Easier said than done, though, right?
It can be tricky to work ample greens into your daily diet when time for salad preparation, veggie roasting, and sit-down meals is limited. Many take-out options offer iceberg lettuce at best, and kale salads, Brussels sprouts, and broccoli aren’t the easiest finger foods to wolf down while you drive from A to B.
But you don’t have to eat a head of broccoli while in transit just to make your nutrient quota. Here are some of our favorite ways to work more greens into every day.
1) Use greens as a base for other meals
Where you might otherwise have rice or pasta, swap in greens (or combine them with your grains). Spiralized zucchini, lightly sautéed spinach or kale, or even coarsely chopped romaine can make a great base for any meal. Top with your favorite burrito-inspired fillings or your favorite salad fixings and you’ll be eating at least double the greens without even noticing.
2) Blend them into smoothies, soups and sauces
Perhaps the easiest way to work more greens in is to toss them into a smoothie, blended soup, or a homemade tomato sauce. You’ll barely notice the taste, but your body will certainly notice the boost in nutrients. Kale, spinach, arugula, and microgreens make awesome options. PlateJoy’s meal planning tools make it easy to find dozens of recipes that are tailored to your precise portion sizes.
3) Supercharge burger patties
Whether meat or veggie-based, adding a few handfuls of chopped greens – like cabbage, kale or fresh herbs – to homemade patties can up the nutritional punch of your handheld meal. No time to make your own patties? No worries. Use fresh greens as a topping or wrap burgers in lettuce or collards instead of a bun.
4) Snack on ‘em
A batch of kale chips is infinitely more nutritious – and way less guilt-inducing – than a bag of potato chips, much as a handful of roasted Brussels sprouts is way more satisfying snack than a handful of cheese puffs (we promise.) Spending about 10 minutes of active time in the kitchen on weekends (and waiting about 40 minutes for them to cook) means you’ll have green snacks on hand all week.
5) Garnish, garnish, garnish
Good news: fresh basil, parsley, mint, cilantro, and their relatives all count as green veggies. In addition to making everything taste delicious, they provide significant amounts of vitamins C and K, iron and calcium.
Starting a simple window box herb garden makes it effortless to get that extra boost of vitamins and flavor. Not into gardening? No worries. Your local grocery should have a variety of herbs available year-round: you can store them upright in water in a glass or jar in the fridge to keep them fresh. Just snip off the bottoms before you drop them in.
6) Add frozen veggies to canned products
You might think it’s cheating, but using prepared products can be a great way to make healthy alternatives convenient, inexpensive, and more nutrient-rich for the new, green diet. A can of organic soup plus a handful of frozen peas or green beans can make for a quick lunch, and that extra fiber will go a long way in making you feel full.
About the author:
PlateJoy is a personalized meal planning service that’s tailored to your nutrition needs. PlateJoy uses over 50 data points about your dietary requirements, time constraints and tastes to create a custom plan to keep you on track, with delicious recipes and time-saving grocery lists, as well as optional ingredient delivery.