Healthy Vegan Collard Greens Wraps with hummus, crispy tofu, shredded beets, carrots, avocado and micro-greens. Drizzle these colorful rainbow wraps with optional Tahini Sauce!
Here’s a light and healthy lunch idea I hope you’ll enjoy as much as we have this week! Collard Greens Wraps! When I first started the blog, 8 years ago now, I posted a different recipe for a Collard Greens Wraps, but back then they received very little attention. Now collard greens wraps are popping up everywhere and looking at my old recipe and photos- I realize they needed some serious updating! This new version takes advantage of the tandoori hummus from a couple of days ago ( which acts as the “glue”) and is loaded up with healthy veggies. To add a bit more texture and flavor I added crispy tofu to the mix. Sooooooo tasty!
It starts with bringing a pot of water to boil on the stove and blanching large collard greens leaves. Blanching the collard greens makes them really flexible, much easier to roll up and much more pleasant to eat.
I usually make more than one at a time, because they actually keep pretty well in the fridge. So I dunk all the leaves at the same time, leaving the stem end to cook just a little longer.
While the water is heating, prep any veggies you like. Shredded beets and carrots are among my favorites and you can also find these pre-shredded in many upscale grocery stores- also be sure to check the salad bar section too!
In a pinch feel free to use pre-shredded cabbage, brussels or broccoli slaw!
Add greens like micro sprouts, watercress, arugula or even spinach – and if you like, fresh herbs are nice too. Here I’ve added cilantro.
Use a batch of your favorite hummus. Here I’m using the tandoori hummus from a few days ago.
And pan-seared crispy tofu. Here I tested out two flavors, turmeric tofu and garam masala tofu and both were delicious!
Gather the ingredients together and roll up the Collard greens wraps like a burrito.
Start with the hummus!
Think of the hummus as the glue. It does a great job of holding everything together, so make sure to put it down first.
Pile up with the veggies and tofu.
Then wrap them up like you would a burrito, folding the sides in and setting them down on their seam.
If making ahead, store them just like this, on a plate, wrapped in plastic wrap.
When ready to serve, cut them in half.
Drizzle with the optional tahini sauce.
How easy is that? So healthy and light – I love how energized I feel after having these vegan collard greens wraps for lunch. Give them a try this week!
- Vegan Collard Green Wraps
- How To Make Asian Collard Green Wraps
- 10 Foods to Help You Lose Weight
- Why you should eat your collard greens
- 10 Best Leafy Greens to Lose Weight
Vegan Collard Green Wraps
These vegan collard greens wraps are filled with hummus, crispy tofu, shredded beets, carrots and avocado! Drizzle with Tahini sauce! A delicious healthy lunch!
- Author: Sylvia Fountaine
- Prep Time: 30
- Cook Time: 20
- Total Time: 50 minutes
- Yield: 4 1x
- Category: vegan, main, lunch, wrap, gluten free, grain free
- Method: stove top
- Cuisine: american
- 4 extra large collard green leaves ( or use chard- see notes)
- 1 cup Hummus ( or try tandoori hummus)
- 1 cup crispy tofu cubes ( optional- see notes) or baked tofu
- ½ cup grated carrots ( feel free to sub shredded cabbage, brussels, broccoli etc)
- ½ cup grated beets (feel free to sub shredded cabbage, brussels, broccoli etc)
- 1 cup greens( watercress, arugula spinach) or micro greens
- optional additions: fresh herbs ( cilantro, parsley, basil, mint)
Drizzle with Everyday Tahini Sauce! ( optional)
Bring a big pot of water to a boil. Turn heat to low, stack and place 4 collard greens in the water, stem sides first and blanch for 30-60 seconds, or until stems are soft. Using tongs, turn so all parts of the leaves are blanched and pliable enough to roll. ( If the stems are really thick, sometimes I’ll leave the stem ends in the hot water, with the thinner leafy side hanging over, outside the pot, until the stems are soft and pliable- and of course you can always cut them off beforehand.)
Pull them form the water with the tongs, shake them off in the sink and place on the counter.
While the water is heating, grate your beets and carrots, slice the avocado and make the crispy tofu.
