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Cooking With Superfoods: Recipes for Chard

Fitday Editor
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In June, Preventing Chronic Disease listed the top 41 powerhouse foods. Chard ranked in the top five--number three, to be exact--on the list of heavy hitters.

This leafy green is a relative of beets and is loaded vitamins A, K, C and E. It also provides a healthy dose of magnesium, copper, potassium, iron and fiber. It can be eaten raw or cooked and best of all, it tastes delicious. Give the following recipes a try and see if you don't fall in love with chard at first bite.

Crispy Chard Chips
Serves 4

Did you know that you can make chard chips? This is a basic recipe, but you can modify it by adding your favorite seasonings, like garlic powder, or even spicy cayenne, before baking.

Ingredients

2 bunches chard, rinsed, patted dry, stems removed
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon cracked black pepper

Directions

Preheat your oven to 300F.

Make sure the chard is completely dry, or it will not crisp.

Cut the chard leaves in half so you can fit more on the baking sheet.

In a large bowl toss the chard with olive oil, salt and pepper.

Massage the leaves gently to coat them evenly.

Lay the leaves in a single layer on the baking sheet. You may need more than one baking sheet, or do this in separate batches.

Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, and then carefully turn the leaves over and bake for an additional 5 to 10 minutes, until crisp.

Let cool for 15 minutes before serving.

These will keep fresh in a resealable plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to a month.

Chard with Garlic and Pine Nuts
Serves 4

This recipe is a quick, easy way to enjoy chard as a side dish.

Ingredients


2 bunches chard, upper stems and leaves roughly chopped
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
3 large cloves garlic, finely minced
1 teaspoon of crushed, dried chili flakes (optional)
½ teaspoon salt
1 pinch of cracked black pepper
¼ cup lightly toasted pine nuts

Directions

In a large sauté pan, combine the extra virgin olive oil and butter over medium-high heat.

Once the butter has melted, add the chard stems and cook until tender, about five minutes.

Add the chopped chard leaves to the pan, tossing to coat the leaves. Continue to sauté until the leaves just begin to wilt.

Add the garlic, red chili flakes, salt and pepper to the chard, tossing to combine.

Continue to cook for five or so minutes, until the leaves are tender.

Top with toasted pine nuts.

Serve warm.

Chard and Spinach Indian Greens
Serves 4

A creamy spiced blend of chard and spinach leaves will satisfy your craving for exotic food, while still delivering healthy nutrients to our bodies. You can add cubed paneer cheese or even meat to this recipe for a heartier dish.

Ingredients

¼ cup olive or coconut oil
½ cup yellow onion, finely minced
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
½ inch of peeled fresh ginger, finely minced
1 serrano chili, finely minced (optional)
1 bunch of chard, rinsed, patted dry, stems removed (about 3 cups)
1 bag of spinach leaves (about 3 cups)
½ tablespoon dried fenugreek leaves (you can substitute 1/3 cup fresh dandelion greens for dried fenugreek leaves, which are called kasuri methi in Indian grocery stores.)
1 tablespoon of yellow or white cornmeal
½ cup of whole milk or half and half
1 tablespoon garam masala spice blend
1 stick of cinnamon
Salt to taste

Directions

In a large sauté pan or pot, add the oil and heat to medium-high.

Add the minced onions and cook, stirring occasionally until brown, about five minutes.

Once the onion is browned, add the garlic, ginger and serrano chili and cook until soft.

Add the chard, spinach and fenugreek/dandelion greens. Stir to combine.

Add the corn meal to the greens and stir.

Allow the greens to cook until completely wilted, about five to eight minutes, then turn off the heat.

Using an immersion blender (or a regular blender), puree the greens while streaming in the milk.

Return the greens to medium-high heat, and add the garam masala, cinnamon stick and salt.

Taste for seasoning, adjusting as necessary. Allow to cook for five to 10 more minutes.

Serve warm.


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Bryanne Salazar is a freelance writer and editor, a contributing author for the website What the Flicka?, and a food-meets-culture blogger living in Southern California. Her blog, Bryanne Bites the World documents her explorations of various ethnic communities and food cultures across the United States. Bryanne has a degree in English focused on creative writing, and loves to pen short stories in her spare time. She is also an advocate for women and girls worldwide, the mother of two teenage boys, and the wife of an active duty United States Marine. You can follow Bryanne on Twitter and Facebook to see what she's working on next.



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