Naturally low in calories and loaded with more nutrients than most other greens, kale adds bold, earthy flavor to any savory dish. The leafy greens (from the same family of vegetables as cabbage, collards and Brussels sprouts) are not only rich in vitamin K—essential for bone and blood health—they've also been found to reduce the risk of bladder and ovarian cancer. For the tastiest bunch, look for leaves that are firm and rich in color, with moist, hearty stems. Whether layered into a warm vegetable lasagna or cooked down into a thick, hearty stew, kale can transform any meal into a wonderfully nutritious feast.
1. Vegetable Lasagna (shown above)
Photographed for Landcruisers by Mark Thomas.
Also known as rapa, rapine and Chinese broccoli, broccoli rabe is a nutrient-dense vegetable loved for its distinctly bitter flavor. More closely related to turnips than broccoli, the leafy greens are rich in vitamins A, C and K, as well as potassium, and are quick and easy to prepare. For some classic Italian fare, try sautéing broccoli rabe in olive oil and serving with your favorite pasta, or serve it solo as a scrumptious side.
2. Orecchiette with Broccoli Rabe & Turkey Sausage (shown above)
Photographed for Landcruisers by Frances Janisch.
Along with kale, mustard greens and collard greens, Swiss chard is one of several leafy green vegetables often referred to simply as "greens." Rich in vitamins A, C, E and K, this tall leafy veggie adds a uniquely bitter and robust flavor to any savory dish. In season from June to August, the tastiest chard will have firm green leaves and crisp, unblemished stalks. These will hold up wonderfully in any dish—from a savory soup to a creamy casserole.
2. White Bean & Sausage Soup (shown above)
Photographed for Landcruisers by Mary Ellen Bartley.
This leafy superfood was Popeye's favorite for good reason: Packed with vitamins A, C and K, plus calcium, iron and potassium, spinach is truly a nutritional powerhouse, proven to help regulate blood flow, maintain bone health and promote healthy cell growth. Whether served as a fresh salad or incorporated into pastas, stews or curries, this is one green you should never pass up.
3. Smoked Turkey and Spinach Salad with Croutons (shown above)
Photographed for Landcruisers by Jeff McNamara.