Let me state for the record that I have never. EVER. been a fan of leafy greens and generally less common vegetables. I grew up as a meat, potato flakes and canned green beans kinda girl. We always drank milk instead of juice or soda (or water for that matter–always milk). Occasionally a rare submarine sandwich and coveted “Yoohoo” drink. The occasional Chef Boyardee from a can or hot dog and beans. And I cooked for my mom a bit from the age of 8-12. Hey… single mom of 3 in the late 70s-early 80s who got off of welfare.
So I wasn’t really an adventurous sort when it came to new foods in general.
I DID manage to branch into the more common American leafy greens via my membership in a CSA where I had to learn to do something with kale and chard. My sister-in-law did NOT grow up cooking and regularly used recipes from a cookbook. She has no clue what an awesome thing that is because she always cooks something new and out of the ordinary. Case in point: wilted spinach with garlic and pine nuts. This is now my staple recipe for all things green and leafy.
But then there’s bok choi… or bok choy… or pak choi… or… whatever. This is now delving TOO far out of my comfort zone. This isn’t the quirky American food that you know is good for you but have no exposure to. This is… well… what IS it??
And I keep getting it… and giving it to the chickens. Along with the lettuce (that I know darned well what to do with). But every penny counts now… so I need to learn how to use bok choy.
Sure enough, my default greens recipe works. On the advice of another produce coop coordinator, I used EVOO with minced garlic and powdered ginger (the only form I have in the house) despite the fact that I dreaded the potential for it to taste too Asian. I’m so NOT into Asian food… that I know of. I don’t stray too much on the Chinese food menu. I’m a regular “chicken chow mein, no cornstarch or MSG please and a shrimp egg roll” lady when I partake.
So I chopped up the bok choi, stalk and all. I noticed that when I cut the bottom off it looked like a flower. Noting for future reference. I held it together and sliced the whole thing into 1/2″ “slices” and threw it all in the pot of EVOO with minced garlic that had already started cooking. And just because I had some leftover snow peas, but not enough for a meal, I threw them in, too. Yet another food we are just venturing into (Mike steamed them for dinner the other day).
So bravo!! It DIDN’T taste bitter or Asian-y. It was actually pretty good. So the chickens will have to do without bok choi and I can stop throwing away a few more dollars of food.