|The Weed Bag|
What’s in your Weed Bag (your Salad Bag)
Wild Spinach (Chenoposia/Lambs Quarters): Many people see Lambs Quarters as nothing more than a common weed, never realizing that it's a tasty and nutritious green vegetable. It grows all over America in many different habitats from rich farm soils to empty lots in the desert towns. Nutritive herbs are nutritional powerhouses. They play a major role in supplying the nutrients the body needs in order to heal itself. Many herbs are classed as ‘nutritives’ and are used as supportive or tonic remedies to build up overall health. The leaves and stems are edible and absolutely delicious, with a flavor that can be compared to spinach or chard with an earthy, mineral rich taste. The young leaves and smaller stems can also be eaten raw in salads.
Curly Mustard: Cooking greens from this plant are grown in both red and green varieties. This green provides a peppery flavor to assorted cooked dishes or when eaten raw. The taste may be too pungent or bitter for some, but if blanched in salt water, it decreases the sharp bite. Mustard greens can be sautéed or steamed and added with other ingredients such as meat and vegetables to become a tasty side dish. Also, when added to chicken soup, they add a nice complement.
Dill: To the Greeks the presence of dill was an indication of prosperity. In the 8th century, Charlemagne used it at banquets to relieve hiccups and in the Middle Ages it was used in a love potion and was believed to keep witches away. Its fernlike leaves are aromatic, and are used to flavor salmon, soup, cucumbers and pickles. Dill is said to be best when used fresh, as it loses its flavor rapidly if dried; however, frozen dill leaves preserve their flavor relatively well for a few months.
Arugula: Arugula is a spicy little leaf, which some describe as bitter and others characterize as having a "peppery-mustardy" flavor. Because it is so potent on its own, it is often mixed with milder greens to produce a nice balanced salad. It can also be sautéed in olive oil. You can substitute most any green for arugula, but the closest matches are Belgian endive, escarole, and dandelion greens.
New Zealand Spinach: New Zealand Spinach is valued because of it’s high vitamin A, vitamn B1, vitamin B2, and vitamin C content. Its is low in fat and fiber content. Great as a salad green
Purslane: Although purslane is sometimes considered a weed, but can be eaten as a leaf vegetable. The stems, leaves and flower buds are all good to eat. Purslane is great fresh in salads, stir-fried, sauted like spinach, or in soups and stews. Purslane contains more Omega-3 fatty acids, than any other leafy vegetable plants. Omega-3 fatty acids are normally found mostly in fish, some algae and flax seeds. It is also high in vitamins C, D, and A.