Green veggies are at the top of my list when it comes to daily fuel. They are low in calories and high in fiber and essential nutrients. Whether it’s spinach or kale in my smoothies, big salads at lunch or roasted brussels sprouts at dinner, greens are on my daily menu. They’re rich in nutrients such as folate, a B vitamin you need for healthy red blood cells, beta-carotene and lutein for healthy eyes, and vitamin K for blood clotting. Also, since they are low in calories and carbs they can keep you full and help promote healthy weight loss!
Here are a few ideas for keeping your day extra green:
- Breakfast bowl: Combine sauteed kale or spinach, tomatoes, and a soft-boiled egg. Top with a little olive oil and parsley or cilantro for extra greens!
- Smoothie: Add either frozen or fresh spinach to fruit like bananas and berries and a nut butter for plant-based protein. Blend together with almond milk or coconut water.
- Frittatas: A great make-ahead meal that reheats well. Make a big one in a skillet and cut into wedges or bake into individual portions in a muffin pan. Simply beat a few eggs together and include finely chopped steamed broccoli, spinach, or arugula and any other veggies or flavor boosters you like.
Lunch Collard wraps or lettuce cups: Use the greens as a vehicle for your lunch instead of a wheat-based wrap or bread. Collard wraps can be assembled ahead while lettuce wraps are better to make as you go when you’re ready to eat. Fill with any combination of hummus, avocado, cooked chicken, roasted vegetables, or black beans for a burrito vibe. Salad: Salads are a hard sell this time of year, mostly because our bodies naturally crave something light and fresh when it’s warm out. Create a salad out of colorful vegetables, sautéed chickpeas, fish and lots of greens. Top with this creamy dressing (1/4 c tahini + 2 TBSP lemon + 3-4 garlic 1/2 c olive oil + 2 TBSP balsamic + 1 TBSP Dijon mustard), and you have a satisfying and nourishing lunch.
Soup with extra greens: If you make the soup yourself, even better. But in a pinch you can use store-bought. Simply heat and toss in a couple of handfuls of your favorite leafy green and let it wilt in the hot soup.
- Stir fry: Load up a typical weeknight sauté with a few extra greens. Try bok choy, kale, and Swiss chard. If you’re not feeling a ginger-soy sauce stir-fry, try a simple combo of garlic and olive oil.
- Make-it-greens bowl: Instead of serving something over rice (like a curry, stew, or burrito bowl), consider serving it over greens instead. Wilted kale and spinach work well here, as does cauliflower “rice”-as in finely chopped, rice-size cauliflower that’s lightly cooked.
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