Brussels Sprout Salad and 5 Tips for Adding Leafy Greens to Your Diet
So you don’t think Brussels sprouts are your thing? Well, you haven’t tried this Brussels Sprout Salad with Apple Maple Vinaigrette, that’s bursting with flavor! Brussels are sliced very thin to create a slaw-like salad that’s layered with a myriad of textures and lightly sweet apple maple vinaigrette.
The Brussels sprout salad is really very easy and quick to throw together, especially if you use your food processor to shred the Brussels, like I did. If you don’t have a food processor, you can also use a mandoline or sharp knife. The food processor was really quick, though, and just took several pulses. You can find the Brussels sprout salad recipe at the very end of the post.
Ice cream or a Brussels sprout salad? Given the choice, research shows most of us reach for the sweets. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, only 6% of Americans eat the recommended dose of veggies and of those veggies most of them aren’t green. We’re missing out on numerous health-benefiting, cancer-fighting nutrients, people!
I like sweets and treats as much as the next person, but I’ve also grown to LOVE leafy green vegetables. Green vegetables don’t have to taste like you’re chewing on grass. Once you’ve found a few favorite ways to enjoy veggies, I promise you’ll truly enjoy them. Take this Brussels Sprout Salad I’m sharing with you today- it’s not just a bowl full of plain Brussels. There are many flavors, colors and textures in this one tasty leafy green salad… it’s anything but boring!
Leafy greens are packed with fiber, folate, calcium, and vitamins A, C, and K. Carotenoids found in leafy greens act as antioxidants that help prevent free radicals from causing damage to cells, and may help inhibit certain types of breast, skin, lung, and stomach cancers. Likewise, the folate found in greens can help reduce the risk of pancreatic cancer, while fiber-full foods reduce the risk of colorectal cancer. That’s reason enough for me, to add leafy greens to my meals EVERYDAY!
I’m partnering with Kohl’s and their #MakeYourMove campaign to share these 5 easy ways to add more leafy greens to your daily eats. The #MakeYourMove campaign is all about turning over a new leaf to become a happier healthier you, whether that involves becoming more active, getting more sleep, stressing less and/or eating a more nutrient-packed diet. If you’re starting fresh and new, on the road to increased health and happiness; the kitchen is one of the most important places to start.
1. Juices and smoothies make it easy to take in plenty of kale, spinach or other favorite leafy green veggie. I prefer spinach in my smoothies and my go-to smoothie right now is the Date Spinach Smoothie. I typically add at least a handful of spinach to any smoothie I make because you can’t taste it.
2. During this time of year, my favorite way to incorporate more green veggies is in soups and stews. Most broth-based soups can accommodate greens without overwhelming the flavor. Try adding a couple cups of collards into a beef stew, or add spinach or kale into your favorite homemade minestrone or Italian wedding soup recipe. If you’re a fan of white beans and tomatoes, try one of my favorite soup recipes, Cannellini Spinach Soup.
3. Baked kale chips are a crispy, crunchy way to snack on leafy greens. Kids love them too! Do a google search and you’ll see there are tons of different flavorings to experiment with. One of my favorite recipes is Gina’s Coconut Garlic Kale Chips. She also has a Pizza Kale Chip recipe, I can’t wait to try.
4. Use large green leaves in place of tortillas for wraps. When I’m in the mood for a lighter meal, I use large romaine leaves to wrap grilled chicken or tuna salad. Try my adobo chicken lettuce wraps for a figure-friendly meal.
5. Add finely chopped greens, like spinach or kale, to scrambled eggs, omelets and frittatas. These mini spinach frittatas are one of my favorite make-ahead foods to have on hand.
Something to think about….
Do you think you get enough leafy greens in your diet? The USDA’s ChooseMyPlate website recommends six servings of vegetables per day. Eat at least three to four servings of dark green leafy vegetables, such as spinach, romaine lettuce, broccoli, collard greens, kale, mustard greens, bok choy, turnip greens, dark green leafy lettuce, watercress and mesclun, each week (better yet, how about everyday) with the rest of your vegetable consumption consisting of a variety of vegetables of other colors to help maximize your nutrient intake. Pass on the iceburg lettuce- there’s very little, if any, nutritional value in iceburg lettuce; instead try romaine. (A serving size is one cup, raw or ½ cup, cooked.)
Are you a fan of Brussels sprouts? Have you ever tried a shredded Brussels sprout salad? Brussels are also fabulous roasted or pan-fried. This balsamic vinegar honey roasted Brussels sprout recipe is a family favorite.
How do you incorporate more leafy greens into your diet? I know I get a huge amount of leafy greens from eating daily salads. If you love salads as much as I do, check out my salad recipes on the blog.
- 1 lb. Brussels sprouts
- 2 carrots shredded
- 1 apple cored and finely chopped
- 1/2 cup pecan chips
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries or golden raisins
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta or goat cheese
- sea salt to taste
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 1/2 tablespoons water
- 1-2 squeezes of lemon or orange
- sea salt to taste start with about 1/4 teaspoon
To make the salad: Trim any stem off of Brussels and pulse in a food processor until finely shredded. Not too long! Depending on the size of your food processor you may need to do this in batches. I had to leave in some larger pieces, that didn't shred, and repulse. Combine and toss all other salad ingredients with the shredded Brussels sprouts, in a large serving bowl.
To make the vinaigrette: Whisk all ingredients in a small bowl or glass measuring cup. Pour vinaigrette over salad and toss to coat. Serve immediately or allow salad to sit for 20 minutes to let flavors meld. This salad keeps well in the fridge and is great even a couple of days leftover.