Earth Day: Eat Your Leafy Green Vegetables

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earth day

Leafy greens are probably the best thing you can put in your body. They’re loaded with vitamin C, have more vitamin A than carrots, and are packed with antioxidants that reduce inflammation and ward off cancer. They can help you save green and go green, too. Most leafy greens cost less than $1 per pound. They’re also typically sold without packaging, creating less waste. Which makes today, Earth Day, the perfect day to eat leafy green vegetables. Here are a few easy, unlimited recipes for three different green veggies. Enjoy as much of them as you’d like without putting a damper on your Nutrisystem diet!

New Superfoods on the Scene: 6 Leafy Greens That Aren’t Kale

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1. #Veggie Sexy Kale Chips

These crunchy, poppable leaves are perfect for munching while watching a movie. They don’t keep well overnight, so try eating them all in one sitting—which shouldn’t be a problem with this salty, satisfying snack. Bonus: Watch a video of Nutrisystem’s own Mandi Knowles preparing this delicious recipe.

Total Time: 15-20 minutes.

• 1 bunch kale
• Low-calorie cooking spray
• Salt and pepper

• Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
• Cut kale into one-inch strips.
• Spread evenly on a baking sheet.
• Spray with cooking spray.
• Season liberally with black pepper, lightly with salt.
• Toss and spread into a single layer.
• Put in oven for 15-20 minutes, or until the edges turn brown and crispy.

2. Sautéed Collard Greens:

For best results, separate the leaves from the stems of this green. The stems are much tougher, and won’t cook by the time the leaves are done. Sautéed with onions and garlic, these leaves make a perfect side for your Earth Day dinner.

Total time: About 30 minutes.

• 1 bunch collard greens
• ½ onion
• 2 cloves garlic
• 1 Tbsp olive oil
• Salt and pepper

• Separate the collard leaves from the stems.
• Rinse the leaves thoroughly; collards are often gritty.
• Use paper towels to dry the leaves, and set aside.
• Mince the garlic cloves and dice the onion.
• Heat oil over medium heat in a deep skillet.
• Cook the garlic and onion until they’re translucent and have released some of their juices.
• Add the greens and toss the onion, garlic and leaves together.
• Add a large glass of water to the pan.
• Cook until the leaves become tender, stirring often. Season with salt and pepper.

3. Massage Mustard Greens to Spice Up a Spinach Salad:

Mustard greens are at their peak through April, so Earth Day is the time to chow down. They can be sauteed similarly to the collards above, but they also make a great addition to spinach salads. To help soften them before adding them to a salad—and to add a bit of flavor—try massaging the greens with lemon juice. Pro tip: This technique also works wonders with kale.

Total Time: 5 minutes.

• 1 bunch mustard greens
• ½ lemon

• Rinse the greens and pat dry with paper towel.
• Cut the greens from the stems. Discard the stems.
• Squeeze the lemon over the greens in a bowl.
• Massage the greens in the lemon juice by scrunching it in your fingers. The leaves will shrink a bit as you massage.
• Add to salad.

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