Tuesday, April 7, 2009


I made a quick stop through the farmers market on Friday and walked up on a table full of these fluffy bunches of greens. Curious, I inquired about them and was told that they are called, quelites. I asked if I should juice them or throw them in a salad. The vendor told me that they are most commonly sauteed. Hmmm...I didn't have enough time to do my usual chatting away about the veggies and such, so I grabbed a huge bunch and away I went.

I'm sad to say that they sat in the fridge for a couple of days before I even looked at them again. Sunday night, I reached in the bag and ripped off a handful to quickly prepare a late dinner. Wow, they were dusty!

I tried to get away with just rinsing them, but these puppies were down right gritty. I had to soak them and really get into the nooks and crannies to release the sand. After they were cleaned and dried, I lightly sauteed them and gave them a try. I was in love!
They have a firm texture like kale or mustard greens, but not as sharp a flavor. Comparable to spinach, but with a different taste all their own. I mean it ya'll, I love them!

I haven't been able to find much information on quelites other than they are Mexican greens. Quelites could mean any of the many varieties or a mix of them. I'm unsure which type I had, but you can bet I will be back at the FM this Friday for some more!

I enjoyed my handful so much that I prepared the rest of the bunch with some tempeh on Monday. Here's what I came up with.

*This recipe makes 2 medium size servings or 1, I love quelites so much I would eat 2 more bunches if I had them, no way am I sharing type servings.

The Sautee
1 bunch of quelites (I soaked them in salt and baking soda for awhile and then rinsed)
2tbs extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic
pinch of red pepper flakes
salt and pepper to taste

Coat the bottom of your pan with the EVOO.
Once heated add in garlic and sautee until just soft.
Add red pepper flakes and quelites on top of that.
Sautee until just wilted.
Once they start to wilt, remove them from the heat. You want them to retain their texture. Set aside.

The Tempeh
1/2 block of mixed grain tempeh
juice of 1 orange
1/4tsp garlic
1/4tsp ginger
1tbs mushroom sauce
1tsp maple syrup (you can also use brown sugar, jam, etc)
pepper to taste

Slice tempeh about 1/4 inch thick. Sautee on both sides until brown.
The evoo from the quelites should be enough, but feel free to add more if you need it.
Once brown, remove tempeh and set aside.
De glaze the pan with orange juice and remaining ingredients.
Reduce down until you have a lightly thick sauce.
Serve over tempeh along side of quelites.



  1. hi ---

    the un-cooked leaves look like lamb's-quarters ---

    i like tempeh, & i will be growing my own magenta spreen, a colorful type of lamb's-quarters ---

    thanks for the recipe ---

    caminante in colorado

    may 10, '09

  2. hi ---

    it's me again ---

    i just realized after re-reading your post, that the "dust" you noticed was the natural white powdery substance that is on lamb's-quarters ---

    the magenta spreen i mentioned would have a pink/magenta powder ---

    the powder on both types is fine to eat & the magenta spreen is pretty in a raw salad ---

    i'm not saying there was no dust, but i think it is the powdery substance typical on lamb's-quarters ---

    caminante in colorado

    may 10, '09

  3. Thank you!
    When I was looking them up, I did come acros the lamb's quarters and thought that the pattern of leaves looked the same.
    So, it must be them.
    Good to know that the powdery substance is edible, because even after my soaking and washing, some was still left behind :)

  4. It looks like you live in SD? That kind of looked like the convention center downtown... Quelites can be amaranth greens too, but those really do look like lambs quarters, which grow everywhere and are even herbicided by farmers. I used to live in OB and would harvest that stuff in the alleys and open spaces. (DH thought I was crazy.)

  5. Hi Lisa!
    That was downtown Long Beach.

    I'm beginning to find out that many things people find as a "nuisance" can actuially be harvested and enjoyed!
    Shame more people don't use some of those weeds they are trying to kill :)



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