Without question, dark leafy greens are my favorite vegetable. In addition to being one of the most concentrated plant sources of nutrients, leafy greens encompass a wide variety of tasty veggies (from arugula to watercress), are low in calories, and can be easily added to your everyday meals. Here are five vegan ways to eat more greens.
5 Ways to eat more greens
1. Pile greens in your sandwiches
Buy a bag of organic spinach leaves and take every opportunity to include them in your sandwiches and wraps. And we aren’t talking one or two of these green leafies, we’re talking a generous handful. Just a cup of spinach contains a little under seven calories along with high levels of vitamins A and C, folate, and phytonutrients. Adding more spinach to your vegan diet can help reduce your risk of cancer, heart disease, vision problems, and, if you’re planning on having a baby, birth defects.
2. Eat a green salad every day
Whether you eat a side salad with your lunch or make a large salad for your dinner, put eating salads on your daily menu. Leafy greens to include: arugula, spinach, endive, romaine, radicchio, watercress, herbs, and even dandelion greens. Add your favorite crunchy veggies, nuts, fruit, beans, and croutons, and you’ve got one nutrient-packed vegan meal.
3. Include green leafies in grain-based dishes
Grain salads are ultra-versatile because of the many tasty grains from which to choose, the countless ingredients that can go in them, and the fact that they can be served cold or hot. When you’re composing your grain salads, stir in a generous amount of leafy greens, especially fresh herbs, or you can even serve grain salads on a bed of leafy greens. For warm grain-based dishes, add sauteed kale, chard, spinach, cabbage, beet tops, or collard greens. For chilled grain salads, stir in fresh spinach, watercress, arugula, dandelion greens, or rapini.
4. Stir leafy greens into soup
Not only can leafy greens be stirred into any soup, they add bulk, bright color, and vibrant nutrition. You can make soups based on leafy greens or you can simply include chopped leafy greens to your favorite vegan soup recipes.
5. Make pesto or another spread
Fresh herbs, such as basil, parsley and mint are popular greens to use as a base for pesto, but watercress, arugula, and dandelion greens are tasty substitutes. Make a traditional pesto (sans cheese or use a vegan Parmesan-style cheese) or puree leafy greens with other ingredients, like sun-dried tomatoes, garbanzo beans, olives, or marinated artichoke hearts for a delicious vegan dip or spread.