Last week, my mom watched our kids while Christine and I rode our bikes 540 miles from Burlington, VT to Palmerton, PA. On the ride, we ate voluminous quantities of French toast, pancakes, scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, BBQ brisket, pork, turkey, and chicken, and we drank gallons of water, orange juice, Gatorade, coffee, pilsner, lager, IPA, and porter. All the food (and some of the drink) was donated by VFWs, Elks, American Legions, Ommegang Brewery and other community service organizations. It was amazing to feel the love and support of so many people in small towns down the East Coast, encouraging us to pedal on in our quest to raise money for cancer research and treatment. The Pennsylvania Perimeter Ride raised about $150,000 on this ride, bringing the total funds raised for the history of the ride to more than $1 million.
We settled into being home last Sunday, tired, sore, and delirious. As we rifled through the fridge to wrassle up some lunch, a few new vegetables appeared in the produce bins. “Hmm…I didn’t buy dandelion greens and turnips before we left,” I thought to myself. But there they were—all plump and beckoning. It seems my mom’s cruise last spring has had a lasting effect on her. In March, she went on a “wellness” cruise, and heard all about the benefits of a macrobiotic diet from health professionals like Dr. Neal Barnard. She’s eating waaaay more vegetables than she did before the cruise. And that’s a good thing.
Long after my mom drove home, I was staring at her leftover veggies in our fridge. Christine said, “What are these?” ogling what looked like peeled hardboiled eggs in a ziplock bag. “They’re turnips,” I said. She gave me a quizzical look and moved on to the pantry.
The turnips will last a few days, but the dandelion greens were starting to look sad today, so I made them into a side dish for lunch. Sure, it’s 87ºF outside and our house is made of brick (brick oven pizza anyone?), but this dish is so quick and easy, it won’t heat up the kitchen too much. It’s one of my favorite ways to prepare cooking greens—whether beet greens, chard, spinach, or dandelion greens. Saute some garlic and ginger in sesame oil, add the greens and a little soy sauce, then cook the greens until they just start to wilt. Scatter on sesame seeds and enjoy. For the dandelions, I added some honey to balance their bitterness. If you want it spicy, you can toss in some crushed red pepper, too.
Simple recipe, right? It takes less than five minutes and sure beats letting all those good greens go to waste.