To make the crispy tofu, pat dry an 8 ounce block of extra firm tofu and cut it into ½ inch cubes. Place in a bowl and toss with ½ teaspoon salt, and your choice of 1-2 teaspoons turmeric or garam masala spice. ( You can also use another spice blend here – zaatar spice, cajun seasoning, etc., just something to give it some flavor! Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a non-stick pan or well seasoned cast iron skillet, and sear the tofu, on a couple sides, until crispy. Set aside.
Make the everyday tahini sauce if using.
Assemble the collard greens wraps. Place ¼ cup hummus on the lower middle of the wrap, top with ¼ of the tofu, then the veggies and herbs. Roll up, tucking the sides in as you go like a burrito.
Roll up all 4 wraps and place seam them side down.
If serving right away, cut in them in half and serve with a drizzle of the tahini sauce. Or wrap, without cutting, in plastic wrap for later. These will keep for two days in the fridge.
Try to find the largest collard greens leaves as you can, without holes or tears. Sometimes I’ll opt for chard leaves if the collards are too small or look torn.
Chard is thinner and much more tender so will just need a very short blanching, but the blanching does make it more pliable.
The key to cooking this quickly and efficiently is to cook the tofu at the same time the water is heating- a good time to multitask! Remember you can always use store bought hummus and pre shredded veggies.
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Collard green wraps were a staple for me during my first couple rounds of the Whole 30 program. I was admittedly skeptical when I started seeing raw unseasoned collard greens all over vegan and paleo blogs. Collard greens are always something I associated with long cooking times (at the very least sauteed.) The leaves are pretty tough, which is an advantage for wraps because they’ll hold up to being stuffed. However, they’re a little too tough for the texture I’d want in a sandwich. In the same way that raw kale salads are much more enjoyable if the kale has been thoroughly massaged, collard green leaves are transformed by a quick blanch in salted water. After a few attempts, I figured out a technique that works to yield tender, seasoned collard green leaves that make perfect sandwich wraps. They’ll still have a bite and chew left, but it’s a welcome crunch that doesn’t take away from the sandwich itself.
Obviously you’ll be buying whole collard green leaves, which will need to be thoroughly washed once you get home. When you shop, look through the bunches and try to find the biggest leaves you can, free of holes or tears. It’s much easier to use the wraps when you have one big gigantic leaf, but sometimes I just layer two smaller ones if necessary. I use a three step process to prep the leaves. First, I shave the thick stems that run down the center of the collard green leaves. Doing so makes the stems easier to bite and more flexible to fold as a wrap. Next, the collard greens are submerged for thirty seconds in boiling salted water. It’s amazing how quickly the leaves become tender and bright green when blanched. The salt seasons the greens in the process. Finally, the blanched leaves are soaked in a bath of salted ice water and apple cider vinegar. The ice stops the cooking process and preserves the color of the collard greens, while the salt and vinegar add a hint of flavor. While none of this is difficult to do, you’ll just need to set aside the time for it. The good thing is that you can do a bunch (or more) at a time and store them in the fridge just like you would keep sandwich wraps. Also, because the leaves are so sturdy, you don’t have to worry about soggy sandwiches if you’re packing lunch to go. The first time I made them, I immediately wondered why I hadn’t always been doing this!
Having collard green wraps in my fridge really comes in handy for Whole 30 and any other time that I’m cutting back on bread. I also usually have cooked meat prepped for the week, so lunch is simple and compliant without having to think about it (or cook.) Most often, I use my wraps to make sandwiches with chopped grilled chicken breasts. The wraps in the photos above were filled with spicy grilled chicken, avocado and mango salsa. But collard green wraps are pretty versatile. Use them for cold or hot sandwiches, burritos, or even stuffed and baked in a casserole dish, smothered with a nice sauce. The sky’s the limit, so once you get accustomed to prepping them you can have fun getting creative. What I love most about the collard green wraps is how they make me feel so energized. I don’t know how to convey that or if there’s a nutritional reason behind it, but it’s almost like getting a healthy food buzz. So beyond being guilt-free food, this is food that will actually make you feel great. If you’re excited to give collard green wraps a try, read on below for the step by step instructions!
