Cathy’s Kitchen Prescription LLC
Baked Chard in Béchamel
The stalks of Swiss chard normally get short shrift and are overlooked but shine when baked in a creamy, simple plant-based white sauce, scented with thyme and aromatics.
Chard béchamel makes a lovely, nutritious side or an entrée when served with potato or over a bed of whole grains.
Whole and plant-based with no oil, sugar or salt
Prep time 30 minutes Cooking time 20 minutes Serves 2-4
4-5 bunches Swiss chard, leaves removed for another purpose, stalks cut in 1” lengths
1 large yellow onion, thinly slices
Handful of fresh thyme sprigs, leaves only or 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
3 cloves garlic, minced
¼ cup dry white wine, dry vermouth, or no-sodium veggie broth
Full ½ cup white whole wheat flour or a gluten-free whole grain flour
¼ cup nutritional yeast
¼ teaspoon nutmeg, freshly ground
¼ teaspoon white pepper
2 teaspoons shiro (white) miso • or to taste
2 cups unsweetened unflavored almond milk (or other low-fat plant milk)
⅓ cup whole wheat breadcrumbs
- Miso is a good salt alternative that helps to lower blood pressure (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5313421/#:~:text=Miso%2C%20which%20is%20made%20from,%2C%20including%20salt%2Dsensitive%20hypertension).
Hint: Homemade breadcrumbs can be particularly delicious. Save a few pieces of a crusty whole wheat artisanal bread, toast it, and toss in a food processor with a handful of thyme leaves and a few roasted garlic cloves for fragrant, intoxicating crumbs that will last quite a while in the fridge.
Directions Preheat oven to 400°F/205°C
Heat a skillet for 3 minutes over medium heat. Add the onions and thyme leaves, lower flame to medium-low and allow onions to sweat (slowly soften without browning), usually around 15-20 minutes. Add wine or your liquid of choice and garlic, cook for 2 minutes and then add the chard stalks, stirring to combine well. Cover and continue to cook the stalks in the aromatics until tender but intact.
Combine the flour, nutritional yeast, pepper, nutmeg, miso and almond milk in a high-speed blender and run on high for 1 minute. Pour the white sauce into the skillet, lower flame to low, and stir as the sauce thickens, becomes dense, and clings to the chard stems.
Transfer to a baking dish and bake for 20-25 minutes until golden and bubbly. Serve warm as a side dish or serve over sliced potatoes or your favorite whole grain.