For DR-Dad’s birthday, we went a silent retreat. Luckily, he wasn’t offended that I volunteered to spend time with him as long as he didn’t talk. (Kidding!)
We really did go on a silent retreat though. It was only one day, thankfully, because DR-Dad doesn’t exactly have a career as a monk ahead of him. At one point, he ran around the room shouting “I just LOVE these socks!!!” Yep, that happened. At a silent retreat. Anyone who hadn’t grown up with this man might have been embarrassed.
One great thing came out of the retreat though (besides quality time, of course). This stew. It was served at lunch, and the woman who ran the retreat was kind enough to give me the recipe. It is the perfect fall sunday dinner. I’m packing up the leftovers now for lunch.
Weekend Vegetable Stew, adapted from Veggiyana Cookbook
-8 cups vegetable broth
-2 cups water
-1/2 cup pearled barley
-1/2 yellow split peas
-1/4 cup white beans (I used baby lima beans)
-1/2 cup dried mushrooms (I used shitake, but any will work!)
-1 T thyme
-1 t cumin
-1/2 t coriander
-1 t marjoram
-2 t salt, divided
-1 T celery seeds
-1 bay leaf
-3 medium carrots
-2 roma tomatoes
-1 cup frozen corn kernels
-1 cup frozen peas
-6 kale and/or swiss chard leaves (I used a combination)
-1/2 cup canned pumpkin
-1/4 t paprika
-1/2 t pepper
In a big ol’ pot, add your water and broth, split peas, barley, beans, mushrooms, thyme, cumin, coriander, marjoram, 1 t salt, celery seeds, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to medium. Cover and cook for an hour.
Ok, its so ridiculously hot in Chicago that:
- We just got back from a walk where I ran through an open fire hydrant. Yes, we’re classy like that.
- The Huz broke down and turned on the air conditioning.
- I can’t stand the additional heat generated by the grill.
So, we went semi-raw for dinner tonight: Swiss chard wraps!
Swiss chard wraps, serves 2
-6 swiss chard leaves, stems cut
-2 cups carrot, shredded
-1 bell pepper, very thinly sliced
-1 avocado, sliced
Lay out your shard. If the middle vein of your chard is really thick, you might think about cutting it out to make it easier to eat. Ours were fairly thin (as you can see from the picture above), so I left them in.
Wrap ‘em up and seal with a toothpick!
*Yes, I went there. This blog post title is for B. Hopefully she’s reading or else I just lost all my female readers with the world’s first Swiss chard/fart joke for nothing.
I had some swiss chard in the fridge that was starting to get a little wilted. Did you know that if your greens are getting wilty you can trim the stems and throw them in a glass of water and they’ll perk right up? I swear these were wilted before I left for work, and after a few hours in water they were good as new!
Point being, it was time do something with these suckers. So I consulted my new favorite cookbook, Power Foods. Seriously, if you need a new cookbook, this thing is amazeballs. Really simple recipes with no weird ingredients.
Swiss chard, mushroom, asparagus and quinoa dinner, adapted from Power Foods
2 c water
1 c quinoa
2 T olive oil
2 bunches swiss chard, washed and a little bit wet
2 garlic cloves, sliced
1 bunch asparagus (I had very thin asparagus, you might add the asparagus earlier if yours is thick)
16 oz cremini mushrooms
2 t fresh thyme
2 oz grated parmesan (optional topping)
Add quinoa to a small saucepan and cover with water, bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer and cover until quinoa is cooked and all liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and set aside.
Meanwhile, cut your swiss chard into about 1/2 inch strips (including the stems), and slice mushrooms thinly.
Add 1 T olive oil to a large saucepan and cook chard until it becomes wilted and tender. I actually had so much swiss chard at first that I had to cook mine in two batches since I didn’t have a pot big enough! It takes about 6-8 minutes for the chard to wilt, so you have time to do two batches while the mushrooms are cooking. Season chard with salt and pepper and set aside.
Add remaining 1 T olive oil to a skillet, then add garlic. Stir for 2 minutes until garlic is golden. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally until they are almost cooked through, then add asparagus. Cook about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Once asparagus and mushrooms are cooked through, season with salt and pepper. Add quinoa and thyme, stirring for about a minute.
To serve: divide chard among plates and top with quinoa/asparagus/mushroom mixture. Sprinkle parmesan on top and enjoy!
Now, wanna guess what I had for dessert?
(topped with unsweetened coconut flakes and banana – almost enough to curb my sweet tooth!)