It’s March, which means every food under the sun is taking on a verdant—but unfortunately all too often artificial—hue. I think we can do better this March 17 by taking advantage of all of the naturally green foods that are at our disposal.
Naturally green foods get their color from phytochemicals, which are associated with aiding the liver in clearing out carcinogenic compounds. They also tend to have significant amounts of folic acid, potassium, and vitamin C. Of course, it’s important to eat a colorful diet rather than focusing solely on any single hue, because each color represents a unique nutritional profile, but greens can be a struggle (and therefore opportunity) for many of us.
I get it. Kale can be a hard sell sometimes. I’ve got you covered with these 17(+) green recipes…no dyes needed!
Avocado toast with cilantro cashew cream
We have to start with the super-trendy avocado toast, and this recipe from With Food + Love is brilliant in its simplicity. If you happen to be one of those people who can’t stand cilantro, try fresh tarragon instead.
Super green smoothie bowl
Smoothie bowls are the love-children of ice cream, salad, and chewable toppings…because sometimes, a girl (or guy) needs a little substance in the morning. This recipe from Minimalist Baker is perfect to get you started.
Green banana pancakes
Who doesn’t love a stack of pancakes? Sneaking in a little spinach, à la this recipe from the Healthy Maven, is a total game changer. Might I suggest topping it with some equally green pistachio butter?
Green Kitchen Stories is an obvious source of green recipes, both in color and carbon footprint, and this broccoli flatbread is proof of that. Keep up the green streak with green goddess hummus or edamame and avocado salad (see below) as fillings.
Greeny salad with crispy chickpeas
The Sprouted Kitchen’s recipes are bursting with fresh ingredients, this “greeny salad” included. If you really want to see green, try swapping out the chickpeas for some shelled (preferably organic) edamame or use cooked (not roasted) green lentils instead.
Edamame avocado sandwich
Move over, chicken salad, this very green mixture from Two Peas and Their Pod is the perfect recipe to keep on hand for weekday lunches. Make sure you choose a hearty, high-fiber bread, or go bun-less and scoop it over a big salad.
Green wellness bowl with spirulina vinaigrette
Buddha bowls, wellness bowls, nourish bowls: whatever you call them, they’re in, and for good reason. These veggie-packed dishes, like this recipe from Thrive Market, can be prepped ahead for quick assembly. Plus, any non-smoothie recipe that calls for spirulina has got my attention.
Chopped kale salad
Kale salads can be made at the start of the week and only get better as they sit and marinate. I recently tried and loved this one from Edible Perspective. It’s pretty versatile, so aside from the kale, feel free to mix in whatever veggies you have on hand.
Very green vegan pesto pizza
Ashley’s Edible Perspective blog earns a second spot on this list, and deservedly so. Not only is this pizza paired with a bright green pesto, but it’s also topped with more green vegetables. Do you think we can find a way to add some green to the crust, too? Hmm…
Asparagus pea soup
Spring, asparagus, and peas might as well be synonymous, so I’m all in when it comes to this soup from Minimalist Baker. My two cents? Boil the often-discarded, woody asparagus ends in water or broth for 45-60 minutes, then puree and strain it to stretch your food dollars a little more. The stringy pulp can then be composted.
“The Hulk” potato kale soup
Baked peas with tarragon
This recipe from 101 Cookbooks would make a great side dish, and leftovers, I imagine, would be wonderful for lunch. Oh, and did I mention there’s a pistachio dressing? Because there is.
Fig and zucchini pasta with hemp seed crumble
Green monster veggie burger
One of my favorite meals is a solid veggie burger, and so why not choose a green-hued recipe like this one from Vegan Heaven for St. Paddy’s Day? For a bit of a protein boost, try layering it with seared tempeh or, if you’re not vegan, a poached egg.
Snacks & Dessert
Green pea guacamole
The NY Times caused quite a stir when it suggested pureeing green peas into guacamole, but I have to say, I don’t hate the idea. That being said, if pea-guac is utter blasphemy to you, this “perfect guacamole” from Simply Recipes is much more traditional.
Matcha banana nice cream
“Nice cream” is a fancy term for frozen bananas blended into creamy oblivion. It’s a fabulously fruity alternative to ice cream, and with the addition of a dose of matcha powder, this Free People recipe is perfect for a St. Patrick’s Day treat.
St. Paddy’s day macaroons
Matcha and spirulina make second appearances for this Pure Mama macaroon recipe, minimally sweetened and loaded with the healthy fats of walnuts. You know what I’m going to say, though: looking for some extra green? Try it with pistachios.
Shamrock shakes and green bagels of the food marketing world, your days are numbered. I have all the green I need right here, and with recipes as nutritious as these, I’ve got more than luck on my side. How about you?