Green Food for a Day!
Last week, my post about matcha green tea got me thinking about green food. In honor of St. Patrick’s Day (really just an excuse to get creative with food), I decided to provide you with ways to naturally color your food! Instead of exposing yourself and/or your kiddos to un-natural green food dye, you can add some nutrients and fun colors!
Here’s a Day’s worth of Green Food Meals!
Let’s begin with Green Eggs. Who doesn’t love Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss? As a kid I didn’t particularly like eggs. They always made me feel sick. That is likely due to the fact that I’m allergic to them, but we weren’t aware of that then. However, when my mom offered to make green eggs I was more than willing to eat them 😉 When my mom made them, she used traditional green food coloring. Thanks to Elana at elanaspantry.com, you can have green eggs with a healthy dose of vtamins K, A, and C and fiber due to the secret ingredient: kale!
Green food veggies for breakfast?! No one will ever know 😉
Green Food Meals
Green Food BREAKFAST
Green Food Eggs
- 4 large eggs
- 4 large kale leaves (do not trim or remove stems)
- Pinch sea salt
- oil of your choice for frying pan
- Place eggs, kale leaves and salt in vitamix, blender or food processor
- Blend on high until smooth
- Heat oil in pan over medium heat
- Pour egg mixture in pan
- Allow eggs to cook a bit, then scramble
- Cook eggs to your preferred doneness
This next one is a bit on the eccentric side, but it is loaded with nutrients from cashews, almonds, and antioxidant-packed spirulina! Spirulina is an algae that is often added to smoothies and is responsible for the green food color in this nutritious “milk “. It comes in powder from and is a great source of protein as well as antioxidants, B-vitamins and other nutrients. It is a good iron source for vegetarians. Add this to your morning breakfast or have it as an afternoon “pick-me-up.” Tell your kids it will make them strong like the Hulk! J
Green Food Spirunlina Milk
from Registered Dietitian, McKel Hill, MS, RD, LDN
Prep time: 10 mins
Total time: 10 mins
A creamy protein and mineral rich milk made with blue-green algae, spirulina and a combination of nuts.
- 2 tablespoons spirulina, organic and powdered
- 2 cups filtered water
- ½ cup cashews, raw
- ½ cup almonds, raw
- 3 dates, pitted
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- pinch of sea salt
- Soak the cashews and almonds for at least 2 hours in water, discard the water after soaking.
- Blend all the ingredients in a blender until smooth.
- Chill before enjoying.
- Shake well before serving if it’s been stored or a quick re-blend will help.
- Keeps for 2-3 days in the fridge.
Last week I provided a pancake recipe that uses matcha powder for its green hue. This week, I’m loving the idea of sneaking in veggies for breakfast. Even your pickiest veggie-hater will swoon over these delicious pancakes from Heather at Kiss My Broccoli. The addition of banana deliciously disguises the spinach J Like Kale, Spinach is an excellent source of Vitamins K, A, and see and 100 grams of this leafy green provides 25% of your daily Iron needs!
Green Food Power Pancakes
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10-12 minutes
- 1/3 cup rolled oats
- 2 tablespoons ground flax
- 1/2 teaspoon sodium-free baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 cups, packed raw spinach
- 3 large egg whites
- 1/2 medium ripe banana
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Heat a non-stick skillet or griddle over medium heat and coat with cooking spray.
2. In a small blender or food processor, blend oats into flour.
3. Empty oat flour into a medium-sized bowl, add other dry ingredients and stir to mix.
4. Combine spinach, egg whites, banana, and vanilla in the blender or food processor and blend until smooth.
5. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir until flour is incorporated.
6. Spoon batter into skillet forming 4 medium pancakes.
7. Cook 4-6 minutes per side or until the edges start to brown (batter will not bubble).
8. Transfer to a plate and top with yogurt, fresh fruit, and/or nuts.
Serve up all three (eggs, milk and the pancakes) for a St. Patrick’s Day worthy, nutrient-filled breakfast!
Green Food LUNCH
Healthy Avocado Chicken Salad
This recipe from hip2save.com gets hints of green from two sources: avocado and cilantro. The avocado adds an excellent source of healthy fats and cilantro is packed with antioxidants!
Prep Time: 5 minutes
2 cups shredded chicken (I used rotisserie chicken)
1 large avocado, cored & chopped
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
*salt & pepper to taste
*optional, squeeze ½ fresh lime for an added zing
1.Mix all ingredients in a large bowl and mash with a fork. If you have time, cover and refrigerate for at least 20-30 minutes to let all the flavors blend together. It is ok to eat right away if you just can’t resist.
2.Serve on whole grain bread or in lettuce cups if you’re really in the spirit of everything green
Optional: Balance the meal out with fresh Granny smith Apple slices or 2 kiwis!
