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Hi, I'm Judy Mayer

Eating doesn’t have to be so hard, but for many confusion exists about what’s healthy and what’s not. Bombarded with so much information — much of it in the form of silver bullets and easy answers — people often don’t know where to turn...
Judy Mayer

Nothing Neutral About Swiss Chard

What's For Dinner
Timely advice, tasty tips and a little tough love from Outpost's resident nutritionist, Judy Mayer. By Judy Mayer on May 14, 2012

Swiss chard is one of those beautiful, mysterious vegetables that many people aren’t familiar with. A staple in Mediterranean kitchens, it is closely related to the beet family and has beautiful large green leaves. The sometimes thick stems, which look like celery stalks, can be red, white or a combination of vibrant reds, yellow and oranges – called rainbow or bright lights chard. The stems and leaves are both edible and can be cooked pretty much any way that spinach is, although the stems should be cooked before the greens as they may take a bit longer to soften.
Depending upon who you ask – chard can have an earthy, sweet, sometimes bitter and salty flavor. It seems to have a sweeter flavor in cooler weather.
In case you’re wondering where the name comes from - Swiss Chard was named by a Swiss botanist and was so named Swiss Chard.


This soup recipe is really a time saver and doesn’t take long to throw together. It might not be very filling for that big appetite but more satisfying as a side dish with a veggie burger.

Swiss Chard and Leek Soup

Makes 4 generous servings

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 large leeks, white part only, cut in half lengthwise and chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1½ teaspoons curry powder
1 large bunch Swiss chard stems removed and chopped
4 cups low sodium vegetable or chicken broth
¾ cup light coconut milk
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Optional ½ teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon Greek yogurt or sour cream for garnish


  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan or soup pot over medium high heat. Add the onion, leeks, garlic and curry powder. Cook and stir for 3 to 4 minutes.
  2. Add the chard and cook for an additional 10 minutes.
  3. Pour in the broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer, add the coconut milk and cook for 20 minutes. Allow to cool slightly. Pure with an immersion blender or in a blender. Season with salt and pepper. Serve hot garnished with yogurt or sour cream if desired.

Per serving: 113 calories, 6g fat, 2g sat fat, 2g protein, 11g carbohydrates, 109mg sodium, 2g fiber  The nutritional analysis is without the addition of salt.

So what’s so great about this recipe?
Chard is very good for your digestion. It's full of bone building vitamin K.  It contains the carotenes zeaxanthin and lutein which benefit vision, vitamins C, E, vitamin B6 and calcium. It does contain oxalic acid which may reduce the absorption of the calcium – but not enough to discourage eating chard.


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