Take the leafy green way to ‘Five a Day’ with recipes from 80p per portion…from Discover Great Veg

We all know it’s important to try to eat our ‘five-a-day’ and more, but with increasingly busy lives and worries over food prices, that can feel hard to achieve at the moment.

But with some planning and a few small tweaks to shopping lists, like adding more kale and spinach, we can still enjoy affordable healthy, tasty family meals.

According to the latest NDNS figures,* UK adults consume on average only 4.3 portions of fruit and vegetables per day, almost one portion short of the five a day recommendations, with many not hitting the recommended intake for nutrients such as fibre or folate.

By eating more leafy greens like kale or spinach, we can make up for many of these shortfalls, as well as increasing consumption of other core nutrients like vitamins A and C. Kale and spinach are both incredibly versatile and can be added to numerous dishes from dahls to jambalayas, to help boost essential nutrient consumption for only a few pence a portion (an 80g portion of kale or spinach costs from just 30p**).

Discover Great Veg has created five deliciously simple recipes that can all be made for less than £1.50 per person and don’t take ages to make! 

Everyone loves spaghetti and meatballs – and we’ve added kale to both the meatballs and the sauce in our Pork & Kale Meatballs with Spaghetti (£1.40 per person) for double the greens. Meanwhile, we’ve combined some Mediterranean flavours in our simple to make French-inspired Kale and Pine Nut Galette (£1.40 per person).

Versatile and nutritious, spinach tastes great in Spinach Potato Cakes with Tuna (£1.10 per person), perfect for a tasty weekend brunch, or the speedy Spinach and Lentil Dahlwhich costs just 80p per person, and contains 2 of your 5-a-day 

 Our easy Cajun Kale Jambalaya (£1.35 per person)  tastes fab but we promise that the one thing it isn’t is difficult. As you only need one pan to cook it in, there’s less washing up to add to the plus points too! It’s just the right blend of spices for us, but feel free to dial up the heat if you like.


Prep: 20 minutes. Cook: 30 minutes. Serves 4

  • 250g bag kale
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 500g minced pork
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 3 tbsp sun dried tomato pesto
  • 250g spaghetti
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tsp balsamic vinegar

Cook the kale in boiling water for 3-4 minutes, drain well.  Squeeze out the excess moisture from half the kale and finely chop.

Heat 1 tbsp oil in a frying pan and fry the onion for 4-5 minutes until golden, transfer half to a large bowl and mix in the pork, chopped kale, Italian seasoning and 1 tbsp pesto, season and mix well.  Divide into 16 balls. Set aside the remaining onions.

Heat the remaining oi in the same frying pan and fry the meatballs for 10-15 minutes until cooked through Remove and set aside.

Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti according to pack instructions, drain, reserving a little of the cooking water. Return the reserved onions to the same frying pan, add the chopped tomatoes, vinegar, remaining pesto and kale and bring to the boil, stir in the spaghetti and a little of the cooking water and stir to evenly coat. Season.

Serve the tomato spaghetti topped with the meatballs.

Cooks tip

Try using minced turkey, chicken, lamb or beef instead of the pork.


Prep: 20 minutes plus chilling. Cook: 30-35 minutes Serves 4

  • 200g plain flour
  • 125g cold butter, diced
  • 250g bag kale
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 50g pine nuts, toasted
  • 3 tbsp vegan basil pesto 
  • 250g cherry tomatoes, halved

Preheat the oven to 200oC, gas mark 6.

Place the flour in a bowl and add the butter. Rub in with fingertips to resemble breadcrumbs.  Gradually add 4-5 tbsp cold water to form a dough, knead briefly, wrap in clingfilm and chill for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook the kale in boiling water for 3-4 minutes, drain well. Heat the oil in a frying pan and fry the onion for 4-5 minutes until golden, stir in the kale, pine nuts and pesto, season.

Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface to approx. 34cm circle and transfer to large baking tray.  Place the kale mixture in the centre leaving a 3cm border of pastry, top with the tomatoes.  Fold over the pastry and bake for 30-35 minutes until golden.

Cooks tip

Try different flavoured pesto instead of basil.


Prep: 15 minutes. Cook: 30 minutes. Serves 4

  • 50g kale
  • 1 tbsp oil, plus 2 tsp
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 2 tsp medium curry powder
  • 250g red split lentils, rinsed under cold water
  • 400ml can coconut milk
  • 260g bag spinach

Preheat the oven to 150oC, gas mark 2.

Toss the kale with 2 tsp oil, season and spread out onto a large baking tray. Bake for 15-20 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large saucepan and fry the onion and garlic for 5-6 minutes until golden, reserve ¼ for garnish.

Add the curry powder to the pan followed by the lentils, coconut milk and 350ml water. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer gently for 15-20 minutes until lentils are tender.  Stir in the spinach until just wilted. Season to taste.

Serve topped with the kale crisps and reserved onions.

Cooks tip 

For a spicy version, add a little chilli powder with the curry powder. Great served with basmati rice.


Prep: 15 minutes, plus cooling. Cook: 35 minutes. Serves 4

  • 800g Maris Piper potatoes, cut into chunks
  • 260g bag spinach
  • 50g plain flour
  • 2 tsp onion granules
  • Oil for shallow frying
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 100g cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 200g can tuna chunks in spring water, drained

Cook the potatoes in boiling water for 15-20 minutes until tender. Drain and allow to cool. Mash and season well.

Meanwhile, reserve 100g spinach and cook the rest in a microwave for 2 minutes until just wilted, squeeze out the excess moisture and chop. Stir this spinach into the mash with the flour and onion granules. Season to taste. Divide into 8 and press into flat rounds.

Heat a little oil in a frying pan and fry the potato cakes, 2-3 at a time for 2 minutes each side until golden.

Mix the olive oil and vinegar together in a large bowl. Shred the reserved spinach and toss into the bowl with the tomatoes. Top the potato cakes with spinach and sprinkle over the tuns to serve.

Cooks tip

Try using canned salmon or sardines instead of tuna.


Prep: 15 minutes. Cook: 25 minutes. Serves 4

  • 250g bag kale
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 2 leeks, sliced
  • 1 tbsp Cajun seasoning
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 corn on the cob
  • 250g long grain rice
  • 2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes
  • 400ml vegetable stock

Cook the kale in boiling water for 3-4 minutes, drain well.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large frying pan and fry the leeks for 4-5 minutes, add the spices and cook for 1 minute.

Cut the kernels off the corn cob using a sharp knife and add the pan with the rice, chopped tomatoes and stock, cover and simmer gently for 20 minutes until tender, stirring occasionally until the rice is tender and liquid has been absorbed. Season to taste and stir in the kale to serve.

Cooks tip

Try wholegrain rice and cook for slightly longer until tender. Great with added cooked king prawns.

For more information about great veg and to discover more delicious simple recipes, visit www.discovergreatveg.co.uk

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