TELL VT: How do you get more leafy greens into your diet? | Vegetarian Times Skip to main content

TELL VT: How do you get more leafy greens into your diet?

TELL VT: How do you get more leafy greens into your diet?


We want to know: What’s your favorite way to get more dark leafy greens into your diet? Our favorite responses will be published in the next issue of Vegetarian Times.


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I like to make different pestos with them and have it toast for breakfast.

I am looking into purchasing a juicer so I can make my own fruit and veggie drinks.

I just throw raw greens underneath any cooked food dish that I happen to make for dinner. The hot food on top slightly wilts the raw greens, and whatever sauce or seasonings I use in my cooked entree takes care of seasoning the greens as well. It's a no-fuss way to add greens to every meal, every day.

Kale, Spinach or sprouts on EVERYTHING. i am set for iron and all the vitamins.

Green smoothies

A long time ago I simply started adding greens to whatever I was eating (within reason). A handful of spinach or kale as a bed for the rest of the meal generally tastes great and even looks pretty. There's an entree and salad bar at the natural foods store that I frequent for lunch and if i want something hot I just add a handful of greens from the salad bar first and then pile everything else on top. I'd say that between spinach, kale, and arugula you've got flavors that compliment just about anything.

I have a green smoothie every morning. My favorite is with hemp seeds, date, tea, and a variety of different greens. Then I usually have one or two salads later in the day. If I go without my salads, I feel like I am craving something sweet when really it is the greens I craving!

I have learnt to make great parathas with greens such as spinach and methi leaves. Even the kids like them and it is also easy to pack as school/office lunches. VT, may be you can offer techniques for making parathas in one of your issues! I am always looking for ways to improve my cooking.

I am a school teacher. A few of us do a salad potluck every day for lunch. We bring a variety of leafy greens, vegetables and homemade dressings. Our meals are delicious!


Have a bag of baby greens on hand (Power Greens from Trader Joe's are great) and throw a handful in to sandwiches, scrambled eggs, whatever I can!

I steam some kale or dandelion greens in the morning, toss them in Bragg's Aminos or Ume plum vinegar and leave them out on the counter. Every time I walk past, I grab a bite. Yum!

I've found a number of delicious ways to have them daily. While we often stuff collard greens with rice & vegan ground beef substitute or shred them in a salad or noodle dish, we eat kale "chips" daily. I buy several bunches every week, toss them with olive oil and sea salt and roast at 400 degrees for 12 minutes, turning once. They sit in a large bowl on the counter and slowly disappear through the week.

Joining a CSA farm share was my crash course in using up greens in the kitchen. They often serve as a base layer on my plate. They also work wonderfully as a tortilla substitute in almost any wrap. I add them to soups just before serving, and toss them in the blender for smoothies. Kale-banana is my 7 year-old's favorite.

I juice kale and other greens (in season) in my green lemonaide. I also eat a fresh spinach salad every day for lunch

I like to sneak them into green drinks.

Green smoothies or green juices, easy and tasty. Or in stir-fries with plenty of garlic and chilli.

I make mixed greens, like collard greens, than take onion, carrot, celery, 2 tomatoes diced, some spinach into 2 tbsp olive oil till sweating, add in 2 cans 14oz veg broth till tender add in mushrooms. Make 3 cups rice Than layer the rice, add mixed greens than veggie mixture on top and sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top

I add greens into my food everyday, whether it's a green juice supplement in the morning, a green smoothie or salad for lunch and I always throw kale, chard, etc. into whatever I am cooking for dinner. My current green-go-to is a raw kale salad with lots of garlic and Sriracha. YUM!

I make kale chips with garlic and sea salt for munching. I saute garlic with spinach and/or arugula and top with lemon juice--takes all of 3 minutes--and top with whatever else I made for dinner.

I puree spinach with some almond milk as the base of my breakfast (and sometimes dinner) smoothie everyday.

I make it a priority & juice select bunches of kale, chard, spinach, collard greens every morning!

I use kale, swiss chard or spinach in my morning smoothies. If I find myself eating in the work cafeteria for lunch, I'll use spinach as the base for my salad. Also often saute various greens with garlic and cayenne pepper for dinner. Love cooking collards now that I have a pressure cooker!

In smoothies sweetened with pear and green grapes. Greens are also great in bean soups. Or add them to fried onions and cook for pasta. Add crumbled feta or goat's cheese.

I put spinach in my smoothies and sometimes I will sautee it for spaghetti too.

I am so hooked on my morning smoothies right now, I just thought I'd share the recipe with you: 1 good-sized banana (not a dinky one), 7 ice cubes, some light soy milk (maybe 1/2 a cup, 3/4 a cup or so), a heaping tablespoon of chia seeds, and about a cup or so of fresh spinach (you can really pack that in). You won't taste the spinach at all, I swear. And the Chia seeds will give you energy and help keep you full. You can also add a teaspoon or so of peanut butter, so it's extra tasty (peanut butter banana), and it'll bump up the protein, giving you more energy too. It's a delicious breakfast, fast & easy to make, and healthy!

As a vegan pastry chef I try and sneak some greens into my pastries for an added natural green color as well as for a boost of nutrients. One of my favorites was my spiced kale muffin filled with a spinach coconut mousse. You would never even know it was in there! Other than their beautiful color of course.

Vegan Creamed Kale! It's addicting. Lightly sautee kale add veganaise, nutritional yeast flakes, a tad of balsamic, toasted flax seeds, and salt. I eat it about 4 times a week. I do that, or make a traditional salad using kale instead of lettuce. Making pesto out of leafy greens is great. Arugula pesto and dandelion greens pesto are my two favorite.

