Kaleidoscope Chard Salad with Rice and Toasted Garbanzos – CYOB

Create Your Own Bite, The New Bite

This gorgeous leafy green brightens up any salad with its colorful stems, and imparts a complementary bitterness.

Create Your Own Bite #13

For Kaleidoscope Chard Salad (1 serving):

1 Tsp Canola Oil

Salt and Pepper, To Taste

Pinch of Crushed Red Pepper Flakes

1 Clove Garlic, Minced

2 Cups Chopped Kaleidoscope Chard

1/4 Cup Brown Rice, Dry

1 Tbs Dried Cranberries (Optional)

1 Tbs Crumbled Fat Free Feta (Optional)

For Honey Lemon Vinaigrette (3 servings):

1 Tsp Canola Oil

Salt and Pepper, To Taste

Zest of 1/2 Lemon

1/4 Cup Lemon Juice

1 Tsp Apple Cider Vinegar

1 Tbs Water

1 Tsp Honey Mustard

1/2 Tsp Splenda or Agave

For Toasted Chickpeas (2 servings): 

1 Clove Garlic, Minced

1/2 Cup Chickpeas, Rinsed

1 Tsp Canola Oil

Pinch of Salt

Estimated Calories: 300 (Or 260 without Cranberries and Feta)

At Trader Joes the other day, I happened upon a huge bag of Kaleidoscope Chard that I just couldn’t resist.  Chard is a slightly bitter, leafy green that comes in a variety of stem colors. When mixed, you get Rainbow, or Kaleidoscope Chard. Packed with Vitamin A, C, and K, this green makes a great substitute for lettuce. It can be eaten raw, but breaks down fabulously when sauteed.

With this dish I played with textures, and tried out another homeamde dressing recipe. This might have been a “dining-for-one” moment, but next time, I’d recruit a friend. The salad recipe could easily be doubled, and there’s more than enough chickpeas and dressing for two.

Start by preparing your chickpeas, as they’ll take the longest to cook. Pre-heat your oven to 450 degrees, while you drain and rinse a can of chickpeas. I used half, approximately one cup, and put aside the rest for another dish (tonight’s dinner, a Beet and Bean Burger). Simply pat the chickpeas with papertowel until dry, and toss in the oil, minced garlic, and salt. Roast for 30-45 minutes, or until crispy. Keep a close eye on the chickpeas in the last fifteen minutes, as they can burn easily.

Both the chickpeas and the garlic should be brown and crispy, bringing a satisfying crunch to every bite of salad.

While your chickpeas are roasting, start cooking your rice, and preparing the vinaigrette. For the dressing, zest the lemon first, before halving it and squeezing out the juice. One large lemon makes approximately a quarter cup. Whisk the vinegar, water, and oil together until all the liquids have been combined. Add in the salt, pepper, and honey mustard last. Here, you can adjust the flavors until the vinaigrette is the perfect balance of sweet and tangy.

Set aside your dressing and allow the flavors to develop while you pull together the rest of the ingredients. Remember to check your chickpeas occasionally as you move on to the chard-portion of the dish.

In a pan, heat your oil, garlic and crushed red pepper flakes. Wait until the garlic is golden brown, to ensure that the flavors have diffused into the oil. Add your chard, and stir, until the leaves are wilted and the stems are just beginning to soften. Add some fresh cracked black pepper and salt and take the chard off the heat.

Chard makes a beautiful addition to any dish, and works as a substitute for spinach, kale, or other leafy greens.

Take your garbanzo beans out of the oven and allow the rice to cool, before tossing them with your chard. Here, use only half of the garbanzo beans. Garbanzo beans are packed with protein, but they’re also high in calories.  Too many can undo this otherwise light and healthy dish.

Top your salad with fat free crumbled feta and dried cranberries. The creaminess of the feta, the chew from the cranberries and the crunch from the garbanzo beans make this dish a medley of satisfying flavors and textures. A wonderful balance of salty, creamy, sweet and nutty. One third of the honey lemon vinaigrette drizzled on top adds an additional tang to every bite.

This was my favorite, but just one of many dishes I’ve whipped up since making my colorful purchase.

At top, Sauteed Beets, Chard and Onion over Creamy Feta Polenta. At bottom, Indian-Spiced Chard with Browned Tofu.

For either of the above recipes, Write me, Bite me. Until next time, I’m off to find a delicious new bite.


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