The Veggie Table: 5 Ways to Get Your Greens

By: Janel Ovrut Funk

It is easy being green when you get to enjoy versatile dark leafy green veggies like kale, collard greens, Swiss chard, spinach and arugula. Though spinach seems to be the standard leafy green in most people’s recipe repertoire, there are many others that lend their different flavors and textures to a variety of recipes.

Once I discovered kale and collard greens, I was a converted leafy green lover and now rarely ever use cooked spinach in a dish. There’s something about a lump of overly-wilted spinach greens that doesn’t appeal to me. So I enjoy my spinach fresh in a salad, and when it comes to sauteing or cooking greens, I look to spinach’s sturdier cousins: kale, collards, and chard.

Here are some of my favorite recipes using leafy greens, just in time for your St. Patrick’s Day feast.

Couscous with Arugula, Avocado and Grapefruit – The creaminess of the avocado balances out the peppery bite of the arugula and tart taste from the grapefruit. I used whole wheat couscous in this dish, but you can try any whole grain – rice, quinoa, barley – over a bed of leafy green arugula.

Bulgur, Greens and Walnuts – I love my grains and greens mixed together with some dried fruit. Here, I use raisins to sweeten up a dish that contains a mean green combination of turnip greens, collard greens, spinach, and mustard greens. The walnuts not only add good for you fats, but also a nice crunch.

Massaged Kale Salad (pictured above) – I cannot get enough massaged kale salad these days. Maybe it’s the unique texture of curly kale, or the fact that it strikes a familiar resemblance to my head of curly hair! Usually I’ll massage kale with some flavored olive oil, salt and pepper, but if I’m feeling ambitious I’ll follow this massaged kale salad recipe which contains sweet mangos and nutty pepitas.

Italian Winter Greens with Pear-Walnut Dressing – This recipe contains a leafy green trio of kale, rainbow chard, and beet greens. If you can’t locate those three varieties, any combination will do. Try mustard greens, dinosaur kale, or Swiss chard.

TELL US: What green recipe will you be making this St. Patrick’s Day?

Janel Ovrut, MS RD LDN, loves experimenting with vegetarian and vegan cooking. Read her food blog, Eat Well with Janel , and follow her on Twitter @DietitianJanel .  Catch up on her previous posts here .

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