Meet Alex Caspero
Alex Caspero is a Registered Dietitian, New York Times Bestselling Plant-Based Chef and mom of two. She aims to cut through the nutrition noise by providing real-life, nourishing tips for body and mind. Learn more about Alex.
Swiss Chard Ancient Grains Salad. Garlicky swiss chard cooked with roasted garlic, peppercorns and ancient grains of kamut, spelt and tuff.
This ancient grain salad lovingly combines two of my favorite things: grains & greens. As a mostly plant-based eater, these two items are always front and center of my plate. A nourishing balance of fiber, energy, vitamins/minerals and antioxidants.
Have you tried ancient grains before? While all grains are essentially ‘ancient’, these grains are ones that are largely unchanged over the last several hundred years. Modern wheat, which has been constantly bred and changed wouldn’t be considered one, but sorghum, teff, millet, quinoa, amaranth, buckwheat and wild rice are. Whole grains are specifically produced to retain all parts of the grain. Often grains are refined to remove the nutritious bran and germ, which are packed with fiber, vitamins and minerals.
That’s why we often talk about using whole grains vs. refined grains. You’re getting all the good, healthy parts of the grain when you choose the whole grain option.
I know that quinoa has gone from lesser-known-grain to everyone-is-eating-it status over the last few years, and I promise that the other varieties are just as delicious. We love sorghum anywhere we’d use rice, millet in grain bowls, amaranth instead of oatmeal and wild rice in everything from soups to salads.
Introducing these “new” ancient grains with unfamiliar flavors or textures doesn’t have to be difficult. If you’re looking to switch up your usual-suspect grains, try adding in one of these to your diet.
Honestly, I almost need to make two batches of greens when I prepare it this way. I usually pick so much at the finished dish right from the stove, that there’s hardly anything left by the time I go to serve them. Thinly sliced swiss chard leaves in olive oil and garlic might be one of life’s most simplest pleasures.
Cook the packet of grains according to package directions. While that’s cooking, sauté the swiss chard stems and leaves in a little garlic and red pepper. Combine the two, add some walnuts for crunch and that’s IT. A simple, healthy side dish that’s a perfect way to add in more ancient grains.
I hope you enjoy this one as much as I did. Not a fan of swiss chard? No problem. Any leafy green, like spinach, chard or beet greens would work the same way.
If you try this recipe, let me know! Leave a comment, rate it, and tag your Instagram photos with #delishknowledge . I absolutely love seeing your creations. Happy cooking!Print
Have you tried ancient grains yet? Save this salad for a healthy side dish! Garlicky swiss chard cooked with roasted garlic, peppercorns and ancient grains (kamut, spelt and tuff)
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