TCM Event Recap: Going Green – easy and yummy greens for pregnancy and the whole family

We had the most tasty TCM event yet this past Saturday, and it was quite a hit. Chef Holly Langenburg wowed us all with a fabulous class. We wanted to share some photos and recipes on the blog here with everyone who wasn’t able to join in person. I thought we were eating a lot of greens at our house before the event, but now I think our greens consumption has tripled! These recipes are so yummy, you’ll be missing out if you aren’t getting in more greens!

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photos by Megan Crown Photography

Excellent nutrition is more than just taking in a certain number of recommended daily allowances, it is also an awareness of how we prepare, eat, and digest our food, of how we feel about our bodies, as well as our emotional, mental, and spiritual selves. Nourishment is a holistic experience that goes far beyond simply eating.” -Aviva Jill Romm.

Increasing Greens in Your Diet

A few tips and tricks for getting more greens into your family’s diet.

  • Adding a wide variety of fresh greens into your salads (skip the iceberg lettuce).
  • Fine-chopping kale or spinach and adding it to egg salad sandwiches, tuna fish sandwiches, and tofu salad sandwiches.
  • Using spinach or other dark greens in place of iceberg lettuce on your hamburgers and sandwiches.
  • Adding finely chopped kale, collard greens, or spinach to hot-dishes, quinoa dishes, soups, chilis, stews, pasta dishes and crock-pot recipes. This is a great way to begin to incorporate these super foods into your diet without feeling like you are making a huge leap in trying something new.
  • Chop up kale, spinach, and other greens to add to omelets, quiches, frittatas, and scrambled eggs.
  • Sauté rough-chopped kale or collard greens and serve as a side dish.
  • Add kale to fruit and yogurt smoothies (a great way to get the kids to eat them!).

Many of the benefits of getting in your greens:

  • By eating dark leafy greens regularly, you reap all the benefits of taking in these essential vitamins and minerals that help to keep you and your little ones healthy throughout pregnancy and into the postpartum period…
  • Vitamin A-preventing and fighting infections, promotes healthy skin and mucous membranes, strong bones, rich blood and keen eyesight.
  • B-vitamins- healthy nervous system, muscle tone, stabilizing blood sugars, healthy skin, nails and hair, antibody production, hormonal balance, and fetal brain development.
  • Folic Acid- essential for fetal brain and spinal cord development, the formation of blood cells and antibodies
  • Vitamin C-preventing and healing infections, the production of connective tissues, producing a healthy placenta, and preventing varicosities and hemorrhages.
  • Vitamin E-aids in metabolism, cell-division, promotes tissue healing, increases the pain threshold, and prevents abnormal clotting.
  • Calcium-bone and teeth formation, muscle function, healthy nerves, mineral balances, and coagulation of blood.
  • Iron-creates hemoglobin, builds blood, increases resistance to stress and disease, improves respiration, and prevents hemorrhage.
  • Important minerals such as : Phosphorous, zinc, potassium, magnesium…Greens are a great source for micronutrients that you aren’t getting elsewhere.
  • Also provides a rich supply of dietary fiber which promotes healthy digestion and prevents constipation.

Kale Chips

1 head kale, washed and thoroughly dried

2 tablespoons olive oil

Sea salt, for sprinkling

Preheat the oven to 275 degrees F.

Wash kale and dry in a salad spinner. Removing as much water as possible will result in crispier chips!

Remove the ribs from the kale and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces. Lay on a baking sheet and toss with the olive oil Bake until crisp, about 20 minutes, turning the leaves halfway through, add salt to taste. Serve as finger food.

Broccoli Slaw 

(Courtesy of:

2 heads broccoli

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons currants (plumped in boiling water, if desired)

1/2 cup finely chopped red onion

3/4 cup slivered almonds (or whole almonds that have been roughly chopped)

1/2 cup mayonnaise

2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar

2 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon salt

freshly ground pepper

Shred the broccoli in a food processor, using the grater disk (the attachment with the smaller holes, not the one with long, thin blades). In a large bowl, combine the shredded broccoli, currants, red onion, and almonds.

