Learn to Love Your Leafy Greens | Holly Legare
Leafy-Vegetables-PTI

Learn to Love Your Leafy Greens

Leafy greens are the superstar of vegetables. They have very little calories and carbohydrates but tons of nutrition and fiber which means they fill you up without filling you out. Dark green leafy vegetables are also a great source of nutrients like vitamins A, C, E and K and contain antioxidants that protect your cells. Green leafy vegetables also contain high levels of iron, magnesium, potassium and calcium.

7 Benefits of Eating Your Greens

1. Improved eyesight
2. Helps maintain a healthy body weight
3. Regulates digestive health
4. Protecting your bones from osteoporosis
5. Preventing against inflammatory diseases
6. Lowering the risk of colon polyps
7. May play a role in blocking the early stages of cancer

A Guide To Leafy Greens

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5 Recipes to Enjoy Your Greens

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Pan Seared Salmon with Kale by the Food Network Kitchen on foodnetwork.com

Ingredients
Four 5-ounce center-cut salmon fillets (about 1-inch thick)
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt
1 bunch kale, ribs removed, leaves very thinly sliced (about 6 cups)
1/4 cup dates
1 Honeycrisp apple
1/4 cup finely grated pecorino
3 tablespoons toasted slivered almonds
Freshly ground black pepper
4 whole wheat dinner rolls

Directions
Bring the salmon to room temperature 10 minutes before cooking.

Meanwhile, whisk together the lemon juice, 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a large bowl. Add the kale, toss to coat and let stand 10 minutes.

While the kale stands, cut the dates into thin slivers and the apple into matchsticks. Add the dates, apples, cheese and almonds to the kale. Season with pepper, toss well and set aside.

Sprinkle the salmon all over with 1/2 teaspoon salt and some pepper. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Raise the heat to medium-high. Place the salmon, skin-side up in the pan. Cook until golden brown on one side, about 4 minutes. Turn the fish over with a spatula, and cook until it feels firm to the touch, about 3 minutes more.

Divide the salmon, salad and rolls evenly among four plates.

Per serving (1 fish fillet, about 2 cups of salad and 1 dinner roll): Calories 620; Fat 36 g (Saturated 8 g); Cholesterol 85 mg; Sodium 730 mg; Carbohydrate 40 g; Protein 39 g; Fiber 7 g; Sugars 14 g

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Arugula Salad with Pears & Gorgonzola by Sandra Lee on foodnetwork.com

Ingredients
1 (15-ounce) can pear halves, drained and sliced, reserve 2 tablespoons juice
2 tablespoons olive oil and vinegar dressing
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups baby arugala
4 tablespoons Gorgonzola, crumbled
4 tablespoons glazed pecans

Directions
In a large bowl, whisk together 2 tablespoons reserved pear juice and olive oil and vinegar dressing. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Add arugula and toss to coat.

Divide dressed arugula among 4 chilled salad plates. Top each salad with 4 pear slices, Gorgonzola, and pecans. Serve immediately.

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Braised Collard Greens & Butternut Squash by the Food Network Kitchen on foodnetwork.com

Ingredients
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small shallot, chopped
Kosher salt
1 clove garlic, smashed
1 tablespoon grated ginger
Freshly ground black pepper
10 ounces collard greens, cleaned, stemmed and chopped into 1 1/2-inch pieces
10 ounces frozen cubed butternut squash
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Fresh lemon juice or hot sauce, optional

Directions
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shallots and 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring, until the shallots are soft, about 3 minutes.

Lower the heat to medium and add the garlic, ginger and a few grinds of pepper; stir until combined.

Add the collard greens, 1 1/2 cups water and 1/2 teaspoon salt and bring to a boil, then cook, stirring occasionally, until the collards wilt, about 5 minutes.

Lower the heat to medium-low, cover and cook until the collards are tender, about 15 minutes. Add the squash, cover and cook until tender, about 5 minutes.

Remove the lid, increase the heat to medium-high and cook until the liquid has evaporated, about 5 minutes. Add the butter and toss to coat. Serve hot with a squeeze of lemon juice or hot sauce if using.

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Spicy Swiss Chard by Aaron MacCargo on foodnetwork.com

Ingredients
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Pinch red pepper flakes
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bunch Swiss chard, stems removed and leaves chopped into thin strips
Splash white wine
1 tablespoon sugar
Salt

Directions
In a large skillet over high heat, add oil, red pepper flakes and garlic and toast the garlic until golden brown. Add chard and toss quickly. Stir in a splash of white wine. Cook and toss until liquid evaporates and chard is wilted. Add the sugar, season with salt and serve.

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Spinach Salad with Garlic Dressing by Trisha Yearwood on foodnetwork.com

Ingredients
8 ounces bacon
3/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
Pinch salt and pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
1 pound leaf spinach, tough stems removed
8 ounces mushrooms, thinly sliced

Directions
In a medium skillet, cook the bacon over medium-high heat until just crisp. Drain on paper towels and crumble when cool enough to handle. Set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, salt, pepper and garlic.

Wash the spinach leaves very well and spin dry. Tear the leaves into small pieces and place in a medium salad bowl. Add the mushrooms and bacon, and toss to combine. Pour 2/3 cup of the dressing over the salad (reserve the rest for another use) and toss again. Serve immediately.

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Resources:

Foodnetwork.com/recipes
www.ars.usda.gov/
LiveBetterAmerica.com
Photo credit: direct.theindianrepublic.com