Super Swiss Chard: What’s the Secret?

How do I get my Little Sprouts to eat all this healthy stuff? One thing I learned when changing to a healthier lifestyle and teaching my family is that if you don’t like something, try it a different way until you do.
Steamed, baked, roasted, fried, boiled, sautéed, raw, pickled, stir fried, whatever way there is to cook something, try it! Our farmer’s market had a raw crazy day last year and the two things I LOVED raw that I thought would be disgusting were sweet potatoes and okra. Sweet potatoes taste nothing like their white counter parts when raw, they are crispy, sweet, and not at all starchy like white potatoes. They are delicious! You would think okra would be offensively slimy raw, but when you bite into it, it is crisp, refreshing, and very flavorful. It doesn’t get slimy until it has been cut for a while and the slime begins to accumulate. Surprisingly, it is very good.
Enter the greens. I know that greens are a super healthy power food. So how’s a girl to learn to like greens when she doesn’t? I had my Aunt Jodi cook them for me and they were okay, but not delicious. I had my Mom cook them for me, the same. I really don’t want to eat food that I have to make myself finish. I want to want to eat it. I tried collard greens, mustard greens, and turnip greens along with broccoli, kohlrabi, and radish tops. I just couldn’t get used to the flavor of them. So I decided that liking spinach and kale was enough.
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This year we decided we would try Swiss chard in some of our new space. I had never had it, but it was really pretty, so we planted a container full and a long bed full in our spring crops. The brightly colored stems and dark green leaves are just gorgeous in the garden. I cooked it up for the kids the way I had been shown to cook the other greens and it was AMAZING! Most of my kids love it. I think it’s delicious and Mr. Kent, vegetable un-enthusiast likes it as well. Score for Swiss chard.
Here’s how I do it:

Cut a slice or two of bacon into tiny pieces and cook it until crispy.  Drain on a paper towel.

Cut a slice or two of bacon into tiny pieces and cook it until crispy. Drain on a paper towel.

Cut up an onion and sauté it until it's about half done and then add the stems of the swiss chard chopped up as finely as the onions.

Cut up an onion and sauté it until it’s about half done and then add the stems of the swiss chard chopped up as finely as the onions.

Chop the leaves in fairly fine while that is cooking until tender.

While that is cooking until tender, chop the leaves fairly fine.

Add to the pan and mix with the onion/stem mixture.

Add to the pan and mix with the onion/stem mixture.

Cook for just a few minutes until the leaves are wilted.  It doesn't take as long as you'd think.

Cook for just a few minutes until the leaves are wilted. It doesn’t take as long as you’d think.

Top it with the crispy bacon and voila!  I add the bacon at the end so it won't get soggy as the greens cook.  (Excuse my fancy daycare serving dishes)

Add salt and pepper to taste. Top it with the crispy bacon and voila! I add the bacon at the end so it won’t get soggy as the greens cook. (Excuse my fancy daycare serving dishes)

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5 Comments

  1. this is great that you get to share gardening & so many great learnings & Love with your kids! i hope many of the parents give you great kuddos 🙂 …. one recipe i love is to BAKE (any root vegetable, really), but bake sweet potatoes, potatoes, whole garlic cloves & parsnips (the baked parsnips are my fav part!) in an oven at 375 … sprinkle some olive oil on top of all that (and add carrots, onions, you know, whatever! – the important part is just the parsnips 🙂 hehe) .. bake that with some aluminum foil on top for maybe 45min- 1hr… it is the most delicious thing… 🙂

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