Chard is a powerful leafy green. Its chocked full of Vitamin A which is a powerful antioxidant and promotes clear vision and healthy neurological function. One cup of chard provides 44% of the daily recommended dose of Vitamin A! A cup of chard can also provide 18% of the daily dose of Vitamin C which we can all use during these cold winter months.
Not only is chard extremely good for you, it’s beautiful! These leaves grow strong and tall, reaching for the light and love the cold weather. Chard is definitely a super star in the winter garden if you ask me, especially when the sun comes out and shines on these brilliant, beautiful leaves. These plants seem to reach up and grab the sun’s rays right out of the sky so they can photosynthesize the sun’s energy into delicious, healthful food. On top of all those benefits, Swiss Chard is a cut-and-come-again vegetable. I purchased six tiny starts at the Farmer’s Market for $3 last May and I’ve still got a steady supply of leafy greens carrying me through February.
You will probably notice there is really no seasoning to this dish. The trick to this one is CARAMELIZATION. The red onion, garlic and apple need to be sautéed until the sugars are released and little bits of brown start to form on the bottom of the pan. Use a wooden spoon to scrape those off and stir and toss everything around until it’s all caramelized and delicious.
I hope your body enjoys this meal!
1 bunch of rainbow chard, de-stemmed and leaves chopped
Chopped stems of chard
1 tablespoon of coconut oil
1/2 of a red onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 apples peeled and chopped. I like to use one sweet apple like Gala or Honeycrisp and one Granny Smith.
1-15 ounce can of white cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1 cup dry quinoa
2 cups filtered water
1/4 teaspoon of salt
Rinse the quinoa in a tight weave strainer to wash off any residual dust or debris from processing.
Add it to a pot with the water and salt.
Bring it to a boil. Cover and simmer on low until the water is absorbed. Remove from the heat and keep it covered until you’re ready to serve it.
Meanwhile rinse the chard leaves and begin removing the stems. Chop the leaves and set aside.
Chop the stems as well and keep them separate from the leaves. These stems have a salty flavor to them so additional salt is limited in the recipe.
Chop the onion and garlic and set aside.
Peel, core and chop the apples and set aside.
Rinse the beans and set aside.
Heat the coconut oil in a pan over medium heat. I like to use a deep pot for this dish because the chard can get unruly in the beginning and I need lots of space to toss it around.
Once the coconut oil is melted, add the onion and garlic and sauté it until it’s wilted. Add the apple and chard stems and turn up the heat a little bit. Continually toss the ingredients as they heat up and watch for caramelization. Scrape the brown bits that form on the bottom of the pot and stir onto the apples and onion. Once the apple and onion are fully caramelized, toss in the white beans. If you’re using canned beans like I did, they will be very tender. Be gentle with your tossing now that the beans are in the pot. Once the beans are heated through, add the chopped chard and gently turn it under the other ingredients until it’s all mixed together. Turn the heat down to low and cover with a lid for about 3-5 minutes until the chard is wilted. Toss the ingredients together again and add a bit of salt if needed. This recipe should have a subtle sweetness to it from the apple and natural saltiness from the chard stems.
Plate ½ cup of cooked quinoa with 1 cup of chard and apple mix on top. Drizzle a little olive or flax oil on top and a splash of Braggs Liquid Aminos if you like a little more salt.