GREEN—It’s the Color of the Season!

spring saladAfter a long winter, the first, fresh vegetables of spring taste wonderful, whether from your garden, a farmer’s market, food co-op, or local grocery store! Lettuce is plentiful, being a fairly easy vegetable to grow, but many kinds of leafy greens are available.

Many people make iceberg lettuce the base of a fresh salad, but spring and summer bring many more options! This summer, try something new like arugula, frisée, kale, or spinach. The different colors, flavors, and textures make an attractive salad and the fresh greens are loaded with nutrients.

Arugula: This leafy green offers a spicy, peppery flavor which gives a zesty “punch” when added raw to salads. Arugula is rich in phytonutrients, which may reduce the risk of several kinds of cancers, including breast, stomach and colon.

Frisée: This frilly, funky-looking green adds fun to a fresh salad! It contains many vitamins and minerals and is especially high in folate, and vitamins A and K. The feathery leaves also can give a touch of elegance to a fresh salad.

Kale: Kale is considered a “powerhouse of nutrition,” with beautiful leaves that provide an earthy flavor. It is an excellent source for vitamin K, and helps lower cholesterol.

Spinach: This dark green leafy vegetable is fairly mild in flavor overall. It is one of the most nutrient-dense foods available, being packed with vitamins (especially A and C) and minerals (especially iron).

Jazz up your fresh salad by adding:
• Fruits: Use fresh or dried berries, apples, and oranges. Fruit juice could be part of the dressing.
• Grains: Try adding cooked whole grain pastas, brown rice, quinoa, barley, wheat berries, or bulgur.
• Protein: Include proteins like nuts, seeds, beans, tofu, lean fish, and meats.
• Dressing: Keep it light in both calories and saturated fat, yet high in
flavor with small amounts of juices, spices, herbs, flavored oils, and flavored vinegars.

Raspberry Mango Spinach Smoothie

Serves: 2
Serving size: 1 1/2 cups

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup frozen raspberries
  • 1 cup frozen mango
  • ½ cup frozen chopped spinach
  • 6 ounces vanilla yogurt
  • 1 cup milk

Directions

  1. In a blender combine all ingredients and mix until smooth.
  2. Serve immediately and enjoy.

Optional – Add 2 tablespoons ground flax or chia seeds for about 3 to 5 grams of added fiber.

Nutrient information per serving: 190 calories, 0 g fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 80 mg sodium, 37 g carbohydrates, 5 g fiber, 30 g sugar, 14 g protein

Spinach Black Bean Salad

Makes 3 one-cup servings

Ingredients:spinach black bean salad

  • 2 tablespoons vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon mustard (Dijon or other)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg (optional)
  • 2 cups spinach (washed), (more if you like)
  • 1 15-ounce can black beans (unsalted or drain and rinse)
  • 2 tomatoes (chopped)
  • 1 red onion (small, chopped)

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, combine vinegar, oil, mustard, garlic, oregano, basil, and nutmeg.
  2. Wash, drain, and chop spinach.
  3. Add spinach, black beans, tomatoes, and onions to vinegar and oil. Toss well and serve.

Source: Connecticut Food Policy Council, Farm Fresh Summertime Recipes

Other options:

  • Top your salad with other vegetables (cucumbers, mushrooms, peppers,yellow squash, red onions, zucchini, etc.).
  • Add cooked chicken, egg, or tuna for more protein.
  • Add cubes of cheddar, Swiss, or smoked Gouda cheese.
  • Fruit makes a great addition—try dried fruit (cranberries, raisins, cherries, apricots) or fresh berries in season.

Nutrient information per serving: 284 calories, 5 g total fat (less than 1 g saturated fat), 201 mg sodium, 51 g carbohydrates,10 g dietary fiber, 10 g protein

Skillet Lasagna

Serves: 8 (Serving size: 1 cup)

Ingredients

  • 1⁄2 pound ground beef
  • 1⁄2 onion, chopped (about 1⁄2 cup)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or 1⁄4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 3 cups spaghetti or pasta sauce (26 to 28 ounces)
  • 1 cup water
  • 8 ounces whole wheat noodles or whole wheat rotini
  • 1 (10-ounce) package chopped spinach, thawed
  • 1 (12-ounce) container lowfat cottage cheese
  • 1/2 cup (4 ounces) shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Optional: fresh or canned, drained sliced mushrooms

Directions

  1. Wash hands.
  2. Cook ground beef, onions, and garlic together in a large skillet or electric fry pan; stir to prevent sticking. When ground beef has turned brown, transfer mixture to a colander set over a bowl and rinse with hot water to remove grease. Return mixture to skillet.
  3. Add spaghetti sauce and water to skillet and bring to a boil.
  4. Add uncooked noodles, stir, cover with lid, turn down the heat, and cook 5 minutes.
  5. Squeeze the thawed spinach with your clean hands to remove the juice and then stir into the pan. Add mushrooms if you like. Cover and simmer 5 minutes.
  6. Spoon cottage cheese over the top. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese, put the lid on and let it heat another 5 to 10 minutes until heated through and noodles are tender.

Nutrient information per serving: 250 calories, 6 g total fat, 30 mg cholesterol, 540 mg sodium, 30 g carbohydrate, 3 g dietary fiber, 22 g protein.

Recipe courtesy of Spend Smart Eat Smart.

Subscribe to Words on Wellness

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Categories