Lightly saute them with some cumin and chili powder, and an onion and potato, then use that as the filling for enchiladas. Lasagna, like you said already. Chop them up very small and cook them in a bean pot. Cabbage - well I like cabbage, but I like to cook stuffed cabbage leaves in the slow cooker (that recipe uses ground meat, but I bet you could do something similar with beans), and I like to use it chopped up and cooked in asian style noodle soups.
And you can chop it and freeze it for later use, too.
Hope that helps some!

Masasa said...

Actually, Sara, those all sound pretty good, even the one that requires me to lightly saute them! Thank you!! Thank you!! (I know, I know, I did word everything in a way that wouldn't exactly be the best welcome for suggestions, would it?) The only one I don't think I can stand to try is the stuffed cabbage. It is a good thing G. just told me that she likes cabbage. Maybe she will try it.

I do love that the CSA will FORCE me to ingest more nutrient dense stuff. And your post was of great help. Thanks again!

I also just found a website that recommended the book _Greens, Glorious Greens_, so I might check that out too.

sf said...

Honest to god, greens wrapped around cheese and tomato? Nothing beats it.

PeaceBang said...

There is hope for you! I too was confounded by greens but I started experimenting with them and now I love them. Everything Sara said, for a start, and I will just add to make sure to wash them really well before you use them in case they're at all sandy.

Collard greens are delish if you don't cook them until they're too mushy. Add vinegar and eat 'em with kielbasa (I don't know if you're a vegetarian, though, sorry).

I make a mean cabbage, potato, leek and gruyere casserole. Don't fear the cabbage -- it smells while you're cooking it but is so yummy, easy to stir fry, and soaks up flavors beautifully.

sf said...

Can you post the casserole recipe?

hopalong said...

I also have a huge problem with leafy greens -- they're the thing I think my diet needs the most, but I find most of them just so bitter.
I really like arugula though (not sure how plentiful this will be -- I think it's possibly sort of delicate, because we got some from Dutton [which is not organic, but uses less pesticides than most places, and they're local] and, although tasty, it looked pretty hole-y from pests). Also, dandelion greens (and this would probably be good for spinach and stuff, even though I haven't yet tried it) benefit from a quick pan-frying and some lemon juice and apple cider vinegar (but I also LOVE lemon juice and cider vinegar, so maybe that's something to do -- smother it in something you love the taste of. Honey-mustard is also a nice accompaniment for salad). We also put frozen spinach into soup, which helps tone down the bitterness (and gives a nice texture to veggie stew) -- but then there's the problem of the heat.

Spinach is also really good with strawberries -- essentially, I guess I've just been looking for parings to mask or cut down on the bitterness. (Although I still sometimes just eat the greens quickly so I spend less time tasting them!)

Masasa said...

hopalong and peacebang, thank you so much for your suggestions. My mind is opening as we speak, and I am really excited to start trying some stuff out.

Unfortunately, I have been unable so far to get a hold of anyone at the CSA office to confirm, and they haven't returned my messages (that I know of...though I wasn't home all day yesterday or today). So I am unsure whether this is going to happen or not??? Regardless, I might even be brave enough to buy leafy greens by choice! WOW. That is one big transformation.

Mom, I bet peacebang is off working on writing her doctoral dissertation and putting together her Beauty Tips for Ministers into book form to submit to a publisher. I would love a recipe too, but I am hoping for her sake no response means she's focusing. I wish her luck.

hopalong said...

My stepdad's mom also apparently uses lettuce to thicken soups -- which sounds icky to me, but I haven't tried it, so who knows. Just puttin that out there.