Eating greens in the winter

Perhaps we get it from the not to subtle psychology of the Popeye cartoons, but there seems to be a requirement that at least one meal a day contain fresh veggies. And it usually needs to be green leafy veggies. Whatever the deeply ingrained source of this compulsion is, I think it sometimes leads us astray.

The past few weeks we had been trying to fit a nice bit of leaves into our meals, and it wasn’t really working. We are really good at working veggies into our meals, the tend to be easier to prepare well than many other things. The problem is that we are in the middle of bleak winter, and thus very far from the growing season of our favorite green friends. The greens we have been able to get are of pretty low quality and die dreadfully fast in the fridge. Keeping them upright from one grocery day to the next has actually become impossible. Not to mention the shrinking list of organic veggies to be found at any price. The stress of not meeting the ideal of one-green-veggie-per-meal was beginning to depress my wife, and possibly defeating the point of eating greens to begin with. The obvious solution? Just stop eating greens! Well, maybe not quite that extreme, but a friend encouraged us to try eating more of what we felt like eating. Maybe our bodies could help us navigate our meals better than Popeye can. So, this week we had Winter Food. The highlights from our meal plan the past week was:

Tuna salad sandwiches with boiled egg, celery, homemade mayonnaise, spiced with a little crushed up chipotle pistachios, and spaghetti squash with olives

Enchilada casserole with (sprouted corn) tortillas, pastured ground beef, beans, sour cream and lots of cheese

Broiled cod with collard greens (cooked in vinegar and bacon) and homemade macaroni-and-cheese bake, made with some raw cheeses, milk, and cream

Bone-in-chuck roast with garlic mashed potatoes (our green beans got fuzzy before we could cook them)

We did have a salad in there somewhere, but it wasn’t very special, so I forget which meal it went with.

I have to say, I really think this experiment was a success. We ate some greens, but didn’t bend over backward to fit them in where they don’t belong. Now, I can imagine what would happen if we left out green food forever, but I think a break now and then is good. I can say that our emotional state is now much improved, and we actually look forward to cooking dinner each night. So, if your weekly menu is getting too boring, or if your body is telling you to lighten up on the veggies, then take a break! Eat how your body wants to.


One response to “Eating greens in the winter

  • Rach

    We spent time in Mongolia….where it appears they eat very little veg at all. Summer is time for milk products (the family we stayed with would eat milk or youghurt three times a day, with perhaps some bread) and winter was time for meat and fat. Vegetables were an occasional luxury, fruit even more so.

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