Vitamin Greens

It seems I’m not the only one who had never heard of vitamin greens until I found them at the farmer’s market this weekend. So I thought I would report back with some information on the greens by themselves and not in a stir-fry. Last night I simply sauteed the remainder of the greens in some olive oil with garlic and salt. The verdict? They’re great! After eating one serving, Mark said to me, “I’m going to go upstairs and get some more of those green things.” Readers, I have NEVER heard those words before. More greens for Mark?! Amazing! Like I said in my previous post, they cook up like chard. Texture-wise they are like spinach. The taste is very pleasant. I don’t know if it’s the name, but I feel extraordinarily healthy eating them. I’m excited to buy them again.

Not sure why I think this really needs a recipe, but here you go. You can just cook the stalks right up with the leafy parts.

Sauteed Vitamin Greens

1/2 bunch vitamin greens, chopped
2 tsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
salt to taste

Heat a frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the oil, then the garlic and salt and cook for a couple of seconds, then add the vitamin greens. Cook until they are wilted, about 5 minutes.

I scored fresh cranberry beans, also pictured, at the same stand at the market. I used this recipe. The grain is a brown rice/quinoa mix. For lunch today I had the leftover grains, some leftover refried beans, a tiny bit of the vitamin greens I had leftover, and some homemade salsa, and that was a really nice lunch.

I’m still getting to know my new camera.

But so far my favorite feature is it allows me to shoot B&W.

I feel a bit weird saying that considering all the other amazing features it has, but when I used a film camera (digital cameras being non-existent, of course) in high school and college, I used B&W film more than half the time and I’ve really missed it. Sure, I could very easily have applied a filter to any picture I shot with my old camera to make it look monochrome, but first of all, I don’t like spending much time processing my photos, and second of all, it’s just different. I LOVE that I can see a B&W picture on the LED screen after taking it, and I even love I can’t ever change it to color.

Here’s the camera I learned on, or one of them. My father and my grandfather had identical cameras in the ’70s, and I inherited my grandfather’s when he died and my father’s when he replaced his with a newer one. So I often did this thing where I hid the other camera in my pictures. It’s not particularly well hidden in this shot.

Neither one of them had a working light meter so I had to guess at every exposure. There was also no auto-focus. I’m hard core! That camera is awesome!

I found a completely ridiculous picture of myself, “hidden” camera and all, that I shall share with you because it’ll be my birthday when most of you read this and everyone should be made fun of on their birthday, right? Also, it’s relevant to this blog because I’M COOKING! Which believe me, wasn’t a common occurrence when I was in high school. It was probably Spaghetti-O’s. Need help deciding where to start making fun of it? Well, there’s the hair, obviously. That’s almost too obvious. And what am I LOOKING at? You may think I’m sharing a laugh with a friend, but the fact of the matter is this is a self-portrait. There was probably no one in the room with me but my tripod. And how unnatural do I look stirring that pot? Obviously my love of cooking has not yet taken root, although I did show inklings of it when I became a vegetarian, which I would have been when this picture was taken. I really didn’t get more sophisticated than Spaghetti-O’s too often, though. You can also make fun of the wallpaper, but I wasn’t responsible for that; that was all my parents. Anyway, I’m sorry it’s so small, but it’s my birthday gift to you:


  1. Stacy Said,

    October 19, 2011 @ 6:45 am

    I don’t have any ‘vitamin greens’ per se, but you’ve inspired me to go use up some of our garden chard :).

    Happy birthday! I think it’s a nice photo, and I honestly kind of miss Spaghetti-Os. I used to eat them on saltines. Classy.

  2. Mom Said,

    October 19, 2011 @ 8:47 am

    Happy Birthday to the best daughter in the world!

    I don’t think I ever realized that a camera was in the picture called “Big Hair Cooks.” The copy of the picture I have is slightly bigger than the one in your blog.

    I can’t believe I ever chose that horrible wallpaper. Luckily it isn’t in color in that picture.

    Both pictures of the cats are great. I really like the lighting in the one of Gomez. Maybe he is contemplating an escape.

  3. GetSkinnyGoVegan Said,

    October 19, 2011 @ 11:16 am

    VitaGreens, funny! Oz just had cranberry beans on for weight loss or something. Used to have an old mamiya and ADORED it.

  4. Lisa Goldstein Kieda Said,

    October 19, 2011 @ 12:45 pm

    Happy Birthday, Renae! So what year was the “Big Hair Cooks” photo taken? That could explain a lot!

    I actually thought of you this morning, when I was reading today’s NY Times. The dining section has a wonderful article about having a vegan harvest dinner party. Here’s the link:

    Have a wonderful celebration. Blessings and health and laughter to you and your family – human and otherwise (cats/raccoons).

    Lisa G/K

  5. Jes Said,

    October 19, 2011 @ 1:40 pm

    Aww, go Mark for eating greens & loving them! And happy birthday! That picture of you is priceless–and I’m really digging the wallpaper in the kitchen. 🙂

  6. Nina Said,

    October 19, 2011 @ 2:10 pm

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY, RENAE!!! I have to say, the hair is a show stopper. if you are interested, you can replicate that do and I can TRY to come up with something resembling this. When we’re done, we can make a cookbook entitled, “Twisted Sisters”.
    And THAT was my gift to you…an image that will never be lost 😉

  7. FoodFeud Said,

    October 19, 2011 @ 9:49 pm

    Happy Birthday! I think your hair looks great in that photo! I’m too frustrated with my curly hair to grow it out.
    Anyway, the vitamin greens sound like a great score. They’d better be healthy if they’re called vitamins!

  8. Zoa Said,

    October 19, 2011 @ 11:38 pm

    Hey, happy birthday, and I’m glad to see you’re having fun with your new camera. I’m still pretty focussed on that noodle-seitan-sauerkraut thing but came out of my kraut-induced trance to admire your vitamin greens–and no, I’d never heard of them either. Seems like a strange name for a vegetable…anyway, you’ve sold me for when I ever do come across them! And fresh cranberry beans…they sound heavenly. I’ve tried dried, but dried beans and fresh always taste like completely different things. My local vegetable market gets odd stuff in from time to time. I’ve tried breadfruit, and I’ve tried fresh favas, so maybe–

  9. Josiane Said,

    October 20, 2011 @ 11:44 am

    Sometimes, simple is best, especially with deliciously fresh vegetables!
    I really like black and white too. That pic of Torticia is gorgeous! Also, that old self-portrait? Priceless! Thanks for sharing it. 🙂

  10. Arlette Said,

    October 22, 2011 @ 1:15 am

    the greens do look a bit like what we Dutch call “zilverstelen” which would be translated literally something like ” silver stems”, they are related to chard. Love your blog!

  11. Issie Said,

    May 2, 2015 @ 6:05 pm

    Our Farmers Market opened this morning and I discovered “Vitamin Greens”. I had never seen or heard of them so, very naughtily, I pinched a little off one of the leaves to taste. Wow are they delicious just raw. I purchased a tray, the one I stole the leaf from, and am about to plant them.

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