How to cook beet greens in the orthodox way is really very simple; wash the leaves, perhaps de-vein the stalks if they look old and tough, and drop them into boiling water.
One minute later they are ready for the dinner plate; sprinkled with small cubes of tofu or feta cheese will make it look more interesting, and tasty.
However, this page looks at interesting ways that add more value and turn this dark green leafy vegetable into a whole meal.
You don't have an induction stove? They're inexpensive, cook using half the electricity and are more than twice as fast as gas or a conventional hob.
The problem very often though is that by the time your beetroot arrives home, the tops have wilted and are looking bedraggled; and they may have spots of mildew and look quite unappetising.
The secret to really lovely, delicious beet greens is to grow them in your own garden. The root we find quite difficult, going to seed very easily; we used to find this depressing, until we realised that the abundance of leaves produced were every bit as nutritious as the bulb.
I would only reluctantly use old beet greens for any dish, though, no different to wilted lettuce for a salad.
The ingredients for this dish are as variable as you choose, but the basics are half an onion, washed and sliced beet tops and an egg.
To that you can add a few leaves of any other dark green leafy vegetable in the garden; for example, spinach and kale. Then half a dozen freshly podded peas, or even young broad beans would not go amiss. Add your favourite herbs and spices such as garlic, a slither of jalapeno and some young leaves of cilantro; whatever comes to hand.
How to cook beet greens with a little more effort can make a whole meal; that means you need some fat and protein too.
So, make a start with a lump of butter, chopped onion and garlic and, for tonight's supper I've chosen fresh green peas and broad beans because we have an abundance at the moment in the garden.
They take just a little longer than your beet greens to cook, so get them started first. Add a slither of jalapeno and a couple cloves of garlic if you like. Make the dish your own by varying it every time you prepare this delicious dish.
It's particularly versatile by the way; you could just as easily enjoy it on a slice of toast for breakfast, as the main course together with mashed potato for supper.
While the onion is simmering, wash the beet tops several times, keeping a sharp lookout for slugs and snails; do you like escargot? Then cut off any woody looking stalks, and de-vein them if they are a bit old; from the grocer you have little choice, but from the garden we pick young leaves to save us the schlep of doing that.
Notice that I've tossed in a leaf of Swiss chard along with the beet greens; each have their own unique mix of carotenoids, and phytochemicals like betaine and choline, improving the flavour and nutrition of the dish.
This is a young leaf and de-veining really wasn't necessary.
Chop them up very roughly like this; there's no need to go overboard; keep it simple. It does help release the nutrients from your beet greens.
Toss the chopped leaves on your simmering onions, and whatever else you've decided to include in your breakfast. Yes, we mostly enjoy this in the morning.
Add a few tablespoons of boiling water, add just a smidgen of seasalt and bring rapidly to the boil with the lid on; some authorities say leave the lid off but I really can't see the advantage of that. I'm hungry, and I want my breakfast now!
If you enjoy this how your beet greens quite sloshy on your toast, then add rather more water; I like it that way, but the boss doesn't so she takes first and then I serve myself with all the remaining juices; yes, so I get all the oxalic acid. In terms of the whole meal, full of roughage and on a slice of 100% wholemeal toast it hasn't troubled my kidneys in all these years.
Boil your beet tops hard for a couple minutes, and then plop a couple eggs onto the leaves. Replace the lid and set the toaster; when it pops your eggs will be done and you can turn off the induction stove or gas; a conventional electric you would switch off rather sooner.
To have yolks like these there's no substitute; find a genuine source of free range cage free eggs. They will cost double and are worth every cent if you're interested in the omega-3 and all the phytochemicals that are so different from pasture fed hens. The alternative is to a bit crazy like Bernard Preston and keep your own hens!
Able to tuck in themselves to the dark green leafy vegetables in our garden, enjoy the snails and slugs and a daily helping from the worm farm, they lay the very best of eggs. We wouldn't sell them; it's hard work producing eggs of this calibre. If you are serious about reaching a healthy eighty with all your marbles intact and taking little or no medication then you make the time instead of watching television, or going three times a week to the golf course.
Generally I make no apology for my photographs, but I must confess the final picture, the most important of how to cook beet greens does look a little like a dog's breakfast! Just because I'm a little weird I deliberately chose the chipped plate? Do you have any of them in your home? Bring them out when the guests come!
Seriously, though, this a disgustingly delicious and healthy meal; the added avocado is for the men; the man in the house needs the beta-sitosterol to keep the prostate happy. The boss likes her avo on the toast, but because my cholesterol is so low I can enjoy butter.
Yes, butter is back and should never have been banished.
If you are going to bake your own bread, and I highly recommend it, then use a breadmachine and only healthy flour; otherwise you are more or less reproducing the junk sold in most supermarkets, masquerading as the staff of life. It's as different as butter is to margarine.
It's hard to fine 100% wholemeal bread, but I spied this loaf at the baker in Ludlow, in Shropshire. Here's ours.
You may be thinking this is way too far over the top; you simply don't have the time. Take just one feature from this page that catches your attention and appeals to you.
Better health is achieved one step at a time.
Ask any doctor involved with functional medicine and they'll tell you to look to choline food sources to counter the cataclysmic flood of inflammatory illnesses we are encountering in the Western world. Whether it's coeliac disease of the large bowel, cardiovascular catastrophes, arthritis or cancer, we are in a mess; just add an egg when you know how to cook beet greens.
It's a complex subject obviously, but much has to do with limited essential ingredients in the body to break down toxic homocysteine, a normal metabolite of protein digestion.
Without adequate choline in the diet there's an inevitable build up of homocysteine; thankfully the literature now clearly shows the humble egg is not a cause of heart disease; it's the best choline food source.
Bread made with 100% wholemeal incidentally is also a rich source of choline but there's none in the refined loaf; it's all in the bran and germ.
What is betaine is an important question for all chiropractic patients; it's the precursor to a very important enzyme called BHMT; for those with a biochemical background its full name is betaine-homocysteine S-methyltransferase. How to cook beet greens is one of the simplest solutions.
Without adequate levels of betaine, and other vitamins, the cells are unable to methylate and detoxify homocysteine.
Why do two patients with similar chiropractic or medical conditions respond so differently to treatment? Obviously it's a complex subject, but a build up of inflammatory homocysteine is part of the cause.
Stress raises it too, for example. When did you last take a proper holiday?
What on earth has how to cook beet greens got to do with chiropractic you may well be asking? It's all about inflammation and that's the business of every single doctor of any ilk; it reflects itself as back pain for the chiropractor, bowel disease for the internist, cardiovascular occlusion for the cardiologist and Alzheimer's for the psychiatrist.
It's the simple things that make for better health; less sugar and refined cakes and cookies, more greens and the healthy fats.