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Swiss Chard

Posted Aug 04 2010 1:24pm

First, I’ll start off with our dessert last night. We did go on a walk – thankfully it cooled down a bit. Still humid, but pleasant. When we got back I made banana/strawberry (just process frozen bananas and strawberries until you get a smooth ice-cream consistency) ice cream topped with almonds and unsweetened coconut.

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The addition of strawberries made this very good. I know, I had a huge helping – but I wanted it! And besides, this is much better than any ice cream you will find at the store! :D

This morning I had the same thing for breakfast as yesterday. I wanted to make old fashioned oats on the stove, but…..

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To be honest, I am in desperate need for a trip to the grocery store. I suppose I should get going soon. I would show you a picture of our refrigerator, but you might think I never go grocery shopping. 8O
So the other night at our connection group from church, a friend gave me a generous bag of SWISS CHARD!!! :D This was fresh from a garden, and you can tell.

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This was so gorgeous!

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A bit of information about swiss chard:

Swiss chard is NOT native to Switzerland, but a swiss botanist determined the scientific name of the plant. Since then, its name has honored his homeland. Swiss chard is actually native to the Mediterranean region.

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When choosing chard, look for leaves that are green in color and do not show any browning or yellowing. The leaves should not be wilted or have tiny holes and the stalks should look crisp. Chard will keep fresh for several days when stored in the refrigerator. You can also blanch the leaves and freeze them.

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Swiss chard has a somewhat bitter flavor, similar to spinach and beets – of which it belongs to the same family. It has an impressive list of nutrients such as vitamins K, A, C, and E, magnesium, manganese, potassium, iron, and dietary fiber. It is also a good sources of copper, calcium, vitamins B1, B2 & B6, protein, phosphorus, B1, zinc, folate, boitin, niacin, and pantothenic acid. Read more about swiss chard and the health benefits here .

I knew I wanted to do something special with my beloved swiss chard. So, I made a pasta. I had some pasta in the pantry and made it up as I went.

Ingredients:

Whole Wheat Pasta (I used shells, and used about 1/2 of the box)
1 large carrot, diced
1/2 red onion, diced
1 green pepper, diced
3 cups swiss chard (stalks & all!)
3 garlic cloves
1 can diced tomatoes
1 cup fresh tomatoes (you wouldn’t have to use these, but I had some on hand so I threw them in!)
4 TBSP tomato paste
fresh basil and sage for taste
1/2 cup Daiya Vegan Cheese

Take a look at these veggies!

Onion
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Swiss Chard Stalk
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Carrot & Green Pepper
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Swiss Chard Leaves
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It doesn’t get better than this! I can’t get enough of summer!

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Procedures:

1. Saute the swiss chard stalks, onion, bell pepper, carrot and garlic.

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2. Once veggies are softened add swiss chard and let it cook down. Then add tomatoes, tomato paste and spices. Let simmer.

3. Cook pasta. I don’t think you need the directions, right? ;) Hint: you can always look at the box.

4. Once pasta is done, drain and add to the sauce. Mix together well. Transfer to baking dish. Top with extra basil and sage.

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5. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Take out, turn oven to broil. Add Daiya mozzarella cheese on top and bake for just a minute. DO NOT walk away! Keep your eye on it until it gets to that crispy cheesy brown – or however you like it.

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Serve!

I served this with a simple green salad topped with red pepper and a cucumber slice.

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Guess what we are having for dinner? :D

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Have any of you vegans tried Daiya before? If you haven’t you are surely missing out! I didn’t tell Micah I used it and he never questioned the cheese! That’s how I know it’s good!

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I like it for various reasons. It is soy free – which is a major plus for me. Take a look at the ingredients:

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Nutritional Facts:

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There is no doubt this will be my new favorite vegan cheese substitute. You should try it! If you live in the Ames area, I buy it at Wheatsfield .

That’s all for now! I’m off to the grocery store. EEK! Catch ya later!

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