On the Side: Swiss Chard Stir-Fry with Pine Nuts and Balsamic Butter

Squash and pumpkin recipes to round out your Thanksgiving spread plus a loot at National Diabetes Month

Stir-fried Swiss Chard with Pine Nuts and Balsamic Butter

This month, the Historic Lewes Farmers Market featured this recipe by Chef Susie Middleton on its website. I will be honest: I had never heard about Swiss chard until I was in my 20s. And you would never guess where I heard about it—“Sesame Street.” I was interning with Children’s Television Workshop at the time and Big Bird was being asked to improvise lists of vegetables with first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton. Am I showing my age? So Big Bird mentions Swiss chard and I laughed because I thought he was making it up. The joke was on me, but perhaps you can enjoy this delicious side dish on your Thanksgiving dinner table.


1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon dark brown sugar
12 ounces ‘Bright Lights’ Swiss chard (do not trim)
1 tablespoon peanut oil
3 tablespoons pine nuts
kosher salt
2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic
1 tablespoon unsalted butter

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1. In a small bowl, combine the balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, and dark brown sugar.

2. Pull or cut the stems away from the chard leaves. Cut or rip the leaves into 2- to 3-inch pieces and wash and dry them well. Rinse the stems and slice them crosswise into 1/4-inch pieces.

3. Heat the peanut oil in a large (12-inch) nonstick stir-fry pan over medium heat.

When the oil is hot (it will loosen and spread out), add the pine nuts and cook, stirring almost constantly, until they’re all lightly browned, 1 to 2 minutes. Watch carefully, because they brown quickly. Remove the pan from the heat and use a slotted spoon or spatula to transfer the pine nuts to a heatproof plate or pan, leaving behind as much fat as possible.

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4. Return the pan to the heat, add the chard stems and a pinch of salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until shrunken and beginning to brown lightly, about 5 minutes. (They will begin to crackle in the pan as moisture evaporates.) Add the garlic and stir-fry just until fragrant, a few seconds. Add all of the chard leaves and 1/4 teaspoon of salt and, using tongs, toss the chard leaves in the pan just until wilted (30 to 45 seconds).

5. Scrape the balsamic mixture into the pan, stir, and remove the pan from the heat. Add the butter and toss and stir until it’s melted. Fold in half of the pine nuts. Transfer the chard (including all the stems and liquid) to a small serving bowl and garnish with the remaining pine nuts.

Serves 2 to 3

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November is National Diabetes Month

It’s quite amazing how much coverage a disease can get in the media when a celebrity reveals a diagnosis. Recently, Tom Hanks disclosed his diagnosis of diabetes on the “Late Show with David Letterman” and the topic was trending in the top 10 searches for days. Although it’s unfortunate news, this hike in awareness should serve as a nice launching point for this particular community, as November is National Diabetes Month.

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According to the Delaware Diabetes Coalition (DDC), 70,000 Delawareans have been diagnosed with diabetes. We’re a small state with a great track record for advocacy, so I looked into how Delaware observes this national awareness initiative.

The DDC was formed in 1994 and is comprised of healthcare professionals from physicians to pharmacists, dietitians, educators, and representatives from the public, private and nonprofit health sectors. Their expertise brought them together to collaborate on efforts to increase awareness and quality of patient care for this growing population in our state. As part of its work over the years, the coalition established state standards of care, developed community guides as resource materials and launched its annual expo.

“The coalition is dedicated to making sure those who live with diabetes have what they need,” says Betsy Wheeler, executive director of the Delaware Diabetes Coalition. “The coalition primed the pump for national standards development by focusing on guidelines for prevention, hospitalization, emergency situations and outpatient care.”

Anyone living with a chronic disease will tell you there is a lot of information out there to read and absorb. The beauty of statewide offerings like this one is the resources can come to life and the diabetes community can engage in real discussion and ask questions. A celebrity opening up about a diagnosis can only do so much—it’s the community that has to continue the conversation. 

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Super Squash

Pumpkins and winter squash have long shelf lives, and can last for months if kept in the proper conditions. That means you can still eat them after Halloween and Thanksgiving have passed. But best of all, they’re super-healthy. We asked foodies around Delaware to share their recipes for using those extra pumpkins and squash this fall, and here are a few of their favorites. (more)

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Health Events

Tuesday, Nov. 26
Beebe Medical Center Integrative Health’s Laughter Yoga
Location  Epworth Methodist Church, 19285 Holland Glade Road, Rehoboth Beac
Time  3 p.m. to 4 p.m.
More info  645-3528

Thursday, Nov. 28
35th annual PNC Thanksgiving Day Run/Walk for Multiple Sclerosis
Location  PNC Bank Center, 222 Delaware Ave., Wilmington
Time  (registration 8 a.m. to 10:15 a.m.) Delaware Running Company 10K Run: 9 a.m.; Kiddie Fun Run: 10 a.m.; Highmark Delaware 5K Run: 10:30 a.m.; 5K Non-Competitive Walk: 10:35 a.m.
More info  www.msrunwalk.org.

Monday, Dec. 2
Bayhealth’s Blood Pressure Clinic
Location  Bayhealth Neurosurgery, Suite 100A, 540 S. Governors Ave., Dover
Time  9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
More info  744-7135 or (877) 453-7107

To submit your health-related event, email shari@shortanswerconsulting.com

Our Best of Delaware Elimination Ballot is open through February 22!

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