Collard Green Wraps
Ingredients: 1 bunch organic collard greens Kosher salt, as needed Apple cider vinegar, as needed
Active Time: 30 min
Total Time: 1 hour
Special Equipment: large pot, paring knife
Fill up a clean sink with cool water and swish those greens around to rinse them of any grit or debris. Drain the sink, rinse the greens off, and repeat once more. While those are hanging out, bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Salt the water like you would for pasta or potatoes; enough that you can taste it.
I like to leave the greens soaking in water as I continue with the next step. One at a time, place a collard green leaf on your cutting board and use your paring knife to carefully shave the thick middle stem. Just take off enough so that the stem feels flat, and try not to tear the leaf. You can also cut off the skinny end of the leaf to make a more even, rounded shape for your wraps.
Prepare a bowl or container large enough to fit all of the collard greens. Fill it with salted ice water (as salty as the boiling water is) and a generous splash of apple cider vinegar. You should be able to taste the vinegar in the water.
Drop the trimmed leaves into the boiling salted water, a few at a time. After 30 seconds, they’ll be bright green and wilted.
Transfer the blanched collard greens right into the ice bath. Let them hang out for 20 to 30 minutes. It won’t hurt anything if you forget about them for longer though, trust me I have.
After the collard greens have cooled and had time to soak, dry each one off between paper towels. I layer each leaf (or a set of two leaves if they’re small) between sheets of parchment or wax paper. Then I slide the whole stack into a resealable plastic bag and keep it in the fridge for up to a week. It’s just like having a package of traditional sandwich wraps in my fridge!
You can roll up the collard green wraps like you would with any tortilla or sandwich wrap. Tuck the sides in like a burrito or leave them open ended like the pulled pork and slaw wraps below. If you’re using ingredients that are on the drier side, a little bit of aioli, mustard or avocado helps the wrap stick together.
Updated 3/14/16: I thought it made more sense to include some instructions on folding the wraps right here within the post, so here you go:
Filling a Collard Green Wrap:
Lay one of the prepped and dried collard green leaves on a flat surface, like your cutting board. The side of the stem that you trimmed should be facing up. The larger the leaf, the more easily you’ll be able to roll everything up. If you’re stuck with smaller leaves, you can overlap two to get more surface area.
Pile your fillings on the bottom center of the leaf. I like to include something that will help everything stick together, in this case a layer of guacamole holds together chipotle sweet potatoes and pulled pork.
Fold the sides of the leaf in towards the center, then the bottom, so that the filling is cradled.
With your hands helping to keep the sides of the leaf tucked in, roll the wrap from the bottom, like you’re folding a burrito.
A dab of whatever condiment you used spread on the inside of the wrap will help the last piece of the leaf stick to itself.
All rolled up! If you’re traveling with the wraps it’s better to leave them whole and wrap in wax paper or plastic until you’re ready to eat.
If you feel compelled to cut them (like I did, but mostly for presentation) a serrated knife is easiest to use. Hope this helps!
Simple collard green wraps made with avocado, savory green cabbage, carrots, celery, green onions, cilantro, toasted slivered almonds, crisp wontons, and sweet sesame ginger dressing!
This post is sponsored by Taylor Farms. All opinions are my own.
Would you believe me if I told you that this recipe is only 3 ingredients? THREE. And all three can be found in the same section in the grocery store. Wait what. A vegetarian meal made with three ingredients that are all found in the produce section. I KNOW RIGHT.
You know I’m all about quick + easy meals around here. It’s kind of my favorite thing ever. Weekdays are just crazy sometimes and all you want is for food to magically appear on your plate. But while that’s impossible, what’s totally possible is bringing recipes like these to life in less than 15 minutes on busy weekdays.
Asian Collard Greens Wraps made with the help of Taylor Farms Asian Chopped Salad Kit to the rescue! I’m partnering with Taylor Farms for this post and honestly, they just saved the day.
If you love Asian food as much as I do, you’ll LOVE their Asian Chopped Salad Kit. I mean, it has EVERYTHING you need. Let’s discuss – savory green cabbage, sliced carrots, chopped celery, green onions, cilantro, toasted slivered almonds, and crisp wontons all in bag! My personal favorite? The sweet sesame ginger dressing! JUST DELICIOUS.
So instead of having to buy a bunch of ingredients or run around the grocery store after work, all you need is an avocado, collard green leaves (for the wraps) and the Asian Chopped Salad Kit. WIN!
