It’s safe to say that if a food comes in pretty colors (in nature, that is), then it’s extra healthy for you. When it comes to red chard, it’s almost screaming at you to add it into your diet somehow. The stems are an incredibly vibrant scarlet, and the leaves a gorgeous grassy green. It’s a sign. Eat it.
In fact, chard is loaded with antioxidants, some of which are hard to come by in other food sources. It also happens to be one of the easiest leafy greens to cook, as it wilts up in mere minutes without turning to mush, the way some other quick-cooking greens like spinach tend to do.
I realize that eating your greens can seem like a bit of a chore sometimes. But if you stir it into fried rice packed with intense flavor, suddenly it doesn’t sound like such hard work, does it? If you got takeout recently, don’t throw away the brown rice that you got with it. (Because of course you always get brown rice, right?? Don’t worry, I won’t judge if you substitute white. Mostly because I’ll have no idea.) We all know leftover rice doesn’t reheat very well, but it definitely makes excellent fried rice.
And to turn this into a well-rounded dish with that special something-something, why not put a little avocado on top?
If you don’t want a vegetarian fried rice, a little stir-fried chicken or pork would be great on top. But the avocado can stand on its own – give it a little credit. It doesn’t only exist to become guacamole. And it also happens to be full of fiber, potassium, vitamin E, and folic acid. So there’s that.
This fried rice is pretty simple, and you could make it in one pot if you feel like it. I think it’s ideal to cook the rice and egg in a separate pan from the chard and then combine them, though, so you get a really good texture on your rice. As a side note, if you don’t already have cooked brown rice in the house, whip up a double batch and freeze half of it in a zip-locked bag. Then the next time the hunger strikes for rice, you’re golden.
Chard Fried Rice with Avocado (serves 2)
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil, divided
- 2 scallions, thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon miso (any color – I used brown rice miso)
- 1 bunch chard (stems removed), leaves coarsely chopped
- 2 cups cooked brown rice
- 2 tsp rice wine vinegar
- 1 tsp Sriracha or other hot sauce
- 1 tsp low sodium soy sauce
- 1 egg
- handful of chopped cilantro
- 1 tsp toasted sesame oil (optional)
- toasted sesame seeds for garnish (optional)
- 1 avocado, halved and thinly sliced
1. Heat 2 teaspoons of the vegetable oil in a large skillet or pot over medium-high heat. When it’s hot, add the scallions and miso. Stir it around to break up the miso, and cook for about a minute. Add the chopped chard and reduce heat to medium-low. Stir carefully to distribute the scallions, miso, and oil among the greens. Place a tight lid on the pot and let it cook.
2. While the chard cooks, heat the remaining teaspoon of vegetable oil in a medium-sized skillet. Add the rice and stir for a minute, then add the rice wine vinegar, Sriracha, and soy sauce. Stir well to combine. Cook for about two minutes, stirring frequently.
3. Create a well in the middle of the rice and crack the egg into the pan. When the white of the egg is just barely starting to set, stir the egg into the rice. Continue to stir until the egg is cooked and well distributed throughout the rice. Add the cilantro and stir it in. Turn off the heat.
4. Transfer the rice-egg-cilantro mixture into the pot with the chard, which will have released its juices in the pan. Stir everything together well and turn off the heat. Stir in the sesame oil if using, and serve garnished with toasted sesame seeds and avocado slices.