One of my favorite grocery stores to shop at is regionally owned and operated in the North West with only 5 locations. The location I frequent has the biggest produce section I’ve ever seen in a grocery store, with local and organic options in addition to conventional produce. On a recent trip to stock up on dark leafy green and root veggies, I met a couple who where searching for the kale.
The husband was holding a familiar yet unknown vegetable to him trying to figure out what it was. Being a little more sociable than I normally am in public, I interjected to say it was kohlrabi. He mentioned they had eaten it when visiting another country, but never knew what it was exactly. The wife, who was seated in one of those electronic scooter carts, asked me if I knew where the kale was since she wasn’t sure which of the dark leafy greens it was. Having been known in my day to come home with cabbage instead of iceberg lettuce, I could relate. She kept reading about kale and they decided to try it. The couple wanted to start eating more vegetables and new foods in an effort to improve their health and lose weight.
That’s when I lit up. It’s not that I’m that ecstatic about kale. Don’t get me wrong, I love me some kale chips. But what really got me excited was the chance to talk about kale with this couple. If they could get excited about one food change maybe it would lead them to some of the same life altering positive changes eliminating processed foods did for me.
We talked about how to make kale chips. How to remove the stems. Trying different seasoning options. And giving it more than one shot, because often you have to try something multiple times before you like it. The wife saw me put rainbow chard in my cart. Which lead us to discuss my current favorite way to cook rainbow chard. At this point we were all happy just standing in the produce section of the grocery store talking about veggies.
Reading an article in the Harvard Business Review, regarding a study about positive work conversations versus negative conversations and the effects they have on the chemistry of the brain, reminded me again of the couple in the grocery store. Positive comments and discussions release oxytocin, which is a feel good hormone. The positive conversation the three of us had in the produce section must have released oxytocin for all of us since we all left the store with smiles on our faces and baskets full of dark leafy greens. Which is probably why sharing and talking about my favorite recipes makes me so happy. To keep the oxytocin flowing here is a recipe for mushrooms and rainbow (or red) chard.
- 1 cup sliced cremini or white button mushrooms
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 bunch of red or rainbow chard with stems - diced (set stems aside, separate from chard leaves, with mushrooms)
- 1 lemon
- sea salt and pepper, to taste
- Melt butter in heated skillet over medium heat.
- Add mushrooms and chard stems to melted butter.
- Sprinkle salt and pepper, to taste, onto mushrooms and chard stems.
- Saute for 2-5 minutes, stirring frequently, until the mushrooms are lightly brown. Add more butter if the thirsty mushrooms have soaked up all the butter in the skillet.
- Add chard leaves to skillet. Mix chard leaves with mushrooms and chard stems, stirring slowly until the leaves are wilted.
- Remove skillet from heat and place mushroom chard mixture on a plate.
- Squeeze juice from one lemon over the mushroom chard mixture. Enjoy!
Interested in Kale Chip recipes? Check out a few of my favorite recipes: