Whole foods are medicine to our bodies that heal, protect, and boost our immune system. One of those ' powerhouses' (term used by WebMD) whole foods is the leafy green vegetable Swiss chard.
My last shopping trip to the grocery was a quest for interesting, colorful vegetables. While searching for veggies that 'popped', I ran across rainbow chard, the leafy green that got its name from its multi-colored stem. My first impression was 'I gotta try it.'
There's no doubt first impressions matter, not only in job hunting or physical attraction but also in food choices. Think about it, our first encounter with food is based on how it looks...our first impression. After the initial encounter, we make a decision to either take the next step or walk away. If we decide to continue on, a type of 'food seduction' takes place and we test the pheromones, I mean the aroma of the food. If it smells good, we take a bite. Only one of the five senses is left out of the equation...hearing. Of course, if your dinner companion is a lip-smacking open-mouthed eater, you may not ask him/her out on a second date.
What are the health benefits of rainbow chard? There are seventeen nutrients found in our leafy green friend: potassium, fiber, protein, calcium, iron, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate, zinc, and vitamins A, B6, B12, C, D, E, and K.
I've tried many leafy greens except for chard. I'm so happy I gave it a whirl. It's delicious and I'm using my 'go-to' recipe for sautéing leafy vegetables.
Large bunch rainbow chard (or any swiss chard)
2/3 T. EVOO
2 garlic cloves (chopped and minced)
1/4 Tsp. red pepper flakes
Fresh squeeze of lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste
Wash your leaves and pull away from the stems. Chop the stems into 1/2-inch slices. Chop the leaf into two-inch slices.
Add an S-shaped amount of EVOO to a sauté pan. Turn to medium/high. Add garlic and red pepper flakes. Sauté until the smell of garlic hits you in the face (a minute or two).
Add the stems until slightly softened. Turn the heat to medium. Then, add the leaves. Turn the heat to medium/low. As they begin to wilt, salt and pepper to taste. Add some lemon zest and a generous squeeze of lemon.
After a couple of minutes, take the chard off the heat, add a few more red pepper flakes to top off the dish, and serve. (One bunch serves 2-3).