As registered dietitians and personal trainers who specialize in weight loss, one of the most telling habits that we see in long-term weight loss success is the ability to easily include low-calorie veggies into a daily routine– so they must be super tasty & simple to make, like this Easy 10-minute Sauteed Kale. This recipe is perfect for batch cooking any of your favorite greens to prevent them from spoiling so that they’re ready to eat any time during your healthy weekday routine. While most good-tasting green veggie recipes are filled with lots of high-calorie fats that typically get in the way of weight loss, this flavor-packed number keeps the greens lean and fantastic for your weight loss. What’s really awesome is that whether you make spinach, collards, arugula or any other antioxidant-packed, anti-inflammatory green, it’s so delish that our clients love it as both a healthy side dish or as an addition to a sandwich, fish, pizza or salad that can help to fill them up with few calories, helping them to get leaner.
If you want to lose weight, this is the recipe for you!
For our hundreds of clients who have reached their goal weight and who have kept the fat off, they use this (plus a few of our other veggie recipes) as their go-to batch cook recipe that they whip up in less than 10 minutes. Rather than having rotten or wilted veggies that have gone bad in the fridge, this quick and healthy recipe prevents veggies from spoiling—and there are actually two variations—a more traditional version and an oil free, “cheesier” option to keep things interesting.
This recipe really works in their weight loss favor. Instead of skipping out on veggies at meals or at snack time because they’ve rotted, and then turning to turn to chips, breads, crackers or the heavy items, our clients tantalize their taste buds with this lil’ number. They feel like they can really sink their teeth in to this Easy Sauteed Kale (or any green) and it satisfies them for few calories, takes the edge off hunger and prevents them from eating all the other less healthy fare!
“The truth is that when our new clients start to keep a few of our tasty veggie recipes on hand, like this sauteed kale that they can easily add to any meal, they lose weight much more quickly and keep it off!”
Not to mention, they see their skin starts to look brighter and they feel lighter and have more energy. Think: fill your plate and stomach with more delicious low-calorie, antioxidant-packed, fiber-rich veggies and there is less room on your plate and in your belly for the heavier items—like doughy carbs and fatty foods that make your waistline bigger, bloat you and make you feel heavier, while creating disease-causing inflammation in your body.
If you really want to speed up your fat loss, eat these greens at specific times.
In addition to filling half your plate at mealtimes with these greens so that you eat less of the heavier items, if you want to really hasten your fat loss efforts, snack on these veggies before your meal–as you’re cooking your food or waiting for your food to arrive—or even immediately before eating the meal. We repeat—EAT THESE GREENS BEFORE YOUR MEAL. While you’re at it, eat them before your snacks too. We do and our clients do.
Why do we eat these greens before our meals (and snacks)? This nutrient-packed number takes the edge off hunger, preventing you from heading into a heavier meal or snack feeling ravenous, and ready to plow through any food in site. And guess what? If you’re like us and like many of our clients, you may realize that you don’t even need another snack at all after all once you’ve indulged in our sauteed greens! Instead, fill up on this tasty recipe and you’ll not only be doing one of the best things that you can do for your waistline, but also for your overall health and mental well-being—eating leafy greens!
“Greens, specifically, are the number one food you can eat regularly to improve your health.”
Eating greens has been linked with improving inflammatory response, blood sugar control, memory, mood, the skin’s appearance, as well with healthy aging, decreasing bloat and so much more! Leafy greens are definitely the #1 food you can eat more often to improve your health.
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Leafy vegetables (think spinach, kale, romaine, parsley, arugula, etc.) are a great source of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients that protect against heart disease, diabetes and cancer.
Adios damage from free radicals, as they help to prevent chronic inflammation and the associated diseases in their tracks, as well as cell deterioration and the age-related decline that comes with it.
Can green leafy veggies help to improve the quality of your skin?
Greens like any that you choose to use in our Easy 10-minute Sauteed batch cooking recipe contain collagen-promoting vitamin C and vitamin A/ beta carotene content, which also aids in the inflammation battle and calms the redness surrounding skin flare-ups, while also acting as a natural sunscreen, helping to prevent wrinkles from sun damage. They are rich in water and hydrating. When we’d have our clients in our office we’d always know who had been eating their share of vegetables because their skin would look more radiant and youthful. We always can tell who eats their veggies! 😉
After all, we wouldn’t have written The Nutrition Twins’ Veggie Cure if they didn’t work magic!
Do leafy greens help your body to rid toxins from alcohol and poor food choices?
Your liver loves greens because they aid it in its’ natural detoxification process—so if you’ve had a couple cocktails, a few too many refined foods or been in a smoky room, greens will help your liver to do its’ job better and help your body to work to neutralize the damage. In fact, greens like kale and bok choy are two of the few foods that actually assist the liver in both phases of its’ detoxification process, so they’re total studs when it comes to “flushing” the body of toxins. (Yup, the leafy green tops of the bok choy work great in this recipe, you just saute ‘em for less time than kale).
Will any leafy green veggie that you choose for this recipe help with bloat and a flatter belly?
All leafy greens will help with bloat in two ways.
They’re an amazing source of potassium. Often when you’re bloated, it’s because you’ve eaten too much sodium (salt)– from processed and packaged foods, condiments, breads, sauces, restaurant foods, etc.–and your body is responding by trying to keep fluid balance. To prevent sodium from getting too concentrated in your blood, it holds onto water. This makes you feel heavy, puffy and weigh more (and it raises your blood pressure as it makes you a bigger person that your heart has to work harder to pump blood through). Potassium is a mineral and an electrolyte that is super important when it comes to preventing sodium from doing this to you. In fact, the high water and potassium content in leafy greens helps to flush out the salt and the extra water and bloat that it holds with it, to bring on a flatter belly. Eating more potassium on a regular basis in leafy greens can help to lower blood pressure and give you a flat-belly cure. These reasons alone are why it’s important to eat your greens.
