Leafy greens are easy to grow in Maine, even in the worst weather. Whether you are getting ready to harvest your leafy greens or enjoying their abundance at the farmers market, you may be tired of preparing greens like spinach, kale and chard the same way over and over again.
Luckily, leafy greens are incredibly versatile in the kitchen. Plus, they are good for you, and science shows that the more you eat them, the more you will love them and enjoy their health benefits.
Here are 10 recipes that use leafy greens to mix it up in your kitchen.
Roasted squash and kale flatbread
Sweet roasted butternut squash mingles with earthy kale, fresh garlic and two cheeses for a fresh twist on the weeknight pizza dinner that — believe it or not — will be ready in less than 15 minutes (as long as you roast the squash ahead of time, that is). This roasted squash and kale flatbread may be easy, but it absolutely tastes gourmet.
Cauliflower and pea shoot salad
This cauliflower and pea shoot salad isn’t your average side dish. Warm roasted cauliflower and springy pea shoots paired with a homemade dressing can turn this salad into a truly special affair that will make you rethink your boring bowl of iceberg lettuce.
Farmers market veggie fried rice
This fried rice is an easy way to use the veggies that are currently in season and available at Maine farmers markets. Combining parsnips, radishes, spinach and shallots with rice, sesame oil and a few other things, this recipe for farmers market veggie fried rice creates a hearty dish that’s both filling and inexpensive.
Ham, cheddar and spinach quiche
Making quiche is a pretty simple process, and there is no better way to use up the leftover spinach that is starting to wilt. For this ham, cheddar and spinach quiche — or any quiche, for that matter — you simply layer ingredients in a pie crust, pour the egg mixture in and then bake it. Ham and cheddar perfectly complement leafy spinach, but truly, you could add any mix of greens, cheese and meat that you want.
Ramen noodles with fresh vegetables
Leafy chard, along with tender zucchini and fresh peas, make even the classic quick microwave meal into something fresh and special. Trust us, this recipe for ramen noodles with fresh vegetables is so much better (and healthier) than any noodle soup you ate in college.
Slow-cooked salmon, chickpeas and mustard greens
In this recipe, salmon is slow-cooked to reduce the chance of overcooking it, paired with chickpeas and mustard greens and then drizzled with a simple, yet awesome, homemade vinaigrette. There are a lot of flavors in this dish, including cumin, honey and garlic, and they come together nicely. If you don’t like the slightly bitter flavor of the mustard greens, use rainbow chard with stems included, as it has a milder flavor. Really, any hearty green will do for this slow-cooked salmon, chickpeas and mustard greens.
Make-ahead mini Mediterranean frittatas
Make-ahead breakfast items like these mini Mediterranean frittatas are great for busy mornings. You can whip up a batch in the evening, and then have them on hand to heat and enjoy with coffee and toast or fruit. Plus, with a little bit of spinach, you can get in a nice serving of vegetables to start your day.
Forget basil — kale adds multidimensional heartiness and healthiness to pesto that is sure to leave you wanting more. Kale pesto is easy and inexpensive to make for your next pasta dinner.
Flaky spinach garlic pinwheels
These garlicky greens roasted to perfection in a puff pastry are so good, you won’t be able to eat just one. Not only are these flaky spinach garlic pinwheels gorgeous, but they are surprisingly easy to make. Serve them as an appetizer, a midday snack or even for breakfast with a hot cup of coffee or tea.
Warm chipotle maple roasted sweet potato salad with farro and kale
Baby kale serves as the base for this healthy, flavorful salad. The sweet potatoes are glazed with a chipotle maple sauce and slow-roasted to soft, sweet and spicy perfection. A quick and easy lime cilantro vinaigrette brings all the elements of this warm chipotle maple roasted sweet potato salad with farro and kale together with a bright, citrusy finish.
Leafy greens can be used in so many ways other than boring salads. With these recipes, you’ll be getting also those important vitamins and minerals while also eating something delicious.