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Lemon Rice With Spinach & Chard

lemon rice with greens

It was over 90 degrees in Bakersfield today, so I wanted something quick and fresh for dinner after a long hot afternoon in the garden. Two Early Girl tomato seedlings were being crowded by some neon chard, so I picked a large bowl of chard to give the tomatoes room to grow. I also grabbed a couple handfuls of spinach that was ready to pick.

april chard

freshly picked chard for dinner

Tonight I served this delicious lemony whole grains and greens side dish with a quick stir-fry of shrimp, snow peas, and spring peas. Check back tomorrow for the shrimp recipe.

Lemon Rice with Spinach & Chard


  • 1 bunch fresh greens - Rainbow Chard or Spinach (chopped, sliced, or shredded)
  • 2 to 4 cups whole grains - brown rice, quinoa, millet, or mixed (warm - freshly cooked or leftover)
  • 1 Medium lemon (zested and juiced)
  • 1 to 2 tablespoon olive or vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt (to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper (freshly ground)


  • 1/4 cup onion (finely chopped)
  • 1 clove garlic (minced)


We love these colorful stir-fried grains and greens, which make a terrific side dish or vegetarian main course. Proportions and measurements are adjustable to suit whatever you have on hand.

I use leftover brown rice or mixed grains, quickly warmed in the microwave -- our favorite combination is a blend of about 50% brown rice, and 25% each quinoa and millet. Any stir-fry style greens work great with this, so I use whatever is fresh in the garden. Try chard, kale, spinach, cabbage, bok choy, or a combination of two or more. If using colorful rainbow or neon chard, thinly slice the stems for crunch and color.

To add additional protein, top individual servings with a poached or fried egg.


Step 1 Warm leftover grains and set aside.
Step 2 Heat large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add oil and onions, saute approx. 1 minute.
Step 3 Add greens, and stir fry until wilted.
Step 4 Add garlic, 1/2 of lemon juice, 1/2 of lemon zest, and salt and pepper. Taste, adjust seasoning, and remove from heat.
Step 5 Add warm rice or grains mixture, toss gently, and taste. Add remaining lemon juice and lemon zest to taste, if desired. Serve immediately.


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