Greens cover a whole host of wonderful veg, including tender spinach and rocket, crunchy kale, seasonal greens, cabbages and broccoli, and these gorgeous recipes mean that eating your greens has never been so easy or delicious. Try these great ideas for taking greens beyond just simple sides and salads, and into all kinds of interesting dishes, from super smoothies to punchy pestos, spicy stir-fries and beautiful breakfasts.
With some delicious greens of course. With its subtle taste, spinach is the perfect green to kick start the day and you can start simply by stirring some through this tricolour scrambled eggs recipe. A classic eggs Florentine muffin makes an indulgent brunch with a creamy Hollandaise sauce and runny poached egg, while for something a little more exotic, this Turkish-inspired spinach menemen recipe has a hit of spicy chilli and chorizo.
For a fresher start to the day, try adding greens to a juice or smoothie for a flavour-packed boost. This thick and creamy spinach smoothie is the perfect balance of rich avocado and zesty lime, and a juice like this green zinger has a vibrant mix of kale, apple, grapes and a hint of warming turmeric, too.
Even when you’re looking for something to grab and go, think green. Bake a big batch of kale crisps for a quick and easy snack, or whizz up a speedy broccoli dip for topping toasts or dunking tortillas. For a simple baking project, these mini goat’s cheese and spinach muffins make a delicious bite and are small enough to be packed up for on-the-go.
Everyone loves pizza, and greens can make a star topping for your favourite cheesy, doughy treat. Much like the brunch recipe above, a classic Florentine pizza combines leafy spinach with a baked egg cracked on top. For a hearty supper, this spinach and mushroom-stuffed calzone recipe is a winner, and these mini kale and chilli pizzas are easy to rustle up for a snack or simple lunch.
Whether as the main event, or as a punchy side, greens work wonders with the spicy flavours and aromatics of Indian cooking. This veggie spinach, potato and mushroom curry ticks all the boxes for a night in – it has a great balance of spice and creamy coconut, plus it’s quick to cook and healthy, too. A lentil dhal is also a great base for adding greens; try this recipe topped with spiced broccoli or this simple chickpea dhal with spinach stirred through. For a flavour-packed side, this coconut and ginger cabbage recipe is the perfect dish.
Alongside spicy feasts, greens are equally at home in the hearty pasta and rice dishes of Italy. This spinach, tomato and mascarpone linguine recipe is a deliciously quick one-pot wonder that is perfect for a midweek supper. For something a bit more special at the weekends, try this kale and mushroom lasagne, a creamy kale mac and cheese, or serve up slices of this impressive spinach risotto cake. Traditionally made with fragrant basil, a punchy pesto can also be adapted to accommodate other greens and this easy broccoli pesto penne is a great dinner idea for two.
Dipping into a big bowl of steaming soup is the perfect antidote to a long day. Chopped or shredded, greens can easily be stirred through chunky soups to add earthy flavour and texture. A traditional minestrone soup, with shredded cabbage and broken spaghetti, is a good place to start. This Tuscan-style vegetable soup has a greener feel, with leeks, kale and a dollop of pesto, while this chorizo and pearl barley soup from Jamie Oliver makes a meatier meal and can use any seasonal greens.
Prefer your leaves with a little bite? A quick flash in a pan is one of the best ways to retain a crisp texture when cooking greens. Ready in just 10 mins, this speedy Asian side celebrates pak choi and spinach and the sesame seeds and oil give them a deliciously nutty flavour. For a classic takeaway at home, this crispy chilli beef recipe is packed with flavour and crunchy kale. When in season, make the most of deliciously nutty Brussels sprouts in this sprout, leek and carrot noodle stir-fry recipe - they're not just for Christmas!
Make greens the main attraction of your next meal with these inventive recipes that take their inspiration from around the world. A favourite in Eastern Europe and Russia, golubtsy is a comforting dish of meaty beef parcels wrapped in cabbage leaves. Based on the classic Greek pie, these savoury spanakopita pancakes have a delicious spinach and feta filling with added crunch from pine nuts. From the Middle East, this tabbouleh recipe is given a green twist with finely chopped kale. Closer to home, this Irish sprout colcannon recipe is rich and hearty, and this cheesy vegetarian Homity pie has added spring greens for a colourful filling.
If you are serving greens alongside your main, you can still be creative with your cooking to ensure a dish that’s packed with flavour. A simple savoy cabbage can be given lots of twists – try simply braised in cider to serve with this sea bass recipe, dressed in zesty orange and mustard, or as roasted cabbage drizzled with a creamy blue cheese dressing. Mix up your usual Sunday roast with this Asian-inspired roast pork with spiced greens, or serve up a rich and creamy celeriac and kale gratin for a real treat.
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