For many people, that picky child-eater still resides somewhere deep inside of us and for many Americans, pushing veggies to the side could be an Olympic sport. With a bit of practice and technique, you can master the art of cooking, creating and flavoring leafy greens.
Incorporating greens into my diet has been somewhat challenging at times. My go to is to just juice them or shove things into a blender and call it a day and I suspect that I am not alone in this. Did you know that there’s actually more than 300 different types of leafy greens? That’s A LOT of recipes to incorporate so I’m sharing with you my first installment of Different Ways to Eat Your Greens. I decided that this will be an on going series that I will do my best to update every month because we could all use more greens in our diets since they are some of the most nutrient-dense foods on this planet.
For the first installment of Ways to Eat Your Greens, we have Vegan Pesto which can be used in a variety of different ways, Green Hummus which can also be multi-purpose, Collard Wraps, a Greens + Matcha Smoothie, and a Greek inspired Cabbage and Rice recipe. Enjoy!
I used this pesto recipe for raw zoodles and for cooked capellini pasta to amazing results. If you’re looking for something less carby then go for the zoodles, but if you need some heartiness in your life try this on your favorite type of pasta.
- 1 1/2 cup soaked cashews
- 3 tbsp pine nuts
- 1 1/2 cup packed, fresh basil
- 1 1/2 medium lemon (juice)
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 4 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 5 cloves garlic
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/3 cup water
Soak cashews in room temperature water overnight.
Combine all ingredients in a food processor and store in the refrigerator.
Can add more olive oil if the pesto needs more moisture upon re-use.
Recipe inspired by Minimalist Baker's Vegan Pesto Recipe.
I was inspired to do make green hummus because of my love affair with Tender Greens and their Happy Vegan Salad. They make the most delicious green hummus to go along with their salad that I had to know how to make it myself. You can throw a dollop of this onto your favorite salad, use it as a veggie dip, spread it on crackers, and so much more! I will also be doing a recipe/video on recreating the famous Happy Vegan Salad and will link it in the recommended recipes below once it’s up.
- 2 1/2 cups chickpeas
- 2 cups spinach
- 1 cup arugula
- 1/4 cup cilantro
- 1/4 cup green onions
- 2 large lemons
- 3 cloves garlic
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 cup olive oil
Combine all ingredients in a food processor and store in the fridge. This recipe makes a large serving (32 oz). I would half everything for a smaller amount. Also, if the mixture has bitterness, just add more lemon juice to even it out.
Collard wraps have mayyybe been overdone, BUT that’s because there’s a million different ways to do them! Potatoes, quinoa, sprouts, veggies, hummus, spicy cashew cream, the list goes on and there’s a million different takes on this wrap. It can also be made completely raw or you can add some cooked elements as the filling. The collard wrap recipe below is pretty simple to start out because this is actually my first attempt. I found out that you can pre-blanch the leaves, dry them, and then freeze them for later use (!). That sounds promising 😁. For this version I made THE BEST mashed potatoes ever along with the standard sprouts, carrots, red cabbage and cucumber filling. Enjoy!
Potato Collard Wraps
- 2 collard leaves
- big bowl of ice water (plus 1 tsp apple cider vinegar)
- parchment paper
- gallon ziplock bag
- 3 small yellow potatoes
- 2 tbsp Earth Balance
- 1/2 cup almond milk
- 1 tsp garlic salt
- 1 tsp dill
- 1 cup thickly chopped red cabbage
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1 tsp rice vinegar
- 1 julienne carrot
- 1 1/2 julienne cucumber
- 1/2 cup sprouts
Set aside a medium/large mixing bowl of ice water to soak the collards in after blanching.
Get a large stewing pot of boiling water going.
Peel and cut the potatoes into medium sized chunks. Boil them in a saucepan for 10-15 minutes. They should be softened but not falling apart.
Mash the potatoes with a fork and add in Earth Balance, milk, garlic salt and dill. Mix well and set aside.
Sautee 1 cup red cabbage with 1 tsp olive oil and add stir in 1 tsp rice vinegar on low heat for 5-7 mins.
I used two leaves for my meal and froze the other two. You can change up the ratio however you like. I am not sure how long the leaves will keep in the freezer but I wouldn't leave them in there for too long. To re-use them, dip them into boiling water for 10-20 secs and then pat dry.
Rinse collards and then thin out the thickest part of the stem so the the stem is level with the leaf.
Dip the leaves into your pot of boiling water for 30 seconds using a pair of tongs. Place leaves into bowl of ice cold water + 1 tsp apple cider vinegar mixture for up to 30 minutes (anywhere from 20-30 should do the trick)
To dry the leaves, individually lay them flat onto a paper towel and pat dry.
To freeze leaves for later use, dry them completely and then wrap each leaf inside parchment paper envelope style while making sure the leaves are flat. Slide the parchment paper wrapped leaves into a gallon ziplock bag and pop them into the freezer. Store them for a week tops.
Lay out the leaves and add any spreadable toppings first. In this case, the potatoes. Then add the veggies and wrap everything up burrito style.
Learned all about prepping the collards for wrapping from the Kitchenistadiaries. You can check out her post on them here.
After making this recipe, I realized that I could’ve totally added spirulina to this. Feel free to add that extra punch of greens if you have it on hand.
Greens + Matcha Smoothie (lots of protein!)
- 1 tbsp matcha
- 1 tbsp hemp seeds
- 2 cups spinach
- 1 cup tightly packed kale
- 1 1/2 cups almond milk
- 1 tbsp agave
- 1 frozen banana
- 1 tbsp almond butter
Combine all ingredients together in a blender and serve.
I also threw in a throwback Greek recipe borrowed from The Greek Vegan, Lahanorizo or simply, Cabbage and Rice. The rice is optional and not necessary at all as this recipe is packed with a light a summery flavor.
Lahanorizo (Cabbage and Rice)
- 1 head of medium cabbage (approx 5-6 cups chopped)
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 1/4 cup chopped garlic
- 1/4 cup fresh dill (chopped)
- 1 tbsp fresh thyme
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp ground pepper
Remove outer stem of cabbage. Chop, rinse, and set aside.
Heat olive oil in sauce pan on low heat, add 1/4 cup chopped garlic, and 1/2 cup chopped onions. Sautee on low heat until garlic is golden.
Add 1/4 cup dill, 1 tbsp thyme, 1 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp pepper to pan. Stir. Add cabbage and reduce heat to very low. Cook uncovered for 15 minutes. Stir occasionally.
I did not use rice in this recipe but if you would like to incorporate rice into this, you could just sautee cooked rice in a sauce pan with oil and garlic and then add to the cabbage for a quick recipe. If you have more time and you want to check out how The Greek Vegan did hers, click here
And there you have it: Different Ways to Eat Your Greens. I will update this post with the second and third installments as I finish them. The picky child-eater won’t be able to stand in between you and your veggies for long. I promise 😇.
You can watch the instructional video here: