When was the last time you intentionally tried something different in your kitchen? For example, do you find yourself automatically going for the broccoli or spinach in the vegetable aisle without even looking at the other options? I do this all the time. But I am proud to say that my most recent stroll down the vegetable aisle ended with me grabbing a couple bunches of Swiss chard. Maybe next time, broccoli.
Swiss chard is a dark leafy green vegetable that belongs to the same family as beets and spinach and has a similar taste profile. This green, although available year round, can usually be found from March through late fall. Nutritionally, like many other green leafy vegetables, Swiss chard is a nutritional powerhouse and provides significant amounts of vitamins and minerals. The brightly colored varieties with yellow and red stems (also called rainbow chard) provide even more antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties because of the presence of red and yellow pigments called betalains. Betalains also give beets, amaranth and cactus fruits their red color. Here’s what you get with 100g (3.5 ounces) of raw Swiss chard:
- 19 Calories
- 0.2 g Fats
- 3.7 g Carbohydrates
- 1.8 g Protein
- 122% DV Vitamin A
- 50% DV Vitamin C
- 20% DV Magnesium
However, all these health benefits are useless if we don’t eat it. So here’s a tasty Swiss chard recipe that you can enjoy. I also threw in some lentils for additional protein and fennel for flavor. Try it and let me know what you think.
Prep Time: 10 minutes . Cook Time: 15 minutes . Yield: Serves 6
1 1/2 Cups Cooked Black Lentils
1 Lb Swiss Chard, thoroughly washed
1 Medium Fennel Bulb, sliced
8 Oz Baby Portobello Mushrooms, sliced
4 Cloves Garlic, minced,
1 Red Onion, sliced
1 1/2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1/4 Tsp (or more) Cumin
1/4 Tsp Red Pepper Flakes (optional)
Salt & Black Pepper to taste
1. If the stems of the chard are tough you can remove them and discard. Otherwise, coarsely chop leaves and stems separately; set aside. The stems will be cooked first.
2. In a large non-stick skillet (with a cover), heat half the oil over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and cook them for about 5-8 minutes until golden brown. Let mushrooms cook undisturbed for the first 3 minutes before stirring so that they begin to get a nice golden color. Season with salt and pepper. Remove mushrooms from skillet and return skillet to heat.
3. Add the second half of oil to the skillet. Add fennel, garlic and onions; cook until fennel is tender (about 5 minutes); stir occasionally. Add stems of chard and cook for about 2 minutes.
4. Add chopped chard leaves, lentils and cooked mushrooms. Pour in a couple tablespoons of water. Cover and cook until leaves are wilted (about 2 minutes).
5. Toss vegetables until well mixed; season with salt, pepper, red pepper flakes and cumin. Cook for an additional 3-4 minutes until desired doneness. Serve warm.