Swiss Chard, also known as chard is a leafy vegetable that belongs to the beet family. Both the leaves and stalk of this plant are edible. The stalk can vary in color ranging from deep red to white. It is also sold as Rainbow Chard sometimes, with red (or deep pink), white and gold colored stems contrasting beautifully. The range of colors in chard makes its addition to salads attractive for the eyes and the slightly bitter but salty taste innovative for the palette. Due to its inherent salty taste, go easy on the salt when you cook with chard. Chard along with Kale, mustard greens, collard greens are referred to as ‘Greens’. According to holistic approaches, greens are supposed to cleanse your body (and blood) and regulate elimination, and hence it is advisable to include greens atleast a couple of times in your meal every week. The nutritional profile and benefits of Chard are well-documented (see here).
Typically, I try to go easy on carbs for dinner. On days when I make pasta for dinner, I try to include a lot of veggies in the pasta dish and also prepare a side-dish (with greens, brussel sprouts, asparagus etc). Most of these side-dishes are quick and fairly easy to prepare – roughly chop, steam and add some seasoning is the general philosophy.
Quick preparation using Swiss chard
Roughly chop up a few stalks of Swiss Chard. Heat a skillet, add a tsp of Olive oil, finely-diced ginger and garlic. You can add some diced onions as well. Add a pinch of salt and a tsp of crushed black pepper. Saute them well and then add the chopped Swiss chard. Close the skillet and let it cook for about 5-7 mins, till the leaves are slightly wilted. Turn off the stove and let it sit for about 5 mins, and it is ready to eat.
PS: Image courtesy Commons Wikipedia.