Most of us have a handful of familiar vegetables that we rotate through, with the usual suspects being broccoli, green beans, spinach, carrots and cauliflower. Sautéed spinach becomes a staple stand-by when dinner needs to be on the table fairly quickly. But an often-overlooked and highly nutritious green, that is just as easy to prepare as spinach, is Swiss Chard. Swiss Chard is actually a member of the beet family, and has an impressive array of nutrients. Rich in Vitamins A, C and K, the minerals iron, potassium, and magnesium, and potent antioxidants and phytonutrients, a one-cup serving can add a nutritional kick to your weekly menu! Of particular note is that one cup of cooked Swiss Chard provides over 600% of your daily needs for Vitamin K! We don’t always associate vitamin K with bone health, but in fact this vitamin is incredibly important in bone remodeling, as it facilitates the binding of calcium to bone proteins. So next time you’re at the grocery store, seek out this power vegetable! It not only provides a host of important nutrients, but tastes delicious and adds a simple elegance to any meal.Total Time: 20 minutes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: ~ 8-10 minutes
Ingredients:1 medium bunch of green, red or rainbow chard, washed
2 medium cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped
1 tablespoon of olive oil
2 small shallots, chopped
2 – 3 tablespoons of water
Salt to taste
Optional: Parmesan cheese or slivered almonds (for dairy-free alternative) & orange segments for serving
- Trim the leaves of chard, removing the thick stem at the bottom. Reserve the stems to use in a soup or vegetable broth as the stems are also rich in nutrients!
- Loosely bunch the chard and chop into 1 inch strips. Set aside.
- Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large pan.
- Add the chopped garlic and shallots and sauté for 1 – 2 minutes.
- Add the Swiss chard and a pinch of salt and cook for 2 minutes. Add the water and cover the pan with a lid. Allow to cook for another 4 minutes.
- Turn off the heat and remove the cooked chard promptly.
- Garnish with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese or slivered almonds (dairy free).
- Serve with a few fresh orange segments - pairs excellently with a light poultry or fish entrée, or a creamy pasta dish!