Posted by: Hallie | April 29, 2009

Some Serious Swiss Chard

First off, thanks for all your support and tips in my last post. I am definitely going to take some of the tips to heart in this next month whenever I feel stressed. And as far as all my “splurge” events, I like Susan’s idea of deciding beforehand if I want to splurge on the food, dessert, alcohol, but not all three at a time.

I’ve also decided that, as far as fitting in exercise, if it’s important to me, I’ll fit it in. That might mean less time playing on Twitter/Facebook/blogland (sorry, friends!) and it might mean less TV time with Mitch because I need to go to bed early. But I feel so much better about myself when I work out, I will find the time for it.

Speaking of that, I have a question. Does anyone workout/run during lunch at work? Mitch suggested I start doing since I want to run more and I work in a very running-friendly area. But I can’t exactly shower at work, so how do lunchtime exercisers do it? Like, logistically? I’d appreciate any tips there.

Now that I’ve settled that, on to this week’s Seasonal Selections

Swiss Chard

DSCF2524

How pretty is chard? I had a mix of red and rainbow chard this week. I’ve been cooking with Swiss chard ever since I started participating in my CSA, and this week, it was the best I’ve ever had it. Leafy greens are so freaking good for you but I don’t like the bitter taste they can have if not cooked properly. Here’s what I did this time for non-bitter leafy greens:

  1. Wash chard but don’t dry it
  2. Cut off the stems and as much of the tough middle part as possible
  3. Roll up the leaves, and slice each “roll” semi-thinly
  4. Coat a pan with oil spray and heat over medium heat.
  5. Add chard, cook until it starts to wilt. Season with Bragg’s Liquid Aminos, balsamic vinegar, and lemon juice—a splash each.
  6. Keep cooking until it’s tender…this time, I “overcooked” it, and discovered I liked it better this way.

I didn’t take a photo because it wasn’t very pretty, but it was good! I’ll have to remember this method in the future.

General Swiss Chard Info

Source: Whole Foods

Selecting
Always look for crisp leaves with vibrant color. Yellowing is a sign of age and indicates that the greens may have an off flavor. Young, leafy greens generally have small, tender leaves and a mild flavor. Many mature plants have tougher leaves and stronger flavors. Choose mild-flavored greens such as chard when you want their flavor to blend well with other ingredients in your dish. Swiss chard is best from the spring through the fall.

Storing
Most greens can be stored in the refrigerator for several days. Store chard in a perforated plastic bag. Using greens with similar texture can be used interchangeably in recipes, though they will impart slightly different flavors. One pound of fresh, untrimmed greens will typically serve two to three people. While this may look like a lot when raw, a significant portion of the plant (stems and ribs) will be discarded and most greens shrink considerably when cooked. To prepare greens for washing, cut off the stems and discard any bruised leaves.

Bunches of greens that are especially sandy may require several soakings. Curls and grooves on the leaves can hide bits of sand, so be thorough even if the greens look clean. Drain the greens in a colander and chop or slice them according to recipe directions.

Nutrition Information
Greens provide a wide array of nutrients including fiber, beta-carotene, calcium, iron, folic acid and chlorophyll (the green pigment found in plant cells). From NY Times: Chard is a nutritional powerhouse, a superb source of calcium and potassium, vitamin C, vitamin A and beta-carotene, as well as two carotenoids (lutein and zeaxanthin), which some studies have indicated can help protect the eyes against vision problems such as macular degeneration and cataracts.

Swiss Chard Recipes to Try
Lasagna With Chard, Tomato Sauce and Ricotta
Sautéed Swiss Chard with Red Onion and Serrano Chile Vinegar (omit the bacon for a Healthy Twist!)
Roasted Garbanzo Beans and Garlic with Swiss Chard

I have jury duty tomorrow…eek! Cross your fingers I don’t get picked for a jury. Public service is very important but I think it’d be really hard to be an objective juror and that responsibility scares me! Plus, work-wise I’d be in trouble…not going to lie. So I’m off to watch TV pack up my reading material and figure out how to navigate the bus system since there’s no free parking at the courthouse and I don’t have a ride!

Night, all XOXO

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Responses

  1. I LOVE swiss chard – great write up on it! Look at all those awesome recipes too.

    Good luck at jury duty.

  2. Lasagna with swiss Chard?! I love it! Definitely sounds like something I would make.

  3. mmmm….chard…

  4. I’ve never had chard! Sounds interesting!!

    Good luck with jury duty!

  5. I used to run on my lunch break at work… but I always seemed to forget my socks! I don’t really sweat that much so it wasn’t really an issue to shower afterwards… that probably makes me gross. I’d just deoderant it up and call it good. I’ve actually been contemplating starting to run at lunch again now that the weather is pleasant. I have an hour lunch so w/ changing, I can get in a good 45 minute jog. And then I eat my lunch at my desk afterward. 🙂

  6. Chard is so good but I never know what to do with it when I get it from my CSA! I will try your seasonings. 😉 My friend also just suggested sauteeing it a little and then steaming it in beer to finish it off. Yum! Ooh, I need the potassium after a serious leg cramp yesterday, too! One of my mags had a recipe for chard and shiitake potstickers I’ll have to pull out!.

    I like to work out at lunch – in fact, I’m going to kickboxing in a few minutes! I had the same dilemma about running, though, since there’s no place to shower around here (I shower at the gym when I go to kickboxing, but I have to drive there). Is there a gym anywhere near your work you could possibly see if you could shower at?

    PS: Booking my ticket to SD soon and I will email you! 🙂

  7. I always want to exercise during a break for work but with the changing/showering time it’s just not worth it! Bummer 😦

  8. hope the jury duty went ok!!

    swiss chard is awesome. thanks for the recipe links.

    i’ve always wanted to be able to work out on lunch break, but i can’t get the timing to work!

  9. I keep considering a lunchtime workout plan, and there is a gym complete with a shower in my office building, but I hate the idea of getting ready for work twice a day! I have enough trouble getting ready in the morning. LOL!

    Still, I like the concept…

    I love swiss chard. It’s one of my favorite leafy greens. Thanks for the recipe!


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