• The Raw Challenge: Swiss Chard Salad

    by Jon on July 28, 2007 · 10 comments

    I challenge you to look in your frig, look in your cupboards, your pantry….and come up with a delicious meal without using a recipe – we’ll call it cooking without a net. I’ll be the first to enter the challenge. Here’s my entry. Please note that I use rough estimates for amounts of some of the ingredients. That’s partly the fun of this challenge. Just throw it in until it looks and tastes yummy. If you want to make this particular recipe, experiment. Combine ingredients until it tastes good to you. Or change them – substitute ingredients that you prefer. Be adventurous!

    Swiss Chard Salad
    (click here for printable recipe)

    salad ingredients:
    one avocado
    one head swiss chard (red or green)
    one handful asian greens
    one red pepper, chopped
    one small zucchini, julienned
    one small cucumber, sliced
    one cup fresh peas, cut into 1 inch pieces (leave them in the pod)
    one large carrot, sliced
    one cup fresh snap beans, cut into 2 inch pieces (I used black snap beans though green is easier to find)
    1 – 2 tablespoons fresh dill, finely chopped
    1 – 2 tablespoons fresh basil, julienned
    1/4 cup raw pecans, chopped
    1 – 2 tabelspoons raw sunflower seeds
    2 tablespoons dark raisins

    extra virgin olive oil
    fresh lemon juice
    wheat-free tamari (I use San-J)
    agave syrup
    sea salt
    freshly ground pepper

    For the salad: Wash and spin the swiss chard until dry. Repeat with Asian greens (can use mesclun mix). Peel and roughly cut the avocado. Add to greens in salad bowl and mush with your hands until the avocado has coated the greens. I know, it’s weird, but trust me, it works. It softens the greens, especially the chard AND it helps the dressing bind to the greens. Plus, it’s delicious!

    Put into salad bowl along with other ingredients. Toss to combine.

    For the dressing:
    Combine ingredients and whisk. Pour over salad. Mix well.



    Notice, the recipe for Swiss Chard Salad is completely raw. No, I haven’t completely gone over to the raw side, but I’m trying to incorporate more and more raw into my diet. It’s so easy to eat gluten free when you eat raw (for the most part). And here’s the thing – yesterday, just because it was really hot and I didn’t want to heat up the kitchen or even go near the grill, I decided to eat almost completely raw for the whole day. I’ve been a little afraid to do that because I figured I wouldn’t get enough to eat and I thought I’d end up going to bed hungry or wake up at 3 AM famished. Completely the opposite. I felt fantastic all day. Sated and satisfied and never too full. Here’s what my food day looked like, just in case you’re interested.

    Muesli consisting of chopped pecans, sunflower seeds, chopped hazelnuts, chopped almonds, chopped cashews, unsweetened grated coconut, diced crystallized ginger, raisins, diced dried mango, chopped fresh fuji apple, vanilla almond milk

    Lunch: Tomato Juice, Leftover green salad with leftover cold diced sauteed tamari tofu (not raw), gluten free croutons (not raw) and salad dressing

    Snack: 1/2 cantaloupe

    Dinner: Swiss Chard Salad

    Bon Appetit!

    { 10 comments… read them below or add one }

    Sea July 28, 2007 at 11:19 am

    I love how some of my favorite GF bloggers are experimenting with raw foods right now. 🙂 It’s a great season for it, I have to admit. So a raw challenge, huh? I’m up for it!



    Ellen July 28, 2007 at 12:10 pm

    Hi Sea,

    Can’t wait to see what you come up with! Wish I could be there to try it with you – we’ll be in California in February for work – maybe we can work out a visit:)


    Lori August 1, 2007 at 11:21 am

    I took the challenge, although I didn’t go raw.
    You can check out my recipe at


    It was fun!


    fitline August 5, 2007 at 8:41 pm


    I was actually thinkin if you could also explain the recipes for some of your food menus 😉

    doing good anywayz Ellen


    Slightly Off Balance August 7, 2007 at 7:59 pm

    Hello! Nice to meet you! This salad sounds fantastic! You’re right… it’s easier to be GF when you’re raw. Of course, there’s four of us who have to be GF in the house (that would be 4:4), so… we have to be GF anyway, lol. I’d have loved to have more children… a full quiver is certainly a blessing! But, ah well, G-d had other plans. And I’m happy with my two…my two who sometimes ‘think’ they’re five kids (little balls of energy, they).

    Hrmmm… nothing else I can think of, except that I’m guessing you’re Jewish?

    I’m from Jewish extraction myself, so it’s always nice to ‘know’ someone similar, at least culturally. *g*

    Glad you commented me, and lookign forward to getting to know you better!


    Mike Eberhart August 16, 2007 at 3:35 pm

    That all sounds so wonderful and healthy. I’d certainly eat it.


    Cindy August 23, 2007 at 12:01 pm

    This looks great! Thanks for the idea.

    I have to confess that all of my recipes are ‘without a net’- I don’t use any written recipes, just titles as ideas for dishes. I am really too lazy to carefully measure anything or closely follow directions; in fact, every time I screwed something up was when I did try to follow a recipe (how’s that for self confidence?) 🙂


    Anonymous May 29, 2008 at 1:58 am

    Check out this new salad dressing – Gluten-free, preservative-free, salt-free, and very low in oil.

    Quite a hit!!


    Mary Biederstadt August 8, 2009 at 5:28 am

    Hi. Came here looking for a way to eat swiss chard. It's so beautiful, and full of good health, but I can't get over the taste. It tastes like dirt to me! Does that ever happen to you with your salad? The only way I can eat it is in my very spicey hot and sour soup. But if you cook it, maybe you get rid of the health properties? I guess it's always gotta be something! I just started reading stuff about GF, but there is somthing else you might want to look out for concerning your digestive health. Check out http://www.mystretchedbody.blogspot.com


    Adventures in Dressmaking July 12, 2010 at 11:17 am

    Thanks for the delicious recipe! My CSA sent me swiss chard and I only knew how to use it cooked, but have been raw vegan for the past 6 months and want to make it raw.
    Raw food is very filling, way more so than cooked food if you make an interesting variety of it!
    If you want to try out being raw, make sure the nuts you mentioned in your breakfast were raw–cashews and almonds are almost never actually raw even when they say they are since they are pasteurized, unless you can find them at a specialty store. And almond milk is not raw unless you make it yourself (with raw almonds). Thanks again for the great recipe!


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