In every list of the healthiest vegetables you can eat, leafy greens, and particularly dark leafy greens always come out on top. They are nutritionally dense, low in calories and fat, full of fibre, protective against chronic disease, and pretty darn cheap. Unfortunately, they can also be boring af.
Many people associate leafy greens with the pathetic iceberg lettuce side salad you get at a restaurant or that limp frozen spinach that mom used to defrost in the microwave when you were a kid. It can be hard to come up with flavourful and interesting ways to incorporate more leafy greens into your daily meals.
But it doesn’t have to be that way! The 50+ recipes listed below will hopefully inspire you to the possibilities of these versatile vegetables; from hearty vegan salads to pastas, tacos, burgers and stir fry, there are a multitude of creative and delicious ways to add more leafy greens into your diet!
How much leafy greens should I be eating?
The USDA recommends eating 1 ½ - 2 cups (1 cup = 1 cup cooked or 2 cups raw) of dark green vegetables per week. Lol, who comes up with this stuff? Every plant-based doctor recommends DAILY, no weekly, consumption of leafy greens.
In How Not to Die, Dr. Greger recommends two daily serving sizes of 60 grams of raw greens or 90 grams of cooked greens and Dr. Esselstyn has spoken extensively of the importance of leafy greens in reversing (yes, reversing) heart disease with six fist-sized servings of leafy greens daily.
(If you don’t have heart disease you can eat less, but considering that 9 out of 10 Americans don’t even meet the USDA recommendations for total daily vegetable consumption, you almost certainly need to be eating more leafy greens than you do now!)
I’ve divided the recipes below into the following categories:
- arugula / rocket
- Swiss chard
- beet greens
- collard greens
- bok choy
However, the beauty of leafy greens is that they are often interchangeable in recipes. Don’t like kale? Sub in spinach or Swiss chard. Bought some turnips or radishes? Use the greens, too!
So take a look through the recipes below and let them inspire you to get creative with your daily dose of leafy greens!
Arugula / Rocket
Vegan Arugula Avocado Pesto Pasta - Lively Table
Fresh Arugula and Black Bean Tacos (omit feta) - Cookie and Kate
Roasted Eggplant Sandwiches with Arugula Walnut Pesto - This Savory Vegan
Creamy Vegan Arugula Soup - Detoxinista
Vegan Gnocchi with Arugula Pesto - Lauren Caris Cooks
Arugula Lentil Salad - Hurry The Food Up
Swiss Chard Mushroom Enchiladas - Making Thyme for Health
Swiss Chard Gratin - From Scratch Fast
Swiss Chard Soba Noodle Stir Fry - A Virtual Vegan
Restorative Rainbow Chard and Leek Soup - Quite Good Food
Swiss Chard with Crisp Apples - Fat Free Vegan
White Bean and Kale Vegan Pot Pie - The Stingy Vegan
Kale Quinoa - Veggie Chick
Kale Chip Nachos with Black Beans and Sweet Potatoes - Minimalist Baker
Kale Falafel (Baked, Not Fried!) - Yup... It's Vegan!
Sweet Potato Kale Chili - Wallflower Kitchen
Kale Brownies - Chocolate Covered Katie
Spanish Chickpea Stew - The Stingy Vegan
Vegan Spinach Mac & Cheese - Love and Lemons
Cheesy Vegan Spinach Artichoke Dip - Minimalist Baker
Vegan Spinach Blender Pancakes - Vibrant Plate
Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream - Wallflower Kitchen
Vegan Spinach and Mushroom Pasta - Salt and Lavender
Beet Greens Lentil Burgers - Light Orange Bean
Borscht with Beets and Beet Greens - Sharon Palmer
Sweet Potato and Beet Greens Soup with Farro - Will Cook for Friends
Beet Green Pesto - The Roasted Root
Beet Pizza with Beet Leaf Pesto - Veggie Desserts
Southern Vegan Collard Greens - Sweet Potato Soul
BBQ Black Eyed Pea Collard Rolls - Vanilla and Bean
Healthy Vegan Collard Green Wraps - Feasting at Home
Vegan Lentil Stew with Sweet Potato and Collard Greens - Parsnips and Pasteries
Vegan Ramen with Creamy Sesame Broth - Cilantro and Citronella
Black Pepper Tofu with Bok Choy - Feasting at Home
Bok Choy Stir Fry - Love and Lemons
Vegan Curry with Bok Choy - Sweet as Honey
Garlicky Asparagus, Mushroom and Bok Choy Noodle Bowls - Vanilla and Bean
Hot and Sour Soup with Bok Choy - Connoisseurus Veg
Green Pizza with Herbed Vegan Cashew Cheese - The Stingy Vegan
Grilled Romaine Salad with Corn, Fava Beans and Avocado - Feasting at Home
Potato Mache Salad with Fried Capers - Gourmande in the Kitchen
Fat-Free Pea and Lettuce Soup - Fuss Free Flavours
Rosemary Garlic Cannellini Agnolotti with Mesclun Pesto - Well and Full
Firecracker Vegan Lettuce Wraps - Pinch of Yum
Green Goddess Spring Socca - The Full Helping
Vegan Microgreens Salad - Garlic Matters
Mushroom Potato Watercress Pie - Vegan Food and Living
Vegan Alfredo with Watercress and Chives - Pickles & Honey
15-Minute Watercress Soup - Wilde Orchard
Avocado Hummus Toast with Microgreens - This Savory Vegan