Savory Swiss Chard Pie

by on June 1, 2009
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Savory Swiss Chard PieThis year I got a little ambitious with my summer garden plans, and as a result, nothing’s really as it should be. By this time of year, I’m normally harvesting the first tomatoes and seeing the promising beginnings of eggplants and okra, but because I decided to try to grow heirloom varieties from seed this year, my tomatoes are just now starting to sport their first tiny fruits, my eggplants are still less than a foot tall, and my okra…well, okra seedlings must be the tastiest thing in the world to the insect kingdom because all of mine were eaten as soon as they dared poke their little heads above ground.

But while my summer garden is still in its early stages, my winter garden is finally coming into its own. Back in January when I planted my summer seeds in trays in my kitchen window, I took a chance and sprinkled some bok choy, mizuna, and rainbow chard seeds in the garden and in some large pots outdoors. For some reason, the seeds sown in the garden failed to thrive, but the ones I planted in pots did well. I’ve already harvested the last of the bok choy and mizuna, but the chard took its time.

Rainbow Chard

Finally, operating under the theory that organically-grown chard clumped together in a pot will never get as big as the grocery store variety, I decided that it was time to harvest the biggest leaves. Using kitchen shears, I carefully cut the largest of the white, yellow, pink, and vibrant red stalks, leaving the smaller ones to become, perhaps, a second harvest. Morning is the best time to harvest chard, before the heat has caused it to wilt, so as soon as I had my bundle of chard–almost a pound–I whisked it off to be used right away, before any of its nutrients could begin to dissipate.

I could have just sautéed it as a side dish, but I really wanted my precious chard to be the star of a main dish. I also wanted my daughter to eat some of it, and given her current aversion to green leafy vegetables, I knew I stood a better chance of overcoming her objections if the chard was mixed with ingredients she likes. I briefly considered adding it to lasagna–and I’m sure that E would have been all over that–but I wanted to be able to taste the chard, not have its flavor lost in a sea of other ingredients. In the end, I opted to make a quiche-type pie, one of E’s other favorite dishes. And it worked! Despite the very strong chard flavor of the pie, E granted the recipe 5 out of 5 crumbs on her rating scale and went back for seconds. Unfortunately, the recipe makes only four servings, so we had to divide that last piece three ways!

Savory Swiss Chard Pie

Savory Swiss Chard Pie

(printer-friendly version)

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces ( 340 g) chard
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 12 ounces (349 g) lite firm or extra-firm silken tofu (1 package Mori-Nu), drained
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) plain soy milk
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 tablespoon potato starch or cornstarch
  • 1 heaping tablespoon (1/2 ounce or 15 g) raw cashews (optional)*
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon turmeric
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • 1 pinch nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves (or 1 tsp. dried)

Instructions

Preheat oven to 375F. Spray a 9-inch ceramic pie pan lightly with non-stick spray.

Wash the chard but do not dry. Remove the center stem from each leaf. Set the leaves aside and chop the stems into small pieces. In a large skillet, sauté the onion and chard stems until softened (about 5 minutes), adding a tablespoon of water if necessary to prevent sticking.

Rainbow Chard

Meanwhile, cut the chard leaves into bite-sized pieces. Add them to the pan along with the garlic, reduce heat, and cover. Cook until all chard is wilted. Remove from heat. If any water has accumulated, drain it; then spread chard in bottom of prepared pie pan.

Place tofu and remaining ingredients in a blender, and puree until very smooth. Pour over the chard in the pie pan. Use a spoon to gently open holes through the chard so that the tofu mixture penetrates it. Smooth the top so that tofu layer is even and covers all the chard.

Bake for 30 minutes, or until center is set. Remove from oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

Preparation time: 20 minute(s)

Cooking time: 40 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 4

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1/4 of a recipe (8.3 ounces). With cashews:
Recipe Nutrition
Percent daily values are based on the Reference Daily Intake (RDI) for a 2000 calorie diet.

