Veggie Challenged - Yum Yum Spicy Chard

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04-17-2011, 05:50 PM
Hi guys,

I am actually a huge fan of vegetables and feel like an intruder here :) but I figured I'd try to spread the love with some recipes I have...I find the reason most people don't like them is because (typically) the preparation is just so bland and most just don't know what to do with them other than to steam, boil, etc. I come from Turkey where vegetables are a main staple of our diet and there are hundreds of ways to prepare them...legend has it there are over 100 ways to prepare eggplant alone. So, here is one of my favorites -- easy, super healthy, low-calorie, and a perfectly balanced meal by itself. You can substitute the chard for collard greens or any other tough leafy green...let me know if you want me to keep posting these.

(Adjust amount of ingredients by eyeballing...I do this by memory so there's no set recipe but here's a good guide.)

1 bunch of white/green swiss chard
1/4 c (or more if you like) pre-boiled green lentils
1/2 c chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato paste (optional -- but works really well)
1 tbsp of some sort of oil to sautee (substitute lo-cal butter made for cooking also works)
salt and red pepper flakes to taste
plain yogurt

Wash, dry and slice chard including stems. Sautee in whatever oil you choose until they deflate. You can add the salt and pepper flakes at this stage. Add the tomatoes and the paste. Let cook just a bit. Add the lentils and let simmer a tad so lentils absorb a bit of the water the tomatoes and chard will release. If at any stage you need water (unlikely) add a bit of hot water. Be careful not to cook too much otherwise it'll lose it's color and nutrients.

Enjoy with brown rice, or as a side dish to a meat. I usually have it by itself, with low-fat, thick Greek yogurt. We have yogurt with everything -- you'll be amazed at how good it tastes!

Hope you like it...let me know how it goes.

04-17-2011, 08:18 PM
I love veggies too, and also come here fo ideas. This looks great--I haven't tried chard yet. what exactly did you mean by "chard will release"?
one of my dearest friends is from Pakistan, and I looooove the way she cooks. lol, she brings me lunch when she makes something at home I haven't tried yet!

04-17-2011, 09:19 PM
chickybird -- give it a try and i hope you like it. just made some tonight and doubled the recipe for the first time...didn't turn out as good as the single recipe.

I, too, take food to my colleagues if i make enough and they love it. my celery root/quince/orange dish was a huge hit -- also one of my favorites.

the chard and tomatoes will release water once cooked so you won't need to add any...that's what i meant. it won't (rather shouldn't) stick to the bottom of the pan because both veggies have enough of a water content so with heat, they pretty much cook themselves -- make sense?

04-17-2011, 09:36 PM
Ahh, makes sense! My cookware is pretty spiffy, so I only have to add tiny amounts of water to steam things. I'm sure this will turn out great. You are welcome to send me recipes anytime!
Thank you:D

04-17-2011, 09:52 PM
OK then! here's the celery root's in a category of turkish cuisine we call "olive oil dishes" and are meant to be eaten at room temeperature to slightly chilled. the way olive oil dishes are prepared is standard for pretty much all veggies, with a few minor adjustments. typically, recipes call for much more oil but i cut down on it because of the calories -- it doesn't taste as good, but still great.

- one large celery root
- one juicy orange
- one medium onion (vidalia or sweet -- not red)
- olive oil
- hot water
- if you can find them, quince OR asian pear (the hard, chalky one)

Recipe works just fine without the quince or pear.

slice onion into thinnish rounds. cube quince or pear. cube celery root -- celery root will oxidize quickly so don't be alarmed if it gets brown. to prevent, you can cube this last. juice the orange.

sautee onions in about 1 tbsp of olive oil on low heat. be careful not to burn -- olive oil has a low burning temperature. onions will come apart into nice round strings. sautee until tranluscent, almost caramelized. add cubed pears or quince as well as the celery root. depending on how much water the veggies release, add hot water bit by bit so there's enough to cook veggies in but not too much. cover and let cook on low heat until celery is fork tender. just before they're done, add the orange juice and another tablespoon of olive oil. let veggies absorb the juice and oil a bit -- you'll know it's ready when the liquid has reduced. the end product shouldn't be too watery, but still have some liquid at the bottom.

let cool and enjoy!

next week -- sweet leeks with carrots and rice!

