"Eat those greens!" For a while, this could only be in reference to two types of greens; collard greens or iceberg lettuce. It wasn't until later that I started to understand the variety, versatility and health benefits of leafy greens like romaine lettuce, spinach, and kale.
Leafy green salads seem to be the easiest way to get greens into your diet. You could eat salads everyday and there’s enough variety out there to never have the same one for longer than you want but sometimes you just need a break. However, incorporating leafy greens in different ways can prevent us from getting bored and potentially making regretful food choices. This week, I want to think outside the salad and share five alternative ways to add leafy greens to your diet.
1. Blend 'em up! Smoothies
Smoothies are the perfect way to sneaks some greens into your diet. Add a handful to your favorite fruit smoothie for an added nutrient boost. You might agree that sometimes green smoothies can taste a little...green. If that's not your thing, freeze greens like spinach or kale to cut some of that green taste.
Check out this Men's Journal article for some healthy protein-packed smoothie recipes.
2. Scramble 'Em Up
Saturday morning comes around and you know that bowl of cereal isn't going to cut it today. Make it up a grown-up breakfast so you can get through the day's agenda. Chop up some collards or some kale and add it to your morning egg scramble.
This simple Kale and Egg Scramble can set you up nicely for a productive day.
3. Cook 'em up
Leafy greens shrink or wilt when you heat them, so cooking them is a great way to get lots of greens onto your plate without feeling like you are overdoing it.
Keep it simple and saute some spinach in some olive oil with a couple of cloves of minced garlic and half of a diced onion to add to a plate. Or pair it with some protein like this Caribbean Spinach With Shrimp recipe and serve over rice.
4. Sauce 'em up
So you've got an extra batch of collard greens because you watched Soul Food last night and went shopping like you have 12 mouths to feed. No need to worry, you can blend those greens right on up and make a delicious sauce for some pasta, rice or meat of your choice.
Sauce up those greens and freeze them for a rainy day with this delicious Collar Green Pesto recipe.
5. Get Creative
Leafy greens are versatile ingredients and can add new dimensions to just about any dish. Think beyond the salad and you'll have no problem eating your greens.
Add a layer of flavor to your favorite cut of lean meat, like this Stuffed Pork Chop recipe. Or pair it with fresh ingredients to fill out a pasta dish, like this Roasted Tomato and Spinach Pasta recipe.
What's your secret? How are you eating your greens?
Eat to live. Live to Be.