7 Ways to Eat Leafy Greens

Updated Feb 5, 2021

Eating leafy greens is something we know we should do, but sometimes we feel overwhelmed actually doing it. At our farm, we strive to make eating greens easy and enjoyable. How do we do this? By growing greens that are both super nutritious and super delicious! What kind of greens do we offer in our CSA and at our farm stand?

  • arugula
  • beet greens
  • carrot tops
  • head lettuce (red, green, romaine, butter and more!)
  • kale, full-size
  • radish greens
  • salad kale
  • salad mix for every season
  • salad spinach
  • stir-fry greens (komatsuna, mizuna)
  • Swiss chard

summer salad mix on farm stand

At times during the growing season (hello, Spring!) our CSA members receive enough leafy greens that they could probably eat them for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Here are seven ways you can eat your leafy greens this week:

1. In a Sandwich

A sandwich with greens can be as simple as lunch meat, mayo, and a leaf of head lettuce. Or you can make a complex creation, unique to you and your tastebuds.

2. As a Base

Salad mix, Asian greens, salad kale, and/or salad spinach work wonderfully as a base for fried rice.  I make Indonesian fried rice (Nasi Goreng) and place it directly from the hot wok onto a plate of greens, where the heat from the rice gently wilts the greens.  You can also use salad greens as a base for re-heated leftovers or stir-fry.

3. Sautéed or Steamed

This is the perfect option for cooking greens like Swiss chard, kale, large spinach, or komatsuna.  One of Dan’s favorite side dishes is lightly steamed Swiss chard sprinkled with freshly ground pepper and sea salt.

4. As a Salad

This option almost goes without saying. Try a savory salad with fresh herbs, green onions, peanuts, and a touch of sesame oil one day, and a sweet salad with apples, toasted walnuts, and gorgonzola the next. By varying your toppings (cheese, nuts, beans, fruits, veggies, meat, dressing), the possibilities are endless.

Julie enjoying raw spinach

5. In a Soup or Broth

You can add chopped cooking greens to many soups. One of our favorites is Spicy Potato Sausage and Greens Soup (From Asparagus to Zucchini cookbook), a delicious soup made with chicken broth and topped with a spoonful of cream. 

You can also make soups where greens star as the main ingredient.  When Harper and Asher were little, I tried Kale Potato Soup, from the cookbook Simply in Season (one of our beloved cookbooks!). The kale—cooked and pureed—turned the soup completely green. Before I showed it to our boys, I told them we were having a very special dish for dinner: HULK SOUP.  Dinner that night was full of loud outbursts as we all morphed into Hulk over and over again, but Harper and Asher cleaned out their bowls with no problem.

One more idea: Use greens like spinach, stir-fry greens, and beet/turnip/radish greens in this Homemade Veggie Broth.

6. In a Smoothie

Years ago, Dan and I went through a phase where we daily drank a quart of green smoothie, a beverage made up of 1/2 to 2/3 greens, and 1/2 to 1/3 fruit.  I started drinking green smoothies at that time after Dan’s parents introduced me to Victoria Boutenko’s Greens for Life and Green Smoothie Revolution.  When I made them a part of my daily habit, I experienced an increase in energy and a significant decrease in allergic reactions. Green smoothies–along with other diet changes–helped me get my health back on track. 

Learn more about green smoothies and check out our recipe for Every Day Green Smoothie here.

7. In a Frittata

Greens pair wonderfully with eggs in almost any form, but I am especially in love with the frittata. Frittatas work great for cleaning out the fridge and can be eaten at room temperature–double bonus for those who love efficiency and working ahead! Plus, they’re delicious. Check out my recipe for Frittata with Potatoes, Scallions, and Greens to get started!

frittata with potatoes, scallions, and greens

photo by Anne Kingma

How do you eat your greens?  I’d love to hear your ideas–leave me a comment and let me know!



  1. Sarah Hamstra on October 13, 2014 at 4:10 pm

    That frittata looks great! How large of a skillet would you say to use?

    • Julie Oudman Perkins on October 13, 2014 at 5:06 pm

      Sarah, my skillet is just under 12″ in diameter.

  2. Michelle Vargas on October 14, 2014 at 9:20 pm

    Interesting article! As a non-farmer, I only know what I see at the the store, and that consists is collard greens. I’m curious about the green smoothie. Might have to try that. Is it only the greens in the smoothie or can you add fruit to make it sweeter?

    • Julie Oudman Perkins on October 14, 2014 at 9:28 pm

      Michelle, I use about 2/3 greens and 1/3 fruit. When I first started making green smoothies, however, I used 2/3 fruit and 1/3 fruit, so it may take some time for your taste buds to adjust to the greens. At the very bottom of the post is a recipe for an Every Day Green Smoothie.

  3. Sarah on October 15, 2014 at 12:04 am

    This was awesome! I didn’t have feta so I used sharp cheddar and a little swiss. Looking forward to eating leftovers for breakfast. 🙂 Elizabeth the toddler loved it too.

  4. Nichole on October 16, 2014 at 12:55 am

    I made this tonight and it was SO good! This is the first time that I have used radish greens in anything, and with the beet greens, spinach and collard greens it was fabulous! I didn’t have feta, but cheddar was also good! Thanks for the yummy recipe! I wish I wasn’t full so that I could eat more right now!

  5. Amber on October 28, 2014 at 5:28 pm

    My frittata didn’t look quite as good as the picture, but it tasted sublime! I love the green smoothies, but am having trouble getting my crappy blender to blend the carrot tops and kale smooth enough.

    • Julie Oudman Perkins on October 29, 2014 at 1:58 pm

      I’m sure your frittata was lovely, Amber! If you can manage it, a good blender is worth every penny–maybe you can add it to your Christmas list? 🙂

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