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
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).
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.
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.
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.