Vegetable of the Week – Swiss Chard

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This week’s vegetable is Swiss Chard! Chard is a leafy green vegetable that is a subspecies of beetroot. The leaf itself is usually green or reddish in colour. The stalks vary in colour, usually its red, yellow, or white. Chard has highly nutritious leaves, having high amounts of vitamin A, K, and C. It is also rich in dietary fibre, protein, and minerals.

Swiss Chard contains 13 antioxidant properties, regulates blood sugar levels, and has anti inflammatory properties. Chard ranks second to spinach with respect of total nutrient-richness. However, Chard has a large concentration of oxalic acid, and is one of only 3 vegetables that are recommended to boil before eating. It is not recommended to eat the stems due to its toughness.

Chard belongs to the same taxonomic family as beets, spinach, and quinoa. The red and yellow pigmentations found in this family contain unique carotenoids, which is linked to our nervous system health.

The featured recipe this week is Chickpea and Swiss Chard Curry. This is a nutritious and delicious way to eat Swiss Chard.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) cumin seeds
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 green chilies, seeded and chopped
  • 2 tsp (10 mL) finely minced gingerroot
  • 2 tsp (10 mL) finely minced garlic
  • 3/4 tsp (4 mL) ground cumin
  • 3/4 tsp (4 mL) ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) garam masala, (optional)
  • 2 tsp (10 mL) tomato paste
  • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) tumeric
  • 1 cup (250 mL) chopped whole canned tomatoes
  • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt
  • 1 can (19 oz/540 mL) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 4 cups (1 L) chopped Swiss chard leaves
  • 1 Lemon for garnish

Directions:

In saucepan, heat oil over medium heat; cook cumin seeds until beginning to pop, about 1 minute. Add onion and chilies; cook until translucent, about 10 minutes.

Add ginger and garlic; cook for 1 minute. Add ground cumin and coriander; cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add garam masala (if using); cook for 1 minute. Add tomato paste, cayenne pepper and turmeric; cook for 1 minute.

Add tomatoes and salt; cook, stirring, until softened. Stir in 1-1/4 cups (300 mL) water; bring to boil. Add chickpeas; reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in Swiss chard; simmer until tender, 3 to 4 minutes.

Squeeze a bit of lemon juice on top, and serve over rice and enjoy!

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References

http://www.canadianliving.com/food/quick_and_easy/chickpea_and_swiss_chard_curry.php

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chard

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=16