Diabetic Recipes: Fresh Greens for Dinner

Great greens are here! Our five delicious picks can boost nutrition as part of your diabetes meal plan.

Greens for Dinner

Seeing more green at the grocery store? The early-spring supply of fresh greens is here! Pick some up to add color, flavor, and a ton of nutrition to your meals.

Watercress

This delicate green typically is used in salads to add a hint of peppery tang, and it is sometimes used more like an herb than a salad green. The thin stalks and small, round leaves contain a lot of sulfur, which helps purify the blood and build healthy skin and hair cells. Try it in sandwiches and casseroles.

Bold Watercress and Pancetta-Apple Salad

Fresh watercress provides a colorful platform for a savory arrangement of quickly cooked pork, pancetta, and apples. Homemade candied pecans make a sweet garnish (use a brown sugar substitute to reduce the amount of sugar needed).

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Bok Choy

Though it looks like a leafy green, one taste of bok choy will tell you it truly is a cabbage. The vitamin-packed leaves and fiber-rich stems turn from crisp to creamy when cooked. You must cook the stems and leaves separately (because the stems take longer) unless you use baby bok choy, which can be simply halved and sauteed.

Sauteed Baby Bok Choy and Shiitake with Shrimp

You'll love this savory Asian-style dish made with three kinds of veggies: bok choy, shiitake mushrooms, and snow peas. Sprinkle with sesame seeds for a bit of crunch.

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Kale

Kale is the curly-leaf version of collard greens. Both have a flavor that's earthy and rich, and maybe even a little bit sweet. Tear or cut the leaves off the central stalk, which is too tough to eat. Then fully cook the leaves to enjoy this body-detoxifying food.

Kale-Powered Pasta

This super easy pasta dish takes only minutes to prepare. Cook the multigrain pasta, drain, then add kale and sweet peppers for the last three minutes of cooking. Pasta sauce, fresh basil, and crumbled reduced-fat feta cheese add the finishing touch.

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Swiss Chard

Until recently, it was rare to see chard (pronounced charred) with stems and veins in colors other than white or red. But markets now offer chard laced with beautiful pink, orange, and yellow stems as well. This leafy green can be chopped and used the same ways you use spinach -- in soups, casseroles, salads, and sautes.

Bonus: Chard contains an excellent amount of heart-healthy potassium and fiber.

Swiss Chard and Turkey Sausage over Polenta

Create this satisfying main dish by stirring Swiss chard into a skillet of browned turkey sausage and onion. Serve the Swiss chard mixture over polenta, then garnish with Parmesan cheese for extra flavor.

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Arugula

Antioxidant-rich arugula can be mildly peppery or downright spicy (taste a leaf to find out how much). Though it's too delicate to cook, it can be added to hot foods to wilt on contact or served fresh in salads. Sprinkle arugula leaves over a hot cheese pizza, or stir chopped arugula into soup before serving to add a unique peppery flavor.

Arugula Chicken Paillard

Turn your salad into a meal by adding chicken, grapefruit , fennel, and avocado to a bed of fresh arugula and spinach. Drizzle with homemade Champagne Vinaigrette before serving.

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