ways to cook green leafy vegetables

How do you cook kale? What do you do with Swiss chard?

Here are some simple, delicious and healthy options for cooking greens

kale

1. Salad

Leafy green vegetables are low in calories and rich in vitamins and minerals. Here’s a list of green leafy vegetables to use in your salad:

  • alfalfa
  • asparagus
  • baby spinach
  • basil
  • beetroot leaves
  • carrot tops
  • celery
  • chickweed
  • Chinese cabbage (bok choi)
  • clover
  • collard greens
  • coriander (cilantro)
  • dandelion
  • dill
  • endive – escarole, frisee
  • fennel
  • green lettuce
  • green cabbage
  • kale – curly leaf, plain leaf , and cavolo nero (black)
  • lambsquarters
  • lamb’s lettuce (corn salad)
  • common mallow (malva sylvestris)
  • miner’s lettuce (Montia perfoliata)
  • mint – peppermint and spearmint
  • mustard greens including mizuna
  • nettles
  • parsley – flat and curly leaf
  • plantain
  • purslane
  • radish leaves
  • red lettuce
  • rocket (arugula)
  • romaine lettuce
  • sunflower sprouts
  • swiss chard – red and green varieties

If, however, you’d like to incorporate those greens in more ways than one, you can try doing a few different things with them.

2. Green Smoothie

Pick green leaf of the day. I like kale for its calcium content, coupled with some mint for flavor. Add some lemon juice and a banana and blend with some ice cubes. You just made yourself the healthiest mojito on the planet! To keep things simple, just add some green leaves to any smoothie you make.

3. Soup

Add some green leaves to any soup you are making. add the leaves about 3-5 minutes before the end of your cooking time. I like to add kale ( take the leaves off the sticks,) chard and beetroot leaves to my soups. If you boil a cubed beet with its leaves, add some root vegetables and some cabbage, you’ve just made a vegetarian version of a Russian borscht. I Americanize mine by adding sweet potato to it:  this way it tastes sweet enough for my two year old.

4. Kale chips. See my recipe here.

5. Add green leaves to stir-fries. Even if you ordered Chinese for the night, you can still make it healthier, by stir-frying some greens in extra virgin olive oil and adding those to virtually any Chinese dish.

6. Add greens to grains. If brown rice is for dinner tonight, you can dice some collard greens and add those to the pot where you are making the rice. If you are going this route, don’t overdo on the amount of the greens and put them in 5 minutes before the grain is cooked.

7. Just cook your greens! Separate kale leaves from the stalks (or take Chard and simply chop it, stalks included.) Chop the leaves finely. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of Bragg’s sauce to large, heated skillet. Heat oil; add strips of greens. Cook and stir over medium-high heat 2 to 3 minutes until wilted and tender (older leaves may take slightly longer). I like to add garlic (the more the merrier) towards the end of the cooking process.

8. Cook your greens in sesame oil. Same as number 7, but use roasted sesame oil. Sprinkle the final dish with roasted sesame seeds and a some orange juice. Sesame seed is exceptionally rich in calcium.

9. Juice your greens. Add an apple to your green juice and it would taste much better.

10. Add the greens to your burger or veggie burger patties. Make sure the greens are diced.

11. Add the greens to mashed potatoes. Chop the leaves very finely and follow advice #7, minus Bragg’s. Mix the green mix with the mashed potatoes. I also like to add some wasabi powder to this potato mix, in order to make it throughly green.

12. Simply steam your greens in a  bit of water. In such case,a  few drops of extra virgin olive oil, some lemon juice and a tiny bit of parmesan cheese go a long way, as far as flavor. And so does garlic.

13. Add your greens to sweet dishes. To make a perfectly balanced vegetarian plate, add a bitter green dish to any sweet potato  or squash dish you are making. Somehow, the combination of the sweet flavor with the bitter flavor is very satisfying even to tohse who wouldn’t ordinarily try the green leafy veggies.

Can you think of any other interesting ways of using greens?

About Dr. Anastasia

Dr. Anastasia Halldin holds a Ph.D in holistic nutrition, speaks four languages, starred on a yoga TV show, produced and appeared in thirteen yoga DVDs, and is a mother of a kindergartner, twin toddlers, and a newborn. Dr. Anastasia loves doing crafts with her children and sharing her easy healthy recipes and knowledge of health and food with mothers to help them raise healthier families.
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One Response to 13 Ways To Cook Leafy Green Vegetables

  1. Green Smoothies are my favorite way to get my GREENS in! 🙂

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