The Greens of Spring – Swiss Chard
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Swiss chard is a leafy green from the spinach and beet family. Swiss chard starts to appear in the late spring and there are many different types. Some will have jewel-toned stalks and veins, making it a very “pretty” green. Swiss chard leaves and stalks provide an abundance of vitamins, minerals, and powerful plant compounds.
One cup of cooked swiss chard has only 35 calories, and 7 g of carbohydrates, yet is high in magnesium, potassium, and vitamins A, C, and K. It is super high in antioxidants, which may help prevent certain conditions like heart disease and lung cancer. Because swiss chard is high in fiber, it is important to help you maintain weight and lower your risk of certain cancers and promote heart health.
If you haven’t tried swiss chard, here are some ways to give it a chance.
Simple Sauteed Swiss Chard
- 2 bunches Swiss chard
- 1 tablespoon butter
- Salt and fresh ground pepper
- Place a steamer over a pot of boiling water. Cut Swiss chard crosswise into ¾-inch pieces, keeping greens and stems separate. Place stems in steamer, and steam for 5 minutes. Add greens, and steam for 3 minutes more. Drain well.
- In a large sauté pan, heat butter over medium-low heat. Add Swiss chard, and toss until well coated with butter. Season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.
Orzo Swiss Chard Soup with Mushrooms
- 3 teaspoons olive oil, divided
- ½ large yellow onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 12 ounces freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 7 cups low spodium vegetable broth
- 2/3 cup of whole wheat orzo
- 4 cups chopped Swiss chard
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Heat 2 teaspoons olive oil in a large saucepan set over medium heat.
- Add the onion and garlic, and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are translucent, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the remaining 1 teaspoon olive oil, mushrooms, and pepper. Cook stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in the balsamic vinegar.
- Add the vegetable broth to the onions and mushrooms. Stir well. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat.
- Add the orzo and cook until the orzo is almost al dente.
- Add the Swiss chard, cover the saucepan and cook for about 3 minutes, or until the Swiss chard is wilted. Enjoy!
Serves 6, each serving contains; Calories 120, Protein 4 g., Fat 2 g., Carbohydrates 21 g.
Swiss Chard Vegetable Soup
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 6 large chard leaves, stalks separated, and leaves cut into 3-inch pieces
- 3 medium garlic cloves, minced
- 4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
- 1 can diced tomatoes in juice
- 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 large potato, diced small (or cauliflower in the same amount)
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Shredded Parmesan cheese for topping
- Sauté onion in olive oil on medium heat, about 5-7 minutes, until onion begins to brown. Add chard stalks, stir and sauté until they begin to get soft, about 2 minutes. Add garlic and cook for another minute.
- Add stock/broth, tomatoes, beans, and potato (or cauliflower), plus one cup water. Bring to a simmer, and simmer for about 10 minutes, uncovered. Add chard leave and simmer another 5 minutes, uncovered. Add 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste.
- Portion into bowls, and once served, top with Parmesan.
Mediterranean Swiss Chard and Beans Soup
- 2 bunches of Swiss chard
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 4 garlic cloves, sliced
- 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 ½ teaspoon salt
- 1/8 tsp. garlic salt
- Dash of dried oregano
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 1 can diced Italian style tomatoes
- Fresh cracked black pepper to taste
- Thinly chop the Swiss chard and wash in cold water, transfer to a colander, and drain. Do this in two bunches.
- In a large saucepot, heat olive oil over medium heat, add the garlic and red pepper flakes, and sauté the garlic for 2 minutes to soften. Turn off the heat.
- Add the Swiss chard to the pot and cover with a lid, allow the chard to sauté and simmer for about 5 minutes. Stirring occasionally. Add salt, garlic powder, and dried oregano.
- Add the beans. Cover again with the lid, and allow the beans to sauté with the chard for 2 minutes. Add an extra tablespoon of olive oil to the pot.
- Pour in the water, tomatoes, and vegetable broth and bring to a low simmer. Cover with the lid and simmer the soup for 8 minutes more. Turn off the soup. Taste and season with salt and pepper as desired.
Yields; 4 to 6 servings.
Swiss Chard and Mushroom Pasta
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 12 ounces sliced mushrooms
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 8 ounces whole-wheat pasta (shape of your choice)
- 1 bunch Swiss chard, stems removed and leaves torn
- 3 ½ cups low-sodium chicken broth
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- ½ cup shredded parmesan cheese
- Heat a large pot over medium-high heat and add 4 tablespoons of the butter. Whisk constantly until it begins to bubble and cook for 5 minutes, just until brown bits appear on the bottom of the skillet.
- Once the brown bits appear, turn off the heat and pour the brown butter into a bowl. Set aside.
- Add the remaining butter to the skillet on medium-high heat. Stir in the mushrooms and garlic, cooking until the mushrooms soften, about 6-8 minutes. Add in the pasta, swiss chard, broth, salt, and pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil, cook for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring so the pasta cooks and does not stick.
- Once the noodles are done and have absorbed all of the water, remove from heat. Stir in the reserved brown butter, add Parmesan cheese, and serve, adding additional cheese on top if desired.