Sunday, February 20, 2011

Swiss Chard: Yummy in my tummy.

A few weeks ago, one of my friends at the gym approached me with a recipe that she said I just had to try. According to her, the recipe produced a meal that was "easy, colorful, delicious and nutritious...a winner in every sense." Which sounded absolutely perfect to me. The main ingredient? Swiss chard. I can't say that I've ever had it, but I took her word for it and headed to the grocery store. Unfortunately, I had no idea what Swiss chard looked like, but I found the little price sign placed above a vast selection of greens and knew that I was hot (as in, the hot/cold game). But I still had to ask a random guy for help, after which I felt stupid because...well, this is what I ended up putting in my basket:

As you can see, the "swiss chard" label is quite bright and in-your-face. Yet, somehow it was not in my face enough. Moments like this one, I blame them on my highlights which result only after far too many chemicals come close to my brain.

But I digress. Since I wanted to know exactly what I would soon be eating, I hit the Internet for some info when I got home. Turns out, Swiss chard is a rather healthy little treat filled with phytonutrients. Filled with what?! Things like antioxidants, or vitamins...even fiber and calcium. Potassium, too. Really, it's just chock full of good things. Much like spinach and kale. You can even eat the stems, which truly remind me of rhubarb. Not according to flavor, just looks. And let's face it, Swiss chard is a very pretty green, is it not? Look at this leaf:

Aren't those colors gorgeous? It almost looks fake. (It isn't.) But how does it taste? Delicious, especially when sauteed with a little bit of Parmesan cheese. And some other things, too.

Can you guess the ingredients? Eh...don't waste your time. I'll just give you the recipe. Trust me, you want it. (Note: It makes enough to serve four people.)

Sauteed Swiss Chard with Parmesan
4 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp garlic, minced
1/2 small red onion, diced
1 bunch Swiss chard
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 tbsp Parmesan cheese, finely grated
Freshly ground pepper, to taste

Prep the chard by cutting off the stems and removing the leaves from the center rib. Chop stems and ribs first, then coarsely chop the leaves. Set aside. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and onion, then cook until the mixture becomes fragrant (about 30 seconds). Add the chard stems and wine, them simmer until the stems start to soften (about five minutes). Add the chard leaves, then stir until they begin to wilt. Stir in the lemon juice and the Parmesan cheese. Top with freshly ground pepper. And then...serve it up!

I made this shortly after the Super Bowl, which means I still had some fresh salsa on hand. Along with a few tortilla chips, it rounded out my lunch quite nicely because it was supremely tasty. Literally, every bite was delicious. Even this one:

Now go, get yourself some Swiss chard and let me know what you think. And if you've got some good Swiss chard recipes, send them my way! You know me, I'm always looking for good foods to eat. Because, after all, it's the good foods in life that balance out a healthy regime at the gym.

With that, I leave you. It's Sunday, and as it turns out, I'm having another "me" day. The husband headed to Chicago for the Auto Show. What will I do with my time? For starters, I'm headed to a coffee shop for lunch. And some bloggin'. After remains to be seen.

Be sure to come back tomorrow. I'm launching another giveaway! (A refreshing one, at that.)

Question: Have you tried any new good-for-you foods lately?


Unknown said...

This is very close to the "recipe" (my mom and I made it up) I wrote about when I won the Green Giant giveaway! However, I brown a few pieces of pancetta for saltiness and flavor, leave out lemon and wine, and add in fireroasted tomaoes w/ their juice, a can of cannelini beans, a dash of red pepper flakes. I shave fresh parm over the top. With a piece of crusty bread it is an amazing comfort dish...and comfort food is rarely this healthy.

WIth leftovers you can add a little chicken broth and put it over chunky pasta.

Lauren said...

I just tried Swiss chard for the first time in my cooking class the other week and loved it! I can't believe I hadn't had it before but it was delicious. I love that you can eat the whole leaf.

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