We all know what vegetables are, right? Carrots, celery, tomatoes (technically a fruit), lettuce, broccoli, spinach, etc. But what if I told you that there is a wide variety of vegetables and edible plants that grow almost year round, which contain more nutrients than our traditional vegetables? Would you want to add them to your diet? I think you would because, unlike annuals, edible perennials are planted only once, and you will have them for years to come without ever planting a seed again. Oh, and they can add a beautiful dimension to any landscape!
There are some people that are apprehensive to eat edible perennials because they fear the unknown, and I can understand that. But I am sure that at some point, people were afraid to try artichokes, or beets, or Brussel sprouts before they realized how delicious they tasted. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying these edibles will taste like the vegetables that you know, but I am saying you will absolutely love them! I learned to love succotash even though I can’t think of anything with a name that sounds more unappealing.
So we have provided a few recipes for you to try. If you do not have any of these plants please contact us so we can help get you started on your edible perennial journey. These recipes are easy to make, and have been approved by the nation’s most finicky tots. Testing was performed at farmer’s markets and not one kid spit anything out, made a face, or said “I don’t like it”! If you can think of a better endorsement than that I would like to hear it!!!
So as our climate changes, so will our access to the foods that we love. And we will need to learn how to adapt to those changes. The best way to do that is by starting to rethink food. When you rethink food, you’ll never be hungry.
Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms wit Edible Perennial Greens (Longevity Spinach, Okinawa Spinach, and Moringa)
Ingredients: 4 servings
1 cup of quinoa (soak 15-30 minutes and drain)
2 cups of water (can use vegetable broth for more flavor)
6 Tbsp. of oil (oil of your choice)
4 medium Portobello mushrooms (stems removed & cleaned and dried)
¼ c. of diced yellow onion (or white)
¾ c. of grated or match stick carrots (grated is quick and easy)
2 medium cloves of garlic (chopped)
½ c. of Okinawa spinach (washed and dried)
½ c. of Longevity spinach (washed and dried)
½ c. of Moringa Leaves
½ tsp. of ground cumin
6 small drops of Sriracha (optional)
Himalayan Salt, Kosher or Sea salt (ground) and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 375°F
- Place quinoa in a medium sauce pan with salted water (if using vegetable stock no salt needed). Bring to a boil and reduce heat to simmer with lid on until most of the water is absorbed about 12 -15 minutes. Turn off heat and leave quinoa on burner for 5 minutes.
- As the quinoa cooks place Portobello mushrooms on a cookie sheet gill side up. Brush each of the cleaned mushrooms with 1 Tbsp (each) of oil on both sides and season with salt and pepper.
- Cook for 10 minutes, once removed from oven drain excess moisture from mushrooms.
- While the mushrooms are baking stack your spinach leaves together and roll them up tightly and with your knife cut the leaves into strips, also called chiffonade. Put aside.
- Place remainder of oil in a sauté pan and sauté your onions for 3 minutes until translucent. Add your ground cumin and cook for another minute and then add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
- Add your carrots to your pan cooking for 3 minutes, and then add the Okinawa and Longevity Spinach cooking until leaves start to wilt, do not overcook your greens.
- Place the quinoa in a medium mixing boil and add in your sautéed green mixture. Add 6 drops of Sriracha and salt and pepper and mix together well. Adjust seasoning to your taste.
- Place ½ cup of quinoa mixture into each mushroom. Place mushrooms back into oven and bake for 12 minutes or until mushrooms are tender. Serve immediately or let cool before you serve.
- Hint: The stuffing can be stored in the refrigerator and eaten for lunch hot or cold without mushrooms.
- You can add a protein of your choice, or stuff peppers, squash, tomatoes or whatever you would like.
Ingredients: Makes 4 servingS
3 Tbsp. of fresh orange juice
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
2 tsp. Dijon Mustard
½ tsp. shallots
½ tsp. garlic
1. Tbsp. of simple sugar (sugar cane, or honey if you prefer)
3 Tbsp. of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Tbsp. of dried Moringa powder
- Combine all the juices and sweetener together in a medium bowl and whisk together until blended.
- Next stir in mustard and Moringa powder and mix well.
- Slowly add oil into the bowl whisking until all ingredients are mixed well.
- Serve on your favorite salad and place leftover in the refrigerator
- Hint: Store leftover vinaigrette in an old jar in the refrigerator, when ready to use let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes and shake to mix and serve. Can be used as a marinade for vegetables.
Edible Perennial Green Mixed Salad
Ingredients: Makes 4 servings
½ c. of chopped Okinawa Spinach
¼c. of chopped Longevity Spinach
¼ c. of chopped Ceylon Spinach
¼ c. of chopped Cranberry Hibiscus leaves
3 leaves of chopped Edible Hibiscus
¼ c. of Moringa leaves
¼ c. Katuk
¼ c. Sweet potato leaves
¼ c. Spanish Needles with flowers
¼ c. shredded carrots
salt and pepper to taste
- After washing and drying the leaves, do a rough chop of all of your leaves except Moringa and place them in a large salad or mixing bowl.
- Gently rinse Moringa leaves and pat dry. Remove all the leaves by stripping them from the tiny branches toward your body and place in bowl with rest of leaves. Discard branches in compost or save for stock.
- Add your shredded carrots.
- Toss lightly with your Citrus vinaigrette (leaves are delicate) and salt and pepper to taste.
- Hint: You can add your favorite perennials to this salad along with some of your favorite annuals. Have fun with it!!!