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Give the Green Light: Ideas for Spring Greens, Spinach, Broccoli and Basil

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Give the Green Light: Ideas for Spring Greens, Spinach, Broccoli and Basil

Go beyond salad and steamed broccoli by putting some of the most nutrient-packed greens to better use. Learn to transform green vegetables into fresh pesto, or add to Alfredo sauce, pasta salad, noodle soups and zesty sauces. These ingredients are more versatile than you probably realize, and your family will be surprised at how delicious it can be to eat their veggies.

  1. Powered-Up Pesto Pasta

    In a food processor or blender combine 1/3 cup olive oil, juice of 1/2 lemon, 2 cups Greens*, 1/2 cup pine nuts (or walnuts), 1/2 cup grated Parmesan, 2 cloves garlic and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Blend until very smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides as needed, adding additional olive oil as needed to make a thin sauce. Toss with a pound of your favorite Barilla® pasta and serve warm or at room temperature. Makes 8 servings.
    *Use one of the following combinations

    • 2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
    • 1 cup packed fresh basil leaves and 1 cup packed fresh baby kale, arugula, chard or spinach
    • 1 cup packed fresh basil leaves and 1 cup steamed and drained broccoli florets
    Nutrition Facts (per serving): 366 cal., 17 g total fat (2 g sat. fat), 4 mg chol., 167 mg sodium, 45 g carb., 3 g fiber, 3 g sugar, 10 g pro.

    Now that your family has a taste for pesto pasta, try Barilla Campanelle with Basil Pesto, Asparagus & Seafood

  2. Super Green Pasta Salad

    Add 2 to 4 cups tender spring greens to pasta salad (simply stir into warm pasta to gently wilt) for a quick, easy and guaranteed way to boost nutrition. Or top with a generous sprinkle of snipped fresh basil or parsley leaves for a vitamin A-packed flavor boost.

    Try spring greens in Barilla® Rigatoni and Blue Cheese Pasta Salad

  3. Superfood Alfredo Sauce

    Add vitamins, iron and fiber—along with fresh flavor—to a dish of Alfredo pasta with these two easy methods: 1) Blend 2 to 4 cups baby kale, chard or spinach into a jar of Barilla® Creamy Alfredo Sauce or stir in 4 to 6 cups with the pasta to wilt. Or, 2) Toss roasted broccoli into pasta and Barilla® Creamy Alfredo Sauce for a hearty and slightly sweet dish of goodness. (To roast broccoli, simply toss florets with a drizzle of olive oil and salt, and bake on a rimmed baking sheet for about 15 minutes at 400°F.) 

    Need more superfood inspiration? Try kale in Barilla® Campanelle with Barilla® Meat Flavored Sauce, Kale and Crispy Pancetta

    Bonus: This recipe couldn’t be easier—it includes both Barilla® pasta and sauce!

  4. Easy Green Soup

    Whether you prefer minestrone or chicken noodle, butternut squash or lentils, soup is a perfect vehicle for delivering greens. Top any broth-based soup with snipped fresh basil leaves, or stir in a spoonful of pesto to each serving for added flavor. Or stir in a few cups of baby kale or spinach into almost any soup before serving.

    Green up your soup with Barilla® Ditalini Soup with Chicken & Spinach in a Slow Cooker


  5. Cheesy Green Sauce

    Make your mac and cheese burst with freshness by adding a hearty portion of greens to the mix. Steam 4 cups spring greens such as baby kale or baby spinach. Drain well, then combine in a food processor with 4 ounces cream cheese, 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella and 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder. Toss with your favorite short pasta shape—such as Barilla® Elbows, Farfalle, Mini Shells or Mini Wheels — until well combined for a creamy pasta dinner. Makes 8 servings.

    Nutrition Facts (per serving): 270 cal., 7 g total fat (4 g sat. fat), 19 mg chol., 100 mg sodium, 43 g carb., 2 g fiber, 3 g sugar, 10 g pro.

    Still feeling green? Try spinach in Barilla® Mezzi with Rigatoni with Ricotta & Spinach Filling

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