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Weeds For Dinner- Recipes

Updated on May 25, 2011

eating weeds

We have become so accustomed to going to the grocery store in order to meet our food needs we have forgotten that Nature has provided us with food that often waits just outside our door step.

As the cost of food and all else that is connected to oil continues to rise, it is time to take a look at the bounty that nature has provided.

Weeds are plants that we have not yet found a use for, or perhaps better do not yet know. Not all are edible and not all that are edible are tasty but beat going hungry.

The Common Blue Violet:

Now here is a plant that you may see growing wild or may even have a cultivated variety growing in your back yard garden; but for food purposes stick to the blue ones.

The flowers and the leaves are edible and reputed to be high in Vitamin C. The leaves can be used to thicken soups and are a tasty addition to salads.

Now for some less well know food sources. When seeking out wild food or planning a dinner of weeds is sure you know what you are picking.

Bugleweed (Lycopus uniflorus)

Bugleweed, also is known as gypsy-wort.

The tubers are the edible portion of this wet land plant. Collect the tubers in the early spring. Tubers will be between ½ to 3 inches long. Be sure to wash and to remove the runners.

Boil the tubers in water with a little sea salt for approximately eight minutes. You can then eat them much like a baked potato with a little butter and chives or parsley, for example.

The tubers can be pickled or added to soups and stews.

Purslane (Portulaca oleracea)

Purslane is said to be a good source of antioxidants; as well as ascorbic acid (vitamin C), beta-carotene (previtamin-A), glutathione (a common antioxidant compound that can even detoxify some pesticides!) and tocopherol (vitamin E).

In addition, this very common weed is rich in the omega-3 fatty acids that have been linked with lower cholesterol levels.

Purslane is similar in flavour to spinach and belongs with beet tops, chard, lamb’s quarter, pigweed, spinach; to a group of plants (Centrospermae) all has a similar taste.

Purslane, like spinach, can be eaten raw or cooked with the young tender shoots being added to soups or green salads.

As your understanding of what wild foods or weeds can be safely and I do palce an emphasis on safety, if you are not sure what you are gathering then do not gather, don’t even nibble, eaten grows you will soon realize that the three food s’s, soups, salads, and stews are excellent ways to use Nature’s bounty.

Another important thing to remember when picking weeds for lunch is what you know about the site where they are growing. Outside of the city, this may eb less of a problem but in town and abandoned lot covered in weeds may look like a free lunch but way in fact be an expensive ride to the nearest hospital emergency room.

However, do not let this stop you. If you have a backyard, spend sometime identifying the weeds that are growing there. You may find a few ingredients for the salad. If nothing else you may well find that your own yard will provide all the dandelions that you need and have a few other delicacies to flavour your meals as well, happy weeding.


courtesy flickr/Carl E. Lewis
courtesy flickr/Carl E. Lewis




Submit a Comment

  • Bob Ewing profile imageAUTHOR

    Bob Ewing 

    6 years ago from New Brunswick

    Thanks for the input.

  • profile image


    6 years ago

    L-carnitine, You Will like it.

  • Bob Ewing profile imageAUTHOR

    Bob Ewing 

    6 years ago from New Brunswick

    You are welcome and now and then a trip to the bakcyard before buying groceries might be a good invetsment.

  • loveofnight profile image


    6 years ago from Baltimore, Maryland

    I am so in agreement with you in that a lot of what we need for our diatary needs is right under our noise. We too often spend money for the very things that nature can and has always been able to provide. Love the hub....thx 4 share

  • Bob Ewing profile imageAUTHOR

    Bob Ewing 

    9 years ago from New Brunswick

    Thanks Larry, sheep sorrel, it ahs been awhile since I have tasted it. Thanks for the visit.

  • larrybass profile image


    9 years ago from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

    Great Hub you've got goin' on here Bob! Being a long-time weed eater myself, I'm with ya on everything you talk about in here. One of my favorite trail nibbles is still Sheep Sorrel, the arrowhead shaped leaves with the cool Lemony tang to 'em. Toss a few in yer next salad for a little rush.

    Thanx for sharing your wildwoods knowledge with everyone big fella! :-)


  • Bob Ewing profile imageAUTHOR

    Bob Ewing 

    10 years ago from New Brunswick

    that sounds tasty, thanks for stopping by.

  • newwoman54 profile image


    10 years ago

    Thank you for this info! My mom used to prepare dandelions with a hot dressing over them, and fried potatoes. yum, yum!

  • Bob Ewing profile imageAUTHOR

    Bob Ewing 

    10 years ago from New Brunswick

    thanks for stopping by.

  • profile image


    10 years ago

    never thought weeds could be used so! this sounds gr8!

  • Bob Ewing profile imageAUTHOR

    Bob Ewing 

    10 years ago from New Brunswick

    Glad I could help a few greens in a salad may just pass.

  • CennyWenny profile image


    10 years ago from Washington

    You've changed the way I look at weeding my garden, thanks! I also loved your hub on eating dandelions. My husband would think I was crazy, but I might try to slip it by him.

  • Bob Ewing profile imageAUTHOR

    Bob Ewing 

    10 years ago from New Brunswick

    Thanks, i like the title too.

  • ripplemaker profile image

    Michelle Simtoco 

    10 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

    I don't know if we grow these...but I was smiling at your title..Weeds for dinner. LOL

  • Bob Ewing profile imageAUTHOR

    Bob Ewing 

    10 years ago from New Brunswick

    Thanks Princessa, weeds add a depth of flavour to the meal.

  • Princessa profile image

    Wendy Iturrizaga 

    10 years ago from France

    In France I have heard -and taste some- weed recipes such as dandelion salad and nettle soup. Very interesting to use weeds at the table.

  • Bob Ewing profile imageAUTHOR

    Bob Ewing 

    10 years ago from New Brunswick

    Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

  • Om Paramapoonya profile image

    Om Paramapoonya 

    10 years ago

    Very interesting. It sounds a little funky but I guess it's worth trying. :)

  • Bob Ewing profile imageAUTHOR

    Bob Ewing 

    10 years ago from New Brunswick

    Thanks, always good to know how, be prepared.

  • 2patricias profile image


    10 years ago from Sussex by the Sea

    Interesting Hub, but we hope that we are not going to be out foraging any time soon! Pat grows vegetables that resemble weeds though! (Tricia sticks to flowers.)

  • Bob Ewing profile imageAUTHOR

    Bob Ewing 

    10 years ago from New Brunswick

    You are welcome Dottie1, enjoy and thanks fro the kind words, Helen, good luck on your food hunt.

  • Dottie1 profile image


    10 years ago from MA, USA

    I read your article on eating weeds earlier today. I watched the video from the wild food adventures and gave eating weeds some thought.

    Tonight for dinner while preparing a salad I thought of eating weeds again. I thought what the heck, if I don't try them I'll never know and I trust Bob Ewing's advise.

    So out to the backyard I went. I added Eastern Blue Violet leaves and some Daisy leaves to my salad. The video I watched explained that the blue violet leaves were not strong so you could use a lot of them in your salad. It explained that the daisy leaves were a bit pungent and to use them sparingly. I followed this advise and had a delicious salad. I will eat weeds again. Thank you Bob.

  • Bob Ewing profile imageAUTHOR

    Bob Ewing 

    10 years ago from New Brunswick

    Thanks, i am happy the information is useful.

  • marisuewrites profile image


    10 years ago from USA

    wow, excellent information, another great article for my notebook!! I'm learning a lot from your writings. =)


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