5 Surprising Ways to Enjoy Greens

By Jessica Serdikoff, RDN CPT

I won’t lie, as a dietitian and holistically trained chef, the concept of hiding vegetables…kind of makes me cringe. I could shout my love for vegetables from the rooftops of Brookdale ShopRite, where I work 40+ hours a week with the sole goal of inspiring my shoppers to fall in love with taking care of their bodies. My excitement over high-quality produce is bar-none. Hide them?! I want them to shine!

But, I get it. It took years for me to fully embrace the health-supportive diet I’ve come to enjoy today. Sometimes, we just don’t love our veggies as much as nutrition experts like me wish we did. Sometimes, we need a little help, and a whole lot of time and patience. Sometimes, while we’re waiting for our taste buds to acclimate to the earthy and at times bitter complexity of plant-based flavors, a little stealth is exactly what we need.

And sometimes, we love vegetables so much that we want to put them in everything we eat! (Who’s with me?!)

So here you have it: a few of this registered dietitian’s favorite things just in time for the holidays, inspired by my days as a kid with stubborn taste buds (it’s true), but with a health-supportive green twist.

  1. Chocolate Chip Cookies: As much as I love to honor the traditional holiday cookie recipes past down in my family generation to generation, you better believe I’ll also be trying Chocolate Covered Katie’s chocolate chip kale cookies this holiday season!  
  2. Pizza: The holidays can get hectic. On busy nights, grab some whole grain pitas, slice down a little bit of fresh mozz, and whip up a quick batch of pesto to drizzle on top. Or, if that’s not quite hidden enough, take some raw baby greens and puree them into your favorite, lower sodium store-bought red sauce and top as usual with cheese. No one will be the wiser!
  3. A really good (veggie) burger: Dream Green’s protein veggie burger recipe would make the perfect holiday appetizer if shaped into bite-sized balls instead of full patties! Pair with a nice lemon-tahini dipping sauce or, if you need something faster, your favorite store-bought hummus.
  4. Waffles: There is nothing I love more than waking up Christmas morning, turning on the tree lights and holiday specials, and enjoying a leisurely, grand breakfast that I never have on busy weekday mornings.  And if waffles with greens blended into the batter taste just as delicious, why not?
  5. Brownies: Holiday season or not, brownies might be one of my favorite things, period; the denser and fudgier, the better! So what if I told you that you can make a fudgy, rich brownie packed with fiber, protein, and you guessed it, greens? I’ve sampled these little wonders out to dozens of people, from veggie-skeptic customers at the store to professionally trained chefs, and have yet to hear a negative remark. Sound too good to be true? Whip up a batch with this recipe and see if anyone can guess your secret ingredients!