Eating dark leafy green vegetables such as spinach, lettuce, broccoli, mustard greens, collard greens and others provides many benefits for your body. They are sometimes referred to as roughage and are rich in dietary fiber which helps the digestive system absorb water and push food through your body facilitating regular bowel movements. I look at them as sort of a ‘natural’ laxative. This is good thing, because you can keep your weight down if your body is effectively digesting and disposing of your food, yet maintaining and absorbing the vitamins and nutrients it needs.
Some effective ways to incorporate dark leafy greens into your diet include:
Eating a salad: Try to eat a small salad every day or at least several times a week. Mix in some chopped Swiss chard, torn spinach leaves, and/or Romaine lettuce.
Make a wrap: Make whole wheat wrap with turkey, tuna, ham or your choice of meat and add some romaine lettuce, torn spinach leaves, and other veggies to add flavor.
Add to your Soup: When making your favorite soup, just drop in some mustard or collard greens. This is a good way to get leafy greens into your diet if you are not crazy about them. They cook down in the soup and you will probably not even notice you’re eating them.
Steam some leafy greens: In the Southern region where I live, we love turnip greens, collard greens and mustard greens. Steaming them is a great way to eat them! When steaming, almost all of the vitamins and nutrients are maintained, so you get the best benefits from them. Just add water to a pot, and bring it to a simmer. Place your leafy greens in a steamer, and place in the water. Cover with a lid and simmer only until the greens are slightly soft and not mushy. Fix some cornbread to eat with this, and add some vinegar to your steamed greens! What a great cold weather supper, I’m hungry now.
Add leafy greens to your next stir-fry: If you eat stir fry’s a lot, then it would be great to drop in some chopped leafy greens of your choice. Swiss chard is great in a stir-fry. It is rich in vitamins A, C, K, potassium and iron! This tastes great and you’re getting more greens in your diet.
Eat a lot of broccoli: I didn’t even eat broccoli until I was in my twenties, but I loved it when I did try it. It tastes great steamed, raw, sautéed, or in a casserole, or in your salads. Broccoli is rich in A, C, K, folate and fiber.
Following are some recipes I love and eat on a regular basis:
My Favorite Salad Creation:
Mixed greens (I include Romaine lettuce, baby spinach leaves, and red cabbage)
Pepper jack cheese (2% reduced fat)
I like tomatoes, but not in this salad. Feel free to add your favorites to the recipe. I top this with Ken’s Light Raspberry Walnut Vinaigrette dressing, which is my favorite, along with Honey mustard dressing which I use occasionally.
I can eat this salad, and usually do, every day at lunch during the summer months.
Salads are so versatile, that’s why I love them. You can really let your imagination go wild with salads.
Creamed Spinach: I love this dish in the winter months.
1 can cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
1 beef bouillon cube
1 box frozen spinach, or as much fresh spinach as desired, steamed
Dissolve bouillon cube in a little water. Add to soup. Mix with spinach. It’s ready to eat like this, or
If you want to turn it into a casserole, top with grated cheese or buttered bread crumbs. Bake at 350 degree until brown on top. It’s great just creamed as a side dish, or as a casserole.
Southern Soul Greens: a family recipe.
1 bunch of collard greens, washed thoroughly and cut in to thin strips
2 (14-oz.) cans low sodium chicken broth
1 small onion, sliced
¼ teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
In a large saucepan, combine broth, onion and red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil for 1 minute. Lower heat to medium and gradually add greens. Cover and cook for 1 hour and 15 minutes. You can also substitute collards with turnip greens, mustard greens or kale. This makes enough for 6 servings.
Add some cornbread or biscuits, slice a tomato and this is enough for me! Oh, but don’t forget the sweet tea.
Hope you enjoy these. Bye for now got to go fix me something to eat!
Personal experience and recipes