One question I’m asked often is, “How can I add more greens to my meals?”
As someone who naturally eats greens regularly, I often forget that it can be challenging to figure out how to incorporate vegetables, specifically leafy greens, to each meal (and some snacks) throughout the day. For me, greens have always been a favorite, even before my journey into nutrition and wellness I just love the way greens & veggies taste. However, this may not be true for you (or you may have little ones who aren’t into greens). That being said, here are a few of my favorite ways to incorporate veggies to each meal of the day, including snacks (and desserts—oh my!)
In my home, every morning begins with a smoothie; it’s a sure-fire way to get at least one serving of greens per day. I’ve seen many smoothie recipes that include lots of fruits and, while fruit is great, we want to make sure that we’re getting an equal amount of veggies. Since the smoothie I’m suggesting is to be consumed before breakfast, and not alone, it’s best to pack your blender with lots of green vegetables, antioxidant-rich fruits and hydrating liquids. Unlike your usual meal replacement smoothie, which normally includes more filling ingredients like bananas, avocado and protein powder; this smoothie should be all about adding a nutrient-rich punch to your morning routine.
Recipe | Hydrating Morning Green Smoothie
8 oz of coconut water
1 cup of ice (or to boost green intake: 1 cup peeled, cubed, frozen cucumber)
2 cups of fresh spinach
1/2 cup blueberries
1/2 cup frozen mango chunks
When you think breakfast, you don’t usually think greens, right? Well, think again. Greens can easily be added to your first meal of the day by incorporating them into your go-to recipes. Greens work with just about every breakfast food, you’ve just got to re-imagine their use. A couple of ways that I add greens to breakfast:
Sauté 2-3 cups of fresh greens with a variety of bell peppers and serve alongside eggs.
Choose 3 of your favorite veggies, chop 1 cup of each and add to an omelette or egg scramble.
Boost your avocado toast. Top your simple avocado toast with sliced tomatoes & peppers, thinly sliced radishes, chopped herbs like basil & parsley, chopped greens or micro-greens (one of my go-tos!)
Make a breakfast salad. How? The same way you’d make any other salad. Simply add an egg made to your liking along with veggie sausage or a breakfast protein of your choice and serve with a side of toast (sourdough is best IMO). This option has been a staple of mine for years and growing fave of my Lovewell clients.
Lunch & Dinner
For me, lunch and dinner are the easiest meals to add greens. You can go the easy route and have a side or appetizer of a green salad -or- get creative in the kitchen and make a fun, veggie-forward version of your favorite meals. Some of my go-to veggie-forward recipes are:
Love Italian flavors? My bolognese-inspired Eggplant Pasta is a great way to enjoy the comfort of pasta dish while sneaking in a couple of servings of greens as well as a good amount of fiber (increase your fiber intake by replacing traditional pasta with a brown rice or whole wheat option).
Simple sautéed veggies with garlic & lemon (yum!). My go-tos are asparagus. broccoli and haricot verts.
Do you have creative ways to add greens to your meals? Comment! I’d love to hear how you’re being creative in the kitchen.