7-Day Go Green Challengeby Elise Museles
Ready-set-go green! I know, I know…enough with the greens already. But, it’s time to step it up and partake in the 7 -Day Go Green Challenge. With the array of fresh, crisp leafy greens crowding the produce aisles right now, there are no acceptable excuses as to why you’re not able to get your green on.
Did you know that leafy greens are the most missing food in the modern American diet? And did you know that by eating and drinking a diet high in chlorophyll-rich leafy greens, you can increase red blood cells, bind and remove heavy toxic metals, ease inflammation and counteract free radicals?
So, for those seeking optimal health along with clearer skin and extra energy, I have a challenge for YOU! 7 days, 7 green recipes. That’s it…unless you want to add in more for some brownie points. Are you ready?
Here are the rules (or guidelines as I like to say): EAT GREENS…and if you already are eating greens morning, noon and night, then EAT DIFFERENT GREENS. If you’re a self-professed kale addict, go fall in love with bok choy. Have fun. Be creative. And check out these suggestions and recipes for 7 days of inspiration.
Blend Those Greens. Fooled you! I am not just talking about a decadently sweet green smoothie. Savor this Blended Soup as an excellent way to fuel your body without having to slave over the stove. Blending your greens ensures that the tough cell membranes are broken down for you, so that you start nourishing your body with the very first bite. Be sure to garnish with some dulse flakes to enhance the mineral content of the soup.
Wrap & Roll Some Collard Greens. Remember lettuce cups? That is so 2003. Explore the modern approach by replacing your bread or tortilla with a nourishing collard green and enjoy an extra dose of vitamins B6 and C, carotenes, chlorophyll, and manganese. Collard greens are also a very good source of fiber, and several minerals, including iron, copper, and calcium. Be creative and fill the leaves with hummus and grilled veggies or try a flavorful meatless Collard Wrap .
Go Baby Bok Choy. Sometimes you may need a break from kale. Bok choy, also referred to as an Asian green, is a member of the cabbage family with a mild taste. It is high in vitamins A and C and is also rich in folate. Give the versatile Braised Baby Bok Choy recipe a try as a tasty and nutritious side at any meal.
Cook Some Kale. Who says that your snack needs to come from a package? Try to eat “farmer’s market” snacks meaning only food that can be purchased at a farmer’s market. Boring? Never. Bake these easy-to-make Kale Crisps and you decide.
Add Arugula. This leafy green is packed with vitamins, antioxidants and minerals. Sneak some arugula on to your pizza (whole wheat or gluten free, of course). Or enjoy a delicious Arugula Salad that beats out iceberg lettuce in every single nutrient category.
Eat Your Escarole. Try some Sauteed Escarole & White Beans as the perfect way to pair greens with a hefty dose of plant-based protein. Curious what it even means to follow a plant-based diet? Eat whole, real foods that come from a plant. You don’t have to be a vegetarian, but most of your food choices should center around fruits, vegetables, legumes and grains. Meatless Monday anyone?
Pass the Parsley. Think parsley is just a garnish? Think again. It contains anti-cancer, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory properties among a host of vitamins and minerals. Next time parsley appears on the side of your plate, remember its abilities to improve your health. Or, try a recipe that includes parsley as a main ingredient, not just as décor. Make a batch of this tasty Chimichuri for your next family BBQ. It’s a guaranteed crowd pleaser!
So, head to your farmer’s market to stock up on your lovely leafies, and enjoy your week of blending, sipping, sautéing, baking and chopping your greens. Once you go green, you will never go back.
Question of the day: What’s your favorite way to get your green on? Tell us now by sharing in the comments below.