Greens and Noodles

This winter, I crave greens– mustard, kale, chard, spinach, arugula.  I wake up thinking about eating a big bowlful of any of these bright leafy beauties, sauteed with garlic and a sprinkling of crushed red pepper flakes.  Some mornings that is exactly what I eat for breakfast, topped with some pan-seared marinated tempeh.  If my son is around, he joins me, and the two of us hover over steaming bowls of hot greens, coffee pushed aside.  When dinner time rolls around, I am still thinking of greens and also looking for something a bit more substantial.  I have been making this recipe for the past few weeks, trying to hold back on eating it all in one meal so we can have some leftovers for the next day.  Sometimes that happens, but not always, especially if there are four of us at the dinner table!

Greens and Noodles


1 pkg. whole grain pasta noodles, such as angel hair, thin spaghetti, or spaghetti

2 lemons, juiced

1 lb. cleaned, chopped greens— mustard, kale, chard, spinach, arugula, or a mixture (Trader Joe’s sells a bag of clean, chopped mixed greens in their produce section)

3-4 T olive oil or garlic olive oil*

5 cloves minced fresh garlic

crushed red pepper flakes

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

nutritional yeast for sprinkling (optional)


Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Add the noodles and cook according to package directions.  Before draining, reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking water.

While the noodles are cooking:

Heat a large wok or skillet over medium heat.  Add the olive oil and garlic.  When the garlic starts to sizzle, add the greens.  Turn heat up to high. Cook until the greens are tender, about 5 minutes.  If the skillet starts to get dry, add a little water so the garlic does not burn.  Turn off heat, sprinkle in some crushed red pepper flakes, taste, add more pepper flakes if you wish, and set aside.

When the noodles are cooked, remove the 1/2 cup water from the pot and set aside.  Drain the noodles in a large colander.  Return the noodles to the pot.  Stir in the lemon juice.  Sprinkle in a little salt and grind in some pepper.  Add the reserved water from the noodles.  Stir in the greens and a couple of tablespoons of nutritional yeast if you like.  Taste to correct seasoning and serve immediately.

*I have been making my own garlic oil.  To do this, pour some good quality olive oil into a container, such as a recycled salad dressing bottle.  I usually fill the bottle about halfway.  Smash then mince a handful of peeled garlic cloves and stuff them into the bottle.  Cover the container and shake it, then allow to ‘steep’ on the counter for the afternoon, but make sure to refrigerate the bottle later on so the garlic doesn’t spoil.  We have been enjoying using this for cooking and marinating.  You can add more oil for up to a week.  Use the leftover garlic oil to make this recipe again, add it to vegetables before roasting them in the oven, or use for cold salads with some lemon juice or balsamic vinegar.

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3 Comments on “Greens and Noodles”

  1. Debbie Says:

    Sounds great Elizabeth…..I love garlic olive oil,I make it alot myself!

  2. Craig Says:

    This recipe is so simple, yet so delicious! I have found myself hoping for leftovers everytime so that I might bring some to work.

    The times you added sliced up, sauted, vegan Italian sausage were a nice treat variation.

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