Healthy Comfort Food Recipes with Dark Leafy Greens
Spanakopita Loaded Potatoes
In this healthy take on twice-baked potatoes, spinach, feta, garlic and oregano are stuffed into the potato shells along with the mashed potatoes. Serve with steak or chicken sprinkled with oregano or marjoram.
Kale & White Bean Potpie with Chive Biscuits
In this vegetarian white bean potpie recipe, kale and hearty white beans are topped with easy, homemade chive biscuits. If desired, add a little shredded Gruyère or Cheddar cheese to the biscuit dough.
Ham & Chard Stuffed Shells
In this healthy stuffed shells recipe, tons of dark leafy chard replaces some of the cheese. Kale and/or collards are good substitutes for the chard as well. Serve with a salad with Italian vinaigrette.
Spinach & Tuna Noodle Casserole
Homemade mushroom sauce kicks the can of soup out of the picture in this veggie-centric, healthy riff on a classic tuna-noodle casserole recipe. Serve with steamed green beans.
Kale is simmered with leeks and garlic then “creamed” with flour and milk in this healthy take on creamed spinach. Serve alongside steak or roast chicken and a baked potato.
Spicy Meatloaf with Collards
Plenty of dark leafy greens deliver the moisture needed to balance lean ground pork and beef in this spicy meatloaf recipe. Serve any leftovers with extra ketchup as meatloaf sandwiches.
Arctic Char on a Bed of Kale
Arctic char, related to salmon and trout, is sustainably farmed, making it a “best choice” for the environment. It has a mild flavor and cooks up quickly. We like the taste and texture of lacinato (aka dinosaur) kale in this dish. Serve with mashed potatoes.
Almond-&-Lemon-Crusted Fish with Spinach
Coating fish with nuts and baking it is an easy, foolproof way to cook it elegantly. And it is especially nice with a mild white fish like cod or halibut. The spinach turns a little yellowy because it's cooked with the acidic lemon juice, but what you lose in green color is more than made up for in great flavor.
Asiago, Artichoke & Spinach Souffle
Try this rich-tasting cheese, artichoke and spinach soufflé recipe for your next brunch. If you can't find artichoke bottoms--literally the bottom of the artichoke heart without the leaves attached--you can substitute regular canned artichoke hearts instead. Just be sure to pat them very dry to prevent your soufflé from being too wet.
Acorn Squash Stuffed with Chard & White Beans
Acorn squash's natural shape makes it just right for stuffing. This filling has Mediterranean flair: olives, tomato paste, white beans and Parmesan cheese. Serve with: Mixed green salad with radicchio and red onion and crisp white wine, such as Pinot Grigio.
Mac & Cheese with Collards
Dark leafy collards add bold flavor and boost the calcium in this healthy skillet mac and cheese recipe with a crispy topping. If you don't have collards, kale, Swiss chard and spinach are delicious substitutes.
Asparagus & Baby Kale Caesar Salad
Traditional Caesar salad gets a nutrition and flavor boost with the addition of crisp asparagus and dark, leafy baby kale in this healthy recipe. Use arugula or mixed greens for the salad if baby kale isn't at your market.
Chicken Thighs with Couscous & Kale
One-pot meals, like this all-in-one chicken thigh, kale and Israeli couscous recipe, are perfect for nights when you want to keep cleanup to a minimum. Look for Israeli couscous--small pearl-shaped pasta made from semolina flour--near other Middle Eastern dry goods in well-stocked supermarkets or specialty-foods stores.
Galette with Kabocha Squash & Kale
Kale and kabocha squash pair deliciously in this healthy vegetarian galette recipe that looks as fabulous as it tastes. Kabocha squash doesn't need to be peeled, but if it isn't available, use buttercup squash instead.
Here we take the elements of a vegetarian lasagna filling--ricotta, spinach and Parmesan cheese--and nestle them into roasted portobello mushroom caps. The recipe works best with very large portobello caps; if you can only find smaller ones, buy one or two extra and divide the filling among all the caps. Serve with a tossed salad and a whole-wheat dinner roll or spaghetti tossed with marinara sauce.
Collard Green & Black-Eyed Pea Soup
Antioxidant-rich collard greens and fiber-packed black-eyed peas have a starring role in this nutritious soup. There's no need for loads of ham or salt pork--just a small amount of bacon gives it a wonderful smoky flavor. You can skip the bacon and substitute vegetable broth for chicken broth for a great vegetarian dish.
Bacon Chard Quesadillas
Whole-wheat tortillas are filled with smoky bacon, earthy chard and zesty Monterey Jack cheese in this quick, healthy quesadilla recipe that you can cook all in one skillet.