Spicy Kale And Swiss Chard Sauté From The Migraine Relief Plan


I did not grow up eating greens. I had to learn how to cook them, and truthfully, it took a while for me to develop a taste for them as an adult. They’re incredibly nutritious, so I now try to make some once a day, and I rotate which types we eat to balance out the nutrients they provide. This recipe is a wonderful introduction to greens, as it combines three types of flavorful oils to complement the greens, while the seeds provide textural crunch and extra protein. Cooked greens combined with a luscious fat make the nutrients more bio-available, too.

My nutrition background led me to create my book The Migraine Relief Plan, and when I was developing the recipes I wanted them both to feel familiar, and also to encourage people to try cooking a bit more at home and using more whole-foods ingredients.

Greens are a natural source of potassium, a key nutrient that’s usually short in our diets if we eat a lot of processed or packaged food. They’re also full of antioxidants, fiber, and other minerals. All the recipes in my book are anti-inflammatory, meaning they help reduce inflammation in the body. Since migraine is considered an inflammatory condition, eating this way helps you move away from your migraine threshold, hopefully reducing the number of attacks you experience.

I use spring onions in this recipe as regular onions can be a migraine trigger for people. Coconut oil is rich in medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), which have a beneficial effect on our brains, as does lauric acid.

When I was diagnosed with migraine and vertigo in 2014, I was having 3-5 migraine days a week, and had a headache every single day. I now have 1-2 migraine days per month (usually related to weather), and no daily headache. So the lifestyle changes, including food, have made a big impact for me.

On Saturday August 5 I’ll be making this recipe on Facebook Live and invite you to cook along with me!

12 PM PDT / 1 PM MDT / 2 PM CDT / 3 PM EDT

Serves 4

1 16 oz (500 g) bunch kale, thinly sliced

1 bunch (500 g) Swiss chard, thinly sliced

1 bunch (150 g) green onions (scallions, spring onions)

3 cloves garlic

1  jalapeño, optional

1 tablespoon (15 ml) ghee or coconut oil

1 tablespoon (15 ml) hot sesame oil

1 tablespoon (15 ml) dark toasted sesame oil

1 tablespoon raw sunflower seeds

1 tablespoon raw pumpkin seeds (pepitas)

1 tablespoon raw sesame seeds

  • Wash the greens, shake dry, then roll up in a towel to help blot the moisture.
  • Wash and thinly slice the onions after removing the roots and tips.
  • Peel and mince the garlic.
  • Wash and thinly slice the jalapeño, if using. (Wear gloves.)
  • If using Swiss chard, stack the leaves, then cut off the stems using a deep V cut. Thinly slice the stems and set aside separately. Thinly slice the green leaves.
  • Heat the ghee or coconut oil in the large frying pan or sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the onions, garlic, and jalapeño (if using) and sauté until golden, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the chard stems and cook another 3-4 minutes. Add the rest of the greens and a lid to help them wilt. Once they have wilted a bit, add both kinds of sesame oil, stirring to coat.
  • Add the seeds and continue to sauté, with the lid off, until cooked through, about 20 minutes total.

Reprinted with permission from The Migraine Relief Plan, © 2016 Stephanie Weaver. Published by Surrey Books, an imprint of Agate Publishing, Inc.

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