Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Oh My Chard

Awhile back, some of my family came in from out of town and brought me a super thoughtful gift - tons of homegrown rainbow chard!

Isn't it pretty?!

I washed it all and then cut out the thickest parts of the stems before putting the leaves into Ziploc bags with damp paper towels and storing it in the fridge.  In my experience, this helps greens to stay fresh and crisp longer.  I'm also much more likely to eat greens if they're already washed and ready to go.

Check out the size of that leaf!  Bigger than my head - crazy.

I had so much chard, so I had to come up with different ways to use it.  I used some in a smoothie, and I made an (unpictured) wrap with a chard leaf, turkey lunch meat, and tomato slices to take with me on a car trip.  And an obvious use is to put it in a salad.  I mixed chard with spinach, beets, tomatoes, lentils, green bell pepper, artichoke hearts, salsa, and homemade guacamole for a Mexican-ish salad.

A lot of my salad fixin's were from Trader Joe's - the prepared lentils, marinated artichoke hearts, salsa, and a new-to-me item:  pre-steamed baby beets.  I just love the convenience, and they're actually reasonably priced.

I also tried sauteing some chard for dinner and added it to a grain bowl.  I put a little bit of olive oil in a pan and heated it up, then threw in a couple of chopped garlic cloves and sliced raw almonds.  Once the garlic and almonds had browned a bit, I added some torn up chard to the pan.

Meanwhile, I put some prepared quinoa and lentils in a bowl for the base of my dish.

I stirred the chard around in the pan periodically until it wilted.  I love the smell of garlic and almonds browning in the olive oil!

I added all of the chard mixture on top of the quinoa and lentil mixture.

I also roasted a sweet potato and some zucchini (tossed in olive oil and dried rosemary, baked at 375* for 30 minutes, turned after 15 minutes).

I added some of the roasted veggies to my dish and voila, dinner was ready!  The leftover roasted veggies were a welcome addition to the salad I made for lunch the next day.

I tried another new-to-me kombucha recently - Reed's lemon ginger raspberry.  I liked the flavor, but I still prefer Synergy kombucha.

I also finally tried one of the new Larabar ubers- I really liked the roasted nut roll flavor.  I also had the cherry cobbler flavor, but I didn't like it quite as much.  Overall I still prefer the original Larabars due to their extremely short ingredients list.

Aaaaand I finally tried Magnum ice cream bars.  Super delicious.  I'm a sucker for good marketing, and those commercials with Rachel Bilson walking over cars in a traffic jam to get to a Magnum ice cream truck definitely made me want to try these.  I just got the original vanilla bean flavor, but I want to try more/ all of them :)  Oh and they were on sale, so it was pretty much meant to be, right?  I thought so.

I mentioned how many of my salad ingredients I get from Trader Joe's, but I love shopping for lots of things there - this big bouquet of flowers was only $10!  I got them for my great aunt for her 90th birthday.  And I found a new use for my cup holder.

I spotted a baby fawn and its mom!  So cute.

I've been a bad blogger lately, but I've got lots more to share so I should be posting again soon.  Hope you're all enjoying your summer - I seriously cannot believe it's August.  I'm not ready to go back to school yet!

Song of the day:

Please allow me to indulge my inner teeny bopper with this song selection - "Some Days" by The Maine.  I was slightly obsessed with this band in a fan-girl way for a little while, but they kind of fell off my radar until recently.  I just got their latest album, Pioneer, and listened to it about 10 times while I was driving to and from DC this past weekend.  It made me nostalgic for the music I used to listen to during the summer when I was in high school.

I was never into boy bands like 'NSYNC or Backstreet Boys, but I did love Hanson and some other kind of cheesy bands.  I just read that Taylor Hanson (my favorite brother, now 29 years old) is expecting his FIFTH child with his wife.  Um, whoa.


    2) " I'm a sucker for good marketing, and those commercials with Rachel Bilson walking over cars in a traffic jam to get to a Magnum ice cream truck definitely made me want to try these. " <----- HAHAHA! That's totally what i think of too! I havent tried those bars but would love to!!

    3) what a sweet gift for your great aunt!

    4) I'm headed to TJ's today!! :D


  2. That salad looks so good! How cool that you see deer!

  3. Chard bigger then your head WOW! Thanks for the tip I hate when I figure out what I want to do with fresh greens to find them wilted away in the fridge! Thanks for the great tip :) Love and Shine CourtStar

  4. I am pleased to nominate you for the Sunshine Award for blogging. Please go to http://www.sweetwaterburke.com/2012/09/08/ask-and-you-shall-receive/ to learn more about this award. Understand there is no pressure for you to accept the award. It is simply my way of passing on some positivity. Best wishes for continued success.