Gathering Wild Geraniums, Beach Greens, and Beach Peas for Dinner

Was inspired by my cousin who is on a raw food detox diet and really wanted to make something healthy today, but am running seriously low on greens. A couple of pieces of cabbage were salvageable from the refrigerator and that was all the greens I had left. I prepared rice and beans for dinner and decided to add some wild greens to the salad. I read that wild geraniums (Geranium erianthum) make a nice addition to salads, both the leaves and flowers. So, I gathered a small amount of the beautiful indigo blossoms and some leaves that were just starting to turn red hued around the edges.  When I tasted them, the leaves were a little bitter, so I decided to minimize the leaves in the salad, and maybe steam some.

Then I went for a little walk up the beach and gathered some beach greens or sea chickweed (Honckenya peploides or Arenaria peploides) It’s a common beach green which grows along the coasts from the Arctic, through the Aleutians down to Oregon.  They were traditionally gathered by sailors and are a very good source of vitamin C.

I took off the leaves of some shoots and set them aside to add to my salad and decided to try to steam the rest.
I read that beach pea (Lathyrus maritimus or Lathyrus japonicus) plants are edible and were traditionally steamed in China, so I also gathered some beach pea leaves from the beach and decided to try to steam these together and see what it would be like.

I also gathered wild mustard (Brassica species). They are not as ideal since they had already started to flower, so I just gathered a couple of leaves to add to the salad. I also added just a couple of  tender tips of fireweed that were just starting to bud and some leaves from new fireweed plants that were just starting to come up in the front yard.

Then I chopped up the cabbage and added some mayonnaise and some honey and squeezed the juice of a half a lime into the bowl and stirred it up, basically making a simple cole slaw.  Then I added the beach greens and some wild geranium flowers and leaves.

Then I squeezed the juice of the second half of the lime on the new greens and added some almonds and some crushed ramen noodles. I steamed up my potherbs which consisted of the beach greens and beach pea leaves with a few wild geranium leaves. The wild geranium leaves turned a little yellow, but the other potherbs cooked bright green. The steaming removed all bitterness from the pea leaves and they were more mild than steamed chard. The beach greens mixed with the pea leaves were wonderful.  Absolutely delicious.

The salad was the best salad I think I have ever had. As soon as I get some cabbage or lettuce I will do this again. After eating this meal, I felt very energized, just like after drinking wheatgrass juice. A nice dose of chlorophyl and vitamin C with much nutritional and medicinal value. Until the next grocery order arrives, I will experiment with other green wild herbs and flowers.

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