Blooming Glen Farm | Swiss chard
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Swiss chard Tag

bg_blog lentil potato chard salad 2This versatile summer salad is not only packed with flavor & nutrition, but also uses several recent share ingredients.  We’ve talked about the healthy stuff in potatoes & Swiss chard here before; combining them with lentils, a good source of both plant-based protein & iron, allows this salad to stand in as a hearty side or a main dish.  Roasting the potatoes & chard brings a smokey flavor & unique texture that contrasts perfectly with the raw ingredients. Note: this is a good time to roast some other veggies (beets & kohlrabi, fennel, peppers, eggplant, turnips, etc.) while you have the oven on!

Try serving this salad on top a bed of chopped spring greens, with a side of grilled string beans & your favorite protein, or topped with a fried farm-fresh egg.

Roasted Potato & Chard Salad with Lentils
bg_blog lentil potato chard saladIngredients
1 cup black, green or brown lentils (black pictured)
6 potatoes (~1-1/2 lb), cut into cubes
3+ cups Swiss chard, roughly chopped
Salt & pepper
Grapeseed or other high-heat cooking oil
3 spring onion bulbs (~1/3 cup), finely diced
1 fennel bulb (~1/3 cup), finely diced — or try celery
1-2 clove green (or other) garlic, minced
3 TBS lemon juice
2 TBS Dijon mustard
1 TBS olive oil
1/2 cup fresh herbs, finely chopped (optional)

Method
Preheat oven to 400-degrees.

In a medium pan, bring lentils, water, and ~1/2 teaspoon salt to boil. Simmer the lentils until tender, ~20 minutes. Drain and put aside

Meanwhile, toss potatoes with a little grapeseed oil & a sprinkle of salt & pepper, then place on a single layer on a cookie sheet. Roast until tender & lightly browned, ~20 minutes. Repeat with Swiss chard, roast until wilted & drying, but not crispy, ~10 mins.

In a large bowl, combine the onion, fennel or celery, garlic & lemon juice, then allow to sit for a few minutes. Whisk in mustard & olive oil. Season to taste with salt & pepper.

Add lentils, potatoes & herbs to the bowl & toss to combine. Serve warm or chill until ready to serve.

gfg_head shot mPost and photos by Mikaela D. Martin: Blooming Glen CSA member since 2005, board-certified health counselor, and co-founder of Guidance for Growing, an integrative wellness practice in Souderton. Read more about healthy eating and living on her site, http://guidanceforgrowing.com!

Raw veggies for squash saladHappy Summer! As the temperatures rise this season, many of us find it harder to crank up the stove top or oven to get meals onto the table. This is a natural time of year to crave cooler, fresher ingredients that require little-to-no cooking — and eating these raw foods do provide us with benefits:

Eating our foods in a more raw form provides a different nutritional profile than eating a food cooked. For instance, ounce-for-ounce, raw Swiss chard has almost twice the amount of Vitamin C and almost three times the amount of Vitamin K than cooked Swiss chard. Similarly, raw zucchini offers much more folate and Omega-3 fatty acids than its cooked counterpart. Many people also find raw foods cleansing, as they often promote efficient digestion and a happy gut. Raw food also encourages us to slow down while eating, simply because it takes us longer to chew, which is a wonderful way to support portion control and mindful eating. All those benefits, and fresh, raw veggies also taste great (especially those from Blooming Glen 😉 )!

The recipe below uses lots of raw veggies from this week’s share, including summer squash, zucchini, green onion, dill, lettuce, and Swiss chard. By shredding the zucchini and chopping the greens, we’re helping out our belly a bit, making it easier to digest those veggies. As always, feel free to use this recipe as a base, an experiment with whatever vegetables, greens, and beans you happen to have on hand in the coming weeks.

Mostly Raw Mediteranean Squash SaladMediterranean Shredded Squash Salad

Ingredients
3 zucchini and/or squash, shredded
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 green onion including greens, chopped
12-15 kalamata olives, sliced
5-6 sprigs dill, chopped (basil would also be good)
Chopped lettuce and/or Swiss chard

Dressing
1/4 cup olive oil
zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 garlic scape, minced
sea salt and ground black pepper

Optional: Pine nuts, capers, dried figs, dried apricots, feta cheese

Method
In a small bowl (I use a glass measuring cup), whisk together the dressing ingredients. In a larger bowl, combine all the other ingredients, except for the lettuce/chard. Pour the dressing over squash mixture and stir to combine well. Place a handful of chopped greens on a plate, top with a big scoop of the squash salad. Serve with optional toppings.

Post and photos by Mikaela D. Martin: Blooming Glen CSA member since 2005, board-certified health counselor, and co-founder of Guidance for Growing, an integrative wellness practice in Souderton. Read more about healthy eating and living on her site, http://guidanceforgrowing.com!

I’ve been making a beet burger recipe that was given to me by a farmer friend from Wisconsin for a few years now.  At first, I was pretty excited about it and looked forward to beet season just so that I could make the recipe again. But, after making it so many times it needed some new life. A kitchen experiment was in order. So, I decided to use the same general recipe for the burgers and pair them with some new flavors. I exchanged the bun and cheddar cheese for pita and feta crumbles.  The result was just was I was looking for: something refreshingly tasty, yet wholesome at the same time! If you like falafel as much as I do, this recipe is worth a try. It’s just a twist on more traditional Mediterranean meal.

Falafel Style Beet patties

4 medium size beets, peeled and quartered
3-4 medium carrots, chunked
1 large sweet spring onion, sliced
¼ cup sunflower seeds
2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 medium eggs
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine the beets, carrots, onion, sunflower seeds and flour in a food processor and chop until a finely diced mixture is created. (If you don’t have a food processor you can finely grate the vegetable components straight into a bowl.)  Transfer mixture to a medium sized bowl and add eggs and salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly in order to coat vegetables in egg.

Next, use your hands to create golf ball sized rounds of the mixture, making sure to squeeze out the extra moisture as you go. You can squeeze