Going Green on St. Patrick’s Day

kale_85779577Whether on St. Patrick’s Day or any given day of the week, it’s so easy to eat green.

With five super healthy green veggies to try that have been around for ages but may be lesser known on your dinner plate, spruce up your meals with healthy and delicious produce.

broccoli rabeBroccoli rabe
This thinner version of traditional broccoli is a heart-healthy favourite among southern Mediterranean Italians. The Mediterranean Diet has been associated with increased longevity and low rate of heart disease and cancer. With a cup of chopped broccoli rabe containing a mere 25 calories and a whopping 130 percent of the daily value for vitamin C, it’s no wonder it’s a routine veggie choice among Mediterranean lovers.
Tip:
 Try a quinoa with broccoli rabe side dish that combines sautéed broccoli rabe with quinoa, an easy-to-make grain. After one forkful of this high-fiber side dish, you will think you’re in Sicily — even on St. Patty’s Day.
Bonus tip: Whole wheat couscous can be substituted for quinoa.

leeksLeeks
While these green veggies look like overgrown scallions, their taste is actually a culinary cross between garlic and an onion. This fabulous flavour aside, a cup of sliced leeks will provide 30 percent of your daily value for vitamin A.
Tip: Since boiled potatoes are a must on St. Patrick’s Day, this year combine them with leeks and spinach for a festive green spinach leek potato soup that is destined to be a new tradition.

fennelFennel
While at first glance, fennel may look like celery, after one bite of this licorice-tasting veggie, the resemblance will be completely gone. In fact, in the case of fennel, the white bulb, not the green celery-looking stem, is what is typically used in recipes, especially in salads. Fennel is a nutritious vegetable gem providing only 30 calories per cup but adding tons of zip and fiber to salads.
Tip: Thinly slice the bulb as part of a salad and balance the licorice flavor with a sweet fruit such as sliced oranges or grapefruits along with a few olives for a fabulous dinner salad.

Brussels sproutsBrussels sprouts
As a member of the cruciferous family, Brussels sprouts look like tiny, adorable cabbages. However, don’t underestimate these mini cabbages. Research suggests that a plant-based diet that contains cruciferous vegetables, such as Brussels sprouts and cauliflower, may help reduce the risk of prostate cancer.
Tip: Versatile Brussels sprouts can be baked, boiled, microwaved, or steamed. For your St. Patty’s Day corned beef dinner, substitute yummy Brussels sprouts with browned garlic for traditional cabbage.

kaleKale
This leafy green is not only a good source of both vitamin A and vitamin C but also the bone-strengthening mineral, calcium. In fact, a cup of cooked kale provides almost 30 percent of the daily value for calcium.
Tip: If you have never roasted kale, you are in for a treat. Garlic roasted kale is a snap to make in the oven and a waist-friendly side dish as it provides less than 75 calories per serving.

And on a completely separate note… watch this cute 2012 ad for Guinness.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

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