Thursday, April 16, 2009

small things

quinoa 2
Quinoa is a staple food of Andes-dwellers, a member of the goosefoot family and chock-full of protein and manganese. But the most important thing about quinoa, at least for my purposes this week is that it's not one of the five forbidden grains (wheat, barley, rye, oats and spelt). Nor, according to most, though not all, authorities, is it kitniyot, foods like rice, corn, soy beans, string beans, peas, lentils, peanuts, sesame seeds and poppy seeds that are kinda sorta like the five forbidden grains and which, traditionally, Ashkenazi Jews avoid eating during the eight days of Passover.

So I've been eating a lot of quinoa this week. And it's crunchy and tasty, but basically pretty bland. Passover ends tonight at sunset. Which, according to the sites I've checked, occurs at 6:43 pm. That is, in approximately 12 hours. And ten minutes. Not that I'm counting or anything.

In other food-related news, I've finally joined a CSA,* something I've been meaning to do, ever since I learned from Magpie (can it really be nearly two years ago?) that there's one that has a drop off just down the block from my house. I've been checking my CSA's blog to see what kind of vegetables I can expect and, from their latest entry, I've learned that week they planted 10,000 (red and green) swiss chard plants.

So, what's on your (literal or figurative) plate? And do you happen to have any swiss chard recipes?



*Plug in your state or zip code (US only) to find a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) farm near you.

18 comments:

Chris said...

... first had to look up the translation for swiss chard ... yes, it is what I thought.

That stuff is grown a lot in my area. I use it frequently as a substitute for spinach. Very good for example in Italian style risottos. You need risotto rice, the leaves (only the soft green parts) and parmesan cheese.

BTW: I would be counting hours, quinoa is too bland for my taste.

niobe said...

Thanks for the suggestion, Chris! Risotto is one of Gray's absolute favorite things.

anonamommy said...

Hi Niobe,

I love swiss chard sauteed in olive oil and garlic and then topped with a squeeze of lemon juice! Yum!! I am very careful to use only the leaves as the stems and veins are fairly bitter. Enjoy your fresh (and environmentaly responsible) produce!!

Donna said...

I love Quinoa. It has such a nutty taste. But I haven't had it in forever. DH and DD have much more mainstream taste buds and they usually win!

I just joined a CSA this year too! I get my first batch of veggies at the end of April. I can't wait!

Bon said...

i asked my Jewish SIL what ISN'T forbidden for Passover and she said she's pretty much been subsisting on chocolate the whole time.

and swiss chard is one of those things my mother always wanted me to eat that now i'm finally starting to think about. so post recipes if you find ones that work well. :)

Kristin said...

No good Swiss Chard recipes but you could make these vegetable quiche cups and substitute Swiss Chard for the spinach.

Amelie said...

I went to wikipedia to see what Swiss Chard is (mmh, risotto). And on the first page I encountered Niobium.

Hennifer said...

I SO wish I could join a CSA but I can't afford the cost up front. Some have plans I guess but still...

I'm afraid of swiss chard and most greens really.

I hope you have a fabulous season.

Eva said...

I ate so much quinoa when I was pregnant, and then I had the miscarriage, and one of the best parts of that was not having to force myself to eat quinoa. Now I'm really into Filet-O-Fishes.

Megan said...

Try the recipe for chickpeas and greens with Moroccan spices in Deborah Madison's Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone. There's also a great frittata-type dish in there with chard and caramelized onions.
It's an amazing cookbook, even for non-vegetarians and has sections on how to use every possible vegetable.

My Reality said...

I like to wilt swiss chard with a bit of white wine, a little garlic, a squeeze of lemon if I have it and some salt and pepper.

susan said...

I blogged about swiss chard once:

http://granolacrunchy.blogspot.com/2008/06/good-chard-recipe.html
(http://tinyurl.com/cvse5j) in case that URL is too long to work.

Magpie said...

This pleases me enormously. And yes, I have plenty of swiss chard recipes. And, you can basically use it like spinach.

Here are two recipes:

http://www.magpiemusing.com/2007/08/csa-week-9-plethora-of-swiss-chard.html

http://www.magpiemusing.com/2006/08/swiss-chard-timbale.html

Hennifer said...

Don't know if you are a fan but another blogger had pulled up her archive and it was to apropos not to post it (I hope I used that word correctly and spelled it as such)

http://smittenkitchen.com/2008/10/spaghetti-with-swiss-chard-and-garlic-chips/

painted maypole said...

there aren't any CSAs in my area, alas

Anonymous said...

On my literal plate: coeur de cabillaud, stompe aux poireaux et pomme de terre, salade.
On my life plate; We may move to Meudon.
Swiss chard, yum. It's so pretty. I bought some seeds and need to get them in the garden. I don't have any recipes but you already have some yummy suggestions.
allypally

Bluebird said...

We just signed up for a CSA in our area and are beyond excited. We're hoping to have our first pick up before the end of the month!

diana said...

A lady speaking about CSA is writing
http://tryingtraditional.wordpress.com/, and hers is the very first blog I've ever followed.