The Brown and the Light Green

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You couldn’t want more healthful ingredients for a side dish than high-fiber brown rice and nutrient-rich Swiss chard. But if you cook the greens with oil, you can get a fattening one.

Here, onions, shallots and garlic are sauteed in nonfat, nonstick cooking spray, then the chard is added and steamed. I also steam the brown rice. There’s no need to watch it and no danger of scorching.

After tossing together the rice and chard, sprinkle each serving with a few cashews for crunch. But use just a few--they’re high in calories and fat.


Serving plate and sake set from Bristol Kitchens.


Steamed Brown Rice With Chard

Active Work Time: 15 minutes * Total Preparation Time: 1 hour 15 minutes * Vegetarian

1 cup brown rice

1 bunch Swiss chard

Nonstick cooking spray

1 cup sliced green onions

1 clove garlic, minced

1/4 cup chopped shallots

1 1/2 teaspoons salt or to taste

1/3 cup roasted unsalted cashews

Place the rice in a steamer with 1 1/4 cups of water. Cover and steam until the rice is tender and the water has been absorbed, 55 minutes to 1 hour. (Or place the rice in a saucepan with 2 cups of water, bring to a boil, cover and simmer over low heat until the rice is tender, about 45 minutes.)

Remove the ribs from the chard leaves and chop into 1/2-inch pieces. Chop the leaves into 2-inch pieces.

Spray a large nonstick saucepot with cooking spray. Cook the green onions, garlic, shallots and salt until the onion is just tender, 2 minutes. Stir in the chopped chard ribs. Add 1/4 cup of water, cover and steam 3 to 4 minutes. Add the chopped chard leaves and steam until wilted and tender, about 5 minutes. Stir into the steamed rice. Top with the cashews before serving.

4 servings. Each serving: 147 calories; 1,074 mg sodium; 0 cholesterol; 6 grams fat; 1 gram saturated fat; 21 grams carbohydrates; 5 grams protein; 3.23 grams fiber.