Garden Time = Recipe Time!
Stuffed Swiss Chard
Laura P Kraus MS, RDN
I wanted to share with you a recipe I created in order to use up the tons of Swiss chard I had growing in my garden. It is very easy to make and can also be frozen uncooked if you are stocking your freezer with meals. This recipe is a twist on stuffed cabbage, but is much easier, as the pliable Swiss chard leaves do not have to be cooked prior to stuffing.
For those of you who don’t know about Swiss chard, let me tell you about this versatile leafy green. It is part of the cruciferous family of vegetables (think broccoli, kale, cabbage) and comes in various colors (red, yellow, pink) running through the stems, which makes for a very colorful dish. It is one of the few leafy greens in which the stems can be eaten. Just chop the stems separately from the leaves and cook them first (they are tougher), then add the leaves. Swiss chard is great in soups, casseroles or simply sautéed or steamed for a side dish. Though Swiss chard can be eaten raw, it tastes much better cooked.
Stuffed Swiss Chard
- 2-3 cups tomato sauce (homemade or a good jarred sauce without added sugar)
- 1 bunchSwiss chard – stems trimmed and well washed
- 1 pound ground beef, pork, turkey or chicken
- 1/2 onion finely chopped
- 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1-2 tsp fennel seeds or other spices of choice (optional)
- 1 egg
- salt/pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
- Spread a layer of tomato sauce down in a 9×13 glass pan.
- Mix all ingredients exceptSwiss chard You can even use the finely chopped stems in the mixture if desired.
- LaySwiss chard down and pile 1 tablespoon meat mixture in the center of the leaf.
- Fold over to create a meat “pocket” and lay down in glass pan, seam side down.
- Continue in this fashion to create a single layer ofstuffed Swiss chard.
- Top with more tomato sauce to cover.
- Bake, covered at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 1 hour or until the meat reaches 165 degrees.
- Serve with brown rice if desired or topped with Parmesan cheese.