Working With “Leaves”

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Our online course library has been updated with culinary nutrition lessons.

Here is a sneak preview from the Plant Based Diet: Vegetables course:

Leafy Greens

Leaf vegetables, also called leafy greens, salad greens, fresh herbs, vegetable greens, or simply greens, are plant leaves eaten as a vegetable, sometimes accompanied by tender shoots.

There are many ways to prepare and cook with leafy greens. Here are 5 easy ones:

  1. When it comes to salads, consider a mix of raw greens, whether they're crunchy Romaine or peppery arugula. Try mixing a few different types of greens for side salads and see which ones make the best combinations. Don't be afraid to include pea shoots, micro-greens, herbs, or flowers.
  2. Steaming kale and chard is a quick and simple way to soften their tasty leaves for a satisfying side dish. Top the steamed greens with a squeeze of lemon juice, a little olive oil, toasted nuts, or grated Parmesan cheese.
  3. Of course, there's lots to be said for sautéing your greens, too. Spinach is super tasty when cooked with sliced fresh garlic in just a half-teaspoon of olive oil.
  4. Kale chips make a fun garnish and are perfect for cooking at a demonstration or for using as a free sample at events. To make them, slice some kale leaves into bite-size pieces and toss them with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper before spreading them on a baking sheet and roasting them at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. You want to roast them for 10-15 minutes, until they're nice and crispy.
  5. A puree such as pesto can be a great way to enjoy fresh herbs and cooked greens. Simply puree fresh herbs and greens with olive oil, garlic, and Parmesan cheese. Pine nuts or almonds are a welcome addition. Pesto can be frozen in cubes, ready to add to pasta, soups, or potato dishes.

Here is a delicious recipe:

Arugula Citrus Salad
Serves: 1 | Serving Size: 1 salad (about 3 cups)
Total Time: 5 min | Prep: 5 min | Cook: 0 min


2 cups arugula, rinsed, dried
1/4 cup romaine lettuce, chopped, rinsed, dried
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
zest and juice of one lemon
satsuma or clementine, peeled and segmented


Toss the arugula and romaine with the olive oil. Pile high on a dinner plate.

Top with lemon zest and juice. Set the orange segments in and around the pile of greens.

Serve immediately.

Serves 1. Each 1 salad (about 3 cups) serving: 92 calories, 5g fat, 1g saturated fat, 0g transfat, 0mg cholesterol, 8mg sodium, 13g carbohydrate, 2g fiber, 9g sugars, 1g protein.

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