Kale may be homecoming queen of the veggie world - it’s popular, gets plenty of attention, and even has it’s own T-Shirt. However, there’s another dark leafy green that you should be paying attention to - chard. Chard is nutritious, low in calories, mild in flavor, and quick and easy to prepare (no massage required - looking at you here, kale). In short, chard is the girl next door you don't even know you have a crush on. This veggie deserves a place on your dinner table and in your lunch box - here’s why…
What is Chard
Chard is a leafy green vegetable in the same family as beets and spinach. Chard comes in three varieties - green, which has white stems and a fairly mild flavor; red, which closely resembles beet greens in looks and taste; and rainbow, which is not really a genetic variety, but a mix of types that includes both red and white, plus shades of pink and gold. The term "Swiss chard" generally refers to any of these three. (Fun fact: despite its moniker, chard originated in the Mediterranean region).
Chard leaves are tender and have a taste similar to beet greens and spinach. While some may find the leaves slightly bitter, they are less bitter in flavor than kale. The crunchy stems are slightly sweet and have a similar taste and texture with bok choy stems.
Get In My Belly
Chard is easy to prepare in many different ways — it cooks quite quickly, making it a great option when you need to throw together dinner. You can sauté it, roast it, or use it as a wrapper for your sandwich! The hearty leaves can hold up well without wilting in salads much in the same way kale does. Last week, I was lucky enough to get my hands on some garden-fresh chard. I separated the leaves from the stems and discarded the stems, roughly chopped the leaves, and sautéed in olive oil with carrots, coconut aminos, and pepper. The result was an amazing dinner that literally took 15 minutes to make.
The next time you’re in the produce aisle, give chard a chance. You might find you have a new crush.