5 Healthy Green Vegetable Recipes

I’m not really one to make New Year’s Resolutions or “choose a word.” Some years I set goals or make a bucket list, but I rarely ever look back on them and measure my progress. That said, I LOVE the feeling of a fresh start. Whether it’s the start of a new school year or the start of summer vacation or the start of a new calendar year, there is something thoroughly invigorating about getting a clean slate.

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The Kohl’s Make Your Move campaign is all about making living well easy and fun as we start a new year, and I’ll be writing a series of posts about how I’m harnessing the power of a new year to get myself back on track and on the road to feeling my best. Never have I been so anxious to get back on the road to wellness as I am this year. After battling the flu and recovering from my foot injuries, I can’t wait to feel active and healthy again.

Because I’m not yet up to par with my physical abilities, I’m focusing first on the kitchen. Towards the end of last year, I got so busy with work that I neglected my family terribly when it came to meals. The kids were fending for themselves at breakfast time, I often let them buy school lunches because I didn’t have time to put something together for them, and homemade dinners were sporadic — which is pretty pathetic, considering that I actually publish weekly meal plans!!

So I’m making my move here at the start of a new year by spending more time in the kitchen and making it a priority to put nourishing meals on the table. It’s amazing how much I enjoy being in the kitchen when I actually have time to cook without feeling rushed.

JL-cooking

One way I’ve made it easier on myself to feed my family well is by joining a winter CSA. Usually people think of the CSA as a summer thing, but I’m fortunate to have access to a CSA that offers fall and winter shares as well. It’s hard to make excuses for not eating healthy when your fridge is full of fresh vegetables!

What kinds of vegetables do you get in a winter CSA, you might ask? The answer is lots of hearty leafy greens and root vegetables.

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Now don’t you turn your nose up at me just yet!!! My kids have learned to love their greens and root veggies, and you will too when you try my recipes.

My new best friend is this salad spinner from Kohl’s.

salad-spinner

Washing all of those greens can make a mess, but the salad spinner makes it super easy and keeps everything contained. Even the kids think it’s fun and want to get in on the action. My old salad spinner was warped and difficult to use so I was happy to add this pretty new piece of equipment to my kitchen. I cannot BELIEVE how easy it is to use compared to my old one. I should have never waited so long for an upgrade.

My other secret weapon is bacon. Cook just about any hearty leafy green veggie in bacon, and you will be a convert. I don’t subscribe to the notion that bacon is unhealthy. I just make a point to buy the kind without nitrates and chemical preservatives. If you don’t have access to good bacon from a local farm, Applegate Farms makes a good one.

Here is a list of my family’s favorite healthy vegetable recipes that are helping us make our move to get back to healthier habits this year. I bet your family will enjoy them too!

5 Healthy Green Vegetable Recipes Even Your Kids Will Love

1. Bok Choy with Bacon & Onions

bacon-y bok choy

I had never tried Bok Choy until I joined my first CSA, and now it’s one of my favorite veggies. You can stir fry it and use it in Asian dishes, but I usually make it this way and serve it alongside a piece of meat (that has been marinated and cooked in some way, of course!)

2. Collard Greens

collards

This is another veggie I discovered through the CSA. Even though I grew up in the south, my mom never served them. The original recipe I used calls for cooking them with sausage, which I’m sure is delicious too. I didn’t have any sausage on hand, so I made them with . . . wait for it . . . bacon. We liked them so much that way, I’ve made them that way ever since.

3. Kale Chips

how to make kale chips

For a while there, kale chips were all the rage, but you don’t hear much about them anymore. This is still my favorite way to cook up this veggie, and my kids LOVE them. You can serve them as a snack or as a side dish to dinner.

4. Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Caramelized Onions

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Here we go again with the bacon and onions, but I promise you, this is THE way to eat your greens. This dish is especially popular at holiday time, but it is great anytime that you can get fresh brussels sprouts.

5. Kale Mash

kale-mash

This is actually an entire meal, and it’s one of the easiest ones I’ve discovered in a long while. My Dutch friend shared this with me. He tells me it’s a common dish in Holland. I love how easy it is to make. You just toss peeled and chopped potatoes, onions and kale into a medium-sized stockpot like this one by Calphalon and let them cook until they’re soft. Then you drain, mash, and add milk and butter and salt & pepper to taste. Serve it topped with smoked kielbasa for a complete meal. Even better than how easy it is, my kids gobbled it up. They all said, “you can’t even taste the vegetables.” Score!!

I have others, but these are our favorites. I’m learning that I need to roast those root veggies or put them in soups. Otherwise they start to overflow those crisper bins in the fridge. Stay tuned for a post on how to roast root vegetables!



5 Healthy Green Vegetable Recipes That Even Your Kids Will Love

I’d love to hear how you’re making your move to a healthier, happier new year! And if you love Kohl’s as much as I do, be sure to connect with them on their social channels and use the #MakeYourMove hashtag:

This post is sponsored by FitFluential on behalf of Kohl’s.