STYLE

Greens delicious in salads with barley and lentils or used as a crunchy wrap

03/23/2015 08:00 EDT | Updated 05/23/2015 05:59 EDT
There are myriad greens available at grocery stores and, in season, at farmers markets. For a change of pace, make a point of incorporating some different varieties into your meals.

Registered dietitian Kate Comeau suggests adding greens to dishes in which you might not usually use them — chopped up or pureed into spaghetti sauce or used as a pizza topping, for example.

Here are a few recipes to try.

BARLEY-LENTIL SALAD WITH SPINACH, APPLES, ALMONDS AND FETA

This healthy salad is great for a family gathering or potluck. It can be served as a side dish, but its ingredients make it a full meal in itself.

625 to 750 ml (2 1/2 to 3 cups) water

125 ml (1/2 cup) green lentils

125 ml (1/2 cup) pearl or pot barley

1 garlic clove, crushed

500 to 750 ml (2 to 3 cups) finely chopped spinach or kale, tough stems discarded

1 tart apple, cored and diced

125 ml (1/2 cup) crumbled feta cheese

50 ml (1/4 cup) finely chopped purple onion

Vinaigrette

75 ml (1/3 cup) canola oil

30 ml (2 tbsp) lemon juice

30 ml (2 tbsp) white wine or rice vinegar

10 ml (2 tsp) grainy mustard

5 ml (1 tsp) honey or granulated sugar

1 ml (1/4 tsp) salt

1 ml (1/4 tsp) freshly ground pepper

75 ml (1/3 cup) chopped toasted almonds

In a large saucepan, combine water, lentils, barley and garlic. Boil for 20 minutes or until tender. Drain well, discarding garlic, and set aside to cool completely.

In a bowl, combine lentils and barley with spinach, apple, feta and onion.

Vinaigrette: In a small bowl, whisk together canola oil, lemon juice, vinegar, mustard, honey, salt and pepper. Pour over salad and toss to combine.

Top salad with almonds just before serving.

Makes 1.75 litres (7 cups).

Source: Cookspiration.com.

HOISIN TURKEY AND LENTIL LETTUCE WRAPS

Your choice of large lettuce leaves can be used to wrap this Asian-inspired filling.

Canola oil, for cooking

500 g (1 lb) ground turkey

1 red pepper, cored and diced

1 garlic clove, minced

15 ml (1 tbsp) grated fresh ginger

50 ml (1/4 cup) chopped cilantro stems

50 ml (1/4 cup) red lentils

75 ml (1/3 cup) water

75 ml (1/3 cup) hoisin sauce

15 ml (1 tbsp) soy sauce

2 to 3 green onions, chopped

1 head butter, romaine or leaf lettuce

Chopped peanuts, for garnish (optional)

Fresh cilantro, for garnish (optional)

In a large, heavy skillet, heat a drizzle of oil over medium-high heat. Add turkey and red pepper and cook, breaking up with a spoon until meat is no longer pink.

Add garlic, ginger, cilantro and lentils and cook, stirring, for a 1 minute.

Add water and simmer for 10 minutes, until lentils are tender, any excess moisture is evaporated and meat has started to brown.

Add hoisin sauce, soy sauce and green onions. Cook for another minute or two, stirring to coat everything well and heat through.

Core head of lettuce, separating leaves, and serve turkey-lentil mixture in a bowl, family-style, with lettuce leaves and your choice of garnishes.

Makes 6 servings.

Source: Cookspiration.com.

TUNA PITAS AND YOGURT WITH KALE

A combination of yogurt and kale makes a great condiment for these warm tuna and onion pitas.

2 whole-grain pita breads

750 ml (3 cups) water

250 ml (1 cup) kale, central stems removed, leaves roughly torn

250 ml (1 cup) plain 0 per cent M. F. Greek yogurt

Salt and pepper, to taste

4 cans (each 99 g/3 oz) solid light tuna in oil

125 ml (1/2 cup) finely diced Spanish onion

Preheat oven to 200 C (400 F).

Cut each pita in two to create pockets. Set aside.

In a large saucepan, bring water to a boil. Add kale and parboil for 30 seconds, then rinse under cold water and drain well.

In a food processor, whirl yogurt and kale until creamy. Season with salt and pepper. Evenly fill four 125-ml (1/2-cup) custard cups with mixture. Refrigerate.

Drain tuna cans, pouring oil into a small frying pan, and put tuna in a small bowl. Flake tuna meat with a fork. Heat frying pan over medium heat, add onion and cook until soft, about 10 minutes. Add to tuna in bowl with pepper to taste.

Evenly stuff each pita half with tuna mixture. Transfer to a cookie sheet and bake until slightly toasted, about 5 minutes.

Transfer each half-pita onto a plate, along with a yogurt-kale cup and a small spoon. Spoon a little yogurt over pita before taking each bite.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Cookspiration.com.

BOSTON BUNDLE SALAD

1 can (184 g/6.5 oz) flaked ham

125 ml (1/2 cup) grated Swiss cheese

50 ml (1/4 cup) chopped celery

50 ml (1/4 cup) mayonnaise

15 ml (1 tbsp) sweet pickle relish

5 ml (1 tsp) prepared mustard

0.5 ml (1/8 tsp) pepper

8 large leaves Boston lettuce

Mix together all ingredients except lettuce. Spoon mixture evenly into centre of each lettuce leaf. Bring up all sides of lettuce to cover filling and fold sides and ends to make a small bundle. Secure with a toothpick. Cover and chill until serving time. Remove toothpicks and serve with edge side down.

Makes 4 servings

Source: Foodland Ontario.

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