The Veggie Table: 5 Ways to Get Your Greens

by in The Veggie Table, March 12, 2011
Aarti Sequiera's Massaged Kale Salad
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.

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Comments (8)

  1. Sarah says:

    I would love to make a vegetarian dish like one of these for St Patricks day. Do you guys have a recipe for something similar to corned beef and cabbage but veggie style? Even a hearty vegetarian stew i'd be down for. I'm both Irish and Catholic, and with celebrating Lent i am eating a pescatarian diet.

  2. John H. says:

    Turnip Greens are (for the most part) much more rich in nutrients than those listed in the aricle. :)

  3. Ashley Moore says:

    I love to though spinach into my eggs or as a bed for my dish. My family loves it! Check out for recipes incorporating your favorite veggies. Try the quinoa, it's delicious!

  4. Diane says:

    I recently "discovered" Swiss chard, and absolutely LOVE it! I've also grown very fond of kale. The funny thing is that my kids actually like them too :) Thanks for these new recipes to try.

  5. Susan says:

    We also eat rutabega greens. Cook them just like any other greens.
    When we lived in Mississippi, they cooked something they called "tender greens" but I never really knew what they were. Does anyone else know?

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