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The name “Swiss Chard” doesn’t seem to draw people in – like “I’ve got to have it – and have it now” inspiration. But … if you’ve tried to love kale and found it a little rubbery and tough and spinach a little wimpy, then Swiss Chard is for you. Rich in vitamins A, K and C, minerals fiber and protein, Swiss Chard is the perfect addition to this dish of onions, tomatoes and white beans. It maintains some structure when cooked but doesn’t hang onto the bitterness sometimes found in a thick leafy green plant.
I’m not a plant expert but as a consumer I can tell you what I like. There are three varieties of chard pictured above. On the left is Green Chard, in the middle is Rainbow Chard with Red Chard on the right. I really like all these varieties but the green with white stems will be my go-to favorite in recipes like this. The leaves are a bit smaller but the stems wider. It’s all about personal preference I guess!
Chard is a beautiful leafy green plant that’s easy to clean and prepare. To clean the chard make sure your kitchen sink is clean and free from soap and germs. Fill the sink with cold water and immerse the chard in the water. Swish it around and dunk it a few times to remove any dirt or bugs. Remove to a clean kitchen towel or strainer. To prepare the chard cut away any large stems and slice each leaf crosswise into 2-inch strips.
All you need to complete this stew is a can of diced tomatoes, a can of rinsed and drained white beans (butter, cannellini, or navy will do), olive oil, onion, garlic, balsamic vinegar and crushed red pepper.
In less than 30 minutes you can have a wonderfully nutritious and flavorful meatless Monday meal! It’s packed with heart-healthy benefits, loads of vitamins and minerals, and tons of flavor. Even my daughter went back for seconds – and she is not a fan of kale or spinach – so here you go honey – I know you want to make this in your new home, in your brand new kitchen!
A hearty and healthy meatless-Monday meal perfect for the whole family
- 2 pounds Swish chard, cleaned with large stems discarded. Slice each leaf crosswise in 2-inch strips
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 1 large white onion, chopped
- 1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes, no salt added
- 1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
- Bring a large soup or stock pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add the chard and stir. Reduce the heat to medium-high and simmer for 8 minutes. Drain and gently press the chard to remove excess moisture. Set aside.
- While the chard is cooking set a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and heat until shimmering.
- Add the chopped onion and saute about 5 minutes or until it begins to soften.
- Add the crushed red pepper and garlic and saute for 2 minutes.
- Stir in the canned tomatoes and bring to a boil.
- Add the beans and heat over medium-high heat for about 3 minutes.
- Add the chard and cook for about 5 minutes or until the flavors meld.
- Stir in the balsamic vinegar and season with salt to taste.
Inspired by a recipe posted on Food and Wine
As I sit here finishing up this post, our two Jack Russell’s are laying on the floor with both their noses pressed to the floor vent. Every now and then our white terrier, Abby, growls a deep, husky, mean sound. This is not normal behavior and they’re not trying to get warm. I think there is something living under our house in the crawl space and they can smell it. We have often been plagued with opossums and rabbits in the backyard, but never something living under the house. I’ve encouraged my husband to crawl under there to see if anybody has moved in. He doesn’t love going under the house, crawling on his hands and knees, especially when it’s freezing cold outside. So we’ll have to spend another few days with the dogs running from one heating vent to another pawing at the floor. If they dig up the carpet I’m going to be mad but one thing I know for certain, if we let the dogs down there, whatever it is will be dead almost immediately. These two girls are like velociraptors, working together to kill any small mammal or bird that gets over our 6 foot fence. Jack Russell’s are bred for varmint removal, so they’d be doing what they were born to do. Who wants to crawl under there and try to get the dogs out and whatever now dead animal or animals they killed? Yuck – not me! Stay tuned …
Thanks so much for stopping by! Have a wonderful week.