Archive for the 'Quelites' Category

Sonoran-Style Amaranth Greens (Quelites)

Friday, September 14th, 2018

Shelby Thompson, Tucson CSA


• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• 1/2 large onion, diced
• 4 cloves garlic, chopped
• 2 dried red chiles
• 1 large tomato, diced
• 1 bunch amaranth greens, stemmed and chopped
• 1 cup cooked beans
• 3 cups broth

Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium-low heat and add onion. Sauté for 5 minutes.
Add garlic and chiles to the pan and cook for another minute.
Add tomatoes to the pan and simmer for 2-3 minutes.
Add greens, broth, and beans to the pan and stir everything together.
Simmer for 20-30 minutes, or until the dish reaches your desired consistency. Taste for seasonings and adjust if needed.
Serve with bread or tortillas.

Quelites Pesto with Sesame Seeds and Edamame Noodles

Monday, May 23rd, 2016

Rachel Yaseen, The Organic Kitchen

Use any of the milder flavored greens interchangeably in this recipe. Use any noodle you like, the edamame noodles that Rachel used for the demo last week were delicious and gluten free.

6 cups quelites

1/4 cup sesame seeds

3 tablespoons soy sauce

3 tablespoons maple syrup

2 cloves garlic

1 tablespoon grated ginger

Organic Edamame noodles (available at Costco– gluten free, 100% edamame, nothing else)


Clean the greens. Heat on medium in a skillet until tender. Drain. Toast the sesame seeds. In a food processor, grind the sesame seeds coarsely. Add soy sauce, garlic, ginger and maple syrup. Cook and drain the noodles. Mix with the pesto. Serve with chopped macadamia nuts.

Rice Pilaf with Quelites

Monday, September 7th, 2015

Philippe Waterinckx, Tucson CSA

1 bunch quelites, chopped
1 or more onions, chopped (this dish benefits from a lot of onions  – you can add up to 3 cups of chopped onions if you have them).
Optional: you can add other vegetables to the onions, such as chopped bell peppers or chiles, peas, thinly sliced carrots, etc.
1 garlic clove, minced
1 cup basmati rice, uncooked
2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon ground pepper or chili flakes

Heat olive oil over medium heat in skillet. Add onions and garlic (and other chopped vegetables if using) and sauté until soft. Add rice, black pepper and stock. Bring back to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
Turn off heat and let sit to steam, covered, for another 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, chop off and discard the bottom inch of the quelites (unless the stems are very tender, in which case you can leave them on). Roughly chop the quelites and fold them into the cooked rice. They will wilt instantly in the residual heat and steam. Let rest for another 5 minutes before serving.


Quelites and Cucumber Salad

Wednesday, August 19th, 2015
Nan Rollings, Tucson CSA

I loved a summery salad inspired by my CSA produce:
Combine sour cream & fresh lemon juice to your desired thickness. Add chopped
cucumbers (used the yellow lemon cucumbers from CSA) and quelites leaves. Enjoy!

Pinto Beans with Amaranth Greens

Monday, February 10th, 2014

Philippe, Tucson CSA

2 cups dry pinto beans, soaked overnight and drained
Optional: 1 lb pork sausage, ham hock, or sliced bacon
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ tablespoon dry oregano
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon dry chile flakes
1 bunch amaranth greens (quelites), chopped
Salt to taste

Heat oil to medium hot in a saucepan.  Add onion (and meat if using) and sauté until browned.  Add garlic and sauté another minute.  Add remaining ingredients, except salt and greens.  Add hot water until beans are covered.  Cover and bring back to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour.  Add greens and salt to taste.  Cook for another 10 minutes.

Spring Greens Gumbo

Tuesday, April 9th, 2013

From Kripalu,

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 bunch scallions, chopped
2 stalks celery
½ red bell pepper, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
8 cups chopped greens (kale, chard, collards, mustard greens, arugula, dandelion greens, etc.)
1 teaspoon salt
5 cups water or stock
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
¾ teaspoon gumbo file
1½ teaspoons ume vinegar

Wash and chop the vegetables. Sauté onions, celery, and peppers in extra virgin olive oil with garlic. Then add chopped greens and a cup of water or stock, and sauté for one minute. Add salt. Add rest of water or stock as well as the bay leaf and thyme. Simmer until greens are very tender. Add file and ume vinegar; blend if desired.

Serves four.

Risotto with Greens

Monday, December 5th, 2011

Philippe, Tucson CSA

Any leafy greens would do well in this recipe, with slight flavor differences with each. Some people stir-fry or boil the greens separately. I like to add them directly to the rice to preserve their full flavor.

1 bunch (or bag) greens, chopped
1 cup arborio rice
1 cup dry mushrooms
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups vegetable or chicken stock, heated
1 teaspoon thyme
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
salt (or dried chile flakes) and pepper to taste

Serves 2.

Place dried mushroom in a bowl, cover them with 1 cup of boiling water and soak for 5 minutes. Drain and reserve the drained water.

In a skillet, heat oil to medium hot and sauté mushrooms and onions until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes.
Add rice and stir. When rice is hot, adding 1/4 cup reserved mushroom water. Add thyme and garlic. Stir gently and continuously until liquid is almost absorbed.
Repeat the process, 1/4 cup at a time, with the rest of the mushroom water and heated stock, stirring the rice continuously.  The rice should be kept to a mild simmer throughout this process which will take about 20 minutes.  Add more stock if necessary. Never let the rice dry entirely, nor make it swim in stock.
When rice is almost cooked (it should still be al dente), add the greens and fold them into the rice.  Add a little more stock if the mixture becomes too dry. Continue to stir until the greens are cooked (another 5 to 10 minutes, depending on the greens).  At that point, the rice should be soft and ready.
Add grated Parmesan and salt and pepper to taste.

