Recipe for Rainbow Chard and Roasted Yam Grain Bowl from Emily Lycopolus

When craving something fresh, but hearty, Emily Lycopolus Rainbow Chard and Roasted Yam Grain Bowl should be your go-to. Found in Cedar & Salt cookbook, this recipe focuses on local Vancouver Island ingredients that are both cozy and fresh. When you massage olive oil and lime juice into chard, it keeps the flavour fresh and bright. The radish and spelt berries both add richness to the texture of this dish. Farro or pearl barley are also tasty choices, and for a gluten-free option, replace the grain with quinoa.

Recipe for Rainbow Chard and Roasted Yam Grain Bowl

Rainbow Chard and Roasted Yam Grain Bowl

Serves 4


For Garlic yogurt sauce

  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • ¼ cup lime juice (2–3 limes)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • ½ tsp fine sea salt
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper

For Grain bowl

  • 1½ cups dried spelt berries
  • 3 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 2 small yams
  • 4 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 Tbsp lime juice, divided
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1½ cups cherry tomatoes
  • 1 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp chopped rosemary leaves
  • 4 stems and leaves of rainbow Swiss chard
  • 4 radishes


1. To make the garlic yogurt sauce, whisk together all the ingredients in a mixing bowl and refrigerate, uncovered, until ready to serve.

2. To make the grain bowl, rinse the spelt berries and place them in a saucepan with the stock. Bring to a rolling boil, uncovered, over medium-high heat. Turn down the heat to low, cover the pan with a lid, and simmer, covered, for 30–40 minutes, until the spelt berries are tender and soft but still meaty in texture.

3. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

4. Peel the yams and cut them into ½-inch cubes. Place them in a medium bowl and drizzle with 2 Tbsp of the oil, 5 tsp of the lime juice, and the cumin. Toss to coat well and then place on the prepared baking sheet. Place the tomatoes in a small bowl, drizzle them with 1 Tbsp of the oil, roll them around to coat them evenly, and add to the yams. Sprinkle the salt, pepper, and rosemary overtop.

5. Roast for 20 minutes, turn the yams and tomatoes so they brown evenly, and roast for another 15 minutes.

6. Chop the Swiss chard stems into small dice and slice the leaves into ribbons. Transfer to a medium bowl, drizzle with the remaining 1 Tbsp oil and 1 tsp lime juice, and massage well. Set aside. Thinly slice radishes and place them in a bowl of cold water to crisp up their texture and mellow their flavour.

7. Divide the spelt berries evenly between four bowls, top with yams, tomatoes, chard, and radishes, and dollop the garlic yogurt sauce on the side. Serve immediately and enjoy!

8. The salad is best eaten the day it’s made. The sauce will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.


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Demian is an Argentinian retired musician, avid gamer and editor for the Montréal Guardian, Toronto Guardian, Calgary Guardian and Vancouver Guardian websites.