If vegetables are lacking in the standard American diet, leafy greens are the scarcest of all. Given the incredible and unique nourishment these veggies offer, learning to cook and eat greens is essential for creating lasting health. Thankfully, adding these nutritional powerhouses to our diet is easy, especially if you’re a member of a CSA — greens grow from the beginning to the end of the season, with kale and collards bracketing the more tender Swiss chard.
Swiss chard is a unique leafy green in that it contains at least 13 different polyphenol antioxidants, which have been shown to aid our circulatory and respiratory systems by protecting us from atherosclerosis (clogged arteries), high blood pressure and air pollution damage. Polyphenols also contribute to cancer prevention and longevity. Considering all of their health benefits, making sure we include them in our diet first thing in the morning will start us all off on a day fit for a superhero!
The addition of a local, free range, organic egg will add a “complete protein” that contains an adequate proportion of all nine essential amino acids necessary for our diet, healthy fats like omega-3s, and choline, which helps regulate the brain, nervous system, and cardiovascular system. In order to reap these benefits, you must be sure your eggs are from chickens raised in a natural environment. The ones sold at various local farms and markets are a great choice, like those from Deep Springs Farm in Harleysville, Purely Farm in Pipersville, or Happy Farm in Kintnersville.
Finally, the fresh tomatoes in this recipe are shown to prevent cancer, heart disease as well as high cholesterol — not to mention the fact that they taste great!
Superhero Breakfast: Swiss chard, Fresh tomato and Egg
Note: this dish can be made ovo vegetarian (dairy-free) using options below.
Sauté 1/4 cup chopped onion with a pinch of salt in 1/4 cup of water only (water sauté) over medium heat until onions are tender, about 3 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat small skillet with butter or grapeseed oil. Add 1 1/2 to 2 cups of Swiss chard cut into thin strips to the onions and mix well, adding more water if necessary. Cover and cook until tender and bright green, about 2-3 minutes. Break one nature perfect egg and fry on the oiled skillet.
Add several splashes of vinegar to chard/onion mixture and stir well. Turn off heat and stir in 1 very small chopped tomato. Flip egg, cook for one minute and turn off heat.
Using a slotted spoon (to leave any remaining liquid in the pan), place the greens-onion-tomato mixture into shallow bowl and sprinkle generously with nutritional yeast flakes, romano cheese or parmesan cheese. Top with egg and serve immediately.
Recipe and photo by Mikaela D. Martin: Blooming Glen CSA member since 2005, board-certified health counselor, and co-founder and -owner of Guidance for Growing, an integrative wellness practice in Souderton. Read more about healthy eating and living on her site, http://guidanceforgrowing.com!