Swiss Chard with Black-Eyed Peas

Had I the fore-thought I would have bought dried peas and soaked them overnight, then cooked them off before beginning this dish.  Because I didn’t, I used canned peas, but fresh-cooked are always the better option.  This is a great dish which can be eaten as a vegetarian main course (as the beans offer about 12 grams of protein), or as a flavorful side to something meaty.

Ingredients:

1 cup black-eyed peas , drained & rinsed
3/4 cup low-sodium vegetable broth, divided
1 cup chopped red onion
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 bunch Swiss chard, stems and leaves sliced separately, divided
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper

Directions:

  • Heat 1/2 cup broth to a simmer in a large skillet over medium-high heat
  • Add onion, garlic and chard stems and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables begin to soften, about 5 minutes

  • Add the chard leaves, black-eyed peas, crushed red pepper, and remaining 1/4 cup broth and cook over medium heat, covered, for about 3 minutes

We served this with some pork tenderloin that was seared in balsamic vinegar and fresh rosemary.

The combination was quite lovely.

Inspired by this recipe on Whole Foods’ site.

J

Honey-Soy-Glazed Root Vegetables

If you’ve never eaten a cooked radish then you’re missing out.  If you’ve only ever had them raw and disliked radishes and written them off, again, you’re missing out.  When a peppery & crunchy radish is cooked its flavor and texture transform into something wonderful.  Something buttery.  Something smooth.  Something yummy.  Radishes are roastable, steamable, fryable, but I would start here where they’re incorporated with other flavors so that if, for some reason, you don’t care for them- you still have other tasty vegetables to eat.

Ingredients

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 pound medium turnips, cut into 3/4-inch wedges

1 pound medium radishes, quartered

½ medium sweet potato, quartered & sliced

1 large carrot, sliced

1/4 cup honey

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1/2 pound Swiss chard, bottoms of stems discarded and leaves chopped

2 tablespoons molasses

2 tablespoons water

Salt

6 large shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and caps quartered

1/2 pound rice crackers, pulverized

Pulverizing rice crackers. Need I say more?

Directions

  • In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of oil. Add the turnips and radishes, sweet potatoes and carrots and cook over medium-high heat, stirring, until lightly browned and crisp-tender, 10 minutes
  • Add the honey and cook over medium heat, stirring, until the vegetables are glazed.
  • Add the soy sauce and cook until syrupy
  • Add the lemon juice and the Swiss chard; cook until the chard is wilted. Raise the heat to high and cook until all of the liquid has evaporated; keep warm.

Chopped Swiss chard & quartered shitake

  • In a medium bowl, whisk the molasses with the water and season with salt. Add the shiitake and toss to coat.
  • Drain the mushrooms, squeezing out most of the excess liquid.
  • In a separate bowl, toss the mushrooms with the rice cracker crumbs to create a crunchy coating

Shitake coated in rice crackers

  • In a large skillet, heat the remaining oil. Add the mushrooms and cook over a high heat, until golden and crisp

Crisping the shitake

  • Transfer to paper towels to blot off oil. Top the vegetables with the mushrooms and serve

We had our glazed root vegetables with some Asian pork tenderloin.  They would side well to almost any meat though, or could be eaten alone or over rice as a vegetarian dish.

Glazed root vegetables with pork tenderloin

J

Recipe adapted from an article in Food & Wine, recipe by David Chang

Creamy Sesame Greens

I am frequently surprised by the fact that I’m not yet sick of eating hearty winter greens.  It’s true, I’m not, although I make no promises that I won’t be in another few weeks when I begin to pine for the fresh pole beans and beets and spinach of spring which I will have to continue to wait for.  Then I’ll move on to wanting fresh, juicy summer tomatoes and squashes, basil and dill.  Until then, I’ll keep on trying new recipes for my winter veggies, and working on the layout of my garden for the spring.  I’m thinking that raised boxes may be in order this year, if I can just get my act together and build them.

While looking through some recipes on Whole Foods’ website I came across this one and thought that it would make for a great side to some simple white fish.  Then I did my usual and got carried away trying to pair flavors & themes in foods and ended up marinating  the simple piece of haddock in a store-bought ginger-garlic-soy sauce before baking it.  And I kept going from there….

Ingredients

2 tablespoons chicken or vegetable broth

2 tablespoons water

6 cups chopped kale, chard and/or collard greens

2 tablespoons tahini

2 tablespoons orange juice

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

Directions

  • Heat the broth in a large skillet over medium heat. Add greens and cook, tossing occasionally, until wilted, about 5 minutes.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together tahini, orange juice, water and garlic. Add hot greens, toss to combine and serve.

On this particular evening I also steamed up some fingerling potatoes and sliced sweet potato.  I took the steamed starches and tossed them in non-fat sour cream which had been mixed with Chinese 5-spice .   This made for an interesting flavor combination (as Chinese 5-spice includes cinnamon, fennel, licorice root, white pepper, etc.)

What I would not suggest is the pairing of all three of these (marinated fish, dressed greens, and spiced creamy potatoes) together.  It was a little busy on the palette.

J