How else is the kale (or spinach, arugula, etc.) in this recipe preventing bloat?
It’s got fiber. If you’re bloated from constipation, the fiber in the greens will help to move the waste and digestive irritants (including toxins from poor food choices) out of the colon, leaving a flatter, less reactive bloated belly for you to enjoy. Many of our new clients come to us for their first session and tell us that they are constipated. Once we get them eating a few of our recipes like this, not only do they quickly lose weight, but they also say they see a flatter stomach and that’s because they are no longer seeing gut bulges from constipation! YAY!
If you’re sensitive to raw veggies, notice that this recipe is cooked. This will help you to digest the veggies more easily.
Can this recipe help with stress and improve mood?
If you’re looking for a Prozac-free way to boost your mood, eat this recipe throughout your day. Leafy greens have important nutrients like folate and magnesium that are super important for mental wellbeing. Stressed? Your body scarfs up of all of the nutrients in greens like folate and magnesium when you feel more anxious in order to help to calm you down and you need even more! And since folate helps your body to produce mood-regulating neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin,1 focusing on getting more is important! Magnesium helps to relax the muscles and calm you down. In addition to eating this recipe, we recommend a specific supplement for our clients.
This Easy 10-minute Sauteed Kale has two variations depending on your mood!
We suggest keeping them both on hand–a savory very slightly spicy, more classic version and an oil-free vegan, “cheesy” option. Simply batch cook these on the weekend (it only takes 10 minutes!) and you’ll win with either of these recipes. You’ll have a tasty veggie that you can really sink your teeth into, that’s prepared in your fridge to help you to lose weight and keep it off while boosting your health. Here’s how to whip ‘em both up!
Easy 10-minute Sauteed Kale (batch cooking)
Makes 9, (1 cup servings)
3 bunches* of kale (or any other leafy green veggie)
1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 clove minced garlic
Sea salt (preferably in a grinder)
*Using kale this came to about 18 cups raw kale
Directions: Wash kale (or your favorite green leafy veggie) and chop it. Heat 1 level tablespoon of EVOO (extra virgin olive oil) in a big pot over medium heat. Add roughly ½ teaspoon of crushed red pepper, 1 clove of minced garlic, and 1-2 grinds of sea salt and allow to heat for one minute and then dump your well-chopped kale (or green in) and stir down until wilted. If it starts to stick to the pan, add a few tablespoons of water. This wilting will be about 6 minutes for kale. (Other greens will take a good deal less time less time). You can keep this for up to 5 days in the fridge when you use an air-tight container. This way, even though they are washed and ready to go, they won’t go bad the next day.
We have our clients keep this in their fridge to toss on salads, sandwiches, pizzas and to eat as a side. And remember, eat it before meals if you want to eat less of the heavier fare at your meal. Also eat it before your snack and you may find that you don’t need that snack after all!
Nutrition facts per serving (using kale) -other veggies will have a bit fewer calories. 61 calories, 2 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 43 mg sodium, 8 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 3 g protein, 200% DV vitamin C, 307% Daily Value Vitamin A, 13% DV calcium, 9% DV iron, *(note sodium will vary if you use more salt than we did)
Want an oil-free, vegan “cheesier” variation?
The first time you make this vegan cheesy sauteed recipe, use one bunch of greens. Once you get the hang of it, batch cook on the weekend with 3 bunches. The recipe below uses one bunch.
Cheesy Sauteed Kale (oil-free)
Extra virgin olive oil in a spray jar
1 bunch of kale (or any other leafy green veggie)*
1/3 cup water
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1-3/4 tbsp nutritional yeast*
1 Lemon (juice)
*If your skillet doesn’t fit all of the kale into the pan, you can cook in batches, just be sure to reserve some of the water for the other batch.
**Nutritional yeast is a popular vegan alternative to cheese that contains protein, it has a nutty, cheesy flavor to it. NOT to be confused with Brewer’s yeast)**
Wash and chop the kale. Spritz your largest skillet with olive oil in a spray jar. Heat the pan until the oil is fragrant and then add the kale. Heat the kale for a few moments and then add enough water to allow the kale to start sauteing. If water leaves the pan before the kale wilts and turns bright green add a little more water. Once the kale starts to wilt and is bright green, remove it from the pan and place in a large serving bowl. Mix in the garlic powder and nutritional yeast. Then spritz with juice from half lemon. We like ours really lemony, so we use more than ½ lemon and when we make 3 batches we use nearly 3 lemons.
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- 3 bunches* of kale (or any other leafy green veggie)
- 1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 1 clove minced garlic
- Sea salt (preferably in a grinder)
- *Using kale this came to about 18 cups raw kale
- Wash kale (or your favorite green leafy veggie) and chop it. Heat 1 level tablespoon of EVOO (extra virgin olive oil) in a big pot over medium heat. Add roughly ½ teaspoon of crushed red pepper, 1 clove of minced garlic, and 1-2 grinds of sea salt and allow to heat for one minute and then dump your well-chopped kale (or green in) and stir down until wilted. If it starts to stick to the pan, add a few tablespoons of water. This wilting will be about 6 minutes for kale. (Other greens will take a good deal less time less time). You can keep this for up to 5 days in the fridge when you use an air-tight container. This way, even though they are washed and ready to go, they won’t go bad the next day.
- We have our clients keep this in their fridge to toss on salads, sandwiches, pizzas and to eat as a side. And remember, eat it before meals if you want to eat less of the heavier fare at your meal. Also eat it before your snack and you may find that you don’t need that snack after all!