Craving Swiss Chard?

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You just read another report on the importance of consuming leafy greens to a healthy diet. Or maybe you got some test results from your doctor that indicate you need to pay more attention to vitamins, minerals and fiber. You know that eating more leafy greens would be a healthy-er thing to do, but you have never had a craving for swiss chard, and you aren’t sure to work these nutrient dense leaves into your weekly meals.

Well, MOTLOT ers, you are about to be surprised! Filling your plates with nutritious greens just got easier with this MOTLOT Guide: the what, how and why about leafy greens.

Lettuce begin!


You may have strong feelings (positive or negative) about kale, but it’s an undeniable contender for the title of the most nutrient-dense food.  
How: Add kale to your smoothie with some frozen mango chunks. Tear the leaves for a Kale Caesar Salad. And a favorite of mine: this Pasta Fagioli with kale.

The MOTLOT Kale edition has additional recipes and tips for using kale.


Some say arugula is a super food based on its high calcium and vitamin K content. It has a spicy and peppery flavor which adds an exclamation point for taste on your salad or sandwich or side dishes.

How: One of my favorit
e MOTLOT Kitchen recipes using arugula is here.


The mild taste and versatility make spinach a go-to vegetable. (Why would we challenge the wisdom of Popeye?)

How: Add some to your smoothie, sauté and add to your eggs or use in your breakfast sandwich (have you tried the
MOTLOT Signature Sandwich yet?)

Collard Greens

Collard greens may not be as popular everywhere as they are in the South, but geography aside, this leafy green ranks high on the list of nutrient dense vegetables. Scientific research shows that steamed collard greens have equal–if not better!–cholesterol-lowering properties than some of the other green vegetables like broccoli and brussels sprouts.

How: Try this white bean soup to enjoy all the minerals and vitamins that collards have to offer.

Swiss Chard

A relative of the beet (who knew!), Swiss chard is a nutritional powerhouse similar to kale. Come for the colorful, large leaves, stay for the vitamins, minerals and taste.

How: This
easy sauté recipe is worth trying; add it to a plate of salmon for a nutrient-dense dinner.


You may lump romaine in the same lettuce bin as the anemic iceberg, but look closer. This common green, a star of the Caesar salad, is chock full of vitamins, making it the perfect foundation for your salad. Not to mention the sturdy leaves act as an edible vehicle to carry all your meals ingredients.

Turkey Taco Lettuce wraps

5 Ways to Get More of This: Leafy Greens

After all this, you might be thinking, OK, MOTLOT editor, just tell me which leafy green is best. I can’t. They are all best. The taste, texture and preparation options make each one unique, and they all have nutrients that keep your body functioning well.  Here are 5 ways to get more!

  • Vary the type.
  • With so many to choose from, don’t limit yourself to your usual go-tos. As wonderfully nutrient dense as each one is, no one type gives you everything you need. 
  • Raw and cooked. Dr Drew Ramsey, Nutritional Psychiatrist, tells us to eat leafy greens both ways! While cooking will reduce the healthy phytonutrients in some, you still will get a ton of vitamins and minerals.
  • Not just for salad. Think of all three meals as opportunities to get those 2-3 cups of daily leafy greens. Beyond spinach and eggs, you can add any one of them to a breakfast smoothie. Or add to your stir-fry, layer into a lasagna or enchilada; stir into soup. 
  • Swap in often. Swap one leafy green for another, and watch your taste buds do a double take when the unexpected taste of arugula pops up in your salad bowl.
  • Explore your supermarket. If you can’t always have a fresh bunch of kale on hand, you don’t have to miss out on adding it to your meals. Check the frozen food aisle for bags of leafy greens that will work great in a sauté, smoothie, or sauce.