Chorizo, Potato and Quelites Empanadas

Thursday, March 25th, 2010
Nicole Baugh, Tucson CSA

This recipe for empanadas is fairly time consuming, but the leftovers freeze and reheat very well (use a toaster oven for best results), and the recipe may easily be doubled. Makes 12 empanadas (4-6 servings).  The empanadas are good plain, but are also good with salsa or sour cream.

Dough (recipe adapted from Gourmet, 2004) (You could substitute store-bought pie crust, but this recipe makes empanadas that are flaky and sturdy enough to eat like hand pies.)
2 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (a combination of all-purpose and wheat works well)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 stick (1/2 cup) cold unsalted butter
1 large egg
1/3 cup ice water
1 tablespoon vinegar

Combine dry ingredients, stirring well or sifting to mix. Using a pastry blender or fingers (cut the butter into cubes first if you’re using your hands), work butter into flour until mixture resembles coarse meal (a few larger lumps of butter are okay). Beat egg, water and vinegar in a small bowl, then add to flour/butter mixture and stir just until incorporated (dough will be shaggy). Turn dough out onto a floured surface and knead just enough to bring dough together (overworking makes for a tough crust). Pat dough into a rectangle, then wrap in plastic and refrigerate for an hour. May be made a day or two ahead.

Filling (all sorts of fillings work well with the dough, but this one can be made with all-CSA ingredients, except for the beer!)
3/4 lb of pork chorizo (if using links, remove from casing first)
1 small onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 small to medium unpeeled potatoes, sliced into quarter-rounds about 1/8″ thick
1/2 bunch quelites, stemmed and roughly chopped
1/2 – 1 cup beer, stock or water

Brown the chorizo, breaking up with a spatula to crumble. Once chorizo is cooked through, remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Adjust the amount of chorizo grease in the pan (adding butter or pouring off grease if necessary) to  ~2 Tbs of fat. Add onions and garlic and stir frequently over medium heat 5 or 6 minutes until the onions begin to soften. Add potatoes and cook another minute or two, stirring to keep the potatoes from sticking. Add about half a cup of liquid to the pan (potatoes will not be completely covered) and stir to scrape up browned bits. Cover the pan and simmer, adding additional liquid as necessary to keep things from sticking. Stir occasionally and simmer until potatoes are just tender but are still keeping their shape (about 10-15 minutes). Uncover and add cooked chorizo and quelites. Stir until quelites begin to wilt, then remove pan from heat.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove dough from the fridge and cut into 12 equal pieces. Pat a piece into a ball, then roll out on a lightly floured surface to a 5″ circle. Repeat with the rest of the dough, stacking the dough circles with a little flour between each. Line a cookie sheet (or two, depending on size) with parchment or foil (don’t use wax paper), then fill and form empanadas: for each dough circle, use about 1/4 cup of filling (made with the above amounts, you should have just enough filling for 12). Fold the dough over the filling and crimp the edges with your fingers or a fork (an egg wash for the edges is helpful but not necessary – you may also brush the tops with egg wash if you desire). Bake the empanadas about 25 minutes, until the crust is lightly browned on top. Serve hot or cold. If desired, you may freeze empanadas either after or before baking (freeze on a cookie sheet, then bake from frozen for a few additional minutes).

Quelites and Beans

Monday, May 26th, 2008

Adapted from The Vegetarian Times, July 1997

1 good bunch of fresh quelites (amaranth greens or lamb’s quarters), bigger stems removed
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 stems green garlic or 3 cloves ‘regular’ garlic — minced
1 onion, chopped
1 cup cooked pinto beans — rinsed and drained
1 teaspoon chili powder
salt and pepper — to taste

Rinse greens several times to make sure that all sand and grit are removed. Steam greens in tightly covered pot until wilted. Drain greens and finely chop them. In large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add garlic and onions and cook, stirring frequently, until onions are soft, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in greens, beans and chili powder. Cover and cook over low heat for 5 minutes or until heated through. Season with salt and pepper and serve. Makes 6 servings.

About Quelites

Monday, May 26th, 2008

When our southern Arizona summer blasts its hot air through fields and gardens, the only greens that naturally grow around us are quelites and purslane, and both make regular appearances in our CSA shares. Many of us often rather buy well-traveled greens at the store than enjoy these local greens that naturally appear in our back yards after the first summer rains.  We tend to consider them as weeds and overlook their good flavor and valuable nutritional qualities.

However, quelites, also know as Mexican wild greens, are consumed in large quantities in Mexico and many other parts of the world, where they are grown as crops as well as harvested wild. The Mexican term quelites generally refers to either amaranth greens (pigweed), or to lamb’s quarters (goosefoot or chenopodium), although in Mexico many other wild greens are collectively known as quelites. Essentially, quelites can be cooked like spinach, hence their other appellation of wild spinach.

Amaranth greens are a very good source of vitamins including beta-carotene, vitamin B6, vitamin C, riboflavin, and folate, and dietary minerals including calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper, and manganese. However their moderately high content of oxalic acid inhibits the absorption of calcium and zinc, and also means that they should be avoided or eaten in moderation by people with kidney disorders, gout, or rheumatoid arthritis.