Have you ever considered drinking a gallon (3 litres) of green smoothies a day? How about a salad filled with a pound of dark-green leaves? LOL. I figured!
Yes, dark-green leafy vegetables are an essential part of a vibrant diet, but there must be other ways of consuming our leafies without going all in on the liquids or chewing for 1 straight hour. As an effortless fix, I recommend incorporating dark-green leafy vegetables into your favourite dinner dishes and adding new greens-heavy dishes to your regular evening fare. I find these to be two of the best ways to maintain a greens-based diet: adding greens to regular dishes and trying new dishes that have lots of greens.
In my mind, it is a simple fix. Afterall, I’ve spent so much of my life collecting recipe books, watching cooking shows on TV, making playlists of recipe videos on YouTube or filling up recipe boards on Pinterest. (Please tell me you do things like this, too. LOL) Well, just in case you’ve been busy doing more important things – like ending civil wars or providing potable water to displaced communities 😉 – I’ve compiled a quick list of scrumptious, vibrant eats for you to add to your usual cooking routine.
Long before we had a flag, reggae music or top class athletes, Jamaicans had Pepperpot Soup. One of the classic Taino dishes that we still enjoy today, the spicy brew is full of leaves, like Callaloo, making a hearty and warm bowl of flavour. This is my favourite thing to have my brother, the chef, make for me.
Yes! It’s possible to make a quiche without any eggs. It’s also possible to whip one up into individual servings: with the magical utensil called a ‘muffin pan’. If you don’t have a latex or other nonstick baking pan, you can always use cupcake liners inside a regular muffin pan to prevent your mini quiches from falling apart. They are great for fancy dinner parties, potlucks or packing into lunch boxes.
Chinese food and I go way back. I’ve gone to extreme lengths to enjoy the stuff and really appreciate the many ways this cuisine incorporates vegetables into various dishes. Chowmein is a simple stirfry of veggies and noodles and once you make your first batch, you’ll find yourself keeping noodles in the cupboard for a rush-rush day. Unlike most people, you don’t have to use green cabbage or Chinese cabbge everytime. Many dark-green leafy veggies will combine well to produce and excellent meal. You won’t miss any texture of flavour once you do it well.
This Italian open-faced pie has become an international fun, easy-to-access food. I like to store pre-made crusts in my freezer, but you can easily make one from scratch in a little time. But, if you decide to order from your local pizza shop, you can always request the toppings you love. (Tip: the super-thin crust turns to ‘cinder’ if you don’t add cheese. But, regular crusts will be fine with just sauce and your favourite toppings.)
The highlight of this pizza is the Spinach Pesto used in place of the traditional tomato sauce. But the genius for me, comes in the form of the Cashew Ricotta. I love making tofu ricotta for my lasagna, but I’m a bigger fan of my sister’s Cashew Cheese dips and sauces. So, a Cashew Ricotta is awesome – especially for my peeps who stay away from tofu.
Just because I have fond memories of making, ordering, and eating pizza as a child, I’m giving you a second recipe for this category. What I specially love about this pizza is that once it comes out of the oven, it’s topped with (fresh / raw) uncooked leafy greens and other vegetables. Isn’t it beautiful?! It ‘s quite the treat for anyone who loves Mexican flavours.
I was probably in Primary School, the first time I saw lasagna being served was on TV. I promptly asked my mother to make it and grew up enjoying it at least once a year – usually at some big fancy dinner. But, once I started banging the pots around in my own kitchen, I found out how to make various versions of this one of a kind dish. A well-made tofu ricotta or cashew cheese sauce can easily substitute dairy cheeses and satisfy the biggest lasagna fan.
Plain pasta, usually spaghetti, is in regular rotation for my family. Usually because it works as a quick meal you can put together in 10 minutes or less. But, to kill the boredom that comes with traditional tomato sauces, the Spinach Pesto stars the show. Pastas like linguine are a great choice for offering variety to your palate without losing out on flavour nor simplicity.
What other greens-heavy dishes have you been enjoying?