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September 29, 2021. Those juicy, sweet, earthy beets and turnips I made yesterday, the ones sitting happily on top of the garlic-cheese mashed potatoes. They came with their greens. It’s like getting a whole extra vegetable when you buy them this way. The greens are in the category of dark, “bitter” greens, but they’re not at all bitter. Maybe a little sharp when they’re raw. When they’re cooked, they’re rich and flavorful like spinach or chard or kale. The turnip greens have a hint of mustard. Squeeze a few drops of lemon on them and they show a sweeter side.

So I thought they’d be a great green accompaniment to Veal Milanese. A perfect cooler weather substitute for arugula, the sharp summer green that’s the traditional accompaniment for this veal preparation. And they were great. A terrific counterpoint to the buttery, lightly bread Milan-style veal.

No recipe here. Just a suggestion. For something you might throw away. Don’t do that. Waste not, want not. Beet and turnip greens are delicious and they deliver a mega-dose of Vitamins A and C. And they’re free with every purchase of beets and turnips. Use a lot: 4 cups of raw greens cook down to less than 2 cups.

Wash and dry them. Chop or tear them. Toss them with minimal olive oil and sea salt. Put them in a roasting pan, in a preheated 300 F oven. 25 – 30 minutes later, they’re slightly crisp around the edges but still tender and chewy everywhere else. Leave them in the oven for 10 more minutes and they’ll turn to paper-thin chips.

The only thing they’re missing is some aromatics. So I tossed some celery leaves in with them. Now the mixed baked greens are fragrant. Your veal or chicken or fish is delighted to share the plate with them. Give these a try. I really think you’ll enjoy them. And think of them as a real discovery.

Cost-Benefit Analysis
They’re free! They deliver a megadose of Vitamins A, C and K and a whole range of phytonutrients. The season’s tastiest nutritional supplement. Zero Glycemic Load.

Cost Comparison
Free deliciousness and great health at home. $1.99 for a 1-cup serving of cole slaw at Kentucky Fried Chicken.

Let’s Do The Math
Less than 2 minutes to briskly walk off the 8 calories in 1 cup of the great greens. Have two. And these are the good calories

Vegetarian Combination
Eat your greens with this luscious mushroom tart. Mushrooms are always in season.

Every Thing Is Everything
A study published in The Journal of The American Dietetic Association finds that vegetarian diets help weight management without compromising nutrition. “Vegetarians have lower body mass index than nonvegetarians, suggesting that vegetarian diet plans may be an approach for weight management. However, a perception exists that vegetarian diets are deficient in certain nutrients … [But] Mean intakes of fiber, vitamins A, C, and E, thiamin, riboflavin, folate, calcium, magnesium, and iron were higher for all vegetarians than for all nonvegetarians … vegetarian diets are nutrient dense, consistent with dietary guidelines, and could be recommended for weight management without compromising diet quality.

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