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Lucky Rainbow Chard Pesto

Tired of slush and chill? Fed up with greens braised, steamed, and boiled? Find happiness with Lucky Rainbow Chard Pesto. In just ten minutes, you can whirl up a rainbow-flecked green sauce that can go low fat or no fat. Toss it with hot pasta or potatoes or use as a spread on crackers or sandwiches. The flavor is rich but slightly less bitter than Parsley Pesto, making it my new winter favorite. Make your own luck by saving 1550 calories, 415 grams of fat, and about $8.60 with this low-fat, plant-strong recipe too. That's 94 calories, 52 grams of fat, and about $1.08 per serving without compromising flavor! See notes below.

 low-fat, plant-strong Lucky Rainbow Chard Pesto works as a spread

Active time: 10 minutes. Total time: 10 minutes. Yield: 8 servings.


  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 bunch rainbow chard (about 7 ounces)
  • 1 cup walnut pieces
  • 1/4 cup water, ideally hot water from boiling noodles or potatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast (nooch), optional
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (optional)
  • more salt and pepper to taste


  1. Turn on a food processor fitted with a stainless steel blade or a blender and drop in peeled garlic. Stop the machine when garlic stops bouncing around.

    rainbow Swiss chard has colorful stems that show many nutrients - eat the rainbow!

  2. Rinse chard well and trim off bottom quarter-inch of stalks. (All those colors show a wide range of nutritients. As the nutritionists say: eat the rainbow!) Stack leaves, roll long ways, and cut into two- or three-inch wide sections and put them into the food processor with walnuts, water, and salt. Stir with a spatula as needed so the machine can get a grip. Taste to see what the pesto is like without nooch and oil.
  3. Add nooch, process until combined, and taste again. Add up to two tablespoons olive oil. Pulse a few times to mix. Taste and adjust seasonings.
  4. Serve immediately tossed with hot pasta or potato chunks, instead of sour cream on a baked potato, or as a spread. Refrigerate within four hours. Best fresh, but can be frozen for up to a year.

    toss Rainbow Swiss chard pesto with whole-wheat noodles for a healthy, thrifty winter meal.


  • Even using both tablespoons of olive oil, this recipe uses fourteen tablespoons less oil than my Parsley Pesto from Wildly Affordable Organic.
  • My Parsley Pesto also calls for six ounces of grated Parmesan cheese, which has 162 calories and 11 grams of fat. Winter Rainbow Chard Pesto uses just 1/4 cup of nutritional yeast, which has just one half gram of fat and 45 calories.
  • You'll save about $4 in oil by going from a full cup to just two tablespoons. You'll save about $4.60 by going from Parmesan to nutritional yeast. Now that's lucky!


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