Though MyPoints are calculated using a formula similar to Weight Watchers Points TM, this site has no affiliation with Weight Watchers and does not guarantee the accuracy of this information.

*Without cashews, one serving provides 96 calories and 1.28 calories from fat (11% calories from fat).

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{ 33 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Acai Berry Reviews September 9, 2009 at 1:34 pm

Great post and at 25 I'm finally seeing the need to watch what I eat.

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2 Anonymous September 9, 2009 at 8:39 pm

When I made this the ingredients you put in the blender were not liquidy at all, and it sounds like in the recipe that you are supposed to be able to "pour" it out onto the swiss chard. This wasn't the case. It was very thick and globby. It is supposed to do this? What did I do wrong?

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3 SusanV September 9, 2009 at 8:54 pm

Anonymous, it should have been pourable, or at least spoonable. Did you use silken tofu and the soymilk? When it's blended really well, silken tofu usually thins out, so I don't know what could have happened with your batch.

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4 Heather K. October 4, 2009 at 5:47 pm

I tried your recipe tonight and thought it was great! I added some cooked potatoes which gave it a little more bulk. Thank you!

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5 Jenner October 30, 2009 at 12:42 am

I just made this for dinner and I am eating it as we speak (type) and it is so yummy, savory and everything I hoped it to be. Thank you so much for sharing the recipe.

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6 ms.min November 29, 2009 at 10:45 pm

I made this tonight for my non-veg. family and they LOVED it. I'm happy to have a recipe for MY food they find appealing. I used beet greens instead of chard, since that is what was "ready" in my garden today. I'll definitely make this recipe again and again. My daughter said a pizza crust base would be nice…I'm thinking also maybe some kind of mashed potato mixture would make a nice platform/base for the other veggies…you could do both of these with little to no fat (unlike a traditional pie crust–which would be lovely, but not what we're after here). Great job, Susan! You are an inspiration!

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7 Anonymous February 6, 2010 at 12:45 pm

Keep up the great posts!

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8 Kellyzkool February 28, 2010 at 7:21 pm

I made this today with beet greans and it was sooo good! Susan, you are an inspiration. Since I became a vegan this year it's like I'm learning to cook all over again. This is the best tasting dish I've made as well as a wonderful use of tofu. My Mom loved it too and she has resisted my tofu up to now.

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9 Shams April 27, 2010 at 2:13 pm

Wow – what a great recipe! I used arrowroot powder instead of one of the starches because it’s what I had on hand. I had some bok choy that I incorporated, as well. Thank you so much for posting this!

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10 LindsayH May 5, 2010 at 2:43 am

I remember seeing this recipe last year. I had planned on making it with the OODLES of organic fresh-from-the-garden swiss chard I had received from my in laws (whose thumbs are much greener than mine), but alas, I never got to the chard in time. I was sick and pregnant, it just didn’t happen.

But this time, I went out and bought chard, probably a tiny bit out of season, just to make this recipe. And let me tell you, I am so glad that I did!!! IT IS DELICIOUS. I love all your recipes with the baked tofu and nutritional yeast combos. They always make me feel like I am eating something completely sinful but yet, I look at the nutritional info and it’s quite healthy and low fat. I’m convinced you might be some sort of genius.

In any case, I can’t thank you enough for this one, Susan. Totally rocked my socks.

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11 Sara May 18, 2010 at 12:04 pm

I made this last night and it was amazing. It tasted like it came from a fancy vegetarian restaurant. I am excited to try more of your recipes- what took me so long?!

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12 Jill June 3, 2010 at 11:16 pm

Wow! We made this tonight and it was surprisingly delicious! Thank you so much for these recipes! I never would have thought to put this together. I am newly vegan and your recipes are an inspiration!

