Review: Greens 24/7

Cover image for Greens 24/7

Have you ever heard the words “just eat it”? (Growing up, this was “cut it crosswise and eat it!”) Everybody has their passionate hatred of some vegetable. Often it’s green. This makes people worldwide sneak green veggies into meals for unsuspecting victims children, seeing if they really do hate these green treats. (Author note: I still hate potatoes, corn, and peas. And pickles.) After these children grow up, they may still avoid these foods at all costs. Enter Jessica Nadel, creator of Cupcakes and Kale. Greens 24/7 is an ode to all things green: hidden and right out in the open. For adults recovering from scarring childhood experiences (Yes Mom, I noticed those peas) or adults trying to pull a fast one on their kids, this cookbook shows that sneaking in the green doesn’t have to be a scarring experience.

Beyond My Usual Greens

The book starts with a quick blurb of common greens, with nutritional benefits and potential recipes to highlight them in. A brief mention of the pantry, a picture-graphic representation of some sample menus, and we’re ready to get cooking! I am one of those who embraced the green smoothie craze long ago, so although the smoothies included here look amazing, I wanted to expand my green repertoire. The recipes include breakfast, sides, soups and salads, entrées, and desserts. The breakfasts look creative, from Green Granola to the classic Broccoli and Greens “Quiche”. I did not try them this round, but they’re both on the running “must make” list. Sides include Kale Chips, a riff of Hummus, Rolls and Wraps galore, and my favourite of the section, Chayote Ceviche. A chayote is a squash from South America, which is green on the outside and white on the inside. Terry Hope Romero offers the best description: “Pear-shaped, bright green, and puckered on one end like your granny’s face after she’s removed her dentures.” [Terry Hope Romero, Viva Vegan!] Dentures aside, it tastes crisp and fresh, almost like an Asian pear. This ceviche blends the chayote with bell pepper, onion, avocado, mango, and lime juice for a bright refreshing condiment. I ate mine on top of a bed of lettuce (when in Rome), but anywhere you put salsa this would be fantastic as well.

I love a giant bowl of salad. In an effort to expand my use of greens, I actively avoided all salad recipes, although they all looked amazing. The one exception to this was the Shredded Rainbow Salad with Lemony Avocado Dressing. Purple cabbage, carrots, edamame, and cucumber and lightly dressed in a creamy lemon avocado dressing with a hint of cilantro. Crunchy, bright, and pretty – a jewel of a bowl. My favourite soup was Lemony Miso Soup with Chinese Broccoli. I am a miso soup addict, and quite picky. This soup version is fantastic – why didn’t I think of lemon and miso before? The simple broth is studded with mushrooms and Chinese broccoli, for a wonderful bowl of soup that makes you think of spring. Honourable mention to White Bean and Three Green Soup – no sneaking of greens in this one, they’re front and centre and fantastic. Simply seasoned with nutritional yeast and rosemary, the greens are bright and the beans add creaminess to the broth.

Entrees include the classic Zucchini Bolognese and the creative Kale and Kabocha Enchiladas Verde. The verde refers to the enchilada sauce, made from roasted tomatillos. The sauce was so delicious it almost didn’t make it to the enchiladas! I made these extra green by substituting tortillas for collard wraps, as Jessica suggests, and the result was by far my favourite enchilada rendition to date. With that tough act to follow, Rapini a la Puttanesca absolutely blew me away. Rapini is one of my favourite cousins of broccoli, and here it is done justice. The Puttanesca is a simple tomato sauce with white wine, capers, and sundried tomatoes giving it body and oomph. Generously ladled on top of the garlicky rapini, the result was pure delight. A very close runner up for favourite was the Kelp Noodle and Tahini Tangle with Miso Tahini Dressing, only because I am a tahini addict and the recipe has tahini in the title – TWICE.

Camouflaged Chayote

With a blog called Cupcakes and Kale, Jessica knows how to use her greens in desserts. Although “conventional” recipes such as brownies, cakes, and cookies are included, I wanted to go outside the box. The Sweet Massaged Kale and Fruit Salad with Raw Chocolate Sauce is now one of my favourite desserts of all time. Think of it like a deconstructed green smoothie, but with chocolate. A total win! The last recipe I made was the Wine Poached Chayote “Pears”. The recipe made my kitchen smell like the mulled wine après-ski chalets in the Alps, and the chayote soaked up the mixture wonderfully. This is the ultimate sneak – when the chayote is poached in red wine, it turns red and is no longer green in its natural state.

Bring on Spring

Abound with creativity; this cookbook is simple and easy to follow with great results. I made all recipes during the weekday, with fresh vibrant meals every night. Something about eating a lot of greens makes me think of spring, and there is an application for most greens you find in the farmer’s market in this book. For CSA subscribers who are at a loss of what to do with all that lettuce and can’t face another salad, to those who want to eat more greens (or force greens onto victims), this book is awash with suggestions. Most recipes are also soy and gluten free – if they are not, simple substitutions can be made. I know that I learned something about the versatility of greens – I hope you do as well!

The publishers, The Experiment, have let me share with you a recipe. It was a tough decision, but ultimately I chose Rapini a la Puttanesca. Rapini is one of those greens that people may come to the table with issues and misconceptions, and this is the recipe to change their minds. Simple, elegant, and tasty, this dish will hopefully please you just as it did me.

For more information on Greens 24/7, please see Jessica’s website.

If you wish to purchase the book through Amazon, you can find it here.*

Photo credit: Jackie Sobon

Reviewed by Katie Hay
When Katie isn’t exploring new cuisines and challenging food conceptions in the kitchen, she can be found at farmer’s markets, building and designing bicycles, and planning her next life adventure.

* This post contains affiliate links. If the product is purchased by linking through this review, T.O.F.U. receives a modest commission.

Related Posts

Post Response