Green Foods

Healthy Ways to Enjoy Green Foods

Cartoonist Jim Davis once quipped, “Vegetables are a must on a diet. I suggest carrot cake, zucchini bread, and pumpkin pie.” Joking aside, vegetables are a must for any healthy, well-balanced diet. And while “eating the rainbow” by incorporating veggies and fruit from the entire color spectrum is important, let’s take a moment to focus on green foods.

Spinach, kale, cucumbers, avocados, green apples, zucchini, brussels sprouts, broccoli, asparagus, green grapes, green bell peppers—the list of good-for-you green foods goes on and on. The following recipes incorporate a variety of green foods that are loaded with vitamins, nutrients, and delicious flavors. Enjoy!

Green Smoothies

An easy way to reap the health benefits of green foods is to make your own smoothies using more vegetables than fruit. This is a great way to turn healthy whole foods into a fiber-rich, easy-to-drink meal or snack. Here’s a simple recipe that serves two: 1 cup spinach or kale, 1 small banana, 1–2 scoops protein powder, ½ cup blueberries, ½ cup water, ½ cup ice, and ¼ cup freshly ground flaxseed. Combine in a blender until smooth, adding ice and/or water to achieve desired consistency. 

Dehydrated Green Drinks

An even easier option for getting in those green foods is a dehydrated “green drink.” Available in capsules or powders that can be mixed in water or added to smoothies, these products are packed with extracts of nutrient-rich plant foods. In fact, because they provide an abundance of phytonutrients not present in multivitamins, we recommend such a product (Essential Greens with Fiber) to all our patients at Whitaker Wellness. Look for dehydrated green drinks in health food stores, or order Essential Greens by calling 800-810-6655.

Green Foods Recipes

The following healthy eating recipes highlight a variety of ways to incorporate green foods into your daily menu. For more protein, feel free to add chicken, lean turkey, fish, or shrimp to these dishes.

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Veggie Tofu Scramble
Are you tired of the typical breakfast options? Try this delicious tofu scramble to start your day off right. It's quick, easy, and will excite your taste buds.
Course Breakfast
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 6 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Course Breakfast
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 6 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Sauté onion and green pepper in olive oil until tender-crisp.
  2. Add tomato and mushrooms and continue cooking for 2–3 minutes.
  3. Crumble tofu and add to vegetables with the onion powder and blend well. Continue cooking for another 2–3 minutes
  4. The cheese can be added during the final minutes of cooking or sprinkled on as a garnish along with the green onion. Add a dash of black pepper, if desired.
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Easy Cucumber Salad
Cucumbers have a unique combination of nutrients. Try this easy side dish to help your body detox while taking in some much-needed antioxidants. 
Course Side Dish
Prep Time 5 minutes
Passive Time 3 hours
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Course Side Dish
Prep Time 5 minutes
Passive Time 3 hours
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Peel cucumbers, and cut in half lengthwise.
  2. Scoop out seeds with a spoon, then slice them into ¼-inch slices and set aside.
  3. Combine all other ingredients in a shallow bowl, and stir well.
  4. Add cucumber slices to dressing and toss to make sure each slice is coated.
  5. Cover and marinate in refrigerator for about 3 hours, occasionally shaking bowl to redistribute dressing.
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Zucchini Lasagna
Going meatless once a week may reduce your risk of chronic conditions like cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and obesity. Try this meatless version of a classic Italian dish. This recipe is vegetarian (contains dairy) and gluten free.
Zucchini Lasagna
Course Main Dish
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Course Main Dish
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Zucchini Lasagna
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cut the zucchinis lengthwise into long, thin slices.
  3. Place them on a preheated grill or grill pan (or a large skillet), coated with a little olive oil spray, and cook for 2-3 minutes per side until lightly browned.
  4. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet, add the coarsely chopped vegetables, and sauté for 5 minutes, or until tender-crisp.
  5. Transfer to a bowl and stir in 1/2 cup of the marinara sauce and half of the parmesan cheese.
  6. Fill the bottom of an 8″ x 8″ glass baking pan with the rest of the marinara sauce.
  7. Place a layer of zucchini (1/3 of the slices) on the sauce, add 1/3 of the mixed veggies, then spread 1/3 of the cottage cheese over the vegetables.
  8. Repeat these steps to make two more layers, then top with remaining Parmesan cheese.
  9. Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes, or until bubbly.
  10. Remove foil and bake another 5 minutes.
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Wholesome Vegetable and Lentil Soup
Whether you are looking for a filling side dish or a hearty, wholesome main dish, this lentil soup is just the thing!
Course Main Dish
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Course Main Dish
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Spray the bottom of a large stockpot with olive oil and sauté onions and garlic for 10 minutes over medium heat.
  2. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally.
  4. Serve as soon as the lentils are tender, about 30 minutes.
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Green Foods Recap

Regardless of how you enjoy your green foods, just make sure you’re eating plenty of them—a minimum of 5 servings per day—daily. Bon Appétit!

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