How To Make Asian Collard Green Wraps
Here’s a PRO TIP – ditch the stem. Yup. After boiling each leaf (or running them until hot water), you pat them dry, remove the stem completely, overlap the leaves and make wraps. Fill each one with the Asian Chopped Salad Kit and that’s it! I explained each detail in the recipe below.
Super easy, delicious, and the perfect dinner for any night of the week. Oh and if you’re feeling adventurous, grab a rotisserie chicken on the way out and shred it, and put it in these babies!
I hope you make these and LOVE them!
15-Minute Asian Collard Green Wraps
5 from 1 vote Pin Recipe Author: Jamie Silva Prep Time: 10 mins Cook Time: 5 mins Total Time: 15 mins Servings: 4 servings
- 1 bunch large collard greens leaves
- 1 large avocado, mashed
- 1 bag Taylor Farms Asian Chopped Salad Kit
- Run the collard greens under boiling water. This will help when rolling them up into wraps. Pat leaves dry.
- Using a pairing knife, run the knife as close to the stem as possible, cutting the sides of the stem, removing the white stem entirely. This will leave you with 2 halves.
- Flip the collard green leaf so that the dull side is facing up and overlap them. Spread about 1/2 tablespoon of mashed avocado on top. This will act as your glue.
- Top collard green leaf with 1/4 cup of Taylor Farms Asian Chopped Salad (crush the crisp wontons before topping so they don’t pierce through the leaves) then roll it up into a cylinder and slice in half. Serve with the sweet sesame ginger dressing that comes with the kit. Enjoy!
*You can add shredded chicken into the wraps, if desired. Nutrition Facts 15-Minute Asian Collard Green Wraps Amount Per Serving Calories 121 Calories from Fat 89 % Daily Value* Fat 9.9g15% Saturated Fat 1.3g7% Sodium 51mg2% Potassium 219mg6% Carbohydrates 8.2g3% Fiber 3.9g16% Sugar 1.9g2% Protein 1.8g4% Calcium 20mg2% Iron 0.4mg2% * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet. Did you make this recipe?Be sure to post + tag @asassyspoon on Instagram and use #asassyspoon!
Thank you Taylor Farms for sponsoring this post and a HUGE thank you to all the readers of this blog for all your support! xo
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10 Foods to Help You Lose Weight
When it comes to eating healthy we all have our ups and downs. Even the most fit and health conscious people admit to falling “off the wagon’ during the holiday season. But the good news is that you can just as easily get back on track by incorporating more healthy foods that will not only help you shed excess weight but also improve your health. Simply incorporate these “fat-burning” foods into your diet by substituting them for your normal “fattening” foods. These foods are healthy and low in calories which can be eaten all the time as part of a wholesome, plant-based diet.
- Quinoa – Although a seed, quinoa is considered a grain as it has a fluffy, creamy, slightly grainy texture and a somewhat nutty flavor when cooked. It is high in protein, including all nine essential amino acids. Part of the same family as spinach, quinoa is high in fiber and minerals such as magnesium, manganese, and iron. Lots of protein and fewer calories make this not only a great food choice for weight loss but also a great plant-based meat substitute!
- Oats – Oats are rich in fiber and complex carbohydrates which are needed to keep your metabolism up by keeping insulin levels low after a meal. Eating foods that lower insulin levels is helpful in loosing weight since insulin spikes make your body think it’s time to start storing the fat.
- Beans –Beans provide you with almost complete nutrition and are a great meat substitute. High in quality protein and rich in fiber, this a great diet food as it helps keep you feeling full longer and insulin levels low. Also low in fat, there are numerous types of beans to meet anyone’s fancy. So pick the ones you like and add them to your meals.
- Hot Chili Peppers – Such as jalapenos, habaneras, and cayenne…. hot peppers can help burn a few extra calories and a little more fat according to a recent 2010 study from the UCLA Center for Human Nutrition.1 Researchers led by Dr. David Heber, tested a compound related to the capsaicin found in hot peppers which suggests that heat generated by peppers can cause your body to burn more calories and “oxidize” layers of fat. This latest study follows other studies finding hot peppers may increase metabolism.2 Although it is not a magic bullet, these compounds work in support of a well-balanced diet.
