Healthy Meals | Ten Easy Plant-Based Foods

Ten Easy Plant-Based Foods No Salad Included

vegan veggies in shopping bag - imageThere are days when even the healthiest of eaters can’t stomach the idea of yet another salad. Other folks may not like salads at all, having a hard time with the bitter taste or even the texture of most leafy greens. Some people just don’t delight in a big pile of greens the way others do.

On the bright side, such a “leaf aversion” can lead those folks to find numerous other ways to incorporate the stellar nutrition of greens into their daily diet. Here are some creative ways to eat more leafy greens without resorting to salads.

1. Kale Chips

Is there anything better than crunchy, snackable raw kale chips? When encased in a delicious coating and dehydrated until crisp, kale morphs from a fibrous leafy green into delectable finger food. Eating a whole pile of greens can be as easy as picking up a store-bought bag of raw kale chips, or–even better–making your own!

Tip: Using cashews, sunflower seeds, or hemp seeds as a base, blended together with vegetables, herbs, spices, or even sweeteners, the possibilities for kale chip seasonings are endless.

2. Raw Wraps

Discovering raw wraps is a green revelation. Dollop your favorite ingredients as fillings onto romaine leaves, de-stemmed collard or Swiss chard leaves, Belgian endive, or cabbage leaves, and you have handheld party food at its finest.

Tip: Wrap  salsa in romaine leaves, or hummus, sundried tomatoes, diced cucumber, and Kalamata olives in collard leaves.

3. Soups

Soups are a great vehicle for leafy greens. Stir a big handful of spinach into a soup or stew during the last three to five minutes of cooking.

Tip: You can also blend one or two de-stemmed kale or chard leaves into your next batch of soup; it’ll change the color a little, but the added nutrition will more than make up for that.

4. Smoothies

This one’s a no-brainer–every time you make a smoothie, be sure to throw in a handful of spinach or a couple de-stemmed kale or chard leaves.

Tip: If you’re worried about altering the taste of your smoothie (especially when using tougher greens such as kale), include a handful of fresh or frozen berries. Seedy varieties, such as raspberries and blackberries, do a particularly excellent job of covering up the taste of greens.

5. Juice

Many juice newbies are thrilled to discover just how delicious green drinks can be. Make yourself a tall glass of green juice first thing in the morning (or pop into your favorite local juice bar).

Tip: An especially tasty and mild blend is romaine lettuce, kale (stems and all!), cucumber, celery (include the nutritious leafy tops), green apple or pear, lemon, and ginger.

6. Sauces

Like soups, sauces of all kinds are a perfect way to sneak in extra greens, in either chopped or pureed form.

Tip: Spinach or beet greens can be blended raw into a batch of marinara sauce, and chopped, steamed kale can be stirred into a hearty bolognese.

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