10 Ways to Enjoy Leafy Greens

A couple of weeks ago, when I wrote about my Dad and foods to eat to slow cognitive decline, I made a jokey mention of eating 6 portions of leafy greens per week, (as advised by the MIND diet) And before you go mainlining iceberg (it's not on the list you see) when it comes to leaves and the good they do you, the darker and bitterer, the better. So. Admittedly I've stolen the above helpful graphic from a US wellness website- quick translations below arugula = rocket Mache = lamb's lettuce Dinosaur kale (!) = Cavolo Nero Tatsoi- I had to google this, the more exotic cousin of pak choi apparently. Collard Greens = Spring Greens (I think)

But almost a portion a day? How do we shoe-horn that little lot in without feeling a bit hard done by? And what about the kids? They're never going to swallow that, literally. For most kids, it's about shredding the greens so finely cooking them until soft, that they'll never know they're there. I've had a think and come up with a few paths you may not have trodden in your quest to eat more green. And they are as follows:

Soups- Kale Leek & Spinach, Minestrone, Summer Bean Soup (a little goes a long way in vitamin terms)

Smoothies- pre-prepped bags that contain chunks of kale/spinach, the kids never notice. You could try adding a dollop of yoghurt or scoop of protein powder to keep that blood sugar even. Get them here..

Pasta- A creamy spaghetti with hidden chopped frozen spinach. In fact, put the spinach in everything. Every tomato dish, every soup, every bowl of ice cream (not really). Caramelise a shredded cabbage in butter, add caraway seeds and eat with spaghetti and meatballs.

Tarts- with softened, garlicky kale and lemon, with spinach, puréed and mixed with egg and cream in a wobbly, crispy quiche. Individual tarts (kids love 'em) Salads- obvs. But a Caesar Salad with kale or cavolo instead of lettuce in a punchy dressing. Get the kids involved in some Vietnamese Pork Lettuce Wraps (tofu is good here too) where you use lettuce instead of bread. Get them growing leaves (they will eat them raw- honest)

Stir Fries- always, always have a bunch of greens in a stir fry (reduces to nothing) try this Beef (or chicken/tofu) with Greens in Oyster Sauce.

Omelettes and Tortillas- fold in finely shredded sautéed chard or spinach

Pizza- our local pizzeria does a white pizza with sautéed puntarelle (a bitter turnip top or somesuch- so good I've had a cooked tub of it in my freezer for 2.5 years). It's unlikely to tempt the kids away from the Margherita but you never know. Phew. Tune in next week when we discuss how to eat 3 (yes 3) portions of wholegrains IN ONE DAY.

Have a lovely weekend!

Jacquie x

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