Tangy, peppery mustard greens are a true superfood and, lucky for us, freshly available on Grand Cayman. Here’s why you should eat this cruciferous (really, really good for you) leafy green:
• high levels of antioxidants
• detoxifies your liver and blood
• helps lower cholesterol
• packed with phytonutrients
• high in fibre
• high in bone-building vitamin K
• good source of immune-boosting vitamin C
• provides skin- and eye-health protection
Here is an easy, go-to recipe that ticks all the boxes for me during the week: meatless, healthy, quick to make and tasty:
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, more for drizzling
2 medium local carrots, peeled and chopped
small fennel bulb or 2 celery stalks, chopped
medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon curry powder
2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary (optional)
2 cups vegetable stock (or water)
1 (15-ounce) can organic chickpeas, rinsed and drained
¾ cup roughly chopped local cherry tomatoes
½ cup whole wheat orzo or brown rice
5 oz chopped mustard greens
Salt and freshly cracked
2 Chopped scallions (optional)
¼ cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, more as needed
In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the carrots, fennel or celery, and onion. Cook until tender, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic, curry powder and rosemary, if using, and cook another 2 minutes. Pour in the vegetable stock, if using, or water, plus an additional 2 cups water and bring to a boil.
Once the mixture is boiling, add the chickpeas, tomatoes and orzo. Reduce to a simmer and cover with a lid. Simmer 10 minutes, or until the orzo is tender. Uncover and stir in the greens, letting them simmer until soft, about 2 minutes.
Add more water if you want the mixture to be more soup-like, and season with salt and pepper. Ladle into bowls and top with chopped scallions (if desired), grated cheese and a drizzle of olive oil.
Maureen Cubbon is the wellness director for Bestlife Wellness Solutions and chef with Bon Vivant in Camana Bay.