Thursday, June 20, 2013

Lambs Quarters Recipes

Since I've been talking about using Lambs Quarters in my cooking, I figured I'd do some of you a favor and give you some of my "recipes" for them.  I say "recipes" as they are the kind that is a pinch of this or a little of that.  Man, did I hate that when people told me "season to taste" or "a bit of this" or "until it looks done" I was younger and now, look what I've of them!


I use Lambs Quarter basically in any dish that you would use spinach in.  The younger leaves can be used fresh in salads, but the older and tougher (not that they are that tough) leaves are best used cooked.  And as a bonus, if you pick just the leaves off, the plant will re-grow more leaves.  I've also noticed if you snap half the plant off, it will bush out with more stalks...more leaves!   When I rip the entire plant off or just a part of the stalk, the goats get the leftovers and they love it.  They also have a longer growing season than spinach so you can be enjoying Lambs Quarters even long after your spinach has bolted!

I use them in quiche and omelets, both raw or sauteed before putting them in the egg mixture.  My favorite way is to sautee them with onions first.

I've made Creamed Lambs Quarters.

And just last night, made Lambs Quarters and Garlic pasta:
The fresh wild greens negate all the carbs in this dish.  Really.
I sauteed the onions & garlic in olive oil a bit first, then added the LQ (I'm getting sick of typing Lambs Quarters out), a bit of salt and some Parmesan cheese.

I've been meaning to make a spinach cheese ball using LQ and some fresh goat cheese, but I've yet to be invited to a party where a cheeseball would seem appropriate.  I suppose I could just make it for us, but it just seem like cheeseballs are a party kind'a thing.  And now that I think about it, I bet a LQ and goat cheese lasagna would be darned tasty; no social gathering required!

So go out there & pick yourself some Lambs Quarters!

EDITED (to add more info.)

Here's a link to a bunch of pictures of LQ.  Occasionally there will be some powdery dust on the underside of the leaves or some purple spots, neither of which will harm you if you eat it.
Also, you'll notice that when you try to wash them off, the water rolls right off the leaves making it a bit tricky to wash although it drains very nicely.

I've also noticed that they are very few insects that bother them so most of the leaves will be darn near perfect.

Size varies from only a few inches tall to over five feet tall:
One of my patches of Lambs Quarters.  The top rail of that fence is 4' tall.
Be warned though; letting them get that tall will result in back breaking
work trying to pull them out of the ground come winter.
And, as usual, PLEASE be 100% sure of what wild plants you are eating!  I am not a botanist, biologist, naturalist nor do I play one on television.  I'm just a woman who goes around my yard, trying to eat stuff that would normally be mowed over or ripped out and given to the goats.


  1. I'm the same way about recipes for the most part. A little of this a pinch of that. The only time I don't do that is when I bake. Somehow I'm not nearly as comfortable when I'm baking.

    Thanks for sharing the LQ recipes, and especially for posting what the dang plant looks like. Now that I realize I probably have an unlimited supply, I might as well take advantage of it. I still can't get over the fact that I've been battling this stuff since we moved here! Too darn funny!

  2. I wonder how it would be wilted with onions and bacon? I may give that one a try today with some steak.

  3. I'm working up the me they've always been weeds. Thanks for the inspiration!

  4. I'm also working up the nerve. I've never heard of these, but the leaves look darn familiar, so I think I must have some. Is there anything I should know about identifying them? Are there any poisonous plants that look just like them? You know the kind of thing that would be avoided by any half-intelligent farmer, but that would trick a greenhorn into an untimely and torturous death? :-)

  5. Fantastic use of a wild "weed" Carolyn! Looks delish. :) I think you are right about the lasagna. I may just give that suggestion a try.

  6. I chewed on my first LQ yesterday!!! Not bad!!! Not bad at all!!!! I can see me using these a lot. Who needs to plant spinach? lol.
    I do cook like you too. My problem is I just start throwing things in and then I forget what I put in it. lol

  7. SciFi, I won't tell you how many dandelions I killed in my early suburban years. All those wasted fritters!

    gld, MOST definitely! Actually, that's usually how I make them, sauteed with onions, garlic and if I have bacon grease, all the better!

    hoosier girl, honestly once you ID them, they are a great "starter" wild edible since they are so mild & can be used just about anyplace you would use spinach.

    Tyche's Minder, I'll add an Edit to this post with some links & a little more info. But I'm pretty sure that there's not a look-alike.

    Mooberry, I LOVE lasagna...just too lazy to make it.

    SFG, I'm telling ya, they are my go-to weed of choice. AND if I don't have any fresh greens in the fridge, I just go outside and pick some!

  8. I ran out a few minutes ago to check the neighbor's weeds that are growing against the fence, and sure enough.....I grabbed a leaf and ate it. It was surprisingly good! I detected just a bit of sweetness as I chewed it. If I don't die by tomorrow, I may just go harvest some. I'm sure they'll never get around to weeding it out :-(

    1. We're talking about LQ, right Granny? And you DID positively ID it, right Granny?


      You still there?

      (hope to gawd it was LQ she ate!)