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You can add a little flair to turnip greens in the kitchen

Greens, a southern favorite, include such dark green, leafy vegetables as collards, turnip greens, mustard greens, spinach and kale. These greens are usually cooked, in contrast to salad greens, which are generally used uncooked.

Greens are noted for the nutrients they add to our diets. The leafy portions contain more nutrients than the stems and midribs. The leafy portions are excellent sources of vitamins A and C and contain fair amounts of calcium. They add fiber to our diets and have less than 30 calories per half-cup serving.

Select only the freshest greens. The highest quality greens should be crisp and have a deep green color. Mustard greens, however, naturally vary in color, some having a bronze tint and others a light green color.

Avoid greens that look wilted, very large or yellowed, or those with coarse, fibrous stems. These indicate over-mature or improperly stored greens. Coarse leaves are generally tough and stringy.

One pound of fresh, trimmed greens will yield about four -cup servings when cooked.

At home, trim and wash the greens. Use several changes of cold water, don't soak. Then use the greens immediately, or drain and pat dry with paper towel or a clean dish cloth. Too much moisture will hasten their decay. Store in a covered container or plastic bag in the refrigerator. Although fresh greens are best, they will keep for three days in the refrigerator.

To preserve the nutrients in greens, cook just until tender in a very small amount of boiling water. Spinach can be cooked in only the water left on the leaves after washing. Some of the nutrients will cook out into the liquid, so use as little water as possible and plan to serve the cooking liquid or "pot likker" with the greens.

The eggs in this recipe add color and contribute protein, too.

Turnip Greens with a Flair

1 tablespoon canola oil

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

1/3 cup chopped onion

2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

1/3 cup minced green pepper

1/2 teaspoon sugar

1 to 11/2 pounds fresh turnip greens, coarsely chopped

2 hard-cooked eggs, 1 chopped; 1 sliced

In a large skillet, heat oil. Stir in onion and green pepper and saute' until tender.

Add chopped turnip greens. Stir to mix well. Reduce heat to low and cover tightly and cook on low 10 minutes or until tender. Add black pepper, lemon juice, sugar and chopped egg. Toss lightly. Turn into a serving dish. Garnish with reserved slices of hard-cooked egg.

Makes 3 to 4 servings; 1/2 cup each.

Web posted on Wednesday, September 28, 2005


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