Dark leafy greens

Recipes
Kale salad in a bowl.

Dark leafy greens, including spinach, kale and collard greens, are an essential part of a healthy and balanced diet. These power greens are high in fiber, contain high levels of antioxidants, and are a great source of vitamins A and K. They also contain iron, calcium and magnesium, which help regulate blood pressure, maintain strong bones and reduce the risk of developing anemia.

Another important benefit of consuming dark leafy greens is their ability to reduce inflammation in the body, which has been linked to diabetes, arthritis and cancer.

So, next time you're at the grocery store, make sure to pick up ingredients to give the below recipe(s) a try!

Kale salad recipe

Ingredients:

  • 8 cups chopped kale (about 1 large bunch)
  • 1 can (15 ounces) fruit in 100% juice, drained and juice reserved (any type)
  • ½ cup 100% fruit juice, reserved from canned fruit
  • 1 tbs vegetable oil
  • ¼ tsp each salt and pepper
  • ¼ cup unsalted sunflower seeds (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Chop fruit and add it to a large bowl with the kale.
  2. In a small bowl, combine fruit juice, oil, salt, pepper and sunflower seeds, if desired. Mix well.
  3. Add dressing to the kale and fruit and stir to combine. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour before serving.
  4. Refrigerate leftovers within two hours.
  5. Makes 10 servings.

Tip: You can improve the flavor of kale, and soften it, by rubbing the torn leaves together for three to five minutes, until the kale becomes dark green and fragrant. You can also prepare the salad a day ahead and refrigerate it.

Recipe adapted from foodhero.com.

Spanish potato-onion omelet with spinach recipe

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1½ pounds (about 2½ cups) unpeeled Yukon Gold or red-skinned new potatoes, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup thinly-sliced red onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes*
  • 1 tbs chopped fresh rosemary or 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1 tbs chopped fresh thyme or 1 tsp dried thyme
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • 3 cups chopped fresh spinach
  • 4 large eggs
  • 4 large egg whites**
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp freshly-ground pepper
  • Parsley sprigs, for garnish (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven broiler.
  2. Heat the olive oil in an oven-proof non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add the potatoes, onion and garlic. Combine to coat the mixture with olive oil. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent sticking until the potatoes are tender, yet still firm. (Add more oil if needed.) Remove from the heat.
  3. Mix the sun-dried tomatoes, rosemary, thyme and paprika into the potato-onion mixture in the skillet. Fold in the spinach.
  4. Separately, lightly whisk the eggs, egg whites, salt and pepper in a medium bowl.
  5. Pour the eggs over the spinach-potato-onion mixture. Return to the heat. As the eggs cook, shake the skillet so the egg mixture flows to the other ingredients. Use a spatula to gently raise the edges of the tortilla so the uncooked eggs flow underneath.
  6. As the edges of the tortilla begin to set, remove put the skillet from the stove top and place it under the oven broiler. Broil for about five minutes, or until the top becomes golden brown and the eggs are set. Remove from the broiler with a hot pad. Cool slightly so you can handle the skillet.
  7. Slide the spatula around the edges and underneath the tortilla. Gently slide the tortilla from skillet onto a serving plate. Allow to cool for about five minutes before serving. Cut in wedges. Serve hot or at room temperature. Garnish with parsley.
  8. Serve 6 to 8.

*If you prefer, substitute roasted red peppers for sun-dried tomatoes.

**Egg whites are used to reduce the cholesterol. Substitute two large eggs for four large egg whites if desired.

Recipe adapted from eatright.org.

Collard greens with yellow squash recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch collard greens (about 8 oz, washed and dried)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 slices turkey bacon
  • 2 clove garlic (minced)
  • 1 med yellow squash (cut into half moons)
  • 1 cup low sodium vegetable broth
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper

Instructions:

  1. Remove the woody stems that run down the center of the collard leaves. Neatly pile several leaves and tightly roll them up, then slice into ribbons. Repeat for the remaining collard greens.
  2. Heat one tbs of the olive oil in a medium sauté pan over medium heat. When the oil is shimmering, add the turkey bacon and cook until golden brown, three minutes on each side. Remove the bacon and set aside to slightly cool. Dice the bacon once cool.
  3. Heat the remaining 1 tbs of olive oil in the same sauté pan over medium heat. When the oil is shimmering, add the garlic and cook until fragrant, 30 seconds. Add the collard greens and squash and cook until the collards have wilted and the squash begins to soften, about five minutes. Add the vegetable broth and bring the mixture to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, covered, until the vegetables are cooked through, 10 minutes.
  4. Add 1/8 tsp salt (optional),* the black pepper, and cooked turkey bacon and toss to combine.
    *Optional salt not included in nutrition analysis; 1/8 tsp salt adds 75 mg of sodium per serving.

Recipe adapted from diabetesfoodhub.org.

Next steps:

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