10 Ways to Eat More Greens

You probably know all the good reasons to eat your greens: that they are loaded with vitamins A and C and other health benefits you can check out over at the CDC's site. But you can do better than a pile of bland steamed spinach. Instead, try one of these ideas to get more greens like collards, lettuces, and even cabbage into your day.

  • Baby Bok Choy: Make a traditional Chinese preparation. Steam or boil the bok choy whole (careful—it cooks in only a minute or two!) and serve drizzled with oyster sauce, soy sauce, and/or toasted sesame oil.

  • Beet greens

    Beet Greens: Make a double beet salad. Roast beetroots until tender, then chop. Meanwhile, wash the greens thoroughly, remove the leaves from the stems, and finely chop the stems. Sauté the stems with onions, then add the leaves and cook briefly. Toss the chopped roots with the sautéed tops and dress with balsamic vinaigrette.

  • Chard

    Chard: Make a chard and feta dinner scramble. Remove the chard leaves from the stems (here's an easy tip on how to remove the ribs of leafy greens), then finely chop the stems and slice the leaves. Sauté the stems with sliced onions until tender, then add the leaves and cook until wilted. Whisk some eggs, add them to the chard and onions, cook until they're starting to set, and stir in some crumbled feta. Season with salt and pepper.

  • Collard Greens

    Collard Greens: Use these greens instead of rice paper for a fresh spring roll. Blanch the whole leaves until tender; pat dry; fill with cooked rice noodles, vegetables, and anything else you like; then serve with peanut dipping sauce.

  • Curly Kale

    Curly Kale: Make a raw kale Caesar salad. Remove the leaves from the ribs and thinly slice them, then toss with a tangy lemon vinaigrette or Caesar dressing. Top with grated Parmesan and toasted nuts or croutons.

  • Dandelion Greens

    Dandelion Greens: Make an easy appetizer. Toast or grill crusty Italian or French bread, then rub it with garlic and season it with salt and pepper. Sauté chopped dandelion greens in olive oil until wilted and season them with salt and pepper. Spread ricotta on the toast, top with the greens, and drizzle with aged balsamic vinegar.

  • Escarole

    Escarole: Use in a simple brothy soup. Heat up stock and add cooked orzo (or any other small cooked pasta), chopped escarole, dill, and cooked Italian sausage (optional). Simmer until the escarole is cooked through; season with salt, pepper, and lemon juice.

  • mustard greens

    Mustard Greens: Make grits ’n' greens. Caramelize onions, add chopped mustard greens to the pan, and cook until wilted. Add just enough chicken or vegetable broth to partially cover the greens. Add salt and pepper, cover, and cook until completely tender. Serve over grits, with a dash of Tabasco.

  • Napa Cabbage

    Napa Cabbage: Make a wilted salad. Sauté sliced shiitake mushrooms, sliced firm tofu, and grated carrots. Toss with thinly sliced napa cabbage, a dash of toasted sesame oil, soy sauce, and lime juice to taste.

  • Romaine Lettuce

    Romaine Lettuce: Make a grilled salad. Split a head of romaine lengthwise, keeping it intact on the end so that it doesn't fall apart. Brush both sides with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and grill on a hot grill or grill pan until lightly wilted and slightly charred on each side. Squeeze lemon over top and garnish with your favorite thinly shaved cheese.