Green Food SNACK
Yield: 2 heaping cups
Servings: 8 (1/4th cup serving size)
- 1 (500g) bag frozen organic shelled edamame (equal to 3 cups thawed/drained)
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled
- 3-4 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 cup tahini (stir well before measuring)
- 2-4 tbsp water, to thin as needed (I used 3T)
- 3/4th tsp fine grain sea salt, or to taste
- 1/4 tsp ground coriander seeds, optional
- 1/8th tsp cayenne pepper, optional
- To garnish: smoked paprika, freshly ground black pepper, extra virgin olive oil, edamame
- If starting with thawed edamame, rinse and drain before using. If starting with frozen edamame, simmer in a pot of water until edamame is heated through. Rinse and drain before using. You can also remove the skins of the edamame for a slightly smoother spread, but I didn’t bother. Set aside a handful of edamame beans for garnish just before serving.
- With motor running on food processor, drop in 2 garlic cloves to mince.
- Next, add edamame to processor and process until somewhat smooth, stopping to scrape down the side of the bowl as necessary.
- Add in the lemon juice, tahini, and water and process again until smooth. Don’t be afraid to let the processor run for a few minutes and get it really smooth!
- Add salt to taste along with optional cayenne pepper and ground coriander. Process again until combined.
- Scoop into a serving bowl. Garnish with smoked paprika, freshly ground black pepper, a generous drizzle of olive oil, and reserved edamame.
Serve with sliced celery, carrots, and cucumber.
Green Food DINNER
This day you’re sure to get your daily intake of veggies thanks to serving Zucchini as a low-carb/allergen-friendly alternative to traditional pasta. Chicken provides satisfying protein and the pesto adds a little dose of healthy fat coming from the olive or avocado oil.
Zucchini Noodles with Chicken and Pesto
Turn your zucchini into noodles and toss with fresh basil pesto. A fresh and healthy meal in minutes!
yield: SERVES 4
prep time: 15 MINUTES
total time: 15 MINUTES
- 8 medium zucchini, ends trimmed
- 2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil or avocado oil
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 3 cups shredded chicken (using a premade rotisserie chicken is a quick option)
- Optional: cherry or grape tomatoes, mushrooms
- If you don’t have a spiralizer, use a julienne peeler or mandolin to slice the zucchini into noodles. Set aside.
2. Combine the basil and garlic in a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. Slowly add the olive oil (or sub avocado oil) in a constant stream while the food processor is on. Stop the machine and scrape down the sides of the food processor with a rubber spatula. Add the lemon juice and parmesan. Season with salt and pepper and pulse until blended.
3. Combine the zucchini noodles and pesto and shredded chicken. Toss together until noodles and chicken are well coated. Top with tomatoes and additional cheese if you wish.
4. If you want to cook the noodles, add the combined noodles, chicken and pesto to a skillet and sauté over medium heat for 5-7 minutes.
Green Food DESSERT
The avocados in this recipe replace a lot of the oil. It also lends a very moist, creamy consistency!
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (sub gluten free flour)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup fresh Hass avocados, mashed to a creamy texture
1 kiwi, mashed
Juice of one lime
1/2 cup sugar
2 extra-large eggs
2 tablespoons coconut oil
4 tablespoons milk (or milk substitute)
Cinnamon to taste (optional)
dried mint (to sprinkle on top)
1/2 cup lime juice
Enough powdered sugar to make a thick glaze
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Prepare muffin pan lined with paper cups. Mix all dry ingredients in one bowl and set aside.
- Remove flesh from ripe avocados and kiwis and mash or blend them with a electric hand blender in another bowl. Add eggs, lemon juice and oil and whisk.
- Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, folding delicately, until it’s a moist batter. Spoon into prepared muffin cups and bake for about 30 minutes or until the tops are golden and the center is dry.
OPTION # 2
This is a calcium-rich, protein-packed, low sugar ice-cream option. You can give it to your kids without risk of sending them bouncing off the walls. They’ll never know they’re eating spinach for dessert!
Mint Chocolate Chip Greek Yogurt Ice Cream
- 2 frozen bananas
- 3/4 cup almond milk, original
- 2 cups spinach, packed
- 1 container (16 ounces) Greek Yogurt
- 1/4 tsp mint extract
- 3 Tbsp dark chocolate chips, roughly chopped
- In a vitamix, or high powered blender, combine frozen bananas, almond milk, and spinach. Blend until completelysmooth (there should be no spinach leaves left, you should only have a smooth, pretty green smoothie consistency.)
- In a bowl, combine spinach-banana-milk Greek Yogurt, mint extract and chopped dark chocolate chips.
- Pour mixture into your ice cream maker and allow to churn according to ice cream makers instructions or churn until it reached a consistency similar to frozen yogurt, about 15 minutes.
- Then scoop the mixture into a container and allow to freeze until ice cream-like consistency is reached, about 2 hours.
- If you DON’T have an ice cream maker, just pour the mixture into a bowl and freeze for two hours. Scoop out and serve when ready!
To recap, if you follow the plan your meals will be:
Breakfast: Green Eggs with Green Spirulina Milk and Green Power Pancakes
Lunch: Chicken Avocado Salad with Sliced Apples or Kiwi
Snack: Edamame Hummus with 1 cup sliced carrots, celery and/or cucumber
Dinner: Zucchini Noodles with Chicken and Pesto
Dessert: Either Leprechaun Cake OR Mint Chocolate Chip Greek Yogurt Ice Cream
JUST in case you didn’t notice….I showed you how to easily get your veggie intake for the day without eating a boring pile of broccoli (or ANY for that matter) Am I good or what?! 🙂