Green veggies are some of the most nutrient-rich foods available, and yet many of us struggle to incorporate them into our diets. Discover five delicious ways to make greens exciting again.
As much as we may want to count the starchy potato as part of our ‘five a day’, the truth is that green vegetables, ‘leafy greens’ in particular, are the real key to a healthy diet. Luckily, we’ve moved beyond boiled broccoli and creamed spinach. These days, there are loads of delicious recipes that make greens look (and taste!) good.
1. Kale crisps
Kale has proven to be more than a passing fad. The leafy green isn’t just a rich source of Vitamin K (for healthy blood), Vitamin C (for a healthy immune system) and calcium (for healthy bones), but it’s also an incredibly versatile ingredient. Swapping regular crisps for kale crisps is a fantastic way to add more nutrients to your lunch routine.
Simply throw a sheet pan of chopped kale into the oven with a bit of olive oil and sea salt. Bake at 150°C for about 20 minutes until the kale is crispy. For extra flavour, BBC Good Food suggests adding 1 teaspoon of the North African spice mix ras el hanout to the kale before baking.
2. Green smoothies
They might look like they belong in a witch’s cauldron, but green smoothies are a tasty, highly nutritious way to start your day. Typically a blend of leafy greens and fresh fruit, you might be surprised at how well these smoothies disguise the ‘earthy’ taste of green veg.
There are many different green smoothie recipes, but Hemsley & Hemsley’s combination of kale, celery, parsley, winter fruit, ginger and coconut water is an exceptionally winning formula.
3. Spinach and pear salad
The popular garden salad—with diced tomatoes and salad onions—has added a boost of nutrients to dinners across Britain for some time now. But have you grown tired of it yet? Maybe it’s time to mix things up.
Sweeten up this standard side dish by swapping your chopped lettuce for fresh spinach. Instead of topping it with garden vegetables, add sliced pear, walnuts and goat cheese. Finally, drizzle balsamic vinaigrette over the top before tossing. Need inspiration? Try this recipe from Chow.
4. Crispy, oven-baked broccoli
There’s got to be a way to make broccoli more exciting without smothering it in cheese sauce or adding it to a cream-based casserole. Good news; there is! Crispy broccoli is a growing trend among health-conscious foodies who crave crunch but don’t want to sacrifice nutrition.
To create the perfect crispy broccoli, simple toss the broccoli pieces in olive oil and roast in the oven at 200°C for 10-15 minutes. Good Housekeeping’s recipe suggests adding garlic and chili before baking and garnishing with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar before serving. Yum!
5. Saag paneer
This classic Indian dish may require a bit more preparation on your part, but the hard work pays off in rich, creamy, spicy and all-around delicious flavour. The Guardian has analysed the key techniques involved in creating the perfect saag paneer, and its recipe is a great beginner’s guide.
The main components are spinach (saag means “greens”) and paneer, a type of fresh, Indian cheese. You create the dish by frying paneer cubes in ghee before combining blanched spinach, garlic, onion, ginger, fresh chilli and ground Indian spices.
What’s your favourite green veg recipe?