Monday, October 01, 2012

Book Review: WILD ABOUT GREENS by Nava Atlas

Dark leafy greens are probably the number one best food you can eat . . . and most of us need to eat more of them. But if you’ve run out of interesting and tasty ways to serve them, despair no more, Nava Atlas has “125 delectable vegan recipes for kale, collards, arugula, bok choy, and other leafy veggies everyone loves” in her newest cookbook, Wild About Greens.

Now I thought I had quite the repertoire for cooking greens as it is a specialty of mine, but I still found plenty of new and delicious ways to serve greens to my family. My kids especially loved the White Bean and Greens Burgers (pictured above) and the Sweet Potato and Corn Stew with Hardy Greens. The Leek and Potato Soup with Watercress was a particular favorite of mine. A particularly great thing about this book, like all of Nava’s books actually, is that she is the master of quick and easy meals. This cookbook is really handy for weekday dinners. I was able to whip up the Rosemary Potatoes and Collard Greens with Vegan Sausage (white and sweet potatoes are precooked in the microwave) and the Greens with Polenta Wedges (using a tube of precooked polenta) in less than 30 minutes. And they were as delicious as if they’d taken hours.

For those who prefer raw foods, there are plenty of juices, smoothies, and salads to choose from. I had a little block when it came to trying the massaged kale salads. I just couldn’t imagine that it would taste good. But Nava hasn’t steered me wrong yet, so I went for it. Nava gives several methods, but I opted for her favorite, the “olive oil on the palms” method, and it worked beautifully. In less then a minute, the raw kale was soft and green and just like it had been wilted with heat. (Before and after photos to the right.)

The kids weren’t so wild about it . . . but I thought it was fabulous, especially in the Kale Salad with Dried Fruits and Nuts. There are still so many recipes I want to try, like the Balsamic-Glazed Chickpeas and Mustard Greens and Pad See Ew.

Wild About Greens is more than just recipes too. There is a thorough introduction with detailed information about the greens featured in the book, as well as buying and preparation tips. And the insert with full-color photographs of some of the recipes is sure to make your mouth water. This will definitely be residing on my kitchen counter for a long time. I highly recommend this book to anyone looking to add more greens into their diet. 

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