Book Reviews · Cookbooks

Cooking Greens: 2 New Cookbooks

Day 17 of NaBloPoMo and wow, I had forgotten how nice it is to take weekends off from writing! It is interesting writing every day and realizing that yes, there can be overkill in writing, especially for food blogging. It seems too much, truthfully. That I am overloading my readers inboxes more than I should. I feel a twinge of guilt over it. Maybe these 17 days have shown me something: that yes, I can write every day, but no, I do not need to. Still, I will honor my doing this and hope no one hates/unfollows me over it.

But maybe there is more: suddenly I found myself inspired to be working on another pretty e-book the past 2 weeks. I needed to go play and let my mind wander. So… heard it: I have another book on the way! If you love coffee, you will love this – and it will have great ideas for food gifts as well!

NaBloPoMo November 2013

A few years ago I didn’t willing eat any greens outside of salad. Not even spinach. Not something to be proud of I realize now. Maybe it was the (painful and gross) memories of canned spinach in free gov’t school lunches in the early 80’s or that my Dad didn’t like them, so we never had fresh. It simply didn’t occur to me to buy and use them. Slowly I found spinach was OK, even tasty, in salads and if finely chopped, could be good in pasta dishes and similar.

Then I met my match in Swiss Chard. It was so pretty. It came in amazing colors. It was crisp! And unlike many greens, the stalks are very edible. I bought a bunch and stared at it for a long time, finally using it a meal. And then more recipes. It was great I found. Lemony Swiss Chard Spaghetti? Swiss Chard and Beets with Pasta? Swiss Chard and Carrot Mac n’ Cheese?


After that, I realized that there was something good about greens. As long as greens are prepared well, are fresh and not cooked to soggy, life is great. Maybe I am still not hooked on collard or most kale, but I have plenty of other greens we now enjoy.


The Complete Leafy Greens Cookbook: 67 Leafy Greens and 250 Recipes: When they say 67 leafy greens and 250 recipes, they mean it. I found greens I didn’t even know about! A few weeks back, Kirk was asking me if one could eat carrot tops and honestly, I had no idea if you could. Turns out you can use them like parsley. But Chrysanthemum greens? Or that I have eaten Kohlrabi for most of my life, but never enjoyed the tender leaves that grow on top.

The book is fascinating for how to buy the greens (and where to find the more unusual ones in Asian and other specialty stores), how to store them and even how to make bitter greens more palatable to the taste buds. If you want to increase the range of what you eat, this is the book – and the color photos are very helpful


The Complete Idiot’s Guide Greens Cookbook: In a similar vein, this book covers the greens as well but also devotes time to discussing a plant-based diet and gardening a steady supply of greens. Which isn’t a bad idea, growing greens is remarkably easy (and does well in raised beds and pots!), which leads to a supply of organic greens. The recipes will inspire – and are all healthy – although are less mainstream than the recipes in Leafy Greens Cookbook. If you love a little Nooch on your pasta, with a sprinkle of raw nuts on your greens, this is the cookbook for you!

FTC Disclaimer: We received review copies.

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