- Apples – Apples are a great addition to your weight-loss plan for numerous reasons. Apples are rich in vitamins and minerals and low in fat and calories. They are also high in fiber which helps keep your stomach feeling satiated or full longer. Apples don’t shoot up insulin levels like some other fruits.
- Dark Leafy Green Vegetables – Super calcium-rich dark leafy greens including kale, spinach, romaine lettuce, chard, collard greens, etc. are ideal for helping weight loss. One of the key components to weight loss is increasing your metabolism rather than starving the body of calories, which slows down the metabolism and hangs on to energy—fat—more intensely.3 Studies have shown that high-calcium diets favor burning fat rather than storing it, mostly by speeding up metabolism.4 These green leaves are also high in weight loss-assisting vitamin C and fiber as well as a plethora of nutrients for good health.
- Broccoli – This super food is packed with nutrients including calcium, vitamin C, folic acid, vitamin A, fiber, cancer-fighting nutrients and even protein. This high-calcium food can contribute to weight loss for reasons mentioned previously and are full of antioxidants that provide a large number of health benefits including decreasing the risk of heart disease and certain cancers.
- Green Tea – Green tea contains a chemical called epigallo-catechin gallate or EGCG that causes the brain and nervous system to work faster and helps burn more calories. EGCG is also a powerful antioxidant which can help fight disease.
- Lemons – Lemons stimulate the body’s digestive system. Rich in citric acid, lemons work with other acids and enzymes for healthy and effective digestion by stimulating stomach juices.5 The acidity of lemon juice can improve your digestion and balance blood sugar levels from a meal. Try seasoning your meals with some lemon juice or having a little fresh lemon juice in water before a meal to boost your digestion. Proper digestion is important not only for weight loss but for overall health and longevity.
- Papaya – Papayas are rich in enzymes, making it another food that is good for digestive health. Papaya contains the enzyme papain which digests protein as well as other enzymes such as alpha amylase and protease to help break down starches, carbohydrates and protein. This is essential for weight loss and boosting metabolism.
Losing excess weight and maintaining good health should be a gradual and practical process that becomes a habit rather than a phase. Make it a habit to choose healthy foods as much as possible and don’t worry if you have a “bad” day here and there, just fall back on your healthy eating habits.
Why you should eat your collard greens
Share on PinterestCollard greens contain many essential nutrients.
A diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables appears to help reduce the risk of many lifestyle-related health conditions.
A high intake of plant foods, such as collard greens, appears to decrease the risk of a number of health conditions, including obesity and overall mortality, diabetes, and heart disease.
A low intake of vitamin K can increase the risk of osteoporosis and bone fracture.
Vitamin K acts as a modifier of bone matrix proteins, it improves calcium absorption, and it may reduce urinary excretion of calcium.
One cup of boiled collard greens provides 770 micrograms of vitamin K.
The 2015-2020 United States Dietary Guidelines recommend that a woman aged 19 to 30 years should consume 90 mcg a day of vitamin K, and a man of the same age should consume 120 mcg.
One cup of collard greens provides this much vitamin K several times over.
Studies suggest that people who eat plenty of cruciferous vegetables have a lower risk of developing various types of cancer, including cancer of the upper digestive tract, colorectal, breast cancer, and kidney cancer.
Cruciferous vegetables have sulfur-containing compounds known as glucosinolates.
These compounds may help prevent the cancer process at different stages of development for lung, colorectal, breast, and prostate cancers, and possibly melanoma, esophageal cancer, and pancreatic cancer.
In 2017, researchers published the results of a study involving nearly 3,000 people. They were looking for possible links between the incidence breast cancer and the consumption of cruciferous vegetables.
The findings suggested that consuming cruciferous vegetables may lower the risk of breast cancer, especially in women who have not yet reached menopause. They note that cooking methods may make a difference, as cooking some cruciferous vegetables can reduce the levels of glucosinolates.
Whether this is true of collard greens or not was unclear from this study, as most people do not eat collard greens raw.
There is evidence that collard greens and other green vegetables that contain high amounts of chlorophyll can help to block the carcinogenic effects of heterocyclic amines. These substances are generated when grilling foods at a high temperature.
