Sautéed Rainbow Chard with Shitake Mushrooms

Serves 2 in 15 minutes

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When fall comes, lettuce just isn’t as appealing, so it’s time to turn to dark leafy greens! I love Rainbow Chard, with its beautiful red, yellow and orange stalks, rich in colorful phytonutrients that nurture our eyes and help prevent macular degeneration, a common cause of blindness. Its bright green leaves are rich in folic acid (from the word “foliage”) as well as other B vitamins and minerals like iron and magnesium. Just “strip” the leaf from its stalk and choose the more delicate, less “woody” stalks to dice and sauté before adding the leaves.

Winter greens are a natural when paired with shitake mushrooms, among the most powerful immune stimulants to combat cancer and inflammation. Feel free to substitute other mushrooms, like oyster, trumpet mushrooms if you can find them. I sauté the mushrooms first to develop their flavor and texture and then toss the leaves in at the end. In a rush, just use a bag of “baby greens” with a blend of chard, spinach and kale (not salad greens). They “melt” in a matter of minutes, making a delicious side dish or base for eggs the next morning!

  • ½ teaspoon fennel seeds
  • Pinch of red chili flakes
  • ¼ cup shallots, diced into ¼ inch pieces
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bunch (about 4 cups) Swiss chard leaves, torn into bite sized pieces
  • ½ cup colored chard stalks, diced into ¼ inch pieces
    • OR 6 cups mixed baby greens like kale, chard, and spinach
  • 8 shitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 T. avocado, olive or coconut oil
  • 1 T. butter or ghee
  • ½ teaspoon lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt.

Gather and prep all ingredients. Rinse the Swiss chard thoroughly under running water to remove all dirt and debris. Spin or pat dry.  Tear or cut diagonally into 3 inch strips, reserving the most beautiful colored stems to dice and use in sauté. Or use 6 cups of pre-cleaned mixed baby braising greens.
Heat the oil in a large sauté pan over medium until shimmering. Sauté the chili and fennel seeds along with the diced shallots and chard stems for 2 minutes. Then add the garlic and mushrooms and sauté 2-3 minutes, until turning golden. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Toss in the Swiss chard leaves and sauté for another 3 minutes. To retain the bright green color, flavor and texture of the greens, don’t overcook them. Squeeze a little lemon juice over the sauté, add a sprinkle of sea salt if needed and serve!  A santé! your health!

If using baby “power” greens, only cook them for 2-3 minutes, until they wilt.

Read about the health benefits of mushrooms here.

Sally LaMont, ND, LAc