Remember back at the beginning of July when I declared that I was going to make an extra effort to eat the rainbow this month? I’m not stranger to veggies of all kind, but as I explained earlier, there are some produce items that just don’t normally make it into my regular routine. On most weeks, you’ll find carrots, bell peppers, cucumbers, mixed greens, zucchini, melons, and berries (when in season), among other fresh finds in my shopping cart, but this month I’m striving to buy the ones that aren’t frequent visitors in my fridge.

A lot of people who are new to the clean eating lifestyle often think that adopting it means eating nothing but lettuce, celery, and carrots for the rest of their lives, but this could not be further from the truth. There are so many amazingly nutritious (and even more importantly, delicious) foods to choose from and I love experimenting, as you’ve witnessed in over 100 Try Something New Tuesday Recaps!

I’m sure you’ve read your fair share of articles with titles along the lines of “Top 10 superfoods for your health“, “The 6 foods highest antioxidant power“, or “Eat these to cut your cancer risk“. Within these lists, you’ve likely seen foods such as kale touted for its high calcium content (it actually contains more calcium per calorie than milk) and berries crowned as the kings and queens of the antioxidant world. But does that mean you need to eat them every week?

If you ask me, the answer is no. Variety is the spice of life, and when it comes to nutrition, variety is one of the best things you can do for your health. Just because a fruit or veggie isn’t praised as a superfood doesn’t mean it’s not as great as those that are. Although they might not be quite as exotic or exciting as vibrant berries, there’s nothing wrong with apples and oranges! In short, there are heaps of fruits and veggies (and foods in general) that contain their own unique mixes of vitamins and minerals, and the famous superfoods don’t always do the same job. If it’s a supplement you rely on, it may not be doing the trick either. Sure, multivitamins contain a lovely cocktail of vitamins and minerals, but they’re not present in the same highly absorbable form as when consumed in whole foods. Multivitamins also don’t tame hunger like REAL food does!

So where am I going with this? Let’s talk greens. I adore kale. Like absolutely love it, stuff my omelettes and salads with it, blend the heck out if it in my smoothies, and consume more bunches of it in kale chip form than you can imagine. Kale is one of those high-and-mighty dark leafy greens that we all know we should be eating, but last week when the bunches at the grocery store didn’t look so fresh, I decided it was time to give another leaf a chance.

Like Brussels sprouts, which hold a very near and dear place in my heart year-round, Swiss chard is another one of those annoying foods that need a capital letter. Others include Greek yogurt, Canadian bacon, and don’t forget the Swedish fish!!!

(Source)

Ok, maybe not such a clean food. But back to Swiss chard. Despite the assumption you’d make from ‘Swiss’ being in the title, this plant isn’t from Switzerland. According to my extensive Googling, Swiss chard actually originates from Sicily. A few other quick tidbits:

  • It comes from the beet family, and just like other greens, is low in calories but high in phytonutrient goodness.
  • The leaves contain heaps of vitamins C, as well as vitamin K. Just 1 cup of raw Swiss chard provides 700% of your recommended daily vitamin K intake, which is great since we need this vitamin  to strengthen our bones.
  • Other goodies inside Swiss chard include vitamin A, various B vitamins, omega 3 fatty acids, minerals (including iron), and antioxidants.
  • All of the above make Swiss chard a great food for preventing Alzheimers, osteoporosis, iron deficiency, and various cancers.

You’re probably thinking, “OK, great. But it’s a leaf. How can I make it exciting?”

Firstly, get the rainbow kind because it’s pretty. Organic is ideal since non-organic leafy greens are part of the EWG’s Dirty Dozen, but do what you can. Secondly, wash them and chop them up….

…and gather together a few other ingredients….

Throw them in a pan…

… and presto!

Ok, let’s rewind a bit. Perhaps you’d like some instructions.

Swiss Chard and Red Onion Omelette

by Angela

Prep Time: 10 mins

Cook Time: 7 mins

Keywords: stovetop breakfast lunch gluten-free high protein low-sodium nut-free soy-free vegetarian vegetables eggs

 

Ingredients (1 serving)

  • oil in a mister, or about 1 tsp
  • ¼ cup chopped red onion
  • 1 cup mixed Swiss chard (red, yellow, white), chopped
  • 4 cherry tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp fresh chopped parsley
  • 1 tsp shredded basil or herb of choice
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup milk or milk alternative

Instructions

Prepare all vegetables by washing and chopping them up.

Spritz a frying pan with olive oil and place it over high heat. Add the red onion, stirring lightly in the pan until it just begins to soften.

In a glass or bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, and fresh herbs. Pour the mixture into the pan over the onions, and reduce heat to medium.

After about 3 minutes, add the chopped Swiss chard and chopped cherry tomatoes. Let the egg continue cooking for 1 more minute.

Gently use a flipper to loosen one side of the set egg mixture. Fold the omelette in half, and reduce heat to medium-low. Allow it to cook a few minutes longer, or until no longer runny.

Transfer the omelette to a plate and serve with a side salad and toast if desired.

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Although raw Swiss chard tastes quite bitter by itself, I love it in this recipe because the light cooking inside the omelette helps to sweeten the leaves. It also paired really nicely with the red onion, which also sweetens with cooking. You could stuff your omelette with whatever greens and other veggies you fancy, but if you’ve never tried Swiss chard and are looking for an alternative to your usual kale or spinach, I’d recommend giving it a go!

So tell me…

  • What’s one fruit or vegetable that you often neglect but actually really enjoy?
  • Any great Swiss chard recipes out there?
  • And just for fun, do you have any other foods to add to my list of those that need a capital letter?