Gluten Free, Indian, Paleo Recipes, Sides, Vegan, Veggies

Garlicky Coconut Greens

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We love any kind of food that’s Indian inspired around here.  If it’s loaded with lots of garlic, curry, and coconut milk – bring it on!!!  And bring lots of it!!!  In this blog post I’m giving my favorite reasons as to why you should eat MORE greens!  🙂 When I say that I eat a TON of greens, I’m telling you – I EAT A TON OF GREENS.  When you open our refrigerator, the first thing you’ll notice is the huge box of spinach and at least 2 big bags of kale.  I eat so many greens (of any kind) that if for some odd reason I go a day or two without eating them, my body starts CRAVING them.  I’ve actually thought about growing some greens on my balcony and try to save a little money from all the greens that I buy throughout the week.  If anybody is really good at gardening and can give me pointers on growing veggies in a small space/balcony, I would love to hear from you!  Ok.  Enough about my obsession with eating greens.  Let’s talk about why you should eat them.

1.  Dark, leafy greens burn fat.  HELLO!  We all have a little fat to lose, right?!  Unless you’re like 95 pounds soak and wet, I’m sure dropping a couple pounds wouldn’t make anyone sad!  Greens contain nitrites, which have been associated in browning fat cells, meaning converting fat-storing white cells into fat-burning brown cells. This creates extra fat burning and ultimately, weight loss.  WOOHOO!!!  🙂

2.  Dark, leafy greens are anti-aging!  I don’t know about you, but I’m all for ANYTHING that makes me look (and feel) more youthful.  Bring on the greens!!  A study carried out at Rush University medical center reported a significant decrease in the amount of cognitive decline for those participants consuming higher amounts of dark green leafy vegetables. The researchers associated the high vitamin K, folate, beta-carotene and lutein present in these greens as influencing this anti-aging effect. Green’s antioxidants, brain protection, cellular support, anti-inflammatory benefits, and essential fatty acid nutritional contribution (in particular, the much-appreciated ALA omega-3 fatty acid) all contribute to anti-aging as well.

3.  Dark, leafy greens help your heart.  The US is one of the most obese countries in the world.  How sad is that?  When you’re unhealthy, your heart is unhealthy.  Cardiovascular health is positively influenced in multiple ways when making greens a continuous part of your food choices. First, greens regulate the production of a hormone known as erythropoietin, which decreases blood viscosity. This potentially reduces blood clots and heart attacks. Greens’ dietary fiber helps regulate cholesterol and trygliceride levels in a positive way making sure they don’t cause any unnecessary trouble. Nitric oxide — our internal blood pressure regulator — is positively influenced through the consumption of greens. High homocysteine has been linked with cardio vascular diseases, but greens provide substrates that convert homocysteine into harmless amino acids.  If that’s not reason enough to eat more greens, I don’t know what is!

4.  Dark, leafy greens feed your gut.   High fiber content in plants provide substrates for gut microbes to digest and create by product that effect various gut metabolic activities including PH balance, gut permeability, immune balance, bowel movements and so forth.

5.  Dark, leafy greens protect against toxins.  Aflatoxins are types of toxins produced by fungi, and they are one of the most carcinogenic (cancer-causing) substances known. Chlorophyll found in plants and abundant in particular in greens has a neutralizing effect on these ubiuitous toxins; it does this through directly trapping the toxin, rendering it harmless.  I’m a firm believer of ridding my body of toxins.  What better way to do it than with a big bowl of dark, leafy greens!

greens4This information provided was found on this website.  I thought it was full of wonderful knowledge to help get us on the right track as a New Year approaches in just a couple more days.

I saw a recipe a while back (I can’t remember where at the moment) that was full of garlic, ginger, and curry infused greens.  So, when I saw this recipe, I made a mental note of the ingredients and tried my best to recreate it.  I made these greens for dinner one night this week for just me and Omar, but if I was having a couple more people over, I would definitely double, or maybe even triple this recipe.  You’re going to want to go back for seconds!  When you first start cooking the greens, it looks like SO much, but remember the greens will cook down to almost nothing. So, I recommend making a lot!  Like most foods, these are better eaten right away, but they will keep in the fridge for a couple of days.  I reheat mine in a skillet until they’ve warmed back up…and then I devour!  I do hope you’ll love these as much as we did!

Here are a few of my recipes that would go wonderfully with these greens! Lentil & Chickpea Curry , Chickpea Tiki Masala & Coconut Rice , Chickpea & Potato Curry .  Enjoy!!!

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Garlicky Coconut Greens

  • Servings: 3 - 4
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A super healthy side dish to any Indian inspired meal!

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 – 2 tbsp minced garlic
  • 2 heaping tsp minced ginger
  • 1/2 white or yellow onion, finely diced
  • 1 large bundle of collard greens, washed, dried and chopped (I like to roll my collards up like a cigar and slice)
  • 1 large bundle of kale, washed, dried, and chopped
  • 1/2 cup full fat coconut milk
  • 2 tsp yellow curry powder
  • 2 tsp organic cane sugar
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • crushed red pepper, optional if you want more heat

Directions:

  1. Heat up the olive oil in a large cast iron or metal skillet on medium-high heat.  Once it’s hot, add the garlic, ginger, and onion.  Let this cook for a few minutes or until it’s translucent.
  2. Add the bundle of collards.  When they start to wilt, add the kale.  Stir well.  Let this cook for another 3 – 4 minutes.
  3. In a liquid measuring cup, whisk together the coconut milk, curry powder, and sugar.  Pour on top of the greens.  Season liberally with salt and pepper.
  4. Let everything cook and marry together for another few minutes.  TASTE the greens.  Adjust the seasoning if needed.  Add a little crushed red pepper for some extra heat if you want!  Reduce heat to low until you’re ready to eat or serve immediately.  Serve with anything Indian inspired!

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