By now we're probably much better at appreciating the fiber-filled, vitamin-rich, and antioxidant benefits of the green vegetables we fought so hard not to eat when we were kids (sorry, Mom!). Luckily there are plenty of ways to incorporate them into meals without getting stuck in a salad rut. From broccoli at breakfast to peas for dessert (really!), these recipes prove that when it comes to any meal, it's easy to be green.
Putting kale in egg dishes is becoming a lot more popular these days, and it's easy to see why. Sturdier than spinach, these vision-protecting, calcium-touting leaves can maintain their slightly chewy texture through the baking process and lend a pretty green color to the frittata ribbons.
Even those on a plant-based diet can use a boost in their green intake, and this recipe helps them do it in the most delicious way. In fact, the garlic and turmeric-spiced broccoli, peas, and spinach sautéed with tofu is so flavorful even meat eaters may opt for this savory breakfast alternative to eggs.
If it wasn't for that giveaway color, you wouldn't be able to tell that there are two full cups of spinach in this fluffy, sweet breakfast stack. St. Patrick would totally approve, but go ahead and make this any day of the year.
A generous handful of cheese makes this fresh, fluffy omelet a tad bit richer than what you'd typically whip up every day. But, as a once-in-a-while breakfast, this delicious option can't be beat.
Great to fix for a group brunch or simply as a dish that will last a few days, this bake balances meat, cheese, and egg with an entire container of frozen spinach, plus green peppers for extra vitamin C. Just a serving will put you well on your way to meeting your veggie requirements for the day.
Drink your greens with this breakfast smoothie that features four varieties of them! You won't find the typical banana or berries in this recipe, but the natural sweetness of coconut water and cucumber cut the spice from the parsley. Plus, the creamy avocado provides healthy fats to help power you through the morning.
Soups and Sandwiches
Use collard greens as a substitute for a tortilla wrap. The thick-stemmed leaves of this chronic disease-preventing veggie are perfect for holding the bulkier ingredients, like chicken breast and quinoa, and their chewy texture will leave you feeling like you've had a hearty meal.
Peas, kale, broccoli, and celery make these vegan burgers big in both size and nutritional benefits, providing fiber and antioxidants. Blended with oats, breadcrumbs, and walnuts, the jumbo patties would make just as filling a meal on their own as they do piled onto buns with all the fixins.
Just one serving of this soup boasts three and a half cups of greens. Plus, since it can be ready in about 30 minutes and is simply seasoned with salt and pepper, it's incredibly easy to get in your veggies for the day. To give it more of a protein punch, top with grilled chicken.
True to its title, this version of the Middle Eastern chickpea favorite is a step up from restaurant falafel. First, they're pan-cooked rather than fried, saving you a good amount of oil, and second, they pack in four entire cups of nutrient-dense collard greens. Put them in a pita or eat them on their own.
Simmered chicken breast, chickpeas, and a bag of spinach may seem like the ingredients for a sick day soup, but here they're kicked up with a heaping spoonful or two of cinnamon and a hearty squeeze of lemon. You definitely don't need to be under the weather to for this bowl to hit the spot.
Though it gets its name from the famous salad dressing, this sandwich has none of the mayonnaise or anchovy fillets that the condiment usually contains. Instead, it earns its title with all the green veggies packed between whole-wheat bread, from thick slices of avocado and cucumber to watercress and cilantro leaves.
Napa cabbage, spring onions, and asparagus share the limelight (get it?) with salmon in these flavor-packed tacos; in fact, you may not even notice the fish underneath all those greens until you take a bite! There are several steps to this recipe, but you can do most of them in one pan, so you won't be stuck with a sink full of dishes.
More robust in taste than spinach, kale joins the party in this dairy-free sauce. Packing even more greens into this dish, the pesto coats spiralized zucchini rather than regular pasta, while sautéed shrimp adds a nice pop of red and some filling protein to the meal.
From the five types of vegetables to the herbs, it's no wonder the blogger nicknamed this dish "fifty shades of green." Serve it when you need a crowd-pleasing meal that looks irresistible, tastes decadent, and has tons of fiber and heart-healthy fats.
If you've ever been to an Indian restaurant, you've probably tried this popular spinach-based dish. There's a lack of traditional spices in this version, but from the four cups of leafy greens to the cumin and ginger, it keeps the essential ingredients intact and is still impressively authentic.
This healthier take on a soul food classic features brown rice, pumpkin seeds, and ribbons of collard greens, lending a peppery bite to each mouthful. Vegan and gluten-free, it's one of the cleanest dirty rice recipes we've come across.
If you don't have a popsicle mold, you may want to buy one for this recipe. Blending peas with yogurt and fresh mint leaves, then adding chocolate chips, these frozen treats are too intriguing not to try.
A quick bread takes cookie form in these super-healthy baked goods. With just two tablespoons of butter in the entire batter, the cup of zucchini is not just a sneaky way to add green veggies, but also a crucial source of moisture.
With fewer than 10 ingredients, make an impressive—but easy!—three-layer dessert. The cookie bottom and strawberry middle are great texture contrasts to the show-stopping, honey-sweetened avocado and kale mousse on top.
A bag of leafy spinach is one of just 10 ingredients in these mini baked treats, and while the results may look like you went to town on food dye, dig in with comfort in knowing that the color is au naturel.
Somewhere inside all of that chocolate are two cups of grated zucchini. You'll be eating a fudgy brownie, but you'll be benefiting from a different kind of goodness—of the vitamin C variety—from the green veggie. Talk about a win-win!
Discard the tough kale stems and purée just the leaves to add to this light, fluffy cake batter. If it weren't for that giveaway color (those eye health-boosting carotenoids need to make their presence felt!), you'd never know that there are two cups of greens in this dessert.