Three Leafy Green Recipes to Knock Your Socks Off
Leafy greens have a great reputation when it comes to nutrients and benefits for your health, but a bad rap when it comes to taste. We often read and hear from friends about their distaste for the flavor of leafy greens. We are here to end the misconceptions!
Our three favorite leafy green vegetables are kale, spinach and collard greens. They are jam packed with vitamins, minerals, fiber and other essential nutrients. While raw kale might be bitter to some, it loses a lot of its bitterness once cooked. Same goes for collard greens. Spinach has a light and refreshing taste, that is pleasing raw or cooked.
We are sharing our favorite recipes with you today, having each of these leafy greens as the star of the dish. For those who are already on board with greens, we are sure you will love these recipes. For those that are hesitant, please give these recipes a try. They are super tasty and loaded with healthy ingredients, two key components for any dish that you serve to your family.
Kale & Pan-Seared Tilapia
(original recipe from foodandwine.com)
This dish is healthy, refreshing, light and perfect for a springtime dinner party. The major nutritional benefits found in kale are protein, vitamins A, C & K, fiber, and folate, just to name a few.
Two 4-ounce tilapia fillets
Fresh cracked pepper
2 tbsp unsalted butter, divided
1/2 medium onion, diced
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp sea salt
4 cups lightly packed chopped kale
- Rinse & pat dry tilapia fillets. Season with salt & pepper.
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Melt 1 tbsp of butter and add tilapia. Cook 1-2 minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Remove tilapia and set aside.
- In the same pan over medium heat, add remaining butter and stir in onion. Cook from 1-2 minutes or until soft.
- Pour in the wine, lemon juice, and salt. Bring to a simmer and then stir in the kale. Cover the pan and cook from about 2 minutes or until the kale is tender.
- On the serving plates, make a bed of two-thirds kale and onion. Top with the tilapia, then garnish with remaining kale and onions, pouring any remaining sauce over fillets.
Spinach, Beans & Avocado Quesadilla
This recipe is a tried-and-true crowd pleaser! The nutritional benefits found in spinach are vitamin K, A, C & B12, iron, calcium, zinc, fiber, plus many more.
4-5 ounces of baby spinach
One 15 ounce can of refried beans (try a vegan variety!)
2 medium, firm tomatoes, diced
1 avocado, peeled and sliced
1 bunch washed & diced cilantro
4 spinach tortillas
1 cup salsa (try & make your own!)
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F
- Rinse the greens and steam in a skillet or Dutch over, just for one minute or until wilted. Transfer to colander and drain.
- Combine refried beans with small amount of water in a mixing bowl (just enough to make the beans easier to spread).
- Lay a tortilla on a baking sheet. Using only one half of the tortilla, spread tomato pieces, greens and beans evenly. Fold over to cover. Repeat with the remaining tortillas.
- Bake for ten minutes, or until the tortillas begin to turn golden and crisp. (Watch carefully!)
- Remove, cool for one minute, then top with avocado slices, cilantro and side salsa.
Stuffed Collard Greens
(original recipe from marthastewart.com)
This recipe is down-right delicious. The incredible benefits of collard greens are their cholesterol-lowering abilities, vitamin K & A, manganese, iron, copper, and omega-3 fats, among many other nutrients.
1 can (28oz) whole peeled tomatoes with juices
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 small onion, finely chopped
Pinch of red pepper flakes
Coarse sea salt & fresh ground pepper
1 cup spelt
1 pound collard greens
1 1/2 cup cooked white beans, drained and rinsed
2 tbsp finely grated Ptarmigan-Reggiano
2 tsp shopped fresh sage leaves
- Pulse tomatoes with juices in a food processor until chopped. Heat 2 tbsp oil in saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and pepper flakes. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is tender, about 6 minutes.
- Add tomatoes, and bring to a boil. Reduce and simmer, cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, about 20 minutes. Season with 3/4 teaspoon salt. Let cool.
- Stir spelt into a saucepan of salted boiling water. Reduce to a simmer, cook uncovered for about 40 minutes. Drain and let cool.
- Meanwhile, add collard greens into a pot of salted boiling water and cook until bright green and tender, about 3 minutes. (May we recommend you do this in batches, to allow the greens to have the proper space to cook.)
- Remove with tongs and let cook. Trim off stems and thick ribs. Reserve 12 large leaves, and chop what remains.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Coarsely mash beans in a bowl, add cooked spelt, remaining 2 tbsp oil, cheese, sage, and any chopped collard greens. Stir to combine. Season with 1/2 tsp salt and pepper to taste.
- Working with one collard leaf at a time, arrange 1/4 cup filling in the center. Fold stem end over the filling. Fold in sides. Roll collard over to form a bundle, overlapping ends to seal it. Transfer, steam-side down, to a 9×13” baking dish.
- Spread the sauce evenly over stuffed collards. Cover with parchment, then foil, and bake until sauce is bubbling and collards are tending, about 30 minutes. Serve immediately.
We hope you enjoy these recipes, and make the effort to incorporate more leafy greens into your daily diet. Bon appetit!