Eating Leafy Vegetables (and other greens) for Amateurs

Eating Leafy Vegetables (and other greens) for Amateurs


Last week, I received my first vegetable delivery from a local service. The contents included:

  • Kale
  • 2 apples
  • Red Chard
  • 2 bananas
  • 2 mangoes
  • 1 grapefruit
  • Green lettuce
  • Bag of carrots
  • Bag of string beans
  • 4 small russet potatoes

New Food Discoveries

Part of my reason for signing up with the service was to try out new foods I was unlikely to purchase on my own. In this way, this first box was not a disappointment. Red Chard, Kale, Mangoes, and Grapefruit were all new to me. Since I already had them and did not want any of it to go to waste, I tried all of them. The mangoes and grapefruit I youtube’d how to cut & eat then just ate plain as a snack. Much to my dismay, I do not like mangoes (sorry everyone!) The service lets you permanently exclude up to three items so I updated the list to reflect this new discovery.

Ole Reliable Veggie Preps

Of course my first thought was, how do you cook leafy vegetables? I was familiar with spinach but honestly tend to eat it raw.

For the red chard and kale, I googled some recipes and articles to get an idea of the taste & texture of each green. After learning that red chard is similar to spinach, I prepared it using my favorite vegetable recipe stand-by, sauteeing it in a pan with fresh garlic and olive oil.

Another easy standard for vegetables is to sneak them in pasta or rice. This is what I did with the kale. Adding it to a rice dish was delicious.

To learn about these foods I actually googled “What do I do with kale?” and “How do I eat red chard?”. To save you some time, I’ll detail the preparation/recipes of some of the box vegetables below.

Green Lettuce, Kale, and Red Chard Salad

  1. Rinse the green leaf lettuce, red chard leaves, and kale leafs
  2. Separate the lettuce leaves, ripping them into smaller pieces, then place in a large salad bowl
  3. On a cutting board, chop off the red chard stem (but save it!), then chop the leafs into smaller pieces. Place the leaf pieces in the bowl with the lettuce. Put the stems in a separate bowl, to be eaten later.
  4. Rip the Kale leaves into smaller pieces and add to the large bowl
  5. Chop & add other veggies to your preference – I chopped up carrots in rounds.
  6. Add toppings & dressing – I used small blocks of cheddar cheese & walnuts with thousand island dressing

Parsley Rice with Kale

  1. Set a pot with ~1C water over high heat until it reaches a rolling boil
  2. Add 1/2C white rice (not instant) to water, stir once
  3. Let boil for 1 minute
  4. Add 1T butter, pinch of salt, good amount of Parsley, stir once
  5. Top with smaller pieces of Kale leaves
  6. Cover, reduce heat to simmer, set a timer for 20 minutes
  8. When and only when the timer goes off, take pot off heat still covered, set a timer for 5 minutes
  9. When the second timer goes off, remove cover, fluff up rice with fork and stir in the Kale to your preference

Sauteed Red Chard with Garlic + Olive Oil

  1. Chop leaves and stalks into smaller pieces
  2. Heat pan on medium heat with some olive oil
  3. Add diced/minced garlic – let cook 1 min
  4. Add the stalks and cook until slightly softened (3-5 minutes)
  5. Add the leaves, mix everything together in the pan, lower the heat slightly and cover until leaves have reduced (will look like Spinach)
  6. Keep checking, mixing, and tasting until leaves & stalks are to your taste/texture preference
  7. Turn off heat and serve as a side

11 Replies to “Eating Leafy Vegetables (and other greens) for Amateurs”

    1. How did I forget about eggs/omelets! Any cooked leafy green is a great add-in for breakfast. The strata looks delicious, I’m saving that one.

  1. I make green smoothies with leafy greens. They don’t taste at all like the greens, just the fruit that you add. Just blend up some greens with the liquid(s) of your choice–not too much (juice, milk, non-dairy milk, yogurt, water) until everything is well blended. Add fresh or frozen fruit (but some amount of frozen fruit is a good idea, to make things cold). A banana or two is always a good thing to add because it helps make things creamy. This is a good way to get rid of fruit that is a bit too ripe or damaged. For frozen fruit, Trader Joe’s is far and away the cheapest source. The color is admittedly probably not that appetizing but it tastes good, I promise.

    1. Thanks for adding this! That’s another great option to use up fruits & vegetables. I don’t have access to a blender but will keep this in mind for when I have a normal-sized kitchen again.

  2. I don’t like mangoes, either. I’m really picky about fruit – I eat berries, melons, citrus, bananas and grapes. Also not a big fan of raw veggies, personally. Roasting and sauteing are my go-tos.

  3. Were the mangos ripe? They get a lot sweeter once they soften up a bit. Maybe they’re just not your thing, but I’ve had some gross mangos and some tasty ones. :)

    I tried the veggie delivery service for a while but my food was going to waste, so I cancelled it.

    1. The mangoes were quite soft, maybe too soft? I will try them again but for now have told the company not to send me any more so they aren’t wasted. In general, I definitely couldn’t eat the food in a week but getting it every two weeks seems to be ideal for now.

  4. I will definitely be referring to this in the future, since I have no idea how to eat leafy greens (in a way that doesn’t make me want to die).

  5. I think one of the biggest obstacles people face when it comes to eating dark, leafy greens is not knowing how to prepare them and make them taste delicious. Many greens can taste bitter and often, greens are undercooked and tough or overcooked and mushy. Knowing how to get rid of the bitter taste and be left with tender, flavorful greens requires knowing a few tricks. Consider this a crash course in how to cook greens so they taste delicious.

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