September Superfood: Leafy Greens

Leafy greens are plants that are grown and eaten for their leaves. Also called greens, salad greens, vegetable greens. Not included are leaves for herbs and teas. The family of leafy greens consists of all types of lettuce, kale, arugula, spinach, chard, turnip greens, watercress, dandelion, mizuna and many other varieties.

Leafy greens, especially the dark green varieties, are rich in fiber, vitamins and minerals and tend to be very low in calories making them some of the most nutrient dense foods you can eat. Dark greens are a good source of iron, calcium, vitamins A, K and C, potassium and folate.

You can eat leafy greens raw in salads or cooked, steamed, roasted, grilled or even baked.

Green Pasta with Pistachios
Spinach fettuccini tossed with sautéed vegetables, pesto and pistachios

Portion size: 2 Cups
Yield: 6

10 oz Spinach Fettuccini
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
12 oz Zucchini Squash, Julienne Sliced
2 Tbsp Minced Garlic Cloves
3 oz Arugula Lettuce Leaf
3 oz Baby Spinach
2 tsp Crushed Red Pepper
1/4 tsp Kosher Salt
1/2 cup Pesto Sauce without Nuts
1/4 cup Italian Parsley, Chopped
1/4 cup Basil, Chopped
1/4 cup Pistachio Nuts, Raw
2 Tbsp Parmesan Cheese, Shredded

Cook pasta in boiling water until al dente. Drain (reserve some of the cooking water) and rinse in cold water; set aside.
Heat oil in a pan and sauté zucchini for 1 minute. Add garlic and saute another minute. Add spinach, arugula and cooked pasta; add just enough reserved cooking water to steam and moisten the pasta. Toss to combine and add the pesto until hot. Remove from heat. Garnish with parsley, basil, roughly chopped nuts and parmesan cheese.

Chef’s Notes:
For a “greener” look, use mostly the skin of the zucchini and reserve the remaining for another use.

Calories (kcal) – 317.3
Protein (g) – 12.4
Carbohydrate (g) – 46.5
Total Fat (g) – 15.6
Cholesterol (mg) – 4.7
Sodium (mg) – 272.4
Sat Fat (g) – 2.6
Dietary Fiber (g) – 4.7