Swiss chard is a leafy green vegetable that we use a lot in the Mediterranean cuisine. It is rich in vitamins A, K, C and E, riboflavin and vitamin B6 as well as minerals such as magnesium, manganese, iron, copper & potassium.
It is well known for its health benefits such as its ability to regulate blood sugar levels in our body and its anti-cancer properties due to the amount of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds that are found in it. Swiss chard leaves have a significant amount of calcium what makes them a major boost for bone health too.
Oxidative stress and chronic inflammation are risks factors for cancer, and this is why the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory richness of Swiss chard in a healthy and balanced diet help to keep you at a lower risk for cancer and other chronic diseases. Its anti-inflammatory and phytonutrient antioxidants also contribute to reducing blood pressure and improving heart health.
Overall, Swiss chard is a highly nutritious vegetable that we add to many dishes in the Mediterranean cuisine. As an example of a recipe using Swiss chard I share with you today my Lebanese family stuffed Swiss chard leaves recipe. This is a tasty and nutritious vegan Mediterranean diet dish.
The stuffing for the Swiss chard leaves is the same that I used for my Lebanese stuffed zucchini recipe. It includes parsley, tomato, onion, mint, lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil. The nutritional properties of all of these ingredients together make this healthy vegan Mediterranean diet recipe of Lebanese stuffed Swiss chard leaves a highly nutritious dish that provides us with strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory nutrients.
If you try this tasty and healthy vegan Mediterranean diet recipe of Lebanese stuffed Swiss chard leaves, please let me know, leave a comment and rate it. I would love to know what you come up with. Enjoy!
- 20 Swiss chard leaves
- 50g (1/4 cup) White rice
- A large bunch of fresh organic parsley, finely chopped
- 2 Medium tomatoes, thinly diced
- 1 Small onion, thinly chopped
- A few leaves of fresh organic mint, finely chopped
- 1 Large lemon, freshly squeezed
- 3 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
- 1 Teaspoon sea salt (or salt to taste)
- A pinch of freshly grounded black pepper
- Have all the vegetables well washed and prepared as indicated in the ingredients description.
- In a large saucepan, cook the Swiss chard leaves for 3 minutes in boiling water. Remove the leaves from the water, rinse under cold water and drain.
- Cut each leave into 2 portions (see the step-by-step pictures for guidance) removing the large stem with a knife.
- In a mixing bowl prepare the filling mix by combining the thinly diced tomatoes, the thinly chopped parsley, the thinly chopped onion, the thinly chopped mint leaves, the freshly squeezed lemon juice, the EVOO, the rice, salt to taste and a pinch of freshly grounded black pepper.
- Stuff each leaf portion with one heaped tablespoon of the filling while keeping at least 1cm from each side of the leave without filling. Fold the edges and roll each leave until it is completely rolled up. (See the step-by-step pictures for guidance)
- Once all the chard leaves are stuffed, in a large non-stick saucepan arrange the stuffed chard leaves one side by side to the other, and once the bottom of the saucepan is full with the stuffed chard leaves arrange another layer of stuffed chard leaves on top of them until all of them are inside the pan. Pour on top of them the remaining juice from the filling, and enough water to have them covered, and on top cover the stuffed leaves with a dish (resistant to heat) to keep them in place and avoid them to open. Cover the saucepan with its lid, bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer over low heat for 10 – 15 minutes until the rice is cooked (check the cooking time of the rice in the package to estimate the required time).
- Carefully remove the dish and remove the chard stuffed leaves from the heat. Serve hot or cold.