Salad greens

Four greens to spice up your salad

January 17th, 2013

by Shelley Langenhorst

If you’re looking for an easy way to give your meals some life and a nutritional boost, consider swapping your salad greens. Most people rely on flavorless iceberg lettuce for wimpy salads but these four greens are sure to have you excited to get more veggies in your diet.

Romaine

Romaine is an easy green for most to stomach and it is surprisingly nutritious. Romaine can take the place of any lifeless watered down salad lettuce and breathe life into your lunch.

Whip up a healthy spin on the classic taco salad. Crisp romaine lettuce makes the perfect base. Just top with onion, tomato, cheese, jalapeno and a protein of choice – taco seasoned chicken, steak or black beans are all great choices. Serve with tortilla chips and a spicy dressing.. Check out this recipe for a Santa Fe Summer Salad with Cumin vinaigrette.

Spinach

Spinach is a great starter green for those looking to make the step up from iceberg. A classic spinach salad combination is with thinly sliced red onion, goat cheese and toasted walnuts. Spinach also pairs nicely with a tangy mustard-balsamic dressing.

If you’re really looking to up your greens, spinach is an excellent choice to add a little oomph to your morning smoothies.

Kale

This dark, leafy green is a nutritional powerhouse. Kale is in season during the winter too so it’s a great choice for the colder months. Because kale is a heartier green, it will need to be softened before you eat it. The easiest way to do this is by tearing the leaves into smaller pieces and “massaging” with olive oil and sea salt.

The great thing about kale is that – even dressed – it lasts longer in the fridge than most greens making it a perfect option for workday lunches. Simply prep and store kale salads in the fridge so you have a grab-and-go option that’s so much healthier than any fast food sandwich.

Kale pairs fabulously with a variety of healthy fats and veggies: the possibilities really are endless! Check out this Kale Salad with a Creamy Curry Dressing or this simple Lemony Kale Salad.

Arugula

This peppery green may be foreign to some, but it’s worth trying. Packed with calcium and vitamin A, arugula is a healthy green that is actually a part of the cruciferous vegetable family (think broccoli and cauliflower). Dip your toes into arugula’s zesty waters with this easy starter Arugula Salad.

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