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Last Friday night, my good friend Jeni came over to cook a few meals for the week ahead. Jeni’s health transformation story is completely inspiring. We’re always sharing healthy lifestyle knowledge with each other and thought it’d be fun to spend some time applying it in the kitchen. Although she eats a healthy, well-balanced diet, she’s just not into cooking quite yet. I wanted to show her a few quick and healthy, affordable recipes. We split the cost of groceries and divvied up the end results into to-go containers for lunches.

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One of the dishes we made that night was a last-minute decision. She had never had wilted greens before, one of the darlings in my repertoire. We usually have a few bunches of greens in our cooler, so after a quick rinse and some chopping, we had rainbow chard sautéing away with garlic. A couple of minutes later, it was on the table. She approved.

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I had never had wilted greens before I met Matthew. It was one of the first things he cooked for me. I fell in love with the hearty green’s earthy taste against the bite of garlic. He walked me through the process, step by step, and ever since I’ve had wilted greens for dinner a few times each week. To make it a complete meal, poach or fry an egg or two and serve it alongside.

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Wilted Greens & Garlic
{gluten-free, vegan}

Serves 2-3

1 bunch of greens (Lacinato, purple, or green kale, collard greens,  escarole, chard, beet greens, dandelion greens)
5 large cloves of garlic, chopped
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flake
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 ounce of white wine (optional)
salt & pepper to taste

Wash and dry the greens. Cut out the spine and chop the greens into thin strips. They will wilt down, however you want avoid  the chance of picking up a green longer than your fork. If you are using Swiss chard, cut the spine into small pieces and cook it along with the garlic.

In a large pan, toast the garlic in the olive oil over medium heat until it begins to brown and becomes fragrant.

Add the greens and red pepper flake. Stir until they look wet and lose some of their body, for approximately 2-3 minutes. Season with salt & pepper. The salt will help  draw out some of the green’s own liquid.

Add the wine with 1 ounce of water, or just 2 ounces of water. Watch out for splattering!  We are steaming the greens here. Intense heat from the liquid evaporating in the pan will help cook faster and preserve a bright color.

When there are barely any traces of liquid left in the pan you are ready to serve. Garnish with a fresh squeeze of lemon if desired.

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