Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Our garden recipes - next up, rainbow chard

This week I am going to wax poetic about the prettiest little fellow in my garden, at least for now: rainbow chard. It is truly gorgeous. Rich green leaves with brilliantly crayon coloured gold, red and orange stalks. Here's what mine looks like right now.  

And it just gets better and better looking, unless some pesky bugs come and start chowing down. Note to self: buy ladybugs.

Rainbow chard is not just pretty - it's an important part of an anti-cancer diet. All varieties of Swiss chard are packed with vitamins C, E, and K, carotenes, chlorophyll, and fiber. They are all excellent sources of potassium, magnesium, iron, and manganese and good sources of vitamin B6, protein, calcium, thiamine, selenium, zinc, niacin, and folic acid. A veritable roll-call of wee but mighty anti-cancer soldiers.

I urge you to pick some up if you see it at the produce stand or farmer's market. To help get you going, I have selected a range of promising recipes, but chard will substitute for spinach in almost any recipe you already like. The young leaves are mild and sweet tasting; once the plants are more mature they are, while still yummy, stronger in flavour. And, as with any green, if the centre spine of the leaf is tough,  remove it during prep.
  1. First, a basic recipe for rainbow chard, from Dr. Oz, as featured in The Anti-Cancer Diet.
  2. Seared Rainbow Chard with Leeks from Epicurious.
  3. Rainbow Chard and Radicchio Sauté from Bon Appétit.
  4. Rainbow Chard Salad with Raisins and Walnuts from The Kitchn at Apartment Therapy.
  5.  Rainbow Chard with Garlic and Olive Oil from Livestrong. A good, simple, fast recipe.
  6.  Rainbow Chard with Pine Nuts and Feta from Real Simple.
  7. Fettuccine with Rainbow Chard and White Beans from MyRecipes. Try looking for beans packed in non-bpa cans like those packaged by Eden. Or consider soaking and cooking dry beans. Way cheaper...just sayin'.
  8. Here's a similar one, Rainbow Chard with White Beans and Bacon from NYC Food Blog. Mmmm, bacon.
  9. French Lentil Soup with Barley and Rainbow Chard from Jeanette's Healthy Living.
  10. Italian White Bean, Turkey and Rainbow Chard Soup from Livestrong.
  11. Rainbow Chard and Coconut Soup from Tastebook.
And, before we get too far into the growing season, consider planting some food in your backyard or on your balcony, deck or porch. One pot and a little sunshine can let you produce salad greens, herbs, even tomatoes, beets or carrots. Not much work and the payoff is very rewarding.

Have a great day!

1 comment:

  1. That is a great photo. Makes me want to eat it!