Whisk together the mayonnaise, lemon juice, vinegar, sugar, salt, and a few grinds of fresh pepper. Pour the dressing over the broccoli mixture and stir to combine. Taste and add more salt or pepper, if needed. Allow to sit for 30 minutes (or an hour in the fridge) so the flavors can mingle.

Sautéed Swiss Chard

Wash greens well. Begin by removing stems from the base of leaves. Cut tough or dry ends from bottom of stems. Cut stems into matchsticks then dice into small pieces. Stack leaves,roll up like cigar then slice into ribbons. Set aside. Finely mince a shallot. Heat a sauté pan with oil of choice( I like extra virgin coconut oil or bacon fat) over medium heat once pan is heated add shallot and diced stems. Sauté until stems soften being careful not to burn shallot. This will take 8 minutes or so.Add chard leaves and cook until slightly wilted.Plate and squeeze lemon and chili flakes if desired. This simple dish works well as a pillow for poached or over easy eggs!!

Collard Wraps

One bunch of Collard Leaves

Sweet Potato Hummus (recipe below)

Other fillings as desired (sprouts, avocado, julienned veggies, etc)

Wash leaves, soak in a bowl of warm water with a splash of white vinegar while prepping the fillings for the inside. After soaking for a bit (this makes them more pliable and cleans them well)

Flip the leaf over so that the side with the prominent spine is facing up. Using a paring knife, carefully start to shave off the spine, starting near the bottom, where it begins to protrude most:

Careful as you do this: you don’t want to cut so deep that you actually cut through the leaf! Just follow carefully along the spine, slicing away only the thick part of it. Flip the leave over so the side you didn’t cut is facing up.Place a vertical column of filler on one side of the leaf’s center, about 1/4 cup of sweet potato hummus. Top with julienned vegetables, sprouts, avocado, etc.

Fold the top and bottom of the collard leaf toward the center.Fold the side closer to the filling over the filling.Starting with the folded side proceed to roll the leaf up.You’ll be rolling from the folded side towards the unfolded side. With seam side down cut on a diagonal.

Collard greens make a great to go lunch since they don’t get soggy like a bread based product does.

Sweet Potato Hummus 

(Courtesy of:

2 small or 1 very large sweet potato, cooked, skin removed, and cut into chunks (I like baking my potatoes, but if you’re in a big rush, you can steam them or nuke them)

1 can chickpeas, drained, but with the liquid reserved

1 1/2 tsp sesame oil

5 tbsp tahini

1 tsp curry powder

1/2 tsp salt

Black pepper to taste



1) Place sweet potatoes in the processor.

2) Optional step: warm up your beans. This really isn’t necessary for great hummus, but guess what? It’s a really, really good trick of the trade. Either microwave your chickpeas for 1 minute (OK, for the record, I don’t much like microwave cooking, but I don’t think it’s going to murder any of us if we do it once upon a hummus), or pour the chickpeas and their canning liquid into a little saucepot and get them warm. Drain them after, but reserve the liquid. That’s it — not a lot of effort for a step that will really improve your hummus.

3) Place chickpeas (warm or not) into the processor along with the sesame oil, tahini, curry, salt and pepper. Run the processor. Take 1/2 cup (this should be all that’s left) of the canning liquid from the beans (it’s got starch in it, which will help make the hummus super delicious) and drizzle it into the processor to help create the perfect texture.

If you run out of liquid but the hummus needs to be thinner (this, by the way, should happen — all in all, I needed about 3/4 c. liquid for my batch) start drizzling in regular old water. Stop now and then to scrape the bowl. When the consistency is even, smooth, and thick but not pasty, you’re done.

Sprinkle hummus with paprika, and serve.

Raw Tuscan Kale Salad

(Courtesy of:

(I doubled up on the breadcrumbs here. Because who doesn’t like a bit of extra crunch? That is reflected in the recipe below. And for those of you without access to pecorino, freshly grated Parmesan would be a reasonable substitute.)

Adapted from the Raw Tuscan Kale Salad with Chiles and Pecorino recipe in Melissa Clark’s In the Kitchen with A Good Appetite.

