Top 6 recipes to make greens tasty

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  • Saturday, 11 Apr 2015

Kale Chips

VEGETABLES are considered a bad word by some.

Many children (and even some adults!) dread eating roots, shoots and leaves.

This aversion to edible plants stems from evolution and early childhood where kids have an innate dislike for plants and flowers, fearing that it may be poisonous.

Today, however, there are many ways to ‘cushion’ the taste of raw vegetables and people such as Jessica Seinfeld (wife of actor and comedian Jerry Seinfeld) have produced recipe books containing nifty, practical ways to make non-challenging, palatable meals (think purees, dips, chips and even brownies) with vegetables.

Although Seinfeld’s books are catered towards children, who says we, as adults, would not want a fun, delicious meal packed with nutrients and still not have to taste the rawness of green leaves?

While avoiding vegetables altogether may be tempting and easy, consider how much you deprive your body of essential nutrients like vitamins, minerals and fibre.

According to Harvard School of Public Health Nutrition Source, someone with a 2,000 calorie per day intake would require about 2.5 to 6.5 cups of vegetables a day.

This week, StarMetro experimented with turning particularly non-appealing vegetables — kale, beetroot and zucchini — into fun, easy and tasty meals.

These are six recipes fit for any day of the week.

Before you get out your pots and pans, here is a little introduction on the health benefits of these vegetables.

KALE: This dark, blue-green curly leaf is considered a superfood, which is not surprising considering it is 
packed with many nutritional benefits such as vitamins, anti-oxidants (caretonoids and flavanoids), 
anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties (source: and webmD). The robust, velvety leaves are best consumed steamed, sautéed or baked.
Flavour: A hint of pepper, slightly bitter. 

BEETROOT (Beet) This famous crimson-coloured root vegetable comes with numerous health benefits such as lowering blood pressure, increasing stamina, blood flow and oxygen in the body, fighting heart disease and reducing dementia. it also contains nutrients such as potassium, magnesium, iron, vitamins and soluble fibre, to name a few. (source: webmD). The dark red colour from beets is also a natural food colouring, such as red velvet cake. 
Flavour: earthy, sweet, a little metallic (slow roasting beets will reduce the metallic aftertaste).

ZuCCHINI: Zucchini (part of the Cucurbitaceae family and cousins with the cucumber, pumpkin and melons) is another name for summer squash. In France and the UK, it is known as courgette. In botanical terms, a zucchini is actually a fruit. Squash have an abundance of antioxidants and are a primary food source of alpha-carotene and beta-carotene. it also has antimicrobial properties (source: 
To retain the nutrients in the zucchini, it is recommended that you steam it. While that may be the case, baking zucchini does give it a pleasant and delicious caramelised texture. remember to consume it with the skin as it contains most of the nutrients.
Flavour: Creamy texture, sweet.


1) Kale Chips (serves 3 - 4)

Ingredients: 1 -2 heads kale, washed and dried 3 tablespoons olive oil 1 teaspoon sea salt ground black pepper, to taste.


1) Preheat oven to 180°C. 2) Tear off kale leaves from stems and arrange on a shallow baking tray lined with aluminium foil or baking sheet. 3) Drizzle olive oil, sprinkle salt and black pepper and toss until leaves 
are well coated. 4) bake for 20 minutes until kale is crispy.

2) Kale and Basil Pesto (serves 3)

Kale Pesto Spaghettini


1/2 cup toasted walnuts (optional; you can also use pine nuts)
1 head kale, washed, dried and peeled of stems
1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic
1/2 cup of grated cheddar or Parmesan cheese Pinch of sea salt and ground black pepper


1) In a food processor or blender, chop the walnuts until finely ground. 
2) Add kale, basil and oil and continue pulsing until pureed.
3) Add in the garlic, cheese and salt as well as pepper everything is minced into a paste.
4) Serve pesto with your preferred freshly boiled pasta.

3) Beetroot Hummus (serves 4 to 5)

Beetroot Hummus


1 medium beetroot, skinned and quartered.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 can garbanzo beans or 2 cups boiled chick peas (kacang kuda), drained and rinsed
1/2 cup yoghurt
3 cloves garlic
Juice of one lemon
Salt to taste
Ground black pepper


1) Preheat oven to 200°C. Arrange beets on a shallow baking tray lined with aluminium foil or baking 
sheet, coat with oil and roast for 25 minutes. Set aside to cool.
2) In a blender or food processor, puree garbanzo/chick peas. Add in beets and pulse until everything is 
3) Add yoghurt, garlic, lemon juice, salt and black pepper and blitz until resembles paste.
4) Serve with wholegrain crackers or baguette.

4) Pink Pancakes (makes 6 to 8 small pancakes)

Pink Pancakes - Beetroot and Banana pancakes


1 medium beetroot, skinned and quartered
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon bicarbonate soda
3 tablespoons brown sugar
Pinch of salt
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla essence (extract)
1 cup milk
1/2 cup yoghurt
3 tablespoons chia seeds
1 large banana, mashed
1 tablespoon butter


1) Preheat oven to 180°C. Arrange beets on a shallow baking tray lined with aluminium foil or baking 
sheet, coat with oil and roast for 25 minutes. Set aside to cool.
2) In a medium bowl, sift flour, baking powder and bicarbonate soda. Add sugar and salt. 
3) In a separate bowl, lightly beat eggs. Add vanilla, milk, yoghurt and chia seeds. Mix well. 
4) Add banana and stir to combine into batter.
5) In a skillet or hot pan over medium heat, add butter to grease the surface. Spoon two tablespoons of 
the batter into the pan and cook one side until bubbles break. Using a spatula, carefully flip pancakes 
and cook until lightly brown. Serve with honey or syrup.

5) Zucchini and Carrot Soup (serves 4)

Zucchini and Carrot Soup


1 large onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 cups vegetable broth
I large zucchini, washed, skinned and chopped
I medium carrot, washed, skinned and chopped
3 cups hot water
Pinch of salt and black pepper


1) In a large saucepan, sautée onions and garlic until fragrant for about five minutes. Be sure not to 
burn them. Add nutmeg and mix.
2) Add the broth and simmer. Toss in the zucchini and carrots and cook for 10 minutes until vegetables are soft.
3) Add hot water and salt and let it further simmer for five minutes. Turn off heat and allow to cool.
4) In a blender, add soup mix batch by batch and blend until smooth. Serve hot and garnish with ground 
black pepper.

6) Zucchini Fries (serves 2)

Zucchini Fries


1 large zucchini, washed, skinned (optional) and cut into 3-inch sticks 
1 egg white (or the whole egg if you prefer)
1/2 cup milk
1 cup breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon white sesame seeds
1/2 cup grated Cheddar or Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon chilli powder or chilli flakes (optional)


1) Preheat oven to 180°C. 
2) In a shallow bowl, lightly whisk egg white and milk. In a separate bowl, combine breadcrumbs, sesame seeds, cheese and chilli. 
3) Dip zucchini sticks in egg mixture followed by breadcrumbs. Make sure sticks are well coated.
4) In a tray lined with greased aluminium foil or baking sheet, arrange zucchini sticks and bake 
for 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown.

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