Tortellini or ravioli are good to make for a quick meal, but instead of tomato sauce, I sauté chard and serve it over the pasta. Chard, or also know as Swiss chard, is a lovely leafy green vegetable from the beet family and popular in Mediterranean cooking. The taste is similar to spinach and is in season in early fall and early summer. The stems of the chard leaves can be white or bright colors such as pink, red, orange or yellow. Chard over Cheese Tortellini is a wonderful recipe in my cookbook, Healthy Palate.
Green leafy vegetables are nutritional stars and chard lives up to the billing. One cup of cooked chard provides the following percent of the recommended daily value:
- 214% of Vitamin A, which is needed to help our immune system and vision.
- 53% of Vitamin C, which is an antioxidant, promotes wound healing and is needed for our immune system.
- 22% of Iron, which is needed to prevent anemia.
- 38% of Magnesium and is beneficial in blood pressure regulation.
- 27% of Potassium which regulates our heart beat and blood pressure.
Chard provides 716% of Vitamin K which helps with blood clotting. For people taking the medication coumadin/warfin you need to follow the advice of your health care team about eating foods rich in Vitamin K.
Looking for a new and tasty way to serve ravioli or tortellini, this is the perfect dish. Complete your meal with raw vegetables (baby carrots, cucumbers and radishes) and fresh berries for a quick dessert. Here is to another yummy and healthy dinner!
Chard over Cheese Tortellini
11⁄2 cups cheese tortellini
1 bunch (6-8 leaves), dice the stems and cut the leaves into 1-inch strips*
1⁄2 cup water
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 medium shallot (about 1⁄4 C), finely chopped
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
Cook pasta according to directions on package; omit salt and fat. Drain well.
In a large skillet add 1⁄2 cup water and only the diced stems from the chard. Heat over medium heat. When water starts to boil reduce heat to a simmer and cover 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Increase heat to medium. Add garlic, shallots, olive oil, grated lemon peel and parsley; sauté with the stems for 1-2 minutes. Next add the leaves from the chard to the stem mixture. Cover 3-5 minutes or until the leaves are wilted and tender.
Divide tortellini on two plates and top with the chard mixture.
Servings: 2, doubles easily
NUTRITION INFORMATION FOR 1 SERVING: 318 calories, 12g protein, 41g carbs, 12g fat, 30mg chol, 4g sat fat, 0g trans fat, 3g fiber, 417mg sodium
* HELPFUL TIP:
To prepare the chard, wash the leaves and stems well. Cut the leaves from the stems. Cut the leaves into strips about 1 inch wide. Trim the stems and peel back any strings as you would with celery. Dice the stems into 1⁄2 inch pieces.