Add More Dark Leafy Greens to Your Menu Plan

Stalks of Broccoli Rabe

Leafy greens are one of those tougher things to increase in the diet.  Many of them have challenging textures, or have a bitter taste component, that many find difficult to deal with on their plate, much less in the kitchen.  Knowing how to handle these vegetables properly is half the battle.  A long exposure to processed foods have taught us that bitter is not a good flavor, and this is just not the case.  A bitter component is a great counterpoint to sweetness, such as that of onion, in a dish.

Sauteed spinach is a classic Italian dish.  It can be done with kale or  is simply added to a pan where onion and red pepper has been sauteed until it is clear.  With spinach it only takes a minute to complete the meal, as it cooks very rapidly, and really should just be cooked until it begins to wilt.  The dish is finished with a squeeze of lemon juice, and perhaps some parmesan.

Broccoli rabe or kale stems make a great addition to pasta sauce.  It adds another facet, a peppery quality to it.

Ever think of adding dark greens to a seafood soup?  Turnip or beet greens are a great addition to a mussel stew, and add a rustic heartiness to the dish.  Baby spinach makes a great addition to an Italian wedding soup, or even minestrone.  Kale, sliced thinly, can be added to just about any vegetable soup.

Sliding dark leafy greens into the rotation of entrees and sides at home is probably the easiest way to get them into a healthy diet consistently.  Adding them into smoothies on a regular basis is an easy way to get quantity into the diet quickly, and at their maximum nutritional value.  Both are great habits to have.


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