Unconventional Ways to Use Bagged Greens

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Unconventional Ways to Use Bagged Greens

By Stepfanie Romine, Staff Writer

Who's up for a quick round of "Iron Chef"? Today's mystery ingredient is a good one: bagged greens. Easy to use and packed with nutrition, you probably have a bag or two of these pre-washed, ready-to-eat greens in the fridge right now. But beyond salads, what can you do with them? Plenty!


Pumped-Up Pesto

Swap arugula or baby kale for the herbs in your favorite pesto recipe, or simply add a handful in addition to the basil.

Healthier Hummus

Call on spinach, arugula or kale the next time you make hummus. Pureeing a few handfuls of greens will lighten and brighten your favorite dip.

Lettuce Wraps

Instead of bread, wraps or taco shells, pile all your fillings into whole leaves of Romaine for a light and crunchy meal.

Simple Soup

On nights when you don't want to cook, stir spinach, arugula or shredded cabbage into your favorite canned soup, then simmer until the greens are cooked.

Lighter Deli Salad

Mix shredded greens or cabbage into homemade or store-bought tuna, chicken or egg salad for added crunch and fiber.

Low-Carb Side Swap

Instead of serving a shrimp stir-fry or chicken curry atop rice or noodles, use coleslaw mix that's been steamed until tender-crisp.

Pizza Topping

Toss fresh arugula or spinach on a pizza--homemade, frozen or delivery--while it's still hot for a cool, crunchy contrast to your warm and chewy pie.

Dunkers for Dip

Instead of chips or crackers, use whole leaves of crunchy Romaine to scoop up dip--or spread a spoonful down the center for an elegant presentation.

Taste of the Irish

For an Irish twist on mashed potatoes called colcannon, place a bag of spinach or baby kale in the colander before draining boiled potatoes, then mash as usual with plenty of butter and milk, plus a pinch of nutmeg.

Salad on a Stick

Thread chunks of folded Romaine or another sturdy green with peppers, olives, cucumbers and any other vegetable you like onto bamboo skewers, then drizzle with your favorite dressing for an inventive salad worthy of any special occasion.

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Member Comments on this Slideshow

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403LYN

3/11/2014 12:48:33 PM

Fab ideas; thanks for sharing. I slide LOTS of chopped spinach, kale, greens into soup, stew, etc., wherever I can. My family doesn't even know they are eating their healthy greens!

SOOKIE

3/11/2014 10:03:43 AM

SOOKIE's SparkPage
OMG ... so many ides to take my bag salads to another level. WooHoo!

AUSSIEJAN2

3/10/2014 5:23:33 PM

AUSSIEJAN2's SparkPage
The only thing I have against the bagged salads is the reports that they are not well washed. There are reports of finding worms, frogs, mice, caterpillars, spiders, and e-coli in samples. I wash them again to be sure, since I would if they came from my own garden, but it doesn't save that time. It saves growing them though.
Despite this issue, these are great ideas.

BOATWOMAN2

3/10/2014 10:39:42 AM

Great ideas! I am going to try all of them!....

LATPC130

3/10/2014 8:47:44 AM

Those are terrific ideas. I have used romaine to wrap fillings and have put greens on top of a pizza, but the other ideas are definitely new to me. I shall try them.

ELSEEBEE

3/10/2014 6:49:18 AM

ELSEEBEE's SparkPage
I buy a LOT of mixed greens, especially ones with kale, spinach, arugula, They are the basis for my breakfasts. I put them in the vitamix with some frozen strawberries, add a little protein powder, cinnamon and any supplements I might need (a few weeks ago all I could find was powdered calcium/magnesium and who wants to try to swallow that?). Mix it up and voila! -a frozen smoothie that's like eating ice cream for breakfast.

GUNNSGIRL91303

3/9/2014 3:45:18 PM

GUNNSGIRL91303's SparkPage
I do this using cabbage for my colcannon. Its delicious.

HEIDIC75

1/22/2014 2:52:26 PM

HEIDIC75's SparkPage
thank you for sharing I can't wait to try

NIKITA28478

1/22/2014 10:00:25 AM

I lost 35 pounds using kale in my smoothies.

JMB369

1/22/2014 9:57:25 AM

Great ideas == some of them I'd already stumbled on like stirring greens into soup, tuna salad, and even spinach on pizza. But I love the idea of substituting them for rice under a stir-fry or curry, and I definitely want to try the colcannon idea. DH is surprisingly willing to try greens in various ways, but colcannon might be a challenge as he loves his mashed potatoes. LOL

MITCHDY

1/21/2014 9:20:32 PM

MITCHDY's SparkPage
I love the idea of kale or arugula pesto, and adding them to hummus!

MOOMSHINE

1/21/2014 8:09:14 PM

MOOMSHINE's SparkPage
I too like the idea of using veggies in place of rice. 8-)

JUDYERAE

1/21/2014 3:54:18 PM

Love these ideas! Thanks for the recipe, LongLife7!

FEDERMAN27

1/21/2014 3:10:40 PM

FEDERMAN27's SparkPage
Love the mash potato idea!! Will definetly try this

MZDEE2DEE

1/21/2014 3:02:16 PM

I like greens going to try some of these this week...thank you

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