Thursday, February 24, 2011

Move Over Egg and Cheese: Eating Swiss Chard and Freshly Crushed Hot Red Peppers


Somewhere over the rainbow of beautiful swiss chard, lies a delicious and easy to make sandwich.  Move over egg and cheese, I got your irresistible and nutritious breakfast right here.  It never ceases to amaze me how simple things can be...

in the kitchen.  Cooking swiss chard only takes a few minutes in a covered pan.  Why cook it if it looks so colorful and fresh?  Well, back in our early days, Matt and I learned that a lot of vegetables e.g. spinach, swiss chard, kale, brocoli and cauliflower to name a few, have nutrients locked up inside that can be released by lightly cooking them.  Oxalic acid prevents our bodies from absorbing the calcium found in swiss chard.  Lightly cooking it will burn out the oxalic acid, but it's important to remember not to overcook these veggies because then you end up killing off most of the nutrients.  Balance is the key, as usual.  It's not hard to tell when these vegetables are ready to eat since they become much softer after being cooked.

After rinsing and whip-drying the swiss chard, I simply cut the leaves into smaller, more manageable pieces.  As a common rule, the smaller the pieces, the faster they will cook.  Put the swiss chard into a pan with a little bit of olive oil, sauté and cover.  Since texture is a very personal thing, taste testing the swiss chard is a good way to know when it's done.  It really only needs a few minutes and like spinach, you'll notice that once cooked, it will shrivel up much smaller than when first put in, a lot of the water is removed during the cooking process.

The stalks take longer than the leaves to cook, so it may be best to put the stalks in for a few minutes prior.  They also have a tougher texture, so I cook them until I can easily bite through.

While waiting for the swiss chard to finish, I took some of last summer's dried hot peppers, that our good friend Zack was so kind to provide me with and simply crushed them in my hand to get a nice flakey hot crushed red pepper.  A great spicy addition to my swiss chard and egg sandwich.

This was an incredible breakfast and it must have taken 5 - 7 minutes from start to finish.  Make sure to get some of this beautiful and seasonal swiss chard while it's still cold outside, a great alternative or addition to spinach.

(I am aware that I clearly overcooked the egg on the left, please excuse my lack of the ever-important gooey mess.


Post a Comment