1 bunch Tuscan kale (for ex: black or lacinato)

2 thin slices country bread, or two handfuls good, homemade coarse breadcrumbs

1/2 garlic clove

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus a pinch

1/4 cup (or small handful) grated pecorino cheese, plus adiitional for garnish

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus additional for garnish

Freshly squeezed juice of one lemon (scant 1/4 cup or ~50ml)

1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Trim the bottom few inches off the kale stems and discard. Slice the kale into 3/4-inch ribbons. You should have 4 to 5 cups. Place the kale in a large bowl.

If using the bread, toast it until golden brown on both sides and dry throughout. Tear into small pieces and pulse in a food processor until the mixture forms coarse crumbs, or crumbs to your liking.

Using a mortar and pestle or a knife, pound or mince the garlic and 1/4 teaspoon of salt into a paste. Transfer the garlic to a small bowl. Add 1/4 cup cheese, 3 tablespoons oil, lemon juice, pinch of salt, pepper flakes, and black pepper and whisk to combine. Pour the dressing over the kale and toss very well (the dressing will be thick and need lots of tossing to coat the leaves).. Let the salad sit for 5 minutes, then serve topped with the bread crumbs, additional cheese, and a drizzle of oil.

Consider adding a bowl of quinoa for a protein and green packed lunch!

Dinosaur Kale, Kielbasa and Lentil Soup

(Courtesy of:

1 pound French green lentils (recommended: du Puy)

1/4 cup olive oil, plus extra for serving

4 cups diced yellow onions (3 large)

4 cups chopped leeks, white and light green parts only (2 leeks)

1 tablespoon minced garlic (2 large cloves)

1 tablespoon kosher salt

1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme leaves

1 teaspoon ground cumin

3 cups medium diced celery (8 stalks)

3 cups medium diced carrots (4 to 6 carrots)

3 quarts Homemade Chicken Stock, recipe follows, or canned broth

1/4 cup tomato paste

1 pound kielbasa, cut in 1/2 lengthwise and sliced 1/3-inch thick

2 tablespoons dry red wine or red wine vinegar

½ bunch (or to taste) dino kale, washed well, stems removed

Freshly grated Parmesan, for serving

In a large bowl, cover the lentils with boiling water and allow to sit for 15 minutes. Drain.

In a large stockpot over medium heat, heat the olive oil and saute the onions, leeks, garlic, salt, pepper, thyme, and cumin for 20 minutes, or until the vegetables are translucent and tender. Add the celery and carrots and saute for another 10 minutes. Add the chicken stock, tomato paste, and drained lentils, cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer uncovered for 1 hour, or until the lentils are cooked through and tender. Check the seasonings. Add the kielbasa and red wine and simmer until the kielbasa is hot. Stacking the dino kale leaves on top of each other, rolling them up and slicing into ribbons. Ten minutes before plating, add the dino kale. Serve drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with grated Parmesan.

Homemade Chicken Stock (yields 6 quarts):

3 (5-pound) chickens

3 large onions, unpeeled and quartered

6 carrots, unpeeled and halved

4 celery stalks with leaves, cut in thirds

4 parsnips, unpeeled and cut in 1/2, optional

20 sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley

15 sprigs fresh thyme

20 sprigs fresh dill

1 head garlic, unpeeled and cut in 1/2 crosswise

2 tablespoons kosher salt

2 teaspoons whole black peppercorns

Place the chickens, onions, carrots, celery, parsnips, parsley, thyme, dill, garlic, salt, and peppercorns in a 16 to 20-quart stockpot with 7 quarts of water and bring to a boil. Skim the surface as needed. Simmer uncovered for 4 hours. Strain the entire contents of the pot through a colander, discarding the chicken and vegetables, and chill. Discard the hardened fat, and then pack the broth in quart containers.

Carrot Top and Rice Soup

You  can find a great recipe for using carrot top greens on this past blog post.

2 thoughts on “TCM Event Recap: Going Green – easy and yummy greens for pregnancy and the whole family

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