Let’s Talk About Leaves Baby

I’m always looking for ways to switch up the way I eat my vegetables. It gets boring when you eat the same thing over and over, and that is when the bad cravings can attack. So, in order to prevent that monster, we must keep our diets fresh and exciting by actively making new and creative nutritious meals.

I go through phases of what kind of leaves I eat (that sounds silly but its true). I’ll cycle through baby arugula, spinach, romain lettuce, and kale, just depending on what I have a taste for. The variety of foliage that the earth has to offer is quite incredible. Each leafy green vegetable contains different vitamins and has a unique taste that is quite different from the next.

  • Arugula is aromatic and soft with a peppery flavor, containing vitamins A, C and potassium.
  • Spinach is soft and mild, containing vitamins K, C, potassium, iron, a multitude of B vitamins and more.
  • Romaine lettuce is mildly bitter and crunchy, containing vitamin K, A, and folate
  • Kale is a coarse and bitter leaf that needs a little more attention than the others. Steaming, baking or sautéing kale can tone down the bitterness and soften it. Kale contains mostly vitamins K, A, C, with some manganese, vitamin E, and B vitamins.

I feel that it is important to choose your leafy greens properly, in a way that will appeal to your taste buds. Eating healthy should be enjoyable and delicious, and choosing the vegetables that you like to eat is important in maintaining that nutritious diet! Leafy greens are a staple ingredient in salads, smoothies, and other light dishes.

Yesterday I baked and sautéed some kale to eat in a salad or to mix with other veggies. I think kale tastes the best when it has been cooked a little bit because the raw form is very coarse and requires a lot of chewing. Kale chips are a crispy addition to a plate, and sautéed kale makes for a great salad base! Kale pairs well with fruit or fruity dressings, goat cheese and a variety of nuts 🙂

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Kale salad with beets, blueberries, goat cheese, sunflower seeds and balsamic vinegar

I also mixed in some kale with my yellow squash noodles and homemade meatballs. I have to admit, this was my first time making noodles out of yellow squash and I found that they are not as good as zucchini noodles (zoodles). That being said, I will probably go back to the zucchini.

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Chicken meatballs with yellow squash noodles and baked kale

Spinach is still my favorite leaf to mix into smoothies because it is completely tasteless! Adding kale to a smoothie does add a hint of bitterness to it, so beware! It also does not blend as well as spinach. I promise I am not hating on kale, it is just a leaf that needs to be cooked properly and paired with the right foods in order to bring out its best flavor!

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Spinach, banana and PB2 smoothie with Greek Yogurt

Well, I’m sure you’ve gotten your fill of all things leaves today! A healthy diet takes a conscious effort, and with the best of intentions it can be achieved. Remember that all of the food in the grocery store is not real food. The best way to know what is on your plate and going into your mouth is by creating it yourself.  My hope is that you too will find enjoyment and fulfillment in cooking nutritious meals that are so very good for your body, mind and soul. I hope you use this as inspiration to try your own recipes and to be adventurous in the kitchen!

“It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.” -Mahatma Ghandi

With love,

Hailey


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