Green is the New Black
Updated: Jul 14, 2020
It may not come as a surprise that the average American doesn’t eat enough vegetables. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that women and men should eat 2.5 and 3 cups of vegetables in their diets daily, respectively. This is a relatively low expectation considering that many medical and nutrition experts recommend 5 - 9 servings of fruits and vegetables each day.
We may be speaking for ourselves here, but some days it seems like a chore to squeeze in just one vegetable. If you can relate, we have you covered. There are small steps you can take to give each meal a nutritious boost without doing anything drastic. One of the easiest ways to add extra veggies into your diet is to eat your greens!
We realize this may bring back unwanted childhood memories of yourself at the dinner table staring down a plate of soggy spinach that your mom cooked out of a frozen Green Giant bag. Before you stop reading, hear us out! We know you know that greens are good for you, but do you know how simple it is to incorporate greens into your diet without having to stomach a salad? Leafy greens are incredibly versatile. You can squeeze them into ANY meal or snack.
Toss a handful of spinach (fresh or frozen) into your next morning smoothie. By the time lunch rolls around, you will have already downed 1-2 servings of greens.This is probably one of the easiest ways to incorporate greens into your diet because you don’t even taste them. Get creative with it - kale, romaine, arugula, parsley, basil, or mint all fit the bill. Anything green! We love following Be Well By Kelly’s Fab Four smoothie formula.
If you aren’t eating your eggs with greens, you’re missing out! Breakfast salad with a poached egg, veggie scrambled eggs, quiche, the possibilities are endless. Starting your day with protein, fiber, and healthy fat can’t be beat. Instead of going out for Sunday brunch, invite some friends over and wow them with a healthy quiche or frittata that is packed with greens. Check out our super easy Roasted Broccoli +Feta Egg Muffins or this Kale Quiche by Naturally Ella.
Pesto and Hummus
Basil is typically the green show stopper in pesto, but you can easily make it at home and replace half (or more) of the basil with spinach, kale, or arugula. If homemade isn’t your thing, Trader Joe’s has a Vegan Kale & Cashew Basil Pesto that is pretty delicious. So you’re feeling extra adventurous? Try adding in any leafy green to your favorite hummus recipe and just watch those greens start racking up. Check out our 10 Minute Pesto that sneaks a cup of kale in!
Soups and Sauces
Soup season is upon us. Throw in a few handfuls of spinach or kale at the tail end of cooking your next batch and you have successfully incorporated greens into your meal sans salad. If you’re feeding a picky crowd, add greens to individual bowls of soup after cooking rather than adding them to the whole pot. Greens also make a yummy and sneaky addition to pasta dishes. Bonus points if you eat a side salad with it! We recommend trying this Quinoa Vegetable Soup Recipe by Cookie and Kate.
Bun-less Burgers? Tortilla-less Tacos?
Don’t knock it til you try it...
We’re big advocates of eating what you enjoy in the healthiest way possible. If you enjoy burgers and tacos, we support that! We enjoy them too. We just really love finding ways to add in a little extra nutrition to our days whenever and wherever we can. Let’s say you had a sandwich for lunch. Why not swap out that hamburger bun for lettuce at dinner? Maybe you’re having friends over for Taco Tuesday. Serve lettuce as an alternative to the tortillas. It's about #balance
Keep an Open Mind!
Salads get a bad rep. Not all salads have to be like that sorry side salad you can find at almost every chain restaurant in America that comes with two croutons, a pile of cheese, and a cherry tomato on top. In fact, with the right toppings, salads are a really underrated main course in our opinion. Pick a leafy base, add a protein, top it with fiber, and don't forget your healthy fats. Think avocado chunks, veggies, your favorite nuts and seeds, feta cheese... We love this Kale and Brussels salad from bon appetit and this fall salad from Cookie and Kate.