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The ‘Greens Strategy’ — How to Easily Add Greens to Every Meal

Suggestions for using your cooked chard without a recipe

Summary: Some days you don’t feel like following a specific recipe. Maybe you just want to noodle around in the kitchen and come up with something tasty. Or perhaps it’s a day when you are making a tried and true recipe from your files, and you simply want to add greens to it. Or you might be an extremely experienced cook who knows amounts, timing, etc. and all you need is the spark of an idea. Try these quick ideas on those days when a recipe is too much, but a hint is just right.


  • When making jambalaya, risotto or virtually any pasta dish, mix up to 12 ounces of chard into the finished dish, folding it in gently. The heat from the cooked dish will heat the greens beautifully.
  • Add chard to your spaghetti sauce. If your sauce tends to be a bit chunky anyway (from the tomatoes, ground meat, red peppers, onions, etc.), the extra texture imparted by the greens won’t be noticeable. If your sauce tends to be more on the smooth side, you might want to add only the green leafy parts, and leave out the stems, which have more texture.
  • Sauté chard with some half-and-half, then add some grated Parmesan cheese for flavor. Add some strips of grilled chicken, season to taste and roll it up into a tortilla. Serve with a small side salad for a quick, easy dinner that relies on leftovers.
  • Mix wilted chard with canned black beans, corn, leftover rice, grated cheese and a few squirts of hot sauce, and wrap it up in a tortilla for a nutritious homemade burrito.
  • Stir beans and cheese into your wilted chard, then roll mixture up in corn tortillas, place seam side down in baking dish, top with prepared enchilada sauce, more cheese, and bake, for a green enchilada.
  • Max wilted chard with cooked couscous, chick peas, lemon juice and garlic, for a bright, tasty side dish.
  • Use wilted chard on top of homemade pizza with olives and goat or feta cheese.
  • Use wilted chard when making vegetarian lasagna.
  • Add chard to a bean and sausage soup. Make a broth using chicken stock or vegetable broth, then add a can of cooked beans (such as Great Northern), chopped onions, sliced smoked or Polish sausage and the chopped greens. You can make it as hearty or liquid as you like, and even add a chopped tomato. Cook it just long enough to tenderize the greens and meld the flavors.
  • If you’re making a quiche, simply add wilted chard to the egg mixture, pour into pie shell, and bake as usual.

Have fun! It’s easy to be green!