Archive | May 11, 2012

Seasonal Vegetable of the Month – Swiss Chard

by Donna Quirk, MBA RD LD
LMC Clinical Nutrition Manager

Looking to add a new vegetable your meals during the month of May?  Try Swiss Chard.

This deep green leafy vegetable is a nutrition superstar!  A ½ cup serving has about 20 calories, 2 grams of fiber, 2 grams of protein and half the daily requirements for Vitamin C.  It also meets and exceeds your daily requirements for Vitamin A and Vitamin K.  One word of caution – if you take the medication Warfarin please eat this vegetable in small amounts.

Swiss Chard is traditionally used in Mediterranean cuisine but can also be used in recipes that call for spinach or other greens, such as collard greens.  Leaves that are harvested early can be used in salads, but generally you will find more mature plants for sale.  They need to be chopped and cooked.  Try them sautéed, or in pasta dishes, soups and stir-fries.

Lentil Stew with Ham and Greens

From Cooking Light Magazine – January 2002.

One of the best things about this supper–besides its great flavor–is that it can be ready in less than an hour, start to finish.

Yield: 5 servings (serving size: about 1 1/2 cups)

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 5 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup dried lentils
  • 1/2 cup chopped carrot
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 cups chopped Swiss chard (Or collard greens, spinach )
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped baking potato
  • 1 cup chopped smoked ham
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Preparation

Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic; sauté 5 minutes. Add broth, lentils, carrot, and bay leaves; bring to a boil. Partially cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes. Add Swiss chard, potato, and ham; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 15 minutes or until potato is tender. Stir in tomatoes, basil, thyme, and pepper; simmer 10 minutes. Discard bay leaves. Sprinkle with parsley.

Nutrition Information per serving:  Calories: 320; Calories from fat: 24%; Fat: 8.6g; Saturated fat: 2g; Monounsaturated fat: 5g; Polyunsaturated fat: 1.1g; Protein: 20.4g; Carbohydrate: 41.7g; Fiber: 15.1g; Sodium: 943mg