(even if you have to sneak ‘em in!) by Pam Denholm
I am very qualified to make this statement. I have kids. I was a kid. And my husband thinks kale is for rabbits, not people. Greens are the biggest battle facing most families when putting veggies on the table. Whether it is lettuce, kale, chard, beet or turnip greens, collards, bok choy, cabbage or even spinach, here are a few tips to getting greens in and making it an enjoyable experience:
SMOOTHIES – Pineapple and coconut milk will make a pina colada out of anything, even kale. And cocoa powder and bananas will disguise any green as chocolate milk.
MEATBALLS – An egg, some breadcrumbs, finely chopped onion, and a ground protein of your choice (blackbeans and chickpeas are awesome) and a dash of seasoning – bake at 400 degrees uncovered for 15-20 minutes. No one will ever know that you snuck some chopped up greens in.
WRAPS – Leafy greens are a delicious way to wrap up some yummy fillings. Think falafels, tacos, chicken salad, stir-fry’s, and even leftover meatballs. A little dressing and voila.
PESTO – My favorite. Basil might be the go to, but a little oilive oil, garlic, chili pepper flakes, and pine nuts (or walnuts or pecans) will turn just about any green into a delicious fresh pesto. Use the pesto on pasta, flatbreads, sandwiches, wraps or even to roast vegetables or chicken. So versatile (and forgiving)!
GARNISHES – Hide them in plain sight. Sprinkle any chopped greens and make your meal fancy!
SAUCES – Finely chop your greens and you can easily cook them into a marinara sauce, bolognaise, even barbeque.
SOUPS – Soup season is nearly upon us. Add heartier greens like kale or collards ten minutes before your dish is ready, tender greens can be added in just the last minute to preserve color. Warming delicious broth bowls with noodles are always made better with a handful of fresh greens.
QUICHES OR FRITTATAS – Whisk up a few eggs, pour them into an oven proof dish, add seasons and just about anything else – chopped greens, cheese, left over ham, chicken, some asparagus, leeks, onions, mushrooms – you name it! Bake it in the oven at 400 for 30-40 minutes. Easy.
TACOS – Mix and match toppings of your choice, hearty greens great in the background and would never steal the show.
STIR FRY – Greens are delicious with garlic, ginger, and soy sauce. Even sautéed in a pan. So it makes sense that they would be delicious with all the same ingredients, some high heat, and some noodles or rice.
STUFFED – Baked potatoes (whether it is a regular potato, or a sweet potato) is a positively conniving and evil way for you to use comfort food as a vehicle for healthy greens. Go on, do your worst.