Today we’re talking all about greens and how to actually use up what you buy each week. You know, instead of letting them lurk in the back of your fridge before you realize they’re wilted + brown + gross.
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Whether you’re eating greens from a bag, clamshell pack, or fresh from the market it’s easy to run out of new ideas in how to use them week after week. Most of the clamshell packs have about 5oz in them and Chris and I will go through at least 1 per week depending on what other vegetables I want to have on hand for our meals. Our dinners [like this enchilada bake] are typically pretty vegetable dense and are always accompanied by a green of some sort to eat on the side. Sometimes it's a salad and sometimes it's broccoli, asparagus, cauliflower, collard greens, and so on. Many times we’ll eat our way through one [or even two] of the 1lb spinach or mixed greens packages throughout the week. Buying that size container saves money and also makes us more conscious in loading up on our veggies each day before they go bad. But sometimes I draw a blank on how to use up our greens or fall back on the same side salad every single day. It's easy to fall in a veggie rut, at least for me.
So if you ever find yourself frustrated in how to eat up all your greens here are a few ideas in how you can get the job done. This will help keep you from wasting food + money while also benefiting your health! Win, win. It all starts with a handful.
Green smoothies: It’s so easy to add 2 large handfuls of baby greens to your smoothie. I like to use spinach because it doesn’t impact the flavor at all. Two large handfuls is about 3 loosely packed cups for me which clears out about 1/3 of a 5oz package of greens!
Dinner: Spinach cooks down easily with a bit of heat and is great for adding to soups, stews, pasta dishes, and so much more. You can pack in a ton of spinach and it will cook down and blend in perfectly. The other night I made this Chana Masala from Angela’s cookbook and decided to throw in 5 large handfuls of spinach. Between the smoothie above and the dinner below that cleared out an entire 5oz container of baby spinach.
Breakfast:Greens go fabulously with eggs! I love making omelets and just before folding it over I’ll place 1 large handful of greens on each with a sprinkling of goat cheese. Then I fold it over and let it cook for another minute or so. This wilts the greens slightly and melts the cheese. My new favorite Kale Italia blend adds a nice peppery bite to the omelet thanks the arugula.
Salads: Salads are the obvious choice but such a good one! Between the two of us we'll eat about 2-3oz of greens for our dinner side salads. We keep things pretty simple for our side salads but like to jazz things up with seasonal produce as you'll see below.
This salad will definitely help you crawl out of your veggie side dish rut and offer a tasty and fresh new dressing to add to your homemade dressing repertoire.
This dressing is just too easy. It will take you all of 3 minutes to whip up and you can keep in the fridge for about 1 week. The key is a sweet + juicy peach!
The salad is a simple mix of greens, grilled chickpeas, goat cheese, and roasted pepitas.
Simple enough for a weeknight dinner salad but fancy enough to share at a dinner party.
Peach + Roasted Chickpea Salad with Peach Lemon Dressing gluten-free, vegan option // yields 2 salad servings – plus extra dressing
for the salad:
- 1/2 cup chickpeas, rinsed + drained
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1/4 cup roasted pepitas
- 5 handfuls of mixed baby greens, like the Kale Italia blend
- 1 ripe peach, thinly sliced
- goat cheese
- salt + pepper
for the dressing:
- 1 medium peach, pitted
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon stone ground mustard
- salt + pepper
Preheat your grill [or oven] to 350* F with a grill pan on the grates. Toss chickpeas in a teaspoon of oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
While pre-heating, place all dressing ingredients in your blender and blend until fully combined. Tate and add more salt + pepper if desired. Pour into a jar and refrigerate until ready to use.
Spread chickpeas on the grill pan [or baking sheet] and place on your grill. Grill, turning every few minutes until roasted to your liking. They took about 12 minutes on the grill for me. If you want them crunchy cook longer. They tend to take longer to crisp in the oven.
Allow chickpeas to cool. Place greens in a large bowl with peach slices, pepitas, chickpeas, goat cheese, salt + pepper. Drizzle dressing over top and serve immediately.
Notes: For the best flavor in the dressing be sure your peach is sweet and juicy. Feel free to peel the skin off the peach if desired.
Between the fruity, tangy dressing + the juicy bites of peach this is my new go-to summer salad. And hopefully you’ve picked up a few tricks on how to eat down your greens each week!