Wild Things Farm

  (Crab Orchard, Tennessee)
Farm life adventures of the Happy Hoer
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Quinoa with Chard and Chickpeas

Sometimes you run across a recipe that is sooooo good you can't stop eating the finished product.....this is one of those recipes.  I'm not a big fan of cooked greens, as a matter of fact I detest the texture of cooked greens.  BUT I know that greens are exceptionally good for us, especially when they aren't cooked to death, and this recipe doesn't completely kill the chard.

This recipe doesn't apply to that "detestment".

In a cookbook that I bought last year, "Wild About Greens" by Nava Atlas, there is a recipe for Swiss Chard with quinoa and chickpeas--sounded like a quick healthy meal to me so I fixed it for supper......the hardest part of the recipe is rinsing the quinoa (must get a smaller sieve).  Here goes!

1 cup quinoa, rinsed
1 vegetable boullion  cube (I used beef)
1 T extra virgin olive oil
1 cup cooked chickpeas
2-4 cloves garlic, minced
10-12 ounces chard, rinsed and sliced into ribbons (you can use the stems too, sliced thinly)
3-5 scallions, thinly sliced (I used walking onions)
1 tsp cumin
1/2 to 1  tsps seasoning salt (to taste) ike Mrs. Dash (I used Lawry's)

Combine the quinoa with bouillion cube and 2 cups water.  Bring to a simmer and cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until tender.  Meanwhile, in a skillet put the olive oil and sliced up walking onions and the drained garbanzo beans.  Saute until they start turning golden brown then add the garlic and saute until everything starts turning a nice caramel color.  Add the chard and 1/4 cup water and cover.  Cook for about 3-5 minutes or until chard is tender but still bright green (not that dark yuckky color of canned spinach).  When the chard is done, add the quinoa, seasoning salt cumin and stire together.  Heat for additional 2-3 minutes.

Oh my.




Greens and Barley Salad

It's amazing how many different flavors you can get from a bowl of greens.  During the winter there are assorted greens growing in the high tunnel and I'm always looking for different flavors to keep the greens interesting to the tastebuds.

The April issue of Better Homes and Gardens magazine had an interesting recipe that I tried yesterday.  The barley in the recipe is what really did the trick.

Greens and Barley Salad

4 cups assorted greens such as baby bok choy, endive, radicchio, and/or butter lettuce (Okay, I used spinach and baby Swiss chard--close enough :-))
1/2 head cauliflower, sliced into 1/2 inch slices
2 carrots, peeled and then sliced into ribbons with a peeler
1/2 cup cooked barley
1/4 cup lemon or lime juice (I used lime)
2 Tbsp honey
1 tsp paprika
1/8 tsp nutmeg (I didn't have any of this)
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 handful of toasted walnuts (you have to burn the 1st batch then do the second one perfectly)

In a large bowl combine the vegetables and barley.  I sort of kept the barley together on one side and the veggies on the other so I could taste them separately.  I also had a few cherry tomatoes that were "on their last leg" so I threw them in the bowl as well.

Mix the lemon or lime joice, honey, and the paprika, nutmeg and cayenne in a jar with a screw-top lid.  Shake well then pour over the greens and top with walnuts.  YUM!  This is a keeper.


Swiss Chard and Sweet Potato Fritters

We've spent most of our lives being told to "eat your vegetables" and now that we are, we're being told to "eat your green vegetables".  For years and years I tried to act as though I liked greens (spinach, turnip, chard, kale, mustard) in the cooked stage, but it was all an act.  Having been raised on canned food both at school and at home, greens were just a slimy mass that required vinegar poured on them to make them palatable enough (huh?) to go down.

In my opinion, anything that requires vinegar in order to make it palatable shouldn't be eaten anyway.  Enter fresh greens.......

Although I'm still struggling with the texture of a bowl of cooked, steamed sauteed or otherwise heated up greens, it is definitely getting better.  I actually lightly steamed/cooked some fresh kale in beef broth a couple of months ago and it was DELICIOUS!  I since haven't been able to duplicate the event.

