Weekend Menu Planning: More About Eating Your Greens, with the Spotlight on Chard

BlogHer Original Post

Last week I talked about kale, and told you that we'd be focusing on cooking with leafy green vegetables for the month of January. There are lots of leafy greens, so this week I'd planned to combine Swiss chard and bok choy. However, as soon as I started checking out the chard recipes in the BlogHer network, I developed what my mom used to call "a good problem to have." There were so many intriguing ways to cook it, it immediately became obvious I had to give chard the entire post. Just check out a few of the wonderful recipes I found, and see if you're inspired to put some chard on the menu.

Chard is one of my personal favorite greens, partly because it's easy to grow -- I plant some every year in my vegetable garden. If you haven't ever planted chard, Farmgirl Susan can tell you How to Grow Swiss Chard from Seed. It will grow in containers, so even if you live in an apartment, you can grow your own chard. There are several varieties of chard, but brightly colored rainbow chard is my favorite. Of course, all dark green vegetables are nutritious, and Swiss Chard is one of The World's Healthiest Foods. Here's the reason: "Similar to spinach and beets with a flavor that is bitter, pungent and slightly salty, Swiss chard is truly one of the vegetable valedictorians with its exceptionally impressive list of health promoting nutrients."

Photo of Swiss Chard from Just Hungry

Are you convinced chard should be on your shopping list? Okay, let's see what food bloggers are cooking with chard.

Photo of Swiss Chard Gratin with Vegan Bechamel
from Chocolate and Zucchini

One blogger with a tasty-looking take on chard is cookbook author Clothilde from Chocolate and Zucchini. When she finds a delicious ready-made vegan bechamel sauce in Paris, she turns it into Swiss Chard Gratin with Vegan Bechamel. (Bechamel is a creamy white sauce, so any type of similar sauce would work here.)

Photo of Creamed Swiss Chard with Bacon
from Modern Beet

Another chard dish that had me drooling was this Creamed Swiss Chard with Bacon from Modern Beet. There's not a huge amount of bacon in the recipe, but I can imagine it would add a lot of flavor to the dish.

Photo of Swiss Chard and Artichoke White Pizza
from Farmgirl Fare

If you have a family who might need some convincing to embrace green leafy vegetables, maybe this Swiss Chard and Artichoke White Pizza from Farmgirl Fare will do the trick. Susan says everyone will love this, and I believe her!

Photo of Potato Chard Enchiladas with Roasted Chile Sauce
from Wasabimon

Another chard dish that I bet just about anyone would love is the Potato Chard Enchiladas with Roasted Chile Sauce that I found at Wasabimon. This recipe is also dairy free, and with all these flavors, you'll never miss the cheese.

Photo of Gluten-Free Dairy-Free Garlic, Garbanzo Bean, Swiss Chard, and Pancetta Soup
from The W.H.O.L.E. Gang

And of course, we have to mention how fantastic chard tastes in soup, and the Gluten-Free Dairy-Free Garlic, Garbanzo Bean, Swiss Chard, and Pancetta Soup from The W.H.O.L.E. Gang looks like it would be warm and comforting in January.

Five More Ways to Cook Chard:
From Living the Local Life ~ Crustless Swiss Chard Quiche
From The Way the Cookie Crumbles ~ Risotto with Swiss Chard
From Eating s/f ~ Creamy Bronzed White Beans with Chard
From Phoo-D ~ Swiss Chard and Fennel Gratin
From A Veggie Venture ~ Savory Bread Pudding with Butternut Squash, Chard, and Cheddar

More Chard Love Going on:
From BlogHer ~ It Isn't Hard to Fall In Love with Chard (many recipes)
From Just Hungry ~ Swiss Chard information and recipes

How do you feel about growing or cooking chard? If you have good recipes, or even thoughts on the subject, we'd love to hear about it in the comments.

(Every Thursday night on BlogHer, we spotlight five recipes with a common theme for a feature called Weekend Menu Planning, hoping one of them might make it onto the menu at your house. You can find previous recipes shared by clicking the tag Weekend Menu Planning, or find other recipes from this series by using the tag Eat Your Greens.)

Kalyn Denny also blogs at Kalyn's Kitchen, where she's focused on creating low-glycemic recipes using fresh ingredients. Kalyn is mad about chard, and her favorite way to use it lately is Whole Wheat Spaghetti with Garlic, Chard, and Pecorino-Romano Cheese


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