One of my first vegetarian cookbooks was Nava Atlas’s The Vegetarian 5-Ingredient Gourmet, and I’ve bought every cookbook that she’s written since. I’m a big fan of her simple, no fuss recipes, and the meals that I create with them are always delicious. I was especially excited last year when she told me she was working on a book about greens, and I’ve been waiting impatiently for it ever since. Green is not only my favorite color, but it’s also my favorite food group. And yes, I realize that greens aren’t their own food group, yet, but they are so nutritious that they should be!
Wild About Greens is not only jam packed with tons of wonderful greens recipes, it’s also a really beautiful book! It’s a nice, thick hardcover with an easy to read clean layout (which I always appreciate) and there are quite a number of gorgeous full color photographs taken by FatFree Vegan Kitchen‘s Susan Voisin.
This book is full of everything you always wanted to know about greens but were afraid to ask! There’s a leafy green nutrition primer; information on buying, storing, freezing and dehydrating greens; basic cooking techniques; and even a greens introduction which lists the different types of greens, what they taste like and how to cook them. The book is divided into five sections: Basic Preparation; Greens with Beans, Grains, Pasta and Other Vegetables; Salads, Dressings and Dips (including a section on massaged kale salads – my favorite!); Greens in Soups and Stews; and Green Juices and Smoothies. There are even numerous sauce and dressing recipes for basic cooked greens and raw salads. I’ve read through this book from cover to cover, and I’m pretty sure that just about everything in the leafy green world is covered here.
In the warm months, I like to start my day out with a green smoothie, and I tend to get myself into a rut of making the same type every day, so I’ve been working my way through the smoothie and juice section of the book. There’s so much delicious variety, and they’re perfect for hot summer mornings!
Dennis bought me a nice, shiny new juicer for my birthday, so I was eager to try Wild About Greens‘s juice recipes. Green juice has been my afternoon pick-me-up for the last few weeks. This Green “C” Monster may not look like a green juice, but it is! The red color comes from a beet, but I also juiced the beet greens along with some parsley, carrots, oranges and ginger.
I recently joined a co-op, and last week’s share contained two heads of escarole. I’ve had escarole and white bean soup before, but I’ve never cooked escarole myself before, so I wasn’t sure what to do with it. I knew Wild About Greens would come to my aid, however, so I just looked it up in the index and decided to make this Pasta with Two Beans and Escarole. It was simply scrumptious, and I was happy with myself for making the decision to cook up a double batch so there would be leftovers.
As I mentioned, I love massaged kale salads, and Wild About Greens has an entire section devoted to them. My co-op share also came with lots of carrots and cucumbers, so I made Kale and Cucumber Salad with Avocado Tahini Dressing. The dressing is so good that I want to slather it all over everything I eat from now on!
Wild About Greens is a perfect cookbook for everyone – vegans, omnivores and everyone in between. Greens are a food group that is sadly lacking in a lot of Americans’ diets these days, and this book is full of creative ways to put greens onto plates and into bellies everywhere.