Swiss Chard with Cannellini Beans.
Your diet is a bank account. Good food choices are good investments.
This time I would like to share with you my experiment of cooking Swiss Chard. I have recently read that leafy greens are very good for our health. Not that I did not know it before, I just started paying more attention to those dark thick leaves. I slowly introduced more kale into my family diet. I either juice it sometimes or cook it with potato (recipe to come!). Then I tried chard. I first juiced it with other veggies, and did not quite understand its taste. So, I decided to cook it. You may come across a regular recipe of simmering it with garlic. I wanted a full meal, so I thought of combining it with beans! If you want a quick meal, use canned beans for convenience. I know it is healthier to cook it from the scratch (soaking the night before). And I promise to start doing it! For those who are in a hurry, this is the recipe.
Before I proceed to a recipe itself, let me just mention here that Swiss Chard is a super food. It is high in calcium, dietary fiber, iron, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, riboflavin, thiamin, vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin C and zinc. It has no saturated fat and cholesterol. But it is high in sodium and sugar, and if you watch these two, just make sure you do not eat extra on the days when you eat Swiss Chard. It is another obsession of mine to check nutrition data. I use these websites http://nutritiondata.self.com/ and http://caloriecount.about.com/. If you use other websites, please feel free to share below. I use it mainly to check protein completeness, since I mostly eat veggies.
Finally, why Cannellini beans? I once tried them and found them very soft in texture! They have a pleasant slightly nutty taste, with mild earthiness. If you like mashed potato, you should like Cannellini beans. As with any canned beans, rinse them in the colander and drain water. By doing it you reduce the amount of sodium, as most beans are preserved in a salt brine.
– 1 bunch of Swiss Chard, raw, washed, dried, cut into strips, with stems removed.
– 1 can of Cannellini Beans (cooked, rinsed).
– 3-4 garlic cloves, peeled, chopped.
– 1 average shallot (onion), peeled, chopped.
– 1/4 Jalapeno pepper, chopped.
– Pine nuts.
– Spices (asafoetida powder, paprika powder, garlic powder, black ground pepper, sea salt).
– Butter for simmering (oil can substitute for it, but I used butter for milder flavor).
Start with washing Swiss Chard, then dry it with paper towel or a salad spinner. Remove stems, cut into narrow strips. Chop shallots (onion), garlic and Jalapeno pepper. Heat the butter in a saucepan, add onion and saute it for a few minutes. Then stir in garlic and Jalapeno pepper. Use a low heat, do not overcook. Add chopped Swiss chard. Do not worry if it looks overloaded. Chard will wither as fast as spinach do, and will decrease in volume. Let it simmer over very low heat, stirring constantly. You may cover it with the lead, but I did not have to. Season it with spices and add some pine nuts to taste. Finally, add drained Cannellini beans and let it simmer a bit longer. Taste it to determine if it needs more spices. Swiss chard leaves should be soft and all withered – that is when they are ready. If necessary, add a bit more butter. It looks simple and it really is. You may wish to try to cook it with additional vegetables or add grated cheese, but I wanted to taste chard and make it as simple and fast as possible. I served it with a few slices of sharp cheddar cheese, vegetable hummus and grape tomatoes with some sprinkled chopped green scallions (green onion). Enjoy!
Your comments are very important to me! If you tried it and liked it, please share your impressions below. Thank you!
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