Wild Arkansas

November 5, 2011

Leafy green blues

Filed under: food, health, organic greens, wellness — Tags: , , , , — WildArkansas @ 12:54 am

 Twenty-five years ago I read a health article from a popular woman’s magazine that told me if I ate leafy greens at least twice a week I would avoid the perils of premenstrual crabbiness.

I was a skeptic, but I tried it. The “experiment” began two weeks before menses. I ate bok choy, spinach, turnip greens and lots of lettuce. That time of the month came and went with no significance and that was the evidence.

My husband told me that since we had been married, he had not gotten through a month without having to deal with the mood changes. For him this was a remakable improvment, simply because there were no petty arguments escalating to talk of divorce.

Upon recall, I remembered feeling as if he was being a jerk simply because he watched a ball game.

But that was twenty-five years ago and times and the people have changed.

Today we have more incidence of food-related illnesses and food-related behaviors than we did back then. More people eat fast food and more children suffer from ADHD.

Children consume pizza and chicken McNuggets as regular diet staples and unfortunately suffer from that consumption. Diabetes, obesity and mood disorders are a result.

From my own experience, I know what I consume affects my moods and my health. After my juicing experiment I began eating a lot more leafy greens again. My diet consists of mostly vegetables and fruits, though I do eat some fish.

The before and after are remarkable, only in that they are graphic representations of the way I felt about the world around me.

Before: my diet consisted of whatever was in the house. When I shopped for food, I shopped for convenience. What would take less time to prepare? What can I pop in the microwave? Taste, comfort and convenience were the most important factors. I ate fruits or vegetables about once a week or when I foraged them.

Comfort included not dealing with other people. When I had to deal with other people I tried to make the experience as brief as possible.

Now: I deal with people daily because I also work as a customer service representative. Fortunately, today it’s not nearly as traumatic an experience as it was a month ago.

That sounds and feels like an extreme statement of fact, but in fact, it is true.

In the age of information it’s difficult to believe that people don’t know eating pizza or other fast food every night is not bad for them. Maybe it’s denial.

Listen to your mother. Leafy greens are good for you. Eat your vegetables. Eat fruit for dessert. I guarantee…Yes, I guarantee… You will be a happier, healthier person for it.





May 3, 2011

Filed under: foraging, organic greens, trails — Tags: , , — WildArkansas @ 5:31 pm

For locals ready to get out and gather, our wait is finally over.

Spring is here. Right?  After this last bout of bad weather I’m hesitant to say we can “Spring” into action once again. But I’m ready to make a go of it.

I’m currently in Siloam Springs (awaiting the asparagus) and have started walking along the Dogwood Springs Trail again. All kinds of green beings are poking their heads out.

This morning’s observations:

Poke greens, curly dock, sheep sorrel, wild carrot, lambsquarters, dandelion, chick weed, chicory (greens), lady fingers…

I know there’s more to come soon. Someone mentioned wild plums this morning (which I’ve never collected) so I’m on the lookout.

An added note: I’m not currently having the regular walks, but if you happen to be coming by Siloam in the coming weeks, shoot me an email and if there’s time we can take a stroll around the area.

Safe foraging.

October 11, 2010

Gloria’s Kitchen

Filed under: Gloria's Kitchen, lambsquarters, organic greens, recipe — Tags: , — gloria1083 @ 2:36 am

Wild spinach stuffed chicken breast

1/2 cup wild spinach

2 chicken breast

1/2 cup shredded cheese (optional)

6 strips bacon

2-1/2 tbsp zesty Italian dressing and marinade

garlic powder, salt, pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees while preparing mixture and breast

Rinse the wild spinach with luke warm water in drainer, then squeeze out excess water, set aside.

Chop bacon, fry in pan on medium heat.  Cook until brown and crispy.

Remove bacon, but leave grease in pan.  Add the wild spinach and cook on low for 2 mins turning constantly.

Drain. Put the wild spinach on a plate and mince.  Add bacon, 1/2 cup shredded cheese of your choice, and wild spinach in a bowl and mix.  Add a pinch of salt pepper and garlic powder.

Chicken breast-

Wash your chicken thoroughly.  Put your breast on a plate and tilt it to the side, cut down the middle about an inch into the breast.  Stuff with bacon, cheese and wild spinach mixture.

Rub the entire chicken with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.    Use 1/2 tbsp of zesty Italian dressing on top of chicken.  In baking pan coat the bottom with 2 tbsp zesty Italian dressing, place chicken breast in baking pan.

Bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes covering pan with foil.  Take remaining mixture and place on top of breast finished.  Place breast back in the oven for 5 minutes.  Serve on bed of rice or your favorite pasta.

September 14, 2010

Scouting Siloam

I made it back to  Siloam Springs yesterday and began scouting the area to see what has changed in the past month. I’ve found quite a few edible weeds.

If you use pokeberry to dye with, the season is getting short. The berries are more than ready and beautiful as ever, but you need to pick them soon.

Epazote is going to seed. There are still a few hangers-on, but the next two weeks you may want to start checking plants daily to see if they have turned brown yet, to plant for next year or trading online.

The field amaranth here is almost completely seed. If you have the patience to grind flour, now is the time to collect.

The wide leaf dock is looking beautiful. We just got a new growing spurt, so it’s time for fresh greens.

New mullein – meaning just the new leaf is sprouting. If you’re just collecting leaf, there’s quite a bit of on the edges of wooded areas and along fences.

Last, but not least, the lambsquarters are still leafy. I’ve been collecting quite a bit of it for freezing so if you run across large patches in the area that look a bit thin on leaf, you may have come behind me.

July 17, 2010

Lambs quarters prep

Filed under: foraging, lambsquarters, organic greens, recipe — Tags: , , , , — WildArkansas @ 4:37 pm

Simple is best. I gathered lambs quarters this morning and though I’ve never prepared it, I took a chance and used it as I have other greens.

Thrown in with a bit of oil, salt and pepper to taste, I cooked it until the leaves turned a darker green color (spinach green).

Daughter #1 tried it and said it smells and tastes like spinach. I don’t think so. I think it tastes like lambs quarters, though it does have the texture, color and smell of spinach.

This is a clean, organic green that grows everywhere in NW Arkansas.

The cost of organic spinach at Ozark Natural Foods is currently:

$6.99 lb in bulk

$2.49 by bunch/bunches are from 1-1.5 lbs.

Lambs quarters nutrition information

High in vitamin C, rich in riboflavin, one cup of cooked lambs quarters provides an excellent source of vitamin A, folate, magnesium, potassium, vitamins E, B6, and thiamine. Substantially more nutrients than cultivated spinach.

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