Mixed green fritters are a great way to enjoy edible greens – both the ones that people traditionally eat (like kale, mustard greens and spinach), and the ones that people usually throw away (like those of sweet potatoes, radishes, beets and broccoli).
I made my most recent batch using a simple and healthier-than-deep-fried recipe from food to glow that I had been meaning to try. (Food to glow is a great food blog focused on nutrition and cancer.) The original recipe was made with foraged greens – but rather than go foraging around LAX, I decided to use what I could forage from my fridge: beet greens, kale (with stems removed), cilantro and scallions.
The cilantro, scallions and beet green stems elevated what would have been a very nice side dish to a more central role in the meal, and were nicely complemented by a dollop of chipotle mayonnaise.
There are few things I like more than a good Indian meal, and one of my favorite curries is saag. When you get it in North America, it’s usually made with spinach, but it can be made with any green or mix of greens – and it’s a great way to use edible greens that typically end up in the bin, like those of sweet potatoes, radishes, carrots, beets and broccoli.
I made a small batch with carrot greens the other night, which I served with roasted carrots and red peppers, tandoori chicken, watermelon rind chutney and turmeric rice – a meal just overflowing with complex spices and aromas.
Carrot green saag (two small servings)
1 tsp cooking oil
2½ oz onion, diced
1 poblano chili, seeded and diced
1½ tsp grated ginger
1 small clove garlic, crushed
¼ tsp coriander
⅛ tsp turmeric
2½ oz carrot greens, coarsely chopped
2 Tbsp yogurt (optional)
⅛ tsp salt, or to taste
Sauté onions in oil over medium heat until they’re translucent.
Add in the chili, ginger, garlic, coriander and turmeric, and sauté until your kitchen smells good – about one minute.
Add in the carrot greens, and sauté for about 2 minutes.
Add enough water to cover the greens, and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat, and let simmer until carrot greens are tender – about 10 minutes.
Remove from heat, let cool (so you don’t blow the lid off of your blender with steam), and blend until homogenous.
Return to heat, and warm to serving temperature.
Stir in yogurt and salt.
I served roasted vegetables on top of this batch, but you can also stir in cooked potatoes, chicken, chickpeas, paneer (an Indian cheese) – or just about anything else.
Edible greens rescued from landfill per serving
Number of servings needed to save 1 pound of edible greens from landfill
Cost of 1 pound of edible greens which would usually be tossed
Cost of spinach at yummy.com as of 1 minute ago
$3.99 for 5 oz
Amount you can save by replacing 1 pound of baby spinach with free edible greens (assuming you shop at yummy.com)
Net impact on landfill if everyone in the US eats 1 pound of greens that would usually be tossed
155,000 short ton reduction
Total cost of that 155,000 short tons of green goodness