Fun ways to incorporate more greens in to your diet from @danielleomar

How To Eat More Greens

This post is part of the #LoveHealthy Veggie Campaign, which is all about tips, recipes, and strategies for getting more veggies into you and your family’s meals.

Fun ways to incorporate more greens in to your diet from @danielleomar

I love vegetables and especially my greens. Even though kale has become a household word these days I know that many of you are still not getting enough greens in your diet. Raise your hand if you go days without eating greens. How about weeks? Months? If it’s months, we need to talk!

One of my favorite strategies for eating more greens is to add them to my everyday dishes. I either replace another ingredient with greens or just toss them into the dish for good measure! Because they’re so versatile you can eat more greens without anyone really noticing. They just blend in like they’re supposed to be there and it becomes normal. So yes, one day you too will add kale to your oatmeal and you won’t even notice. Okay, probably not but you get the point. Hey, if you are putting kale in your oatmeal, you go, girl!  I was thinking more along the lines of these delicious examples:

Greens Replace Bread

Collard wraps

A simple switch that is so delicious and satisfying. Once you try this you will love the crunch and texture, I promise. And you can use other greens, too. Try Swiss chard, Romaine leaves, etc. I like to wrap a collard green with homemade hummus, avocado and red peppers for a quick lunch.

Greens Replace Taco Shell / Tortilla

raw salmon wraps with pistachio cream

Instead of your typical flour tortilla or wrap use Boston Bibb lettuce instead. I did that here with my salmon wraps and it was delicious! Making fajitas? Switch out the flour tortilla for Swiss chard.

 Greens Tossed with Roasted Vegetables

broccoleaf greens with butternut squash

Here I actually roasted the BroccoLeaf greens with the butternut squash and you could do the same thing with any roasted vegetable. You can also just toss the greens right before serving the roasted veggies while they’re still hot. Spinach and other “softer” greens work beautifully this way. You can even use the mixed baby green blends that are out now, as they wilt pretty easily just from the heat of the veggies.

 Greens Added to Burgers

Add chopped greens to any burger recipe for a supercharge of nutrition! I love these spinach mung bean and millet burgers from Dolly and Oatmeal but you don’t have to be a vegetarian to add greens to your burger.

Greens Mixed with Pasta

shredded kale pasta with lemon and egg

This pasta is tossed with frozen kale. I love using the frozen kale because it’s already pre-chopped, cleaned and ready to go. Frozen greens are a great way to add greens to any dish super easily.  Other ways to use frozen kale are in eggs (like these egg muffins), quiche (like this crustless kale quiche), and this cauliflower tempeh.

 Greens in Your Smoothie

arugula green smoothie

Adding greens to your smoothie is now pretty mainstream but there are still some people hesitant to try it. If you’re still one of the scared ones go with baby spinach, pineapple a bit of mint and coconut milk. You can’t go wrong with that combo.


Popcorn Spinach Salad

Here’s where I’m taking you to places you’ve never been before. Greens in popcorn. Kale chips. Green leaf powders. Green popsicles. Green brownies. The sky is the limit for using greens in everyday dishes. Get creative!


Looking for more ways to love veggies? Check out the #LoveHealthy Facebook page for recipes, tips and helpful advice all month from these awesome bloggers:

You Might Be a Pissed Off Dietitian When…

I know, this is not my normal post but I am participating in the #RepealTheSeal campaign to show my disagreement with the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recent decision to allow the Kids Eat Right (KER) logo onto food packaging.

What’s the issue at hand?  In a nutshell, The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, my professional organization, approved the use of a “Kid’s Eat Right” (KER) seal to be placed on Kraft Singles, a processed cheese food. I already have a huge issue with the corporate sponsorship AND accepts and this move just takes it too far. They approved this “partnership” with Kraft without a vote from their membership and without regard for the impact it would have on the very RDs they serve.

Dietitians all over the country are more than a little bit angry at this blatant lack of ethics. So much so there is an RD-authored petition to #repealtheseal on There are over 7,000 signatures so far and we need yours, too!

This segment on The Daily Show pretty much explains how I feel about the food industry in general. Although it’s quite funny, I am more disappointed than I am amused. I have always been one of the good guys and I don’t like me (or the AND) being lumped in with the un-savories.

It is very disheartening to see our good reputation smeared in the media due to the lone actions of the AND. Now we have to spend our time and effort to undue the damage done by their lack of judgment, forethought, and ethics. The worst part is that the AND is not admitting any wrong doing. They deny the seal is an endorsement of Kraft singles. Really? It looks like an endorsement to everyone else who has a brain.

If you know me personally, you know I get passionate about issues. As a promoter of clean eating, getting off highly processed foods, eating out less, and cooking more this “endorsement” is maddening.

You might wonder why I would stay a member of the AND.  It’s a valid question and my husband asked me the very same thing. The problem is that as practitioners with a broad range of expertise (and especially us in private practice) the AND is really the only venue we have to share knowledge, teach each other, and collaborate. We do this mostly through Dietetic Practice Groups. There are over 20 practice groups within the AND and I belong to several. I am an active member of both the Dietitians in Integrative and Functional Medicine and the Northern Virginia Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. So if I bail on my AND membership I also lose out on valuable education and leadership opportunities.