04-17-2011, 10:04 PM
Looks great! I love learning new recipes from different cultures. My Pakistani friend told me I make good biryani (for a white girl from the South, lol).

Suzanne 3FC
04-18-2011, 11:56 PM
The chard recipe sounds fantastic and I printed it and will definitely try it!

I've never tried celery root but your recipe makes me want to try it :T

04-19-2011, 08:38 PM
The chard recipe sounds fantastic and I printed it and will definitely try it!

I've never tried celery root but your recipe makes me want to try it :T

Definitely! And please let me know what you think when you do...stay tuned for leeks next week ;)

04-23-2011, 08:11 PM
I just made this and it turned out beautifully! I added a pinch of curry and cumin because I love those spices, and served over brown rice. Wonderful!!!

04-24-2011, 02:23 PM
NiceI Next time I will do the same -- I, too, love spices. Let me know how the celery root goes, if you can find it. If not, I will come back with the leek recipe.

04-24-2011, 07:40 PM
I looked around at Whole Foods and it didn't leap out at me. I can't swing a dead cat without hitting leeks at my farmer's market. I'm a little sensitive to onions though--aren't leeks in the same family, or are they more mild?

05-06-2011, 01:44 PM
I looked around at Whole Foods and it didn't leap out at me. I can't swing a dead cat without hitting leeks at my farmer's market. I'm a little sensitive to onions though--aren't leeks in the same family, or are they more mild?

hey chicky sorry fior the late reply i have been running around ragged. yes, leeks are in the onion family and if not cooked properly taste just like them...but that's where my super duper recipe comes in. you'll me amazed. as a rule of thumb with leeks, if you cook with enough lemon it'll not only absorb the smell as it cooks but also take away that onion-y taste leaving behind the sweetness of the leek. here it is: let me know how you fare...should be eaten at room temperature.

one bunch of fresh leeks, washed and sliced into 1 inch pieces
1 large carrot, thinly sliced
¼ cup olive oil (can use less, but not too little)
1 or 2 tbsp of white rice, washed and drained
1 level tbsp of sugar (I use splenda)
Pinch of salt
Juice of one lemon
If needed, 1 cup of hot water

Wash and cut the leeks, white and green parts
Wash and cut carrot
Sautee carrots in the olive oil until they start to tender (4 minutes)
Add leeks and lemon juice and sautee a few more minutes
Add rice, water, salt, sugar
Partially cover and cook for about 30 minutes on medium-low heat (keep checking…the leeks will cook faster than the carrots. The point is to cook the carrots through and not overcook the leeks so they lose their color and nutrition. You can add more HOT water if it starts getting too dry.

When cooked, let cool, and enjoy. You can add more lemon juice before eat it.

01-08-2012, 03:04 PM
Sounds delicious !

01-29-2012, 01:15 PM

05-19-2012, 01:03 PM
Leblebi thanks for posting these recipes. I'm going to try the one for spicy chard first. When you say "pre-boiled green lentils" do they come from a can? Or do you start with dry lentils and just simmer for a few minutes (how many minutes?) to add to this recipe? Thanks for your help!

09-11-2012, 05:49 PM

I LOVE middle eastern and meditteranean food. And I'm awful about eating veggies. I would love to hear more of yours that include: yogurt, carrots, garbanzo beans, and lentils.

I blanched broccoli last night (putting it in boiling water for a couple of mins then immediately draining and rinsing with ice water). Today I ate it cold with Trader Joes red thai curry sauce, white rice, and baked chicken. Tasty, easy, but boring.

02-02-2013, 05:19 PM
I can't say I'm a pure vegetarian but I love eating veggies. Thanks for the recipe leblebi, a new recipe is now added to my list.