A Casual Guide to Grocery Store Greens


spinach salad, fried egg, bacon, avocado and couscous

If, like me, you were terrified of eating your greens when you were a kid but try not to die from vitamin deficiency as an adult, you may still be a bit lost in the produce aisle. A lot of these things look a bit alike, right? Fear not, because I’ve created a handy guide explaining the greens you’re most likely to come across in the product department section that’s fogged up on the reg.



There’s iron in it! In addition to making salads with, mix it up with your fruit smoothies, put it in chicken dishes, or hide it in baked goods. You can cook it until it wilts and put it in soups, pastas and other dishes, or cream it and serve it alongside the Thanksgiving turkey. As useful raw as cooked.

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This is the one that will keep me alive forever, isn’t it? There is a lot of varieties of cabbage and, if you cook it badly, it tastes very bitter, like how I feel about all the press this silly sheet has gotten. However, if you cook it with bacon, the right amount of salt, or lemon and garlic, it’s really, really good. It’s often used raw in salads, but if you go that route, you have to shred it, otherwise it’s too much to gnaw on. It is also a popular addition to a green smoothie and you can air fry it into crispy seasoned fries. For the best results, massage it first.

Green cabbage


Green cabbage is a delicious and important part of black american cuisine. They’re a cousin of kale, so if you prefer collard greens, they’re pretty much interchangeable in recipes, offering a similar flavor and texture, depending on how they’re prepared. I should try growing them in my garden next to my kale, as it would add a fun variety to the foods that my kids won’t try.

Swiss chard


I’ve cooked Swiss chard the same way as kale, with great results. But this leafy green features a stem with various colored rainbow stripes, which is fun. It’s quite bitter if you don’t tweak it, but it’s a great addition to a homemade bric-a-brac pesto.



Poor people in children’s stories often eat light cabbage soup, but it deserves a better reputation than that. Collard greens are one of the most affordable, versatile, and long-lasting green vegetables you can buy at the grocery store. Very smelly once cooked or farted, but it’s worth the risk. Works very well with meatand can work as a delicious salad when raw. Several delicious saladsIn fact.

bok choy


Also known as Chinese white cabbage. Even though you can eat it raw, it’s typically featured in Asian dishes cooked; it will wilt in a dish, giving everything a delicious cabbage flavor that is much better than actual cabbage (don’t tell my deceased Irish ancestors that).



Sounds easy, right? Salad = lettuce. But there are so, so many different varieties of lettuce. Breathe deeply. We can do it. GRAND FINALE:

  • Rocket: A little spicy. Pepper. Delicious with a poached egg. This is the Ginger Spice of the bunch.

  • Roman: The one I get when I want to make a basic salad but not as basic as the one made with iceberg. Sports spice.

  • Radicchio: Bitter purple lettuce, served with parmesan in a salad in fancy restaurants. An easy basis for a “cheffy” salad at home. Classy spice.

  • Endive: Sometimes called escarole. See radicchio, but take away the pretty color. Tame its bitterness by pairing it with citrus fruits. Scary spice?

  • Iceberg: Has the cronch factor, not considered fancy unless you serve it as a wedge salad. Good on burgers. Sweet for everyone’s palate. Baby Spice.

  • Butter Lettuce: Also known as butterhead, Boston or bibb. Looks like an iceberg, but less crunchy and less liquid. Can go on sandwiches but also makes a great container for Asian lettuce wraps. Try a BLT Salad. I’m out of Spice Girls, so this one’s David Beckham.

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