3 Simple Ways to Enjoy Leafy Greens

Hearty greens like kale, chard, and spinach are chock full of nutrients, and knowing how to prepare them will make it easier for you to incorporate them into your weekly repertoire. Here are 3 ways to enjoy leafy greens:

1.In a salad. Offset the bitterness in some raw, leafy greens by dressing them with an assertive vinaigrette. Fresh lemon juice or fruit vinegar (think strawberry or fig balsamic) whisked with olive oil, salt, and pepper is all you need to make a super-quick dressing at home. Toss in a few dried cherries for an added burst of sweetness, and some toasted, slivered almonds for crunch. Favorite green pick? Peppery arugula.

2.In a soup. Minestrone, potato-leek, lentil, and white bean soups are delicious on their own, but raise their nutritional stakes by tossing in a handful of greens towards the end of cooking. Favorite green pick? Lacinato (also called dinosaur) kale. Here's a recipe for a wonderful minestrone inspired by the version in Romney Steele's beautiful cookbook, My Nepenthe.

3.With pasta. While your spaghetti cooks, sauté peeled, smashed garlic in warm olive oil. Toss in cleaned, chopped greens, season well with salt and pepper, and turn with tongs until wilted. (For heartier greens like collards, add a bit of pasta cooking water as greens cook down.) Sprinkle with lemon juice and shredded parmesan, and pass crushed red pepper alongside. Favorite green pick? Swiss chard.

Once you see how easy it is to add greens to your favorite meals, you can even up the ante: many juicing enthusiasts swear by drinking their greens each morning.

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Cheryl Sternman Rule is a widely-published food writer and the voice behind the blog 5 Second Rule. Read all of Cheryl's iVillage posts here.

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