The Veggie Table: 5 Ways to Get Your Greens

By: Janel Ovrut Funk
Aarti Sequiera's Massaged Kale Salad

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 .

Next Up

The Veggie Table: Vegan Wedding

One vegan dietitian's story about choosing the right food for her big day.

The Veggie Table: Navigating Thanksgiving

Just because the traditional turkey tends to take center stage, it doesn't mean there can't be delicious plant-based options for main dishes and sides.

The Veggie Table: 5 Ways to Fit Veggies in your Breakfast

With the average American only getting about two servings of veggies each day, that morning meal is a crucial place to make sure you’re meeting your veggie mark. Here are some mouth-watering ways to get vegetables in your breakfast each day.

The Veggie Table: Get Your Vegetarian Plate in Shape

Whether you're vegan, vegetarian or just trying to eat more plant-based foods, find out how to keep your plate balanced at each meal.

The Veggie Table: 3 Ways to Dig Into Quinoa

Cooking quinoa (which is considered a whole grain even though it's actually a seed), is as simple as cooking brown rice.

The Veggie Table: Three Ways to Enjoy Nutritional Yeast

Nutritional yeast is a complete source of protein and is used by those following a vegan diet to mimic the flavor of cheese in recipes. Have you tried it?

The Veggie Table: Raspberry-Lime Sorbet

This fruity, refreshing frozen treat is made with just 4 ingredients (and one of them is water!).

Related Pages