Friday, October 13, 2017

Early Fall Swiss Chard Harvest!

Our little kitchen garden produced well for us this year...and for a long time!
I do believe, however, that we will be tearing it down this weekend :(
It's hard to believe we are closing in on mid-October.
I'm sitting here in my living room...typing away...with the windows and doors open :)
But I digress...
I went out to the garden yesterday afternoon for my final harvesting of Swiss Chard.
We planted several varieties...and I cut many leaves for our supper.
Swiss Chard (like all of the dark, leafy green) cooks down quite a bit.
I needed a whole, big bowl-full for our meal.
Here are my luscious leaves...washed and ready to cut!
Using a very sharp knife, I cut away the leaves from the tough stems.
I do not cut and cook the stems, as an acid in the stems can be irritating to some people.
I stacked the half-leaves...rolled up the pile tightly...and then sliced the leaves perpendicular to the roll.  This slicing technique is called chiffonade.
Ready to sauté!
I used a bit (1 tablespoon) of olive oil to sauté/steam my chard. 
I put a low heat under my pan...added in the olive oil...and then piled in the chard.  It looked like too much for the pan...but I know what will happen to it :)
I tossed the leaves with two wooden spoons...making sure they got a coating of the oil.
Then, I placed a lid over the pan to start the "wilting" process.
I checked the chard often, as the wilting does not take long....3-5 minutes.
I tossed the chard a few times...turned off the heat....added the juice of half a fresh lemon...and seasoned with sea salt and pepper :)
**You can use balsamic vinegar or raw apple cider vinegar instead of the lemon.
Any acid will cut the bitterness of the chard.
*You can also sauté some garlic before adding the chard.
Ready to serve :)

Why I eat Swiss Chard....

#1  I love the taste of it!
If you're new to the world of dark, leafy greens...start out slow.
Experiment with various cooking methods...and add them to smoothies, soups and stews!
#2  Swiss chard is an excellent source of vitamins K, A, C and E.
It is also an excellent source of magnesium, manganese, potassium, iron and fiber.
#3  Swiss chard contains plant nutrients that may be cancer protective to the digestive tract.
#4  Swiss chard is great for bone health!
It offers a good non-dairy source of calcium and magnesium.
Additionally, vitamin K activates a major protein found in bone structure.
#5  Swiss chard is great for vision health!
The beta-carotene in Swiss chard (which is converted into vitamin A) lowers the risk of developing cataracts.
#6  The antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin protects against macular degeneration. 

Enjoy the nourishment of Swiss chard :)


Sunday, October 8, 2017

What I Ate Today!

I thought it would be fun to share what I ate today!
Today is Sunday...offering me the opportunity to take more time preparing my food.
My breakfast this morning was very typical...a smoothie and some additional protein.
Using my trusty Vitamix, I combined coconut/almond milk, plant-based protein powder, glutamine powder (for GI tract health), frozen mixed fruit, fresh banana, ground flaxseed, romaine lettuce leaves, almond butter and coconut water. 
The almond butter and the romaine leaves made the smoothie so frothy :)
I finished off breakfast with some of my homemade chicken breakfast sausage. 
I was especially hungry this I ate both patties :)
Now on to lunch...
I'm not a huge red meat eater; but I live with someone who favors it.
So...we put together a pot roast dinner to share today :)
I included creamy Yukon potatoes, multi-colored carrots, onion and baby Bella mushrooms.
It was as tasty as it looks!
We ate a late supper for me was on the light side.
I placed two romaine leaves, one small avocado and some cherry tomatoes on an Ezekiel sprouted grain tortilla.  I seasoned with sea salt, pepper and basil.
I tend to be the hungriest earlier in the day.
I was quite satisfied with this healthy carb and healthy fat supper!
So there you have meals on this October Sunday!
Real Food for Real Health :)