Friday, May 20, 2011

Foodie Friday: Swiss Chard and Raisins

 Photo credit: Michelle Loy. Copyright 2011. All rights reserved.

At the request of my husband, I have been exploring Swiss chard lately.  As I searched for ways to prepare it, I decided on this recipe, which plays with the sweet and savory flavors that work so well with greens. I also thought it would be one that would appeal to my kids, who can still be skeptical of green veggies.  

When it comes to nutrition, Swiss chard is packed.  It contains a mix of betalains, which have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.  It's also loaded with vitamin A, C, K, magnesium, manganese, potassium, and iron along with fiber and a variety of other nutrients.  

It may seem absolutely insane that I, a Registered Dietitian, would include a recipe with...gasp...bacon in it.  However, I am not afraid of bacon when used in smart ways.  Here are some tips to consider when it comes to bacon.

1)  Select center-cut bacon as it has just a bit more protein and less fat than regular bacon. 
2)  Select bacon that is free of sodium nitrate and sodium nitrite, which are known to form potentially carcinogenic compounds.
3)  Choose organic.
4)  Use it as more of a condiment than the center of attention.
5)  Pair it with vegetables.

As for this recipe, I hit the jackpot with my husband.  He loves it.  My kids were a bit more skeptical, but my daughter finally came around and enjoys it with the sweetness of the raisins.  If you haven't tried Swiss chard yet, I think this will be a nice introduction.  Enjoy!

Swiss Chard and Raisins

2 1/2 lbs red Swiss chard (average of about 2 bundles), coarsely chopped
1 1/2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 sl pancetta or center-cut bacon, chopped
1/4 c raisins
14 oz low-sodium chicken broth or stock
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg

1)  Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the oil, bacon or pancetta, and onion to the skillet and cook until the onions have softened and the bacon is slightly browned.  
2)  Add the chard to the pan in large bunches, putting in more as the chard wilts.  
3)  Toss in the raisins and add the broth and nutmeg.  Bring the liquid to a boil and lower the heat to simmer about 10-15 minutes or until the greens are no longer bitter.  Serve.  

Serves:  6
Nutritional Information:
Calories:  109   Carbohydrate:  14 g   Protein:  6 g   Fat:  5 g  (Saturated:  1 g)  Fiber:  3.5 g   Sugar:  6 g  Sodium:  471 mg   
Excellent source of:  vitamin C, A, E, iron, and magnesium
Good source of:  riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, calcium, and zinc

Friday, May 13, 2011

Foodie Friday: Sweet Crepes

Photo credit: Michelle Loy. Copyright 2011. All rights reserved.

I have a little bit of a love affair with crepes.  It started when I was a tweenager.  During summer breaks from school, my sister and I used to watch craft and cooking shows.  (I know, what was wrong with us?)  I often enjoyed trying some of the recipes that we'd see on a show, and once I took a stab at crepes.  While they tasted good, I remembered them being challenging to make.  Ever since then, I've thought about making crepes again, but I've held off because of how hard it seemed. However, recently I've had the pleasure of sampling crepes from eateries, such as Crepes Bonaparte. As I've watched them make the crepes, it seemed simple enough, so I set out on a mission to learn how to make my own.  While these may not be in line with a true French crepe, my entire family loves them.  Now that I've successfully made crepes, I realize that they're actually pretty easy and quick to make.  I think the reason they were so hard for me before was because I was 12!  The great thing about these is that you can make extra and refrigerate or freeze for later use.  The batter can also be made ahead and kept in the fridge overnight for quick prep the next morning.  This could be the perfect way to welcome your weekend!  Enjoy!

Sweet Crepes        

1 1/2 c low-fat milk (I've used 1%, 2% and whole, and they've all worked fine for me.)
1 c whole wheat flour
2 large eggs
3 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
A pinch of salt
8 Tbsp nut butter (eg, almond, peanut)
4 c fresh fruit (eg, berries, sliced banana)
Honey to drizzle

1.  Combine milk, flour, eggs, butter, and salt in a blender, and blend until smooth, about 10 seconds.  Place the batter in the fridge for a few minutes to let the bubbles settle out.  This is a good time to wash and prepare the fruit and other ingredients.
2.  Heat a medium-sized nonstick pan over medium heat.  Spray with nonstick cooking spray.  Pour about 1/4-1/3 cup of batter onto the center of the pan, and swirl to spread it evenly in a circle.  Cook for about 1 minute. Then carefully flip it over and cook for about 30 seconds.  Remove the crepe to a plate.  Repeat until you have 8 crepes or the batter is gone.  
3.  Once cooled, top the crepe with 1 Tbsp of nut butter and 1/4 c fresh fruit.  Gently fold the sides of the crepe over the filling.  Top with additional 1/4 c fresh fruit and drizzle with honey.
*Other filling options include low-fat yogurt and fresh fruit.  

Serves:  4-8
Nutritional Information (for 1 crepe):
Calories:  268   Carbohydrate:  25 g   Protein:  8 g   Fat:  16 g  Cholesterol:  68 mg   Fiber:  5 g   Sugar:  10 g   Sodium:  147 mg   
Excellent source of: riboflavin, vitamin C, vitamin E, and magnesium
Good source of:  thiamin, niacin, vitamins B6, B12, D, A, calcium, iron, and zinc
Related Posts with Thumbnails