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Braised Greens Recipe

Braised Greens Recipe


Many of my patients ask me how to cook vegetables, especially greens, in a way that makes them taste delicious. So, how do you make bitter tasting leafy greens actually delicious?

What are the benefits of eating leafy greens?

Dark leafy greens are considered a power food by many.  Not only are they a great source of fiber, but also minerals (potassium, magnesium, calcium, manganese, selenium, iron, copper), vitamins (K, C, A, riboflavin, ), and antioxidants (polyphenols, carotenoids, flavonoids).  Consuming greens frequently has been shown to reduce the risk of obesity, heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and mental decline.

Types of leafy greens that are delicious in this recipe:

  • Kale
  • Bok Choy
  • Mustard Greens
  • Beet Greens
  • Collard Greens
  • Dandelion Greens
  • Swiss Chard

Cooking Technique: Braising

One of my favorite techniques is braising. Braising is a combination cooking method that uses both dry and wet heats.  You start by sautéing or searing the greens at a medium-high temperature. Then you finish them over low-medium heat by adding some amount of liquid and covering the greens until they are ready to be devoured. This cooking technique is amazing for any type of green you may find at your local farmers' market. Think mustard greens, beet greens, kale, chard, dandelion greens, and collard greens too!

Delicious Braised Greens

Prep Time: 10-15 minutes
Makes: 4 servings
  • 1 bunch of greens, approximately 10-15 leaves (see list above)
  • 2 Tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon of tamari or soy sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon of water
  • 1 teaspoon of balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste (optional)

Wash leaves of greens carefully and remove stems. Discard stems unless you are using chard. Chop leaves into 1-2" pieces.  Chop chard stems into 1/4" slices.

Heat large skillet or wok over medium heat.  Add oil.  Sauté chard stems for 1-2 minutes if using. Add green leaves and toss with oil. Sauté over medium heat until the leaves start to turn a bright green.

Mix together tamari and water and pour into skillet.  Cover skillet with a lid. Decrease heat to low-medium.  Cook until leaves are tender, 4-6 minutes. Add balsamic vinegar.  Cook for another 1-2 minutes.  Taste for doneness. Greens should be tasty and not bitter.  Greens should be green and not gray.


Nutritional Data

Blekkenhorst LC et al. Cruciferous and Total Vegetable Intakes Are Inversely Associated With Subclinical Atherosclerosis in Older Adult Women. J Am Heart Assoc. 2018 Apr 4;7(8). pii: e008391. doi: 10.1161/JAHA.117.008391.

Jiang Y et al. Cruciferous vegetable intake is inversely correlated with circulating levels of proinflammatory markers in women. J Acad Nutr Diet. 2014 May;114(5):700-8.e2. doi: 10.1016/j.jand.2013.12.019. Epub 2014 Mar 13.

Lin LZ, Harnly JM. Phenolic component profiles of mustard greens, yu choy, and 15 other brassica vegetables. J Agric Food Chem. 2010 Jun 9;58(11):6850-7. doi: 10.1021/jf1004786.

Mori N et al. Cruciferous vegetable intake and mortality in middle-aged adults: A prospective cohort study. Clin Nutr. 2019 Apr;38(2):631-643. doi: 10.1016/j.clnu.2018.04.012. Epub 2018 Apr 24.

Morris MC et al. Nutrients and bioactives in green leafy vegetables and cognitive decline: Prospective study. Neurology. 2018 Jan 16;90(3):e214-e222. doi: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000004815. Epub 2017 Dec 20.

Weber P. Vitamin K and bone health. Nutrition. 2001 Oct;17(10):880-7.

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