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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7/25/2014 8:13:19 AM

This sound deli and oh so easy.


7/25/2014 7:53:34 AM

ZELDA13's SparkPage
Thanks for these tips. I have a hard time finding romaine that is decent enough to use for a wrap, but love the idea to use it to dip. I thought I needed a food processor for hummus but I will now whip some up in the blender. Store bought is too salty for me and I really love it.
Also, I seldom use canned soup. I usually make a pot each week, but sometimes don't have the chance. While I add tons of kale, spinach and so on to homemade, I never thought to add it to canned. I won't feel as guilty when I eat it now. Thanks.


7/25/2014 4:17:15 AM

AKELAZ's SparkPage
AND the pine nuts, if you can spare the calories. I dry fry mine first - adds a delicious extra dimension of flavour!


7/25/2014 1:02:49 AM

I have been eating green salad rolling with roasted breast chicken
for strictly in the few months I have lost 35 bl. Now I'm looking slim and healthier than
Before my diet.


5/27/2014 8:28:42 PM

I don't use bagged greens because of the bacteria scares. I used to, but they don't last over a day or two in the fridge before they smell bad, so I just say no.


5/9/2014 12:00:11 AM

OBIESMOM2's SparkPage
lavish bread, smeared with hummus, piled high with fresh greens makes a great roll up.
i also add like to steamed greens to brown rice or quiona with some Rotels


3/13/2014 6:07:40 PM

BUNNYMACK87's SparkPage
I love the using of the romain lettuce instead of chips


3/12/2014 12:09:08 PM

Like the mashed potato idea. Gunnsgirl - great idea about the cabbage. I like cabbage, but always seem to forget about it when shopping. I used to make stuffed cabbage rolls (grandmother's recipe) but no one in my family except me liked them so I gave up. Great new ideas to try! Thanks.


3/12/2014 6:28:40 AM

Great ideas! Thank you!


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!


3/11/2014 10:03:43 AM

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


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.


3/10/2014 10:39:42 AM

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


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.


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.

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