one hot greenie bowl
Last week I met a very dear friend for lunch downtown in Boston. We hadn’t seen each other in a good while, and like two typical “city mice” we played a bunch of phone tag until our schedules finally married up and we could manage a workday lunch date. She suggested we meet at a fairly new place called The Blue Glass Cafe in the Hancock Tower. I had never been there before, but it very much reminded me of the Reykjavik airport in Iceland; a modern, sun-lit cafeteria….very bright and cheerful. I ordered soup at the Pho Bar (yeah I know – a pho bar!) and she grabbed a really tasty-looking chicken sandwich. We sat at a little white table and caught up on our families, our futures, and of course….food! We both love to cook and share recipes, so I made a point to tell her about my latest go-to meal concoction. This dish has been a large part of my recent effort to make more hot meals with leafy greens. This one’s star is Bok Choy, which packs almost all the Vitamin A, C & K you need in a day. I also added nuts to the dish which help maximize nutrient absorption from the greens. (My friend will have to weigh in on that one…she’s actually a fitness & nutrition pro in real life). When lunch ended, Tara promised to come to my Christmas party and I promised to send her this recipe…so behold! I give you the Greenie Bowl. Super healthy and super satisfying, below are all the ingredients you need to whip up a steaming bowl of asian style greens in less than 15 minutes…..
SIMPLE HOT GREENIE BOWL – start to finish, about 12 minutes.
2 kinds of greens (I used dinosaur kale and bok choy) | Bragg’s liquid aminos | Wan Ja Shan Dumpling Sauce | 1 piece of fresh ginger (about the size of a cube of cheese) | fresh garlic (about 2 cloves) | nuts (cashews, almonds, or peanuts) | a heavy drizzle (a little more than a tablespoon) of any medium-to-high-heat oil (I suggest canola, but you could also try coconut or peanut)
Start by taking the greens (bunched and unwashed as you bought them) and chop the whole bundle into bite sized strips. Place them in a large bowl and fill with water, sloshing them around to loosen any dirt or sediment. Squeeze the greens with one hand against the side of the bowl while you dump the water and refill with fresh, repeating about 3 times or until everything is clean and no dirt collects at the bottom of the bowl. Set the damp greens aside to drain but do not spin them completely dry (you actually want some of that residual moisture to help steam them in the pan).
Next, drizzle the oil into a hot pan on medium heat. Use a microplane or cheese-grater to quickly grate the garlic and ginger directly into the hot oil. Mix this in the pan to incorporate for just a few moments until you can smell the aromas, then quickly toss the greens in on top before the garlic has a chance to brown. Use tongs or a spoon to toss the greens around in the hot oil. I usually grab the greens and use them to “mop” the garlic + ginger around to keep it from sticking to the edges of the pan. The water on the vegetables should sizzle and everything should begin to turn bright green after about a minute or two. At this point, you can cover the pan for another minute to allow the greens to steam. Then take the lid off, stir again, and give the pan a few splashes of the liquid aminos & dumpling sauce. Continue to stir, adjusting the seasonings to taste. Add more aminos if you think it needs saltiness. Add more dumpling sauce if it needs a sweet tang. Once the liquid starts to cook off, toss in the nuts and stir. If the nuts have been grated very fine, they will help thicken the sauce and make it creamy, which I love.
Serve the greens in a bowl with chop sticks. Lunch is now ready!