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13 Dani August 4, 2010 at 11:47 am

This sounds great and I would LOVE to try it tonight (with beet greens). I’m just wondering if you think it could be done in the microwave. It’s WAY to hot to turn on the oven today!
Thanks

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14 SusanV August 5, 2010 at 12:57 pm

I’ve never tried it in the microwave, but you could give it a try and see. :)

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15 Lucie October 17, 2010 at 9:56 pm

We made this recipe yesterday and LOVED it! Our 16 month old son has many food allergies, including gluten, corn, milk, eggs, meats, and fish. We’ve been learning gluten-free, corn-free vegan cooking so that we can all have family meals. We joined a co-op, found red chard in our box, and found your recipe through a google search. I really appreciated how easy the pie was to make. The best part was our son loved this recipe! He kept asking for more (“Would you like more?” “Pie.”). As a bonus, the pie was also the perfect texture for someone just mastering the use of a spoon. We added a little olive oil to the chard, because at his age, he’s in need of the added fat. We are definitely going to look around your site for more recipes. Thank you for the gift of a delicious meal!

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16 diame c nichols December 5, 2010 at 1:00 pm

i love swiss pie

diane cnichols

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17 Ruby March 8, 2011 at 4:01 pm

I just made this and it’s so good! I used mini tart pans instead because it’s what I had, I’m not really sure how long I cooked it but probably less time than indicated. Great way to use up a bunch of chard.

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18 Get Skinny, Go Vegan. March 14, 2011 at 10:03 pm

Can’t wait for the greens to start growing this year!

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19 Rita June 1, 2011 at 10:10 am

Hooray! Looking for something special for my birthday dinner and now I found it. Mine will use rocket as it’s taking over out there in the garden and a heap of herbs, but I don’t know what nutritional yeast is. I hope it won’t be detremental if I omit it???

Thanks for saving the day again!

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20 Kumquat June 28, 2011 at 10:44 am

I just made this for the family and it was a huge hit! I made it without garlic and nutritional yeast (2 things on my long list of allergens to avoid for several months) and it still turned out great and very tasty. My top “crust” didn’t turn out as crusty looking as yours…looked more like a tofu scramble…probably because instead of whizzing it all in the blender, I let my daughter mush it all with her hands for several minutes. Again, though, super yummy, I’ll definitely be making this again. Thank you for the wonderful recipe!

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21 Adrienne N July 1, 2011 at 6:39 am

Mine was also not pourable after blending the remaining ingredients. I did not use Silken brand tofu. So, I added a little water and got it to a texture that poured slowly. Turned out great! Also, didn’t have any plant milk, so used beer – yum. For those who generally use less or almost no salt, the 3/4 t called for here was a bit strong. Also, thyme can easily overpower the flavor of food for me, so I went with 1/2 t dried thyme, instead of 1t., and got just the right flavor for me. It all worked out great. Can’t wait to make again.

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22 Elizabeth August 11, 2011 at 2:19 pm

This is SUCH a great recipe because it’s so fast and also ridiculously adaptable. I didn’t have swiss chard on hand and my hubby is a big eater. The first time I made this, I made it with kale and other veggies instead. The second and every other time, I made 1.5 times the sauce, added a cup of cooked spaghetti and sauteed mushrooms, onions, carrots, etc (whatever I had in my fridge). It comes out amazing every time, and with the pasta and the mushrooms, it always reminds me a bit of chicken tetrazzini, which used to be one of my favorite dishes before I became vegan.

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23 Laina September 14, 2011 at 8:01 pm

Hi Susan,

To be honest, this is my first-time try at Swiss Chard. I was a little apprehensive, but I’ve been trying new veggies and have been enjoying almost everything.

As I sauteed, I thought, “oh no” because the aroma of the stems reminded me of beets and for some reason I just don’t like them.

I baked this pie and allowed it to cool for 10 minutes and cut a piece. I didn’t really like the flavor. I forced myself to finish my piece (1/4 of the pie) :). The swiss chard seemed to overwhelm the dish. So I left it on the counter to completely cool.

