Three recipes to help put the right sort of GREEN into your diet

All recipes in this post developed by Kate Sherwood, The Healthy Cook.

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Lentil Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette

For more color, use a combination of red and golden beets.

Time: 30 minutes

Serves 2

½ cup dry French lentils
1 bay leaf
Mustard Vinaigrette (recipe below)
1 cup cooked quinoa
4 cups salad greens
1 cup cooked diced beets
½ cup cooked diced butternut squash
¼ cup roasted, salted sunflower seeds

1. Simmer the lentils with the bay leaf in enough water to cover by ½ inch until just tender, 12-15 minutes. Drain and cool.

2. Make the Mustard Vinaigrette dressing.

3. Toss the lentils, quinoa, and salad greens in the dressing. Top with the beets, squash, and sunflower seeds.

Mustard Vinaigrette

Makes 4½ Tbs.

1 Tbs. red wine or sherry vinegar
1 Tbs. whole-grain mustard
½ tsp. dijon mustard
¼ tsp. honey
½ tsp. kosher salt
¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil

In a large bowl, whisk together all the ingredients.

Per serving (3 cups salad with 2 ¼ Tbs. vinaigrette):

  • Calories: 580
  • Total fat: 25 g
  • Sat fat: 3 g
  • Carbs: 70 g
  • Fiber: 17 g
  • Total sugar: 13 g
  • Added sugar: 1 g
  • Protein: 23 g
  • Sodium: 630 mg

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Tofu & Kale with Tahini Lemon Dressing

If you prefer more tender greens, try baby spinach or baby kale, or lightly steam the regular kale.

Time: 20 minutes

Serves 2

1 14 oz. package extra-firm tofu, drained and blotted dry
2 Tbs. sesame seeds
1 Tbs. grapeseed or peanut oil
3 scallions, sliced
Tahini Lemon Dressing (recipe below)
6 cups kale leaves, ribs removed and leaves chopped
2 lemon slices or wedges

1. Cut the tofu in half lengthwise. Cut into 10 square slabs. Scatter the sesame seeds on a plate. Pat the tofu into the seeds.

2. In a large non-stick pan, heat the oil over medium heat until shimmering hot. Sauté the tofu, turning once, until lightly browned, 3-4 minutes per side. Remove the tofu to a paper-towel-lined plate.

3. Sauté the scallions until just slightly softened, about 1 minute. Remove from the pan.

4. Make the Tahini Lemon dressing.

5. Toss the kale in the dressing and top with the tofu. Sprinkle with the scallions. Serve with lemon.

Tahini Lemon Dressing

Grating the garlic on a microplane will give you just the right-size bits.

Makes 6 Tbs.

2 Tbs. tahini
2 Tbs. reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
1 Tbs. water
1 tsp. toasted sesame oil
1 clove garlic, grated or finely minced
1 tsp. honey

In a large bowl, whisk together all the ingredients.

Per serving (3 cups salad with 3 Tbs. dressing):

  • Calories: 470
  • Total fat: 32 g
  • Sat fat: 4 g
  • Carbs: 21 g
  • Fiber: 7 g
  • Total sugar: 6 g
  • Added sugar: 3 g
  • Protein: 28 g
  • Sodium: 610 mg

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Mediterranean Tuna Salad

This is a variation on a Salade Niçoise. Want to get closer to the original? Add anchovies and boiled eggs.

Time: 30 minutes

Serves 2

½ lb. small potatoes
¼ lb. green beans, trimmed and halved
French Vinaigrette (recipe below)
1 5 oz. can no-salt-added tuna, drained
4 cups salad greens
1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered

1. In a medium pot, bring the potatoes to a boil in enough water to cover. Simmer until the potatoes are tender, 10-15 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon. When cool enough to handle, slice or quarter them.

2. Add the green beans to the water and cook until tender, 3-5 minutes. Run under cold water in a colander to cool, then drain well.

3. Make the dressing.

4. Toss the potatoes, green beans, and tuna in the dressing.

5. Arrange the salad greens on plates or a platter. Top with the dressed potatoes, green beans, and tuna. Garnish with the tomatoes.

French Vinaigrette

Adding chopped herbs—chives, parsley, chervil, thyme, or tarragon—is a great way to vary this classic vinaigrette.

Makes 6 Tbs.

2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tbs. mayonnaise
1 Tbs. whole-grain mustard
2 tsp. red wine or sherry vinegar
¼ tsp. kosher salt

In a large bowl, whisk together all the ingredients.

Per serving (3 cups salad with 3 Tbs. vinaigrette):

  • Calories: 410
  • Total fat: 25 g
  • Sat fat: 3.5 g
  • Carbs: 28 g
  • Fiber: 5 g
  • Total sugar: 6 g
  • Added sugar: 0 g
  • Protein: 19 g
  • Sodium: 550 mg