I’m trying to think of catchy titles for this post: “go green”, “green it up”, “get your greens on”, “I dream of greens”, “green queen”, “green girl” etc. I’ve had the idea in the back of my mind for quite some time that I would write about how easy it is to consume leafy greens on a daily basis but I couldn’t quite get to the computer to write it down; too busy stuffing my face like a rabbit, hahaha. Actually, that is a downright lie. I am not writing a post about how easy it is to eat leafy greens daily because I love to consume large quantities of leafy greens at every sitting but rather because I do not. Huh? Ok, let me back up a moment here. Do I enjoy a yummy, fresh, everything but the kitchen sink added green salad? You betcha. Just take a turn back in time and devour my Everything and Anything Salad post; I can pack away a sizeable mountain of green in one sitting. However, unlike the sister that I reference in that post, I do not dutifully chop up salad fixin’s on a weekly basis. In fact, I cannot remember the last time I made a salad (unless you count last week’s lazy man’s salad: drizzling the rest of the packaged spring greens with balsamic vinegar and seasoning with a dash of salt and pepper). I know that it would benefit me in so many ways if I were a daily or even weekly salad adherent but frankly, I have to be in the mood. Can I get an amen here? I know that a lot of times blog posts are like FaceBook, designed to showcase the best of us, our nutritional wizardry in the kitchen, our humble pursuit of God but the reality is that behind every keyboard and blog post is a person just like me, just like you, struggling our way to each triumph. And really, that’s why I write, because we all need to be encouraged, we all need to benefit from one another’s ideas and struggles. Even my sensational salad sista has her nutritional challenges … although I must admit that I am not certain what they are; she pretty much defines nutritional vegan perfection (I’ll leave room for her to comment if she dares!). So, back to the challenge of daily green consumption. Since I am aware of all the many nutritional and health benefits that come from consuming leafy greens, I do make an effort to have leafy greens every day. In the spirit of honesty I will admit that as I write this I was horrified to think that perhaps I hadn’t consumed any leafy greens today but then I remembered that I had a large-ish handful of spring greens on my lentil-quinoa burger today (store bought patty – for convenience, thank you Yves brand – half an avocado mashed with roasted garlic and freshly ground sea salt and pepper, thinly sliced red onion, on a toasted multi-grain ciabatta bun spread with veganaise and topped with spring greens; divine). Phew, dodged that bullet. So what does one do to get leafy greens daily other than eating a large salad? I’m so glad you asked! I have a secret weapon: frozen spinach cubes … and frozen kale. I always have a bag of spinach nuggets in my freezer and they are so practical you can use them in almost anything. Every single smoothie I make has a spinach cube in it; you cannot taste the spinach and it blends up really well so there are no spinach chunks. I have been doing this for so long that my six year old has never once questioned the green flecks in his smoothies. Even when I make chocolate peanut butter nice cream, I throw in a spinach cube (and ground flax; it’s such an easy way to boost your omega three intake that I would be remiss not to mention it; I add it to all my hot and cold cereals too). Once I started adding the spinach cubes to smoothies there was no stopping me. I add them to all my soups, sauces and stews; I even put them into my baked lentils and baked beans. I have become very bold with my greens; whenever I am making a new recipe I always consider throwing in a cube or two and I’ve never had it back fire on me – I would like to say that the addition of a frozen spinach cube is pretty much fool proof. Of course, I use fresh when available but frozen cubes are just such an easy way to make sure you’re getting some veg with your meal without a whole lot of extra effort and prep, a welcome thought for any busy working person or parent. Sometimes I have those packages of fresh kale, spinach or collards in the fridge and it’s getting to the point where it really must be eaten up or it will spoil. A little olive oil heated in a pan, a couple of cloves of minced fresh garlic, throw in the greens and sauté until wilted, serve immediately seasoned with freshly ground sea salt and pepper. It’s amazing how addictive a heaping pile of cooked greens is! If that is not possible, throw your greens into a freezer baggie and freeze until you have a smoothie, soup or sauce on the stove top. If you are freezing baby greens like kale, just crunch them up in the bag once frozen and voila you have chopped greens! And that my friends is how I include some type of leafy greens into my day-to-day intake. Not rocket science, not time consuming, not onerous or taxing. Just frozen green goodness. Who says healthy has to be complicated? Not this gal. I’ll raise a cheer with my green-flecked smoothie glass held high. And please, don’t mind the green in my teeth.
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