A couple hours later I realized I forgot to put it in the fridge. I wasn’t sure if I was going to toss it or give it another try.

Well I took another bite and it was so delicious. Maybe the flavors melded better after it cooled a bit, I dunno, but I will definitely be making this again.

So I went from Eww to YUM all in the space of a couple hours. Now I’m really bummed because I went 40 miles to buy some collad, kale and bok choy to plant in my garden. There was swiss chard and I thought, ‘no way.’ Now I wish I had bought some. :)

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24 Nicole Fallen January 6, 2012 at 11:48 pm

This recipe is a keeper! We follow Dr. Fuhrman’s recommendations, so we used a little carrot juice for some of the (unsweetened) soy milk, and used no salt. Also, I don’t particularly care about tasting the chard, so we also added bok choi, leeks, and portobello mushrooms (to get more of thenecessary food groups in ;)) to the chard and used a 9.5 inch pie pan. We also subbed arrowroot for the starch, and used a nut/tofu/cornmeal crust, because I had one left over from New Years, which was why I looked for this recipe. Anyway, your recipe was robust enough to stand up to all the changes, easy to follow, and DELICIOUS! It was even better the second day! Thank you so much!

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25 lea February 29, 2012 at 2:13 pm

I found some beautiful organic swiss chard at our local health food store and I knew I had to try this recipe! I did not have any cashews so I substituted tahini to provide some richness. Absolutely delicous! This was my first time trying swiss chard and I will definitely be eating it again. I really loved the tofu and spice combination – tasted even better than I remember standard eggy quiche tasting. I did eat about a third of the pie in one serving, but hey, a girls gotta eat. Thanks Susan!

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26 Thich nu Tinh Quang June 5, 2012 at 3:54 pm

Just planted my tomatoes today, so I envy you that you can harvest this early. This recipe looks great and I can’t wait to try it.

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27 Vicky (Sweet and Healthy Living) June 5, 2012 at 4:08 pm

Yum, this looks delicious! I love swiss chard and nothing beats homegrown!

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28 Wendy June 5, 2012 at 5:34 pm

Anyway to make this without soy(tofu)? Looks amazing!

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29 Chanine June 7, 2012 at 11:11 pm

Made this tonight but used kale I had in stead of chard & then added halved grape tomatoes to the cooked kale mixture. It was so good! Actually looking at the recipe again I forgot to add the cornstarch but my blended mixture cooked perfectly. Thanks for sharing :)

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30 tricia January 2, 2013 at 2:02 pm

If I take out the salt added to this, can I use this for a breakfast in the 6 week eat to live program? I know there is supposed to be no salt. Also, what would you recommend (spice-wise) to replace it? If it couldn’t be used, could you recommend something non-sweet for an eat-to-live breakfast? I can’t do very sweet in the am. Thanks, Susan! As always, I love your blog and recipes. Your cranberry sauce and green bean casserole are staples of my holiday entertaining and even my non-vegan guests rave!

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31 Justine February 14, 2013 at 3:20 pm

Wow! I just popped this in the oven & I can’t wait for my family try it. I had a small taste of the tofu mixture and its out of this world. I didn’t have Swiss chard so I substituted the beet greens like others have commented.
I made the switch to vegetarian 6 months ago, then I pick up “Eat to Live” a few weeks ago, which brought me to your blog. Thanks for all you do. It’s like I’m learning a learning a new way to cook at 40. I like that you include the calorie count too.

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32 wonderousandstrange July 15, 2013 at 1:58 pm

Thank you for all the wonderful recipies. I made this last night and my husband, who is a big meat eater, loved it. High praise indeed. I am going to enjoy the last slice for lunch with a bowl of your cabbage soup.

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33 Jcb September 4, 2014 at 5:40 am

Made this last week and it is a winner. Going to have it again tomorrow with half beet greens, half chard to use up what is in my fridge.

Thank you for all the great recipes.

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