The menu for supper was all lined out the other night, but something green was absent from the list, so I ventured into the garden, picked a small bunch of Swiss Chard, medium sized leaves, and headed back to the kitchen.

Here's the recipe:

9-10 leaves of Swiss Chard, medium size (about 2 cups cut into thin shreds)

2 small sweet potatoes (about 1-1/2 cups grated)

1 egg

1 Tablespoon oil

1 Tablespoon or so of flour 

a couple of teaspoons of honey

salt and pepper to taste

Put the oil in a large nonstick skillet and turn on medium heat.  Mix the grated sweet potato and shredded chard in a bowl and add the egg and flour, honey and salt and pepper.  Mix thoroughly.  Drop by big spoonfuls onto the pan (oil should sizzle when mixture is added) and mash out into fritters about 4" in diameter.  Let them cook on one side until browning and crispy then flip over and finish cooking on the other side.  Drain on paper towels and enjoy hot!  Actually, when I cleaned up the pan most of the oil was still in there.

Yet another yummy way to enjoy those all nutritious green veggies!



Basil pesto with spaetzle, beets and swiss chard

I've been scheming to prepare beets for supper, and there's an awful lot of beautiful basil coming in right now.  A quick look through the pantry and I found a partial container of spaetzle I had bought on a shopping trip with a friend who was reminiscing about how her Czech grandmother used to make spaeztle and green beans.

The beets are going to take longer to cook than the pesto or the spaetzle so I washed about five 1 to 1-1/2 inch beets and trimmed off the tops and the roots.  Put them in a microwave safe dish with a little water in the bottom for 5 minutes at a time until they are soft to touch--mine took about 9 minutes.  Take them out and let them cool a bit.  Meanwhile.....

Wash a small bunch of swiss chard and roughly chop.  Heat a small amount of olive oil in a skillet, throw in a tad of garlic then the chard.  Stir around until wilted down, add a little water and put a lid on until the chard is tender, about the time you're ready to eat this meal.  While the chard is steaming,

Wash and put a couple of handfuls of basil into a food processor.  Pour in about a tablespoon of olive oil, about 1/4 cup pine nuts, a couple cloves of garlic, salt and pepper to taste.  Puree till smooth and set this aside.  You've got water boiling for the spaetzle and now it's time to put the spaetzle in the water to cook.  While that's happening, peel the beets, cut them in half, and wash your hands immediately so the red will come off.

When the spaetzle is done, drain it and toss with the pesto.  Put the sliced, warm beets on the plate and cover with feta cheese (a wonderful taste combo).   Plate up the chard and sprinkle with acid of your choice (vinegar, lemon juice, etc.)   The best part of this meal is that the feta cheese tastes wonderful when it migrates over to the basil spaetzle AND when it stays on the beets.

Enjoy a quick and nutritious meal with fresh veggies!


"New Way" with Swiss Chard

I say "new way", but someone had to dream it up--I love Allrecipes.com and when I'm trying to find a different way to prepare a veggie that's the first place I look.  This recipe is Baked Swiss Chard with Feta Cheese and actually I bought some feta cheese last trip to the grocery store.  So, here goes:

1 bunch of Swiss Chard, stems and leaves separated

1 onion, chopped

4 large garlic cloves (I added this part and left them whole)

1 TBS olive oil

salt and pepper

2 TBS olive oil

4 oz crumbled feta cheese

Wash the swiss chard and tear the stems out of the leaves; put these in a bowl with chopped onion, peeled garlic cloves, and toss with 1 TBS olive oil.  Place on an oiled baking sheet in a 350 degree oven for about 15 minutes or until onion is starting to brown.

Toss the leaves in the 2 TBS olive oil (I only used 1 TBS here) and salt and pepper to taste.   Careful with the salt; the cheese is pretty salty in itself......Place the leaves on top of the stems and sprinkle with crumbled feta cheese (I only used 2 ounces instead of 4) and put the pan back in the oven for 15-20 minutes longer,


or until some of the leaves are starting to get crispy on the edges.


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