Friday, June 11, 2010

Thing that doesn’t get enough credit for how amazing it is 1: Swiss Chard

Take a minute to pause and soak up the beauty that is swiss chard. It’s the rainbow of vegetables. And it clearly needs more media exposure because it’s not its own basic food group yet. Have you ever even heard of it?! Well good thing you’re reading this, because you are about to learn about the most beautiful and amazing vegetable nature ever made.

I first discovered it in an ab magazine I was flipping through in the grocery store. It appeared in a list of foods supposed to help get rid of belly fat.* I tend to like eating green leafy things, so I embarked on a quest to find it in the produce section. I bought a bundle and eagerly took it home. That night I made my usual vegetable stir-fry and threw in a piece of chard. I was not disappointed.

Fun fact: There are about 6 calories and 136.4 mg of potassium in an entire cup of raw swiss chard!

Swiss chard does have one weakness I should warn you about. It’s the same weakness as avocados and bok choy: it has a very short shelf life, so eat up. I wouldn’t buy more than one bundle per grocery store trip. Unless you’re having a swiss chard feast, and in that case you better invite me.

There are many ways to enjoy swiss chard. I will share with you a recipe I invented:

Swiss Chard Wrap

- one giant piece of swiss chard, the bigger the better
- whatever you want inside the wrap

1. Wash the chard.

2. Cut the stalk off the chard. Save it. It will be really good with peanut butter later. Trust me on this.

3. Lay the leafy part on a plate. Depending on the shape of your leafy part, figure out which way you’re going to roll the wrap. If it’s more long and skinny than perfectly round, I suggest not having an awkwardly long and skinny wrap, but do what you want.

4. Prepare all ingredients to go in the wrap. Cook and chop whatever needs to be cooked and chopped.

5. Lay the ingredients on the chard. Admire it. It’s beautiful, isn’t it? Well, I guess that depends on what your ingredients are. Mine is always beautiful because I put delicious, healthy things in it. If yours is nacho Doritos, pepper, fruit roll ups and bubble gum, it might not be as pretty as mine.

6. Wrap that baby up and prepare to be enchanted by the chard’s ability to kick a tortilla’s ass any day of the week. Tortilla: 100-200 calories depending on size and brand, piece of swiss chard: maybe 2. Tell your body I said, “you’re welcome.”

* No food alone harnesses that power. If you want to get rid of belly fat, you need to eat better and exercise. Eating swiss chard can help because it’s low-cal, but it isn’t going to do all the work for you like some sorta leaf-that-eats-your-fat-from-the-inside. You must accept that nothing, not even the almighty swiss chard, is gonna do that.

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