Kale, spinach, swiss chard, mustard greens, collards, bok choy: all of these greens and more are bursting with nutrients as well as flavor, and there are tons of tasty ways to get more of them in your diet. Dark leafy greens offer more concentrated nutrition than any other food, including iron, calcium, B vitamins, beta carotene and vitamin K. Here are 12 delicious recipes that incorporate greens into crunchy snacks, light lunches, savory salads and even sweet smoothies.
Crunchy Snack: Kale Chips
Kale chips might sound weird to the uninitiated, but once you try them, you’ll understand: they’re absolutely addictive, and totally guilt-free. Making them is incredibly easy, and you can adjust the seasonings to your taste. Get the recipe at Pip and Ebby.
Sweet Treat: Green Smoothies
Green smoothies are a great way to get lots of phytonutrients, vitamins and minerals. This recipe from Yummy Mummy Kitchen balances a big handful of fresh baby spinach with almond milk, pineapple and mango. You could substitute another mild-tasting green like kale, watercress or romaine, and experiment with different types of fruit.
Breakfast: Swiss Chard and Saffron Omelette
Greens may not seem like a natural choice for breakfast, but they’re absolutely delicious in an omelette. Swiss chard is an integral component of a traditional French omelette known as Trucchia; another recipe from Plenty mag (photo via Veggicurious) adds extra herbs, saffron and creme fraiche.
Comfort Food: Collard Rolls
Collard greens are so big, flat and flexible, they’re ideal for carb-free wraps. Try using them in place of tortillas, or using them to create little savory rolls inspired by the traditional South African dish known as bobotie. This recipe from Phoo-d includes brown rice and beans wrapped in collard leaves and then baked in a spicy tomato sauce.
On the Grill: Sweet Soy Glaze Bok Choy
Grilling greens brings out an unexpected smoky sweetness. This recipe marinates bok choy in ginger, soy sauce and sake before tossing it over the coals.
Breakfast: Skillet-Baked Eggs with Spinach, Yogurt and Chili Oil
Another breakfast dish flavors spinach with leeks and scallions, bakes eggs on top and then finishes it with butter and smoky Turkish chili powder.
Light Lunch: Jalapeno and Lime Marinated Kale Tostada
Soak kale in a marinade of lime juice, olive oil, jalapenos and cilantro and eat it on a crispy tostada with black beans. This recipe uses kale in an unexpected way, adding tons of flavor.
Delicious Dinner: Pasta with Kale Pesto Sauce
Subbing kale for basil in pesto sauce makes it even more nutritious. This recipe takes just a few minutes to make, and you could make it even healthier by using spaghetti squash or julienned zucchini in place of pasta.
Savory Salad: Winter Greens with Crispy Quinoa
Fried quinoa is an unexpected addition to a salad of winter greens in Meyer lemon dressing in this recipe from Sprouted Kitchen.
Comfort Food: Kale Spinach Gratin
Craving a heavier dish reminiscent of the casseroles Mom used to make? This creamy kale and spinach gratin with jalapeno garlic havarti has all the comfort you’re looking for, and yet it’s vegan.
Flavorful Side: Sauteed Swiss Chard with Orange
Orange zest brightens the flavor of swiss chard sauteed in extra virgin olive oil. This side dish from Martha Stewart is incredibly simple, but so delicious.
Sweet Treat: Watercress Berry Smoothie
Berries, bananas, pineapple and a little almond butter as well as vitamin-packed additions like flax meal and chia seeds come together with watercress in this smoothie recipe from Carrie On Vegan.
Healthy Snack: Mustard Greens & Mozzarella Munchies
Mustard greens have a lot more flavor than most other greens. Their punch is perfectly complemented with milked mozzarella cheese and a little hot pepper in these ‘mozzarella munchies’ by Yasmeen Health Nut.