In a perfect world, we would eat kale for every meal. However, that simply isn’t going to happen (there are cupcakes and nachos to be eaten, you know). So Arizona’s own Alexis Schulze of nekter Juice Bar–which just debuted a new Scottsdale location–provided great tips for sneaking greens into your everyday meal (bonus: these work on the veggie-resistant kiddos too).
Morning smoothie. Add spinach into a creamy smoothie, with a protein (Greek yogurt, whey protein, flax, etc.) Add almond butter and berries. If for a young child, make sure you only use bright berries to make the color not so green and use little greens at first and work your way into more. Spinach lends a chocolate like flavor to things, so add it to a chocolate smoothie. The color will hide it too!
Green juices. Green juices contain anywhere from two to four cups of greens. When you juice them if affords you the opportunity to get all of the nutrients of that many greens absorbed into your body without the “bloat” that much greens would provide in whole form.
Making a salsa verde or “green” sauce. Using herbs and parsley and spinach in a blender with lemon and olive oil (cilantro has it’s own great benefits). This is fantastic on meat dishes, eggs, zucchini pancakes or my favorite, roasted garlic cauliflower! Get creative; garlic and all the raw greens provide a nice flavor and you get all of the benefits of the raw greens. Think pesto without the nuts or cheese. (Schulze favorite recipe: http://www.drperlmutter.com/recipe/salsa-verde/-)
Kale chips. Nacho cheese flavor feels like you’re eating something you’re not, satisfies that salty bad chip crunch craving but you’re once again getting a full serving of greens. I promise they taste better than they look.
Meat or lentil loaf. I think pulverized spinach sneaks into almost anything really. The trick is to not get too overboard. Sneak in a small about with your herbs but make sure you do puree it. You can always up the amount each time.
Quinoa salads. I love adding finely chopped spinach and kale into my quiona. Add some olive oil, lemon juice and savory garlic and onions sauteed and you have a complete meal loaded with protein and greens.
When my son was little, he wanted to feed himself before he was able. Which most of the time all of the food ended up on my floor. So I baked a healthy banana bread with pureed veggies in it; it’s not just for zucchini anymore! Now I would make one with almond flour, coconut sugar substituted. But it the idea is to make it “sneaky” then make something that tastes like it should be bad and they won’t complain. Have some fun. March would be a good time to add spinach to baked goods…it’s green leprechaun bread or cake! Or just get them eating it before they know what green means! I love seeing all of the young babies and toddlers drinking green drinks because nobody told them that was “bad” yet! I wish I would’ve known what I know now, when my kids were little!
The Seasonal Table dinner series, kicking off Feb. 11, at the Desert Botanical Garden features a four-course dinner of fresh, locally sourced seasonal cuisine with wine pairings.
To celebrate Arizona Lodging & Tourism Association's upcoming AZ Wine & Dine, taking place April 13 at Scottsdale Quarter from 5 to 8 p.m., let's meet some of the fest's participating chefs. Today, please meet Executive Chef Todd Allison of T. Cook's at Royal Palms Resort and Spa.