5 Leafy greens to start cooking with

May 16, 2012 at 3:00 p.m. ET

If you constantly use iceberg lettuce for your salads or are bored with the taste of spinach, these exciting leaf vegetables may be just what you're looking for. The deep green colouring of these veggies is an indication of how loaded they are with natural nutrients your body craves. Get cooking with them today!

Arugula

Arugula

Unlike some leafy greens, which can seem chewy and bitter when left uncooked, arugula is light and delicious raw. It can easily be sprinkled into a sandwich or on top of a pizza for a refreshing twist. Not sold on the idea? Try a prosciutto and arugula salad, and see what you think.

Kale

This tough-looking green is quickly rising in popularity. Though it may be a little chewy and bland when raw, it becomes nothing short of delectable when cooked. Add a cup or two of shredded kale into your favourite stir-fry. Its flavour comes out particularly well when paired with cubed sweet potatoes and caramelized onions. And there's nothing quite as scrumptious and guilt-free as a crispy batch of kale chips. Get the salty goodness you crave without the slightest hint of regret!

Swiss chard

Swiss chard is unbelievably high in vitamins A, K and D, but because of its high acidity, it is advisable to boil it before use. This will not only remove the acidity, but will bring out a sweeter flavour from the chard. Boiled or braised Swiss chard makes for a great side dish with rice and your favourite meat or other source of protein.

Broccoli rabe or rapini

Broccoli rabe — or rapini — often doesn't make it into our grocery carts for one simple reason: It's confusing. It looks like a cross between broccoli and spinach, and that means we are never entirely sure what to do with it. But this delicious green shouldn't be overlooked. It can be easily roasted or sauteed with garlic and spices for a quick and easy side dish, or incorporated into a curried lentil stew for a warm and hearty comfort food.

Bok choy

Bok choy is commonly found in a variety of Chinese dishes. It is popular for both its light, sweet taste and its nutritional density and low calorie count. There are well over a dozen varieties of the plant, but the majority of the ones you find in your local grocery store can be used in similar ways. For a dish that is loaded with both nutrients and flavour, try an Asian stir-fry. Or for a dish that's a little more familiar, try serving crispy salmon over bok choy and rice noodles. Bok choy can easily be incorporated into stir-fries, soups, appetizers and more, so don't be afraid to experiment!

more recipes

Easy kale recipes
Creamy Swiss chard
Chicken soup with a twist

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