Yum! Dandelion greens are just starting to show up at the markets, and do you know what that means? SPRING is right around the corner, as is spring detox time! Vancouver has been a balmy 6 degrees or so for the past few weeks – no, I’m not kidding (sorry to those in Ontario.. I shouldn’t make you so jealous). Today it was absolutely beautiful – crisp, sunny, not a cloud in the sky – and when I saw this beautiful bunch of dandelion greens I couldn’t resist.
Dandelion’s official name is Taraxacum officinale, and its common name is rooted in French origin: “dente de lion” means “tooth of the lion,” for the plants sharply indented leaves. In herbal medicine we use Taraxacum for many conditions, most commonly if we are trying to clear a congested liver and stimulate detoxification.
Here’s why you’ll be happy you made this recipe, chock-full of dandelion greens (beside the fact that it tastes divine..):
Health Benefits of Dandelion Greens
-They’re rich in calcium – just 1 cup of chopped dandelion greens has over 100 milligrams of calcium (that’s even more than kale!)
-They are high in iron – next to fresh parsley, dandelion greens have the highest iron content of the green leafy veggies. One cup contains about 1.7 milligrams of iron
-Dandelion greens are loaded with antioxidants – like vitamin A and vitamin C (assists the absorption of iron), zeaxanthan (protects your eyes from UV damage), carotene and lutein (protect against lung and oral cancers)
-They’re an ultimate detox and cleansing green – because they’re super liver-friendly. The nutrients in dandelion greens help to support the detoxification pathways of your liver, and their fiber content pushes toxins through your bowels for elimination
-They contain tons of minerals – like copper, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium and zinc (many of my patients are deficient in one or all of these) – and also in other vitamins like B6 (required for hormonal recycling and depleted by many medications like the oral birth control pill) and B9 (folate)
Enough of all that, let’s get to the goods. I made this.. incredible.. savoury.. belly-filling meal with my dandelion greens. It has filled me up and left me feeling satisfied and happy I’ve done something nice for my body. Hope you enjoy!
Roasted Garlic Dandelion Greens with Quinoa and Goat Cheese
Serves 2 (pretty hungry) people
1 large bulb of garlic
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups homemade chicken stock (or vegetable broth)
1 1/2 lbs organic dandelion greens (roughly one bunch), tough stems discarded and cut into 2″ pieces
3 ounces soft, fresh, goat cheese
1 cup of uncooked quinoa (any colour)
2 large eggs, free range and organic if possible
Coconut oil, for cooking your eggs
1 tablespoon gluten free flour (you may or may not need this)
1. Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees. Remove several outer layers of skin from the garlic bulb, leaving just one thin layer of skin attached. Cut off the top 1/2″ of the garlic head. Wrap it in foil, and put in a small baking dish. Bake the garlic until completely soft, about 35 minutes. After cooking, when the garlic is cool enough to handle, squeeze the pulp out onto a cutting board.
2. Bring chicken stock and garlic to a boil in a large sauté pan over high heat. Reduce heat to medium and let simmer for another 5 minutes. Add the dandelion greens, salt and pepper to taste. Cook, tossing, until the greens are slightly wilted (about 3 minutes). Add goat cheese and cook, whisking, until cheese is melted and liquid is creamy (about 3 minutes). *If the liquid is not thickened after 3 minutes, add a tablespoon of gluten free flour and whisk this in. It should help to thicken the liquid.
3. While the dandelion greens are cooking, cook the quinoa. Rinse the quinoa under cold water for 3 minutes in a strainer to clean. Add quinoa to a saucepan with 1 1/2 cups of water, cover and let simmer until all the water has been absorbed.
4. Add the quinoa to the sauté pan. Toss over low heat until heated through and well combined. In a smaller sauté pan, quickly fry an egg to desired done-ness with a tiny bit of coconut oil.
5. Serve garlic greens and quinoa topped with fried egg immediately. Look down to your liver and say “I love you, you’re welcome.”
Nom, nom, nom..