I put spinach and sometimes kale in smoothies. I also love to integrate dark leafy greens into dishes like colcannon, egg or tofu scrambles, Hoppin' John with Southern-style greens, good old fashioned comprehensive salads, stews/soups/chowders, and many others. I love dark leafy greens! :)

I make a quinoa mix that I take for lunches during the week. Cook quinoa. In a sautee pan, cook onions/leeks, chopped kale, chopped greens, celery, carrots - whatever is available. I usually have 2-3 parts veggies for 1 part quinoa. Mix quinoa with veggies. Add soy sauce, lemon juice, a little rice wine vinegar, and fresh black pepper to taste. Keeps in the fridge for a week and makes a terrific, healthy vegan lunch! Just reheat in the microwave.

love a big salad each day for lunch made with various greens raw. Then dinner is lightly steamed or sauted greens with garlic, grated ginger and evoo. To include a variety of chard, kale, escarole anything that I can find organic and fresh that day. It is beneficial to eat greens raw and lightly cooked to absorb nutrients differenly getting the full benefit of these beautiful delicious veggies!

I just toss a bunch of mustard greens to my morning smoothie (oats, blueberries, celery abd orange juice)

Massaged kale salad -- seriously delicious! Chop curly kale into bite size pieces & massage vigorously with both hands for several minutes until darker & softer. Add flavored olive oil & fruity vinegar of your choice + choppped seasonal fruit + chopped nuts + a bit of salt & pepper. Fabulous!

I saute kale, Swiss chard, or collards ahead of time and then add to an omelet for breakfast, to rice for a quick lunch (with a teriyaki sauce) or add to a baked pasta casserole for supper.

I put them in my Nutri Bullett every morning and drink them down. I do not always feel like taking the time to make a salad or even having dressing. Drinking them is very painless and time efficient for me.

Morning smoothies!! I was on a mission to eat more kale and was trying to make somewhat palpable smoothies with it using a regular blender. One morning, my smoothie didn't blend well and I was already somewhat repulsed by my creation when my boss looked over and asked if that liquid was a "biohazard". I bought a powerful blender that same day and never looked back! Daily green smoothies now, and I love them!

I toss them into my morning smoothie!

Being a recent Nutri Bullet convert, I obviously make green smoothies, but there are other ways to get leafy greens in your diet. Use as substitute "layers" in vegetarian lasagna, or in a mushroom terrine. They make excellent wraps for all kinds of food, both raw and cooked - think about packaging pre-cooked rice and any other ingredients in little "parcels" and then steaming them Greek style. Julienne them really thin and add to any salad. Blend to a smooth consistency with an avocado and garlic and a little almond mild for a kicking salad dressing. Add more garlic and pepper and stir into mashed potatoes. Spinach is great to stir fry with a few cherry tomatoes, fresh basil, and adding to pesto for a great pasta topper.

Make a salad! We replace lettuce with raw kale, collards, and mustard greens. Massaged with olive oil, salt, and vinegar then left to soften for about 30 minutes (a tip we learned from Vegetarian Times!), the greens become a delicious base for all kinds of vegetables and dressings.

My latest can't-get-enough passion is homemade kale chips! I spritz dino or lacinato kale with olive oil, toss them with a bit of sea salt and dried Italian herbs, and bake on very low heat until they are nice and crispy. I can eat an entire bunch in one sitting, sans guilt---they're practically calorie-free.

I keep my freezer stocked with a variety of frozen greens like broccoli, kale and spinach and I add them to stews, soups, frittatas and stir-frys. Frozen greens are just as nutritious as fresh plus you don't have to wash or cut them and I don't have to worry that they'll go bad.

We sauté chopped greens in olive oil with a little garlic, bragg's liquid aminos, and a tiny pinch of cayenne. These are absolutely delicious piled high on a veggie burger. Swiss chard is our favorite.

I get a weekly greens CSA all winter from a local farmer and make all sorts of tasty meals - curries, soups, frittatas, risottos, polenta, warm salads, even just stir-fried with garlic and chili flakes over fresh pasta. Yummy! PS - It was pretty annoying that I typed my comments once and hit submit without entering my email address and the comments were wiped out, so I had to write them all again :-(

I use large flat green leaves for wraps with my favorite fillings - delicious!

I just discovered that huge bags of organic mixed baby kales are available. Baby kale tastes so good in simple salads dressed with a vinaigrette, tossed into most soups near the end of cooking, in a mixed fruit and veg smoothie, or lightly steamed with a crack of pepper, salt and a squeeze of lemon. My kids love it too, it's quite mild and tender.

I love adding them into my morning smoothies! I can mix different dark leafy greens together or simply use the salad leftovers from last night.

For starters, we keep them in the house at all times. You can always find a container of fresh kale or a bunch of fresh Swiss chard in the crisper drawer. We also keep bags of kale and spinach from our summer gardens blanched and frozen, and in the winter, it's so easy to just break off a handful and toss it into a soup or a stew!

Simple. Smoothies. My favorite is 2 handfuls of spinach, blueberries, dates and coconuts. Although it doesn't look appetizing, it's delicious. Smoothies are a great way to add any green to your diet, and one would never know they are in packed in there.

I like to freeze half of my bags of baby spinach in small sandwich bags. I use the rest fresh and then the frozen stuff is preserved and in perfect portion sizes to add to soups or stir fry, where it doesn't need to hold together as much. Plus, then I always have some around when I need it.

I love to add dark leafy greens to a smoothie. I don't really care for sauteed kale, spinich or chard. But add them to a green smoothie with fresh or frozen fruit and a few more veggies like cucumber or celery and I'm ready to face the day.