I live my life by following two basic rules. 1) Don't drink anything that Don Draper wouldn't drink 2) Eat green at every meal. The former has led me to favor bars where very old men both drink and tend the bar, so I am able to get my hands on a decent Old Fashioned, Manhattan or Martini (Gin!)... you'd be amazed at how many bartenders under age 50 I have flummoxed with my Classic Cocktail requests! The latter has caused me to force such a huge quantity of green things down my gullet, that I feel it sometimes borders on comedy. Or that I have pigeonholed myself into being Ms. Stereotypical Vegan, with my diet consisting so largely of kale and broccoli. I may have escaped 13 years of Catholic School unscathed, but I admit I feel true guilt when my lunch or dinner plate contains nothing green.
As far as I'm concerned, the most important and healthiest foods to eat are green veggies, especially the dark, leafy ones. I'm not making this up... look at ANY list of "Superfoods" or "Top Ten Healthiest Foods to Eat More Of" and leafy greens will be the one food that everyone can agree on. So, in spite of myself, I have learned to gorge on the stuff. With no exaggeration, before I was 25 years old, I ate NOTHING GREEN, with the exception of the occasional broccoli (preferably covered in cheese), peas (drowning in butter) and iceberg lettuce (on a sandwich or burger). Now, I am doing penance for those unhealthy (but, I admit, incredibly happy and delicious!) years where everything on my plate was some shade of beige or white.
Last night, I made Pasta alle Erbe. If my dinner is going to contain a full 2 bunches of greens, at least let me have an ample amount of pasta, a ton of garlic and a dose of crushed red pepper to help me choke it down! Besides, this recipe encourages you to Choose Your Own Greens.... so, what better time to incorporate that mysterious Lamb's Quarter I picked out at the Farmer's Market? For the curious, here's some Lamb's Quarter:
And I am happy to report that I now know that I like Lamb's Quarter! That is, I like it as much as I like any other green leafy vegetable.... which is to say, not much, but well enough that I can manage to force myself to eat my own weight in green vegetables at almost every single meal of my life. Lamb's Quarter is mild and smooth, with a taste and consistency very much like spinach. It was a fine counterpart to the Black Kale which I paired it with in the Pasta alle Erbe. As a side dish, I prepared Lemon Roasted Cauliflower with Capers, because I am a maniac, and the 2 bunches of greens in the pasta just wasn't enough veggies for a complete meal. At least I actually like cauliflower!
Although I do go over the top with the veggies, and especially the green vegetables, I recognize that everyone needs balance in their diets. So I say, bring on the Manhattans! ;-)