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When Life Gives You … Chard

Spring is here, and — thanks to the mild, somewhat rainy winter — our CSA bag has been filled to the brim with lots of goodies. Mostly greens.

Lots and lots of greens.

I’m not going to lie: it has taken me a full year of receiving shares to get the hang of efficiently making use of the veggie assortment. Seeing as how we really didn’t eat all that many vegetables before, it’s been a little overwhelming at times. Maybe some of the beautiful produce went to waste; I’d rather not say.

But! This is a new year, and I’ve been putting those greens to good use.

Kale in the morning smoothies? Check!

Yakisoba to use up the cabbage? You bet!

Salad with dinner? Natch!

And then there’s chard.


Lovely, no?

The thing is, I only know how to make one or two dishes with it, and I’m kind of sick of them both. It’s really good in smoothies, but, you know, there’s all the kale to consider. When we received another bundle in this week’s share, I knew that I had to do something big. To the internet! Hmm…grind it up into pesto, you say? Perfect!

[In my haste to get dinner on the table, I forgot to snap a pic of the finished product. Total amateur hour around here. It looks just like the picture in the link, but you probably guessed that already. Pesto is pretty much pesto.]

I subbed out pecans for walnuts, since there’s no way a walnut is making it into the house on my watch, and added some pecorino. It’s like a really mild, slightly bitter version of the traditional basil sauce. The family’s response was so-so on night one, but I used it on a sandwich the next day for lunch and that was really super good. And we’re back down to one bunch of chard leaves in the fridge!


I’m not sure that Big Turnip’s story will have such a happy ending. So far, I’ve managed to use part of it in a slaw, only to be reminded that I don’t like the taste of turnips. Our lovely farmers included a couple of recipes to help clueless folks such as myself, but, well, there’s the whole not liking the taste aspect. Still, we’re trying new things all the time around here — there’s still hope!

TGIF, friends. T.G.I.F. It’s been a long week, which hasn’t gone at all the way I’d planned (because who actually plans for their kids to get in an orderly fashion?), but the weekend is here and the boy may finally be on the mend! And, on the bright side, I’d forgotten that being housebound and somewhat stressed out is actually the perfect formula for spurring this girl into action. Looking forward to sharing some of the progress with you next week. Til then, here’s wishing you a happy and healthy weekend!

But Not Meatless

So far, it feels like I’ve spent most of 2012 in the kitchen.

We are trying very hard to be ever-so-slightly healthier around here. The first step was to implement a No Drive Thru January; that lasted about a week. It’s new name is Less Drive Thru January.

Next on the list: Eat more greens. Lucky for me, I have a crew of pretty good eaters. They like most veggies, and even the salad-hating boy has come around to being something of a fan. There was fear in the eye of the man of the house, though, when I started flipping through vegan and vegetarian cookbooks.

“We’re not getting rid of meat, are we?”


“Because I’m all for upping the vegetables…as long as they’re served with meat.”


Here’s my compromise: pork tenderloin, served with collard greens and sweet potatoes, and a quinoa salad [not shown].

The greens and sweet potatoes were super good, much to even my surprise. The rest of the week, we had soups, pasta, and then some of the leftover pork in a big salad. Yes, we had big salad — in the middle of winter. Every time we have a vegetarian dinner, I’ve gotten to hear how tolerable it is in light of the fact that “we still get to eat meat, which is important.”

Gotcha. Again.