Green Fry: brussels sprouts, kale, chard, green garlic, asparagus

Sunday has become my Green Fry day. Why? Because:
1. I go to Farmer’s Market on Sunday and get very excited to put my new veggies to good use
2. I make a big pan full of the Greens, perfect to eat over the next few days so I don’t have to even think about cooking
3. It’s part of my Quickie Prep! On Sundays I set-up my week by making a few foods that will be ready to eat in a instant. In addition to the Green Fry, I also Grocery Shop with Purpose- thinking for a few minutes about what meals I would want to eat that upcoming week! I also poach, grill or bake a few chicken breasts so they are ready to eat after just adding my fave sauce!

Just to clarify, a green fry, like a “stir-fry” has nothing to do with frying food. Instead, it is a combo of anything healthy and green in your fridge that you throw into a pan and cook into one of the easiest, healthiest dishes you can make. Plus, you are cleaning out your fridge so that those veggies that you bought last weekend don’t go to waste. And here’s the best thing, your meal is a total Bites with Benefits meal and you’re only consuming about 40 calories per cup! Yes… that’s it!

Really, it’s one of the least restrictive dishes. Yup, there are few rules- except that you have to use your veggies (try to use all green), you can’t use butter, and oil should be kept to a 2 tablespoon maximum (if any at all).

But… there are techniques that can help make this dish good. Here’s the thing. I tend not to cook with a strict recipe. In fact, I’m pretty bad at following recipe rules. How do I tell what flavors will be good together, if maybe I should add another spice, or an additional ingredient? I put the spice jar next to the pot or pan and try to get a whiff of both scents together. If it’s a fit, I put a few shakes into it.

-Put the pan or pot on low heat
-Once it gets hot, coat the inside with olive oil spray
-If you’re using onions, add them in first and allow time to soften- releasing the natural sugars and sweetness
-Instead of cooking with oil, use chicken or vegetable stock, a little white wine, or even just water.
-Use sea salt to draw out the flavors
-Don’t be afraid of fresh spices and herbs if you have them- they add nutrients and flavor without fat or calories
-Mushrooms release a lot of water, so if you need liquid, put in the mushrooms at the beginning.
-Cover the pot or pan to allow the veggies to steam without losing the moisture.
-If using garlic, know that it burns easily so make sure not to let it sit on the bottom of the pan for too long without other veggies.
-I use tomato pasta sauce a lot to add extra flavor and save time. Add it about 5 minutes before you’re done cooking.
-Use any fresh green veggies you have.
-Try to cut the veggies to about the same size so that they need a similar amount of time to cook down.
-Add a few shakes of cinnamon at the end to enhance the flavor and add depth.

Ingredients… this time around:

(the amount depends on what you have in your fridge)
Swiss Chard
Brussels Sprouts (I sliced them thin like cookies)
Green Garlic (yes, fresh garlic including the greens!)
Sea Salt
White Pepper
Red Pepper Flakes
Pasta Sauce (1/2 cup)

Today I topped it with a little bit of Light Smart Balance buttery spread and some Parmesan cheese.

Other Ingredients that Work:

Bok Choy
Toasted Sesame Oil (just a little)
Teriyaki Sauce

If you want to, use this recipe as a side dish, a main dish, a snack, or to top on spaghetti squash, meatballs, or pasta.


(***that’s green garlic across the top of the photo- that’s a whole one, just to show it. But it’s actually chopped up in the green fry***)


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