Diabetes and liver function
The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend 22.4 to 28 grams of fiber a day for women, depending on age, and 28 to 33.6 grams a day for men.
Results of a study published in 2014 suggest that a high intake of fiber might reduce inflammation and glucose levels in people with type 1 diabetes.
It may help people with type 2 diabetes to achieve better levels of blood sugar, lipids, and insulin.
One cup of boiled collard greens provides nearly 8 grams of fiber.
Collard greens also contain an antioxidant known as alpha-lipoic acid.
Studies suggest that alpha-lipoic acid (ALA) can lower glucose levels, increase insulin sensitivity, and prevent changes related to oxidative stress in people with diabetes. It can also help to regenerate liver tissue.
Investigators have also observed that ALA may decrease the symptoms of peripheral neuropathy in people with diabetes.
However, it remains unclear whether ALA can be effective as a long-term treatment. In addition, studies have used intravenous ALA. Oral supplementation may not provide the same benefits.
Excessively high doses of ALA appear to produce adverse effects similar to those caused by too little. While “normal” amounts can help prevent oxidative stress, high levels may lead to cell damage.
Researchers have found that consuming collard greens improved liver function in rats with high blood pressure.
Collard greens are high in both fiber and water content. These help to prevent constipation, promote regularity, and maintain a healthy digestive tract.
Healthy skin and hair
Collard greens have a high vitamin A content. Vitamin A is necessary for sebum production, and this keeps hair moisturized.
Vitamin A is crucial for the growth of all bodily tissues, including skin and hair. It also supports the immune system and the eyes and helps keep the body’s organs healthy.
Vitamin C enables the body to build and maintain levels of collagen, which provides structure to skin and hair.
An adult woman needs 75 mg of vitamin C a day, and a man needs 90 mg. A cup of boiled collard greens provides nearly 35 mg of vitamin C.
Iron prevents anemia, a common cause of hair loss. A lack of iron in the diet can affect how efficiently the body uses energy. Collard greens, spinach, lentils, tuna, and eggs are good sources of iron.
Adults need to consume 8 mg of iron a day, and women during their reproductive years need 18 mg. One cup of boiled collard greens provides 2.5 mg of iron.
Sleep and mood
Collard greens contain choline, an important neurotransmitter. Choline helps with mood, sleep, muscle movement, learning, and memory functions.
Choline also helps to maintain the structure of cellular membranes, the transmission of nerve impulses, the absorption of fat, and the reduction of chronic inflammation.
Folate, also present in choline, may help with depression, as it can prevent an excess of homocysteine from forming in the body.
Scientists have found high levels of homocysteine in people with bipolar disorder and depression related to alcohol use disorder.
Consuming folate may help reduce the risk of depressive symptoms in some people.
Why not grow your own collard greens? You can purchase the seeds online.
10 Best Leafy Greens to Lose Weight
If you are looking to shed some pounds, one of the best nutritional changes you can make is to incorporate more leafy greens into your diet. Leafy greens, such as kale, romaine, and collard greens are some of the most nutritionally dense foods available. Often called the “powerhouses” of nutrition, they are rich in essential vitamins and minerals and fiber which can help you stabilize hunger and lose weight.
Making leafy greens a bigger part of your diet is easier then you think. I know what your first thought may be. No fear, this does not mean you need to start eating salads all of the time. Leafy greens are a very versatile food. They can be eaten raw, cooked, or even baked and transformed into a healthy snack. As you explore leafy greens, you will find that they each have a distinct taste. Some are mild while others are peppery. Some may taste bitter until they are cooked down. You can find numerous recipes below that can help you make leafy greens a part of your healthy diet. However, first thing is first, to learn more about which leafy greens will help you achieve your weight loss goals. Check out the list below of the healthiest leafy greens and read about the benefits they offer.
10 Healthiest Leafy Greens
Microgreens: packed with vitamins and nutrients. Best to add to salads, sandwiches or soups.
Kale: high in beta-carotene and vitamins A, C and K. Can be steamed, sautéed. or baked to reduce bitterness.
Spinach: excellent source of vitamins A and C and only 20 calories per serving! Can be eaten raw, steamed or sautéed.
Mustard Greens: contain various nutrients that protect liver and other organs as well as vitamin A. They have more of a peppery taste but it can be toned done with cooking and adding a touch of vinegar or lemon juice.
Collard Greens: high in vitamins C and K and a great source of dietary fiber. Best to steam or cook.
Swiss Chard: only 15 calories per cup and a good source of vitamins A and C. Taste is similar to beets and tastes best when sauteed.
Arugula: has one of the highest sources of calcium and natural nitrates which increase blood flow to help you exercise more effectively. Has a peppery taste but works well eaten raw in sandwiches and salads.
Romaine: good source of potassium and vitamin C. As one of the most popular leafy greens, romaine is great for salads and added to a sandwich.
Cabbage: contains cancer fighting nutrients and vitamin C. Can be eaten raw or cooked.
Iceberg Lettuce: although this is not the most nutrient packed leafy green, iceberg lettuce is low in calories (only 10 per cup) and a great addition to salads, tacos or alternative to bread.
How to Eat More Leafy Greens
So now that you understand the benefits of leafy greens, the next step is to actually incorporate them into your diet. This can be achieved in a variety of different ways ranging from creating a dish around a particular green, to adding greens to the food that you regularly eat. If you do not find yourself cooking every meal at home, an easier way to add more leafy greens is to incorporate them into meals that you already eat. For example, if you usually drink a smoothie in the morning, then try out a green smoothie. Or replace your hamburger bun with a lettuce wrap. If you are used to going out to eat, many restaurants have options that promote eating more leafy greens.
Tips to Add in Leafy Greens
- Add frozen or fresh spinach or kale to a smoothie. Best when blended with banana for added creaminess and sweeter tropical fruit to mask some bitterness.
- Saute and add chopped greens such as cabbage, swiss chard or spinach to a stir-fry or omelet.
- Add cabbage, spinach, kale, arugula or lettuce to a sandwich. Not only will you benefit from the vitamins but your meal will get an extra crunch!
- Snack on kale chips! You may be over the whole “kale craze” but kale chips are actually delicious. Simply bake kale drizzled with olive oil and salt until crisp. Experiment with other spices to get new flavors!
- Chop and add almost any green to your soup or pasta. Once cooked, the green will simply be a nutritional bonus.
Try a New Recipe
Perhaps you want to center your meal around a leafy green rather than just use it as an addition. Luckily, there are numerous recipes online and found in cookbooks to make it easy. Fortunately the recipes range from more than a simple salad or cooked greens. When you check out the lists below you will learn just how versatile leafy greens can be. You can eat them for breakfast, lunch, dinner or as a snack or side dish. Try it yourself! Choose your favorite green below or find a recipe you like and make it at home.
- Mini Parmesan Spinach Cakes
- Baked Macaroni and Cheese with Spinach
- Cheese and Spinach Stuffed Portabellos
- Inside Out Lasagna
- Rice, Cheddar and Spinach Pies
- Chickpea, Spinach and Squash Gnocchi
- Kale, White Bean and Pork Soup
- Kale, Sausage and Lentil Skillet
- Kale Chips
- Kale and Potato Hash
- Indian Spiced Kale and Chickpeas
- Smoked Turkey, Kale and Rice Bake
Collard Greens Recipes
- Collard Green and Black-Eyed Pea Soup
- Spicy Meatloaf with Collard Greens
- Crushed Red Potatoes with Winter Greens
- Pasta with Collard Greens and Tomato Sauce
- Grits and Greens Casserole
- BBQ Baked Bean, Collard Green and Sausage
- Green Pizza
- Warm Chicken Sausage, Arugula and Potato Salad
- Grilled Eggplant, Arugula and Portabello Sandwich
- Ravioli with Arugula and Pecorino
- Roasted Spring Vegetables with Arugula Pesto
- Bean and Salmon Salad with Anchovy-Arugula Dressing
Swiss Chard Recipes
- Skillet Gnocchi with Swiss Chard and White Beans
- Acorn Squash Stuffed with Chard and White Beans
- Stuffed Swiss Chard with Marinara
- Layered Mashed Potato, Chard and Mushroom Casserole
- Bacon Swiss Chard Quesadillas
- Swiss Chard with Shallots, Pancetta and Walnuts