By Rachel King
The greenest time of year is here again, so your food must match the green decorations everyone is putting up for Unofficial and St. Patrick’s Day! Challenge yourself this year by not only making green food, but food that’s actually healthy. Try out some of these green recipes that require fairly few ingredients as we get closer and closer to warm weather.
Green goddess dip
Craving chips and dip but afraid of downing empty calories? Satisfy your craving with some carrot sticks, cucumber slices, and this green goddess dip instead. If you’ve ever seen Queer Eye, you know exactly what I’m talking about. The creamy dip is guilt-free because it’s filled with yogurt, which is rich in probiotics that can improve gut health and enable you to eat more vegetables. What’s not to love?
Instead of ripping open a bag of tortilla chips and breaking out the salsa when you get home, try baking your own kale chips so you can eat as many as you want without feeling bad 20 minutes later. To dress up your chips, use olive oil, salt and pepper as a base. This way, you get seasoning but not so much that the chips become unhealthy.
Don’t get scared off by the word “spinach” in a spinach smoothie. Spinach is primarily added to the mix for the color and nutrients it offers, but don’t worry, because the smoothie will taste just as yummy as the bananas and berries you put in it. Make this in the morning for breakfast instead of an everything bagel with cream cheese. You’ll be energized for the whole day.
Stuffed green bell peppers
To make yourself feel like a health queen for a night, whip up some stuffed green bell peppers. You can stuff them with essentially anything, but one combination I recommend is ground turkey instead of ground beef, quinoa instead of rice, black beans, tomatoes, and a little bit of shredded cheese. Bake one or two peppers and freeze the rest for another day. By doing this, you’ll fulfill your nutrition as well as your food prepping needs.
If you’re running late but need a vegetable to go with your dinner, give yourself at most five minutes to whip up some sautéed broccoli. All you have to do is pour olive oil in a hot pan, dump as much broccoli in as you want, add your toppings of choice, and stir around the broccoli until it’s pan-fried to a beautiful golden brown. I also like to add garlic, onion powder, lemon juice, and red pepper flakes to give the dish some kick.
Zucchini noodles are a fantastic choice because they’re quick to make (if you have a spiralizer) and are extremely versatile. Serve them in alfredo or marinara sauce, with Italian sausage or shrimp, with garlic or Parmesan cheese. They will be delicious any way you serve them, so take advantage of “zoodles” for the nights when you are stuck on what to eat.
Garlic-roasted Brussels sprouts
Spruce up your average old Brussels sprouts from the store with some cheese and your oven for a gorgeous, caramel brown treat that is be a great side to any entrée. No longer will you be talking about how Brussels sprouts are your least favorite vegetable. Instead, you’ll be seeking them out for your new favorite recipe.
Ah, the classic avocado toast, don’t think I forgot about you. The creamy texture from the avocado melds perfectly with the crunch of the toast – it’s no wonder they call it a classic. Dress up this well-known treat with some egg, sun-dried tomatoes, or anything else that might suit your fancy.
You can call any salad a kiwi salad, as long as you put kiwi in it. So chop up some kiwis, put them on some spinach leaves, and call it good. For a tasty dressing that will bring out the sweetness in the fruit, use this recipe for honey-pecan kiwi salad. The pecans add a much-needed crunch to this dish.
For another great green entrée, crush up some pistachios and bread some chicken to create pistachio-crusted chicken. The nuts will not only provide a stunning green color, but also an outer layer of crisp to pair nicely with the tender chicken. Cook this for your family to show them how savvy you are with healthy food. They might not believe you otherwise!