I don’t often crave cold, crunchy salads in the dead of winter. These are a few of my favorite ways to sneak greens into all of my meals while still eating seasonally.
This time of year (the dead of winter!), a fresh spring mix salad is not top of mind. Come summer, I crave salads for lunch and dinner – fresh greens (bonus if they’re from our garden), sliced peaches, candied pecans, a crumble of cheese. But this time of year I like my veggies warm and roasted. I think our bodies generally tend to crave what’s in season, and so I find myself roasting a sheet pan of acorn squash or a medley of mushrooms, eggplant, and peppers to heat up for lunches during the week.
Whether you’re personally trying to eat more greens, or sneak them onto your kids’ plates and meals, here are 5 ways we get our greens in the KERF house.
5 Ways To Sneak In Greens Into Our Meals
1) Green Smoothies
We eat smoothies year-round and I almost always throw some greens in. My trick to avoid frozen fingers when you’re slurping your smoothie? Double fist with hot coffee. Or sit in front of a gas fireplace 🙂 Smoothies – whether you eat them from a mason jar, bowl, or serve to your kids in a sippy cup – are such an easy way to sneak in those greens. Throw in handfuls, really handfuls, of spinach (fresh or frozen). If you’re brave, you can branch out to other greens, but I will say that kale and chard are both harder to blend and a bit more detectable. This Super Green Smoothie Bowl is one of our favorites!
2) Wilted Greens in Healthy Comfort Food
Having been through two bouts of February morning sickness with each of my pregnancies, I know a thing or two about sneaking in greens to comfort foods. One of my favorite ways is to add greens to a cheesy pasta dish or spaghetti with whole wheat noodles and roasted vegetables (like this Herby Chard Pasta). And for the kids? Add frozen peas and broccoli to a store-bought white cheddar mac ‘n’ cheese (i.e. Annie’s Organic White Cheddar Macaroni and Cheese). Sometimes when I do this I have to pick them back out – or just eat it myself! But it’s worth a try.
3) Kale Chips
Even if you’re not a huge fan of kale, kale chips are another story. People who don’t like kale love kale chips! The best thing about kale chips is that you can jazz them up any way you please. Sprinkle with cheese, kosher salt, and then dip them in ketchup. Mazen actually likes kale chips, so I need to make them more often.
4) Vegetable Heavy Soups
I tend to live on soups this time of year. Vegetable soups are basically just brothy salads! Just like smoothies, soups are an easy way to add in a bunch of greens. Whether it’s a stew or a blended soup (an immersion blender makes this so easy), it’s easy to sneak in greens of all sorts. An old favorite is Smoked Sausage and Split Pea Soup. You can always throw in a few handfuls of greens to pre-made soups, too!
5) Fresh Greens on Pizza or Avocado Toast
We love (grilled) pizza on the Big Green Egg and make it on the gas grill on weeknights. Have you ever been to a restaurant where they top a pipping hot pizza with fresh arugula or mixed greens? (Like the Lemon Prosciutto pizza at Lampo!) Well, you definitely don’t have to be at a fancy pizza joint to enjoy this combo – it’s essentially like salad and pizza all in one. And if avocado toast is a regular in your breakfast or lunch line-up, try topping your toast with a sprinkling of chiffonade greens, fresh herbs, or sprouts.
Now I’m not saying it’s necessary to eat greens with every meal, but just because it’s not summer and “salad season”, doesn’t mean greens can’t be included your daily eats.