Tag Archives: vegetables

Dinner Divine

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Last night’s dinner was a Farmer’s Market dream.  Seventy five percent of the food on my plate was grown within 20 miles of my house, and none of it ever had any preservatives, additives, or pesticides. 

It was a dinner divine.

After a quick stop at the Farmer’s Market to pick up some produce from my CSA, the wheels in my head started turning.  I knew I could throw together a quick, easy, healthy, and delicious dinner.

First up was the Swiss chard.

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I’ve never cooked Swiss chard before, but I have fallen madly in love with leafy greens, and these were especially appealing with their purple stalks and billowy edges. 

I first toasted about 2 tablespoons of pine nuts in a hot pan and set them aside to use later.  I then heated about a tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat and added sliced onions and the Swiss chard stalks cut into inch sized pieces. 

I chopped the chard leaves into bite sized pieces and added them to the onion/stalk mixture.

Then inspiration hit me! 

Recently, I have seen many recipes where greens are cooked with raisins, or something semi-sweet.  I didn’t have any raisins, but I did have dried apricots.

I diced about 2 tablespoons of apricots and added them to the mixture. 

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I drizzled the mixture with balsamic vinegar and added a dash of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.  

When everything was good and tender I topped the mixture with the toasted pine nuts.

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(Some pine nuts may have been a little too toasted.)

While the greens were cooking I also made some quinoa with vegetable stock instead of water to add some extra flavor.

But here comes the really cool part.  I, yes you read this correctly, I, grilled the vegetables.  Not Larry, but me!!!!  I did it! 

I had picked up a beautiful eggplant as well as zucchini, and squash from the market on Tuesday.  I also had a few left over baby bellas from the vegan enchiladas I made on Tuesday.   I sliced these babies up, threw them in a large plastic baggie with olive oil, sea salt, ground black pepper, and balsamic vinegar, shook the bag like crazy, and plopped them on the hot grill.

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See!  Wasn’t the eggplant pretty???

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I heart mushrooms 😉

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I was very proud of my perfectly grilled veggies 🙂

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The combination of quinoa, Swiss Chard, and grilled veggies was perfectly filling and tasty. 

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It was almost effortless, but as I was eating, it I knew that if I had ordered this meal in a restaurant, I would have been more than pleased.

It is very easy to make healthy dinners that are delicious.  Especially at this time of the year when fresh fruits and veggies are in abundance. 

I encourage everyone to think about adding fresh veggies to your dinner plate at least once a week.  And if you’ve never been to a Farmer’s Market, I highly recommend it.  There is something so amazing about produce this fresh!!! 

Here’s a link to LocalHarvest.org that can help you find your nearest Farmers Market.

What’s your favorite impromptu meal that you’ve thrown together?

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???Veggie Quiz???

As you could probably tell from my post yesterday, I was pretty exhausted.  After work I tutored for an hour then braved the grocery store, which took another hour and a half!downsized_0204001822

Let me tell, ya!  There is nothing like going to the grocery store in the south on the Thursday before a big snow storm and the Super Bowl!  I think I stood in line at checkout for 35 minutes!  I really needed groceries, not because of a snow storm, but because I was seriously out of food!

However grueling the trip may have been, I am excited about my veggie purchases.  Any you don’t recognize?

There’s radicchio, daikon sprouts, ginger root, shitake mushrooms,  and regular ol’ veggies, like Brussels sprouts, red peppers, cilantro, green onions, etc. 

(Total ADD moment here, but who is Brussel and why does he get sprouts named after him???  Anyone know???) 

Look for these bad babies to be used this week in some super yum-o-licious recipes!

Before going vegetarian, I ate the usual veggies like carrots, broccoli, potatoes, bell peppers, sliced mushrooms, and lettuce, but when almost your entire diet consists of plant products, you learn about a whole new world of veggie deliciousness!  Don’t you just love all of the colors!? 

Speaking of recipes, here are some that I promised you 2 days ago!

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For dinner Wednesday night, I had leftover orange ginger baked tofu, roasted red potatoes, garlic greens, and a big ol’ square of cornbread. 

I baked the tofu at 350 degrees in a marinade of 1 cup orange juice, 1/4 cup brown rice vinegar, 1/4 cup tamari, 2 tbsp toasted sesame oil, 2 tbsp maple syrup, 2 tbsp graded fresh ginger, 3 cloves of minced garlic, and 3 tbsp minced red onion.  Yum!  This marinade would also be great on fish or chicken.

Roasted red potatoes are one of my favorite foods!  I simply clean and quarter the potatoes.  Toss them in a bowl, drizzle olive oil and seasoning on them.  Stir to evenly coat.  Then roast in the oven on 425 until cooked through, turning occasionally.  Double yum! 

And get this!  One red potato has a whopping 7 grams of protein, 5 grams of fiber, 12% of your daily nutrition value of iron, and 63% of DNV of vitamin C. 

The garlic greens are a new fav of mine!  They are so easy to make, and so incredibly good for you.  Greens are full of calcium, iron, and vitamins C and E.  Simply take 2 bunches of dark leafy greens (these were spinach greens) and sauté them with 3 cloves of garlic in about 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil.    

And the corn bread…  well, t’was not so “clean,” but it sure was yummy!  It was just a plain box of Jiffy mix that I cleaned up juuuust a bit by using only egg whites and soy milk.  Hey, what can I say?  It served as dessert, too!

Today I am going to rest up!  I went to the gym super early this morning, because I could not fall back to sleep after the announcement that school was cancelled once again.  This workout was a doozie, and my muscles are aching.  Man, I love being able to work out again!

I’m off to put on some comfy clothes, and to curl up on the couch with The Lightening Thief.  (Thanks, Meg!)

~Jen

magnolia Remember, Be Happy, Be Healthy, Be You!!!

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