But something has to give. I am passionate about my profession and the bottom line is that if we don’t stand up for our values then nothing changes. My beef is in large part with the Academy’s deplorable corporate sponsorship policy as a whole. Indeed, the only way the AND is going to retract this decision is if we keep pushing them. So if you are reading this then by golly sign the petition here.  You don’t have to be an RD to sign it.

Below is what the Petition is calling for, in case you’re interested.

Actions Requested of the Academy: #RepealTheSeal 

We ask that the Academy make available to its members, the media and the public the following:

  • We ask for full transparency regarding the process of approval to allow the KER logo on the Kraft product— including the names of those involved, the meeting minutes of the discussion, and Board’s vote on this issue.
  • We ask for full disclosure of the terms of the financial agreement between KER Foundation and Kraft. We also request full transparency regarding the status of future agreements under consideration for use of our Logo.
  • We ask the Academy to provide their plan for the discontinuation of this specific relationship with Kraft and removal of the KER logo off Kraft Singles product packaging.


Okay, friends thank you for listening. I’m getting back to work.

Lima Bean Saute with Basmati Rice

Christmas Lima Bean Sauté with Basmati Rice

This lemony Basmati rice and lima bean saute is a tasty, gluten-free dinner that will change the way you think about rice and beans!

Lima Bean Saute with Basmati Rice

By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by USA Rice Federation and am eligible to win  prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time and I cook rice all the time for my family. 

It’s Christmas in March! Not really, it’s just a cool name for a lima bean. Have you ever cooked with these guys? I picked some up last week from the bulk food bins at Whole Foods just to make this recipe. I knew I was making a rice and bean saute for this contest, but I wanted to use a bean that I’d never eaten or cooked with before.  How can you resist a Christmas lima bean? Christmas limas are a beautiful white and purple-ly brown color and are quite a bit bigger than your normal lima bean. They turn a lighter, reddish brown color when cooked and have a sweet, hazelnut flavor.

Rice and beans are not something I grew up eating. I was a big pasta gal. My husband ate rice like it was his job. His family is Egyptian so rice is kind of like water for him. I don’t make it every night but when I do, he’s happy. He’s not a huge fan of brown rice; he prefers the sticky nuttiness of Jasmine rice. Norah will pretty much eat any rice I put in front of her. A favorite after-school snack for us is to heat up jasmine rice and then roll it up in those little seaweed snacks. We talk about her day while eating Nori rolls. It’s kind of cool.

I’m not huge fan of brown rice. It really doesn’t taste that great and why eat food that doesn’t taste good? We generally eat US California grown white rice in our house because it tends to have the lowest amount of unsavory chemicals on board. All US rice is a sustainable, locally-grown GMO-free food, which I appreciate. It’s also affordable, unlike a lot of other healthy food. When shopping, think “US Grown” and look for the words grown in the USA on the label, just to make sure. Rice is also naturally gluten-free and the least allergenic of all grains, making it a great option if you have a gluten sensitivity or intolerance.

Lima Bean Saute with Basmati Rice 2

I actually prefer the less sticky Basmati style rice that I used in this recipe; the beans were already a bit mushy (mushy in a good way) and I didn’t want to have mush on mush. This recipe has so much flavor and it was so simple to make. I soaked the beans overnight and then boiled them for about 30 minutes. I sauteed some onions and garlic in olive oil and then added the beans. Once they had a nice caramelized look to them, I threw in some cooked Basmati rice and seasoned it up with lemon juice and zest, marjoram, and fresh dill. Even though it’s a cooked dish, it has a fresh taste to it thanks to the lemon.

Christmas Lima Bean and Basmati Rice Saute

I know this not the prettiest dish on the planet, but it is the most delicious! It’s even better the next few days as the flavors all meld together. Hany even mixed some into his scrambled eggs for breakfast. The next time you’re in the mood for a satisfying bowl of rice and beans, I’ve got you covered.  Here’s the recipe:

Christmas Lima Bean Sauté with Basmati Rice


  • 2 cups lima beans (I used the Christmas variety, but any will work)
  • 1 cup US grown Basmati rice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 small clove garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 cup yellow onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice + 1 Tbsp lemon zest
  • 2 Tbsp dill, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp marjoram, chopped
  • 1/4 cup feta cheese
  • Sea salt and pepper


  1. In a large pot, cover beans with water and soak overnight. The next day, rinse and cover with water. Bring to a boil and let simmer for 30-40 minutes, or until tender but not mushy. Drain.
  2. Cook rice according to package directions.
  3. In a large saute pan, heat olive oil and saute onions and garlic until browned. Add lima beans and saute until browned and caramelized. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Once browned, add rice, lemon juice and zest and herbs, again add salt and pepper to taste. Before serving, stir in fresh Feta cheese and garnish with fresh dill.