When I originally drafted my March Greens blog topics, chard did not make the cut. However, after a recent episode of Parks and Recreation called “Farmers Market”, I was forced to reconsider; the topic of chard in Pawnee made me laugh out loud. Warning – if you have recent episodes of P&R on your DVR, this will contain some comedic spoilers… Here are the top 3 quips about chard direct from the world of Leslie Knope:
- “Mmmmmm… Chard is so bitter!”
- “And for all you freaky vegans out there – we got chard shots!”
- “Chard is disgusting. You try selling it without sexy dancers. It’s impossible! It’s like: Hey! You like lettuce? Try this, it’s worse. It tastes like kale took a dump on spinach.”
Chard may be an acquired taste for residents of a town whose favorite local business is Sweetums Candy and who often enjoy 512 oz. sodas from local fast food chain restaurant, Paunch Burger. But I think it’s quite good! I actually started eating chard before I learned to love kale – it was my “gateway green.” Don’t dismiss chard after the put downs on Parks and Rec; it has several nutritional benefits, such as being extremely high in vitamin K that helps support healthy and strong bones. One easy way to sneak chard into your meal is to chop some up and mix into your red sauce for a pasta dish. Or you can try this recipe that utilizes chard to put a healthy twist on the traditional pesto sauce.
Ingredients / Nutrition Information:
- 1.5 cups of chopped raw chard
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp shredded Parmesan
- .25 cups of almonds
- Chop chard into bite size pieces, removing the thick stem in the middle of the leaf
- Wash the chopped chard by dunking it in cold water
- Dry either with a towel pat down or salad spinner
- Place half the chard into your food processor, then add all the other ingredients and finally the rest of the chard
- Chop ingredients in food processor until texture is consistent
- Scoop out pesto from food processor and add to whatever dish you are serving – tonight I served the pesto atop baked salmon.
- This goes great with whole wheat pasta! This is a favorite pre-race meal for me.
- You can swap the Chard for any other green you like: basil, spinach, kale…
- You can also swap the almonds for another nut. I like walnuts or local Oregon hazelnuts.
Questions for you: What do you put in your pesto? Post a comment to let me know and you can be a guest blogger!