Recipe: Swiss Chard Pita Pockets

February 4, 2010 at 6:47 am 4 comments

Swiss chard is one of my favorite leafy greens to use in my recipes while cooking. There is 306.3% of your daily value of Vitamin K in one cup of cooked Swiss chard! Vitamin K is something your body needs to help  keep up good bone health. Swiss chard has a slightly bitter taste when first eaten, but if you give it a chance and acquire the taste after time, it is very delicious.

When I first had swiss chard, I didn’t like it at all! Now that I have played around with it in the kitchen, I’ve learned how to make it work to my palette and I eat it nearly every day.  It works as a great substitute to spinach in almost any recipe.

Here is one of my favorite ways to prepare swiss chard. I’d say that this is my definite go-to recipe when I’m quickly looking for a meal to make because the ingredients are simple, easy, and fresh.

Swiss Chard Pita Pockets

(Serves 4-6)


  • 1 large bunch of swiss chard, rinsed
  • 1 medium-sized onion, diced
  • 2 medium-sized tomatoes, diced or one 14.5 oz. can of diced tomatoes
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 can chickpeas (garbanzo), drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 C cooked quinoa
  • 2-3 Tb pine nuts
  • 1/4 C goat feta, diced or crumbled (optional)
  • zest from one large lemon
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 4 whole wheat pita cut in half (so that to you can fill them)

*** I encourage you to try to get as many of the ingredients from local farmers at the farmers market, to get the best flavor and quality!***


  1. Since the swiss chard has a thick ribbing in the middle, you will first need to remove the center stem from each leaf in the bunch. This can easily be done by placing the chard, rib facing up, and running a knife down both side of the middle rib.***Always handle a knife without any distractions, use your noggin, and use proper kitchen safety! You are trying to cook a meal, not trying to get to the emergency room!***
  2. Once you have removed the center stems from all the leaves, give the leaves a nice dice, at random, and set aside. Cooks often call the style of a random dice “rustic”.  Go ahead and call it rustic swiss chard if you want 😉
  3. Do not discard the center rib! It is just as loaded with the good stuff as the leaves themselves, and are part of this recipe too! In small bunches at a time, line the middle ribs side by side and cut them into 1/2″-1″ pieces.Once you have cut them all, place in a bowl and set aside.(This photo isn’t really necessary for the recipe, but I thought that the cut pieces looked WAY TOO beautiful!)
  4. As you prepare the rest of your ingredients, be sure to place a large pan over medium heat with a spritz or drizzle of olive oil.
  5. Once the pan it hot enough, add the onion, center ribs of the chard and sautee until they are soften. About 3-5 minutes.
  6. Add the garlic and stir around 2 minutes more. Bring the heat down to about a ‘4’ or slightly below medium.
  7. After the ingredients in the pan have gotten nice and cozy together, add the diced tomatoes and swiss chard. Cook the chard until it is slightly wilted down. ***At this step, I find it easy to put a large lid over the pan to speed the process up a bit***
  8. Once the chard is slightly wilted, add your chickpeas, pine nuts, and goat feta (if using). About 3 minutes.
  9. Add zest, salt and pepper to taste, and the 1/2 cup of cooked quinoa. Make sure everything is well combined and bring the pan back up to a medium heat on your stove for about 2 more minutes.
  10. Remove from heat, and gently fill eat pita half with the cooked swiss chard. Plate, and serve warm.

The filling for your pita pockets can also be a great side dish, eaten alone, or accompanied with wild rice if you ever want to use it differently.

Enjoy and bon apétit!


Entry filed under: Recipe.

Virtual Running! A Day at the Farmers Market

4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Laura @ Strong and Steady  |  February 4, 2010 at 12:09 pm

    Hey! I just read your comment on HTP that you’re transferring to UCD in the fall… That’s where I go! Andddd I’m working on getting into cycling (potentially doing the Napa century with Caitlin). I’m not likely to join the competitive school team (too intense) but there’s a really awesome bike club in town and a REALLY awesome tri club! Why do you think you want to join the school team? Are you a big cyclist already??? Cheers! Laura

    • 2. Alexandra  |  February 4, 2010 at 1:04 pm

      I’m no where near a big cyclist! I think i should have written “a cycling team” instead of “the cycling team”.. oops! What is the bike club like? I would love to join a club for novice/intermediate riders. I rode a lot this summer and I’ve been training for a marathon, but after the race I want to hop back on a bike. 🙂

  • 3. Laura @ Strong and Steady  |  February 4, 2010 at 1:15 pm

    I’m not exactly sure what the club in Davis is like since I haven’t joined (yet), but I gather it has a huge membership, and their calendar says they do like 12 different organized rides of all levels every week! Check it

    The tri club is the Mad Cows and they really are good. I wish they had their training schedule online. Oh well.

    Anyway, same here re: hopping on my bike after my next running race. I’m nursing an overuse injury anyway, so I think I want to reverse the ratio of running to cycling in my training schedule. The prospect of doing a century in 4 months is pretty terrifying though!

    • 4. Alexandra  |  February 4, 2010 at 2:09 pm

      Thanks for the resources! I don’t know if I could join the tri team, I’m not a fan of swimming. The bike club is something I am really interested in though.

      I’m sure if you have strong determination, it will help you in your training, and you could easily do the century! I say you should go for it.


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Hello! My name is Alexandra.

This blog is a chronicle of living a healthy lifestyle through food and fitness! I'm a student, a gardener, an environmentalist, an athlete, and I love to cook and eat food that is locally grown. I love our planet so much, and I think it's important to treat it right so it can treat us right in return!

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