Read on to hear more about cooking with mustard greens, the health benefits and get this yummy recipe for Lemon Turmeric Chicken Quinoa Soup with mustard greens. where Chicken Soup gets an anti-inflammatory boost from turmeric and mustard greens. It takes everyone’s favorite cold season health elixir to the next level! I’ve added in lemon and dill to make it super tasty and the quinoa stands in for noodles for added protein and fiber!
After four summers of tending a vegetable garden, this is the first where I have successfully grown a round of cool weather end-of-season veggies. Meaning, back in August, I sewed new seeds, and now in October, I’ve been bringing in mesclun greens, radishes and mustard greens from the garden! Yay me!
I think partly it’s due to the fact that it got cool in late August here in Vermont, so that the seeds could start off okay, and then we got a long stretch of warm weather. Yay nice weather!
Anywhoo, when I was working developing this anti-inflammatory Lemon Turmeric Chicken Quinoa Soup- I was super excited to incorporate turmeric, which everyone knows is a really helpful anti-inflammatory ingredient to add to our diets. But then I rememeberd those mustard greens in my garden and they were just the ticket to boost both the flavor and the health benefits of the recipe!
Because when it comes to health benefits, Mustard Greens have got it goin’ on!
Health Benefits of Mustard Greens
- -Mustard Greens are loaded- nay !!bursting!!! With Vitamin K! One cup of Mustard greens provided 524% of the RDA of Vitamin K.
- -Mustard greens are high in the antioxidants A and C. With 177% and 59% of the RDA respectively. Antioxidants help to prevent cell damage from oxidative stress caused by free radicals. This also provides anti-inflammatory benefits and may help to prevent macular degeneration as well.
- – Mustard Greens are in the Brassica Family (which also includes superfoods such as broccoli and cabbage.) This family of vegetables is associated with lowered risk of heart attack and atherosclerosis. Mustard greens may also lower cholesterol.
Tips for Storing and Cooking with Mustard Greens
- -When you bring your mustard greens in from the field or market, submerge them in cool water. Drain and repeat until no sand or dirt is in the bottom of the bowl of water.
- -Spin dry and store in good quality bags. I like Peakfresh reusable Produce bags and Glad Storage Zipper Gallon. Press extra air out of the bag, but do not crush leaves. Keep in the produce drawer up to 5 days.
- – Not to bury the lead, but Mustard Greens are quite peppery in flavor! (Just like our favorite condiment- prepared mustard which comes from the seeds of the mustard plant!) You may have had them raw in a mesclun mix and gotten quite a surprise! The flavor is similar to wasabi, radish or horseradish. Depending on the variety, age and growing conditions, greens can vary widely in heat level.
- -If you want to eat them raw, make sure you choose tender young mustard greens. They have generally the mildest flavor. Also hot growing conditions can make them hotter in flavor, so mustard greens grown in colder temperatures are sweeter and often less spicy.
- – Mustard greens are in season in fall through the spring. Avoid mustard greens that have turned yellow along the edges or are wilted. They are past their prime, and have likely lost much of their phytonutrients.
- -Though it is edible, I recommend removing the center stem from mature mustard greens as you would for kale. The stem is tender, but the texture is a bit wimpy when cooked. Sort of like overcooked bok choy. Not my fave. Leave a comment below if you have any tips on how to use mature mustard green stems in a favorable way. I always love learning new ways to prepare veggies!
- -Mature mustard greens are best either wilted or cooked. One of my favorite ways to prepare them is to roast thin-skinned potatoes. Then when they come out of the oven, toss them with several cups of torn mustard green leaves. I make a dressing with whole grain mustard, cider vinegar and a drizzle of maple syrup and toss the whole shootin’ match in a big bowl. The heat from the potatoes wilts the greens and the bold flavors in the dressing tame the peppery greens! It’s divine!
- -Mustard greens cook very fast, like spinach or chard. Cook them until wilted, and then just a wee moment longer. Cooking will tame the heat a bit. This is great for those folks who are trying for the first time.
- -If you’ve never tried them before and your are looking to slowly incorporate mustard greens into your diet, try adding a handful of mustard greens into garlicky sautéed spinach or chard, then add a splash of apple cider vinegar or balsamic vinegar just before taking it off the heat. Delish!
- – And possibly the easiest way to start cooking with mustard greens is to add them to soup. Especially a soup with other strong flavors like curry, or a hearty lentil soup with coriander or since you’re here: why not try this Lemon Turmeric Chicken Quinoa Soup. Just stir them in at the end of the cooking time! You’ll love it!
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Lemon Turmeric Chicken QUinoa Soup with Mustard Greens and fresh dill. It is a super flavorful and healthy soup for cold season with natural anti-inflamatory benefits.
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 large yellow onion, diced
- 1 cup diced carrot
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 8 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
- 1 red bell pepper diced
- ½ cup diced celery
- 2 teaspoons herbs de Provence or Italian seasoning
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast
- ½ cup rinsed quinoa
- 2 cups chopped mustard greens or baby spinach
- ½ teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
- Heat oil in a large heavy bottomed soup pot over medium-high heat. Add garlic, onion, carrot, salt and turmeric and cook, stirring occasionally until the vegetables are softened and starting to brown, 6 to 8 minutes.
- Add broth, bell pepper, celery and herbs de Provence and bring to a simmer over high heat. Add chicken and quinoa and return to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low to maintain a gentle simmer, and cook stirring occasionally, until the chicken is cooked through and the quinoa is tender, 15 to 17 minutes. Remove from the heat.
- Remove the chicken from the soup with tongs. Set on cutting board, and shred with two forks. Stir the chicken, greens lemon zest, lemon juice and dill into the soup and stir until the greens are wilted. Serve hot.
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