Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Quinoa, Swiss Chard and Feta

If you're tired of eating rice or potatoes - quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah) could be the healthy alternative for you.  It's high in protein, calcium, iron, has vitamin D and many of the B vitamins.

Rinse the grains before cooking, and for better nutritional absorption soak for a few hours.  (Read about hows/whys of soaking here.)  I soaked my quinoa in chicken broth with a squeeze of lemon for about 6 hours.   While chopping everything else it cooked for 15 minutes.

Like rice, you can eat quinoa plain.  Plain is boring.  The following recipe is one that's adapted and evolved from Diana's Schwarzbein's cookbook - it's one of my favs.

Her recipe called for chopped spinach, and I've used frozen before.  This time I used fresh swiss chard.  It's in season and has been called a vegetable valedictorian.  Sooo good for you.  Buy some this weekend at the farmers market.
Look at the beautiful COLOR!  Folding the leaf in half, I cut out most of the red fibrous vein, esp. in the big leaves.


Rachael Ray would call this her garbage bowl.  It's too pretty to go in the garbage, I'll put it in my compost.
The 8oz bag made about 8 cups of chopped swiss chard.
Now for the fun part.  If you don't have a wok, any large pan will do.

I started with 2 T coconut oil.  Olive oil would be fine, too.
Then saute an onion, garlic and mushrooms, if you like.  Usually I don't add the mushrooms but these babies were on sale (organic! for $1.25 this afternoon).
Then get your man to fire the grill.  Beef: it's what's for dinner.  My dad will be so happy (he's a cattle farmer).
Add a big splash of sherry to the onion/mushroom concoction.  If you don't have sherry, it's not essential.  However, it sure helps to remove the yummy tidbits stuck on the bottom of the pan.

At this point, add your chard and stir.
I wanted to steam the chard so I borrowed the lid from my stock pot.
Then crumble feta and soak currants.  The feta adds so much flava! to this dish.
Here's the cooked chard with currants added.
Lastly, add the quinoa that you cooked while chopping the veggies.
This is Hubby's favorite dish.  He will eat leftovers straight from the fridge.
Recipe Recap 

Rinse, soak, cook 1-2 cups quinoa.
8-10oz green of choice: chard or spinach
Saute in oil:
-1 chopped onion
-garlic to taste
-mushrooms (optional)
then add
2 T sherry
chard or spinach
Steam till wilted then turn off the heat. Salt and pepper to taste.  Red pepper flakes would be good.

Toss in 1/2 cup of currants, raisins or cranberries (also optional).

Mix in your quinoa and top with crumbled feta.  Gobble it up.

To see other nourishing ideas and meals, visit Kelly the Kitchen Kop for Real Food Wednesday.

9 comments:

Mom and Kiddo said...

Man, that soaking thing is really going to irk me. We eat a lot of quinoa and I always thought of it as a great substitute when I don't have enough time for brown rice. Now, I feel like, what is the point? It is sometimes hard to plan so far in advance and a lot of my quinoa dishes were "spur of the mmoment" meals. Grrrr.

My Boys' Teacher said...

Soooo...

I just finished reading the Schwarzbein Principle, The Schwarzbein Principle "the program," and have started the Schwarzbein Principle II. Did you actually follow the plan or did you just take the ideas and start eating a la "Kelly the Kitchen Kop" (who I also now read every day, thanks for the rec). And if you DID follow the plan, did you find the cookbook helpful? My library system doesn't have it and I have been try to decide whether to buy it. I am also looking for some Schwarzbein blogs but haven't had any luck...do you know of any?

Thanks for the recipe...we'll be trying that soon. I am the proud owner of my first jar of coconut oil.

The Eberle Family said...

YUM!! I am going to try it soon!! Thanks for the recipe.

MajorScoop said...

Great tutorial.

Julie said...

Mom and Kiddo -it's not essential that quinoa is soaked. If you think of it, do it. If not - don't sweat it.

My Boys' Teacher - I didn't do a "Schwarzbein Plan." I just read her book. It made sense and SLOWLY over time I made changes in our diet. I really like the cookbook because the recipes are simple, usually fast, and definitely yummy. Along with Nourishing Traditions, it is a cookbook that I'll probably never give away (or sell on half.com!) As for Schwarzbein blogs, I've not looked specifically ...but I feel like the Nourishing blogs (like Kelly, Cheeseslave, Nourishing Gourmet, etc.) are very similar in philosophy.

as for the coconut oil - I've been using mine like crazy these days - making popcorn! YUM.

Kelly the Kitchen Kop said...

Hi Julie, thanks for joining in and for this YUMMY looking recipe that I've got to try now!

Mom & Kiddo, I agree with Julie, just do what you can. :)

Kelly

i said...

wow, that looks amazing! i haven't visited your blog for a while. what wonderful posts!

Charissa said...

Well, my adventure-some husband was great and allowed me to explore a new grain. It turned out great. We had some kale and bok choy from our CSA that I used in place of spinach. While I have been challenged to use all of the veggies I'm getting from the CSA it has been good to introduce me to the locally grown good stuff!

M said...

I made this tonight and it went over well. A great mix of flavors. I chopped about half the swiss chard stems and sauteed them along with the onions. The feta did make a huge difference. It was hardy enough that I paired it with a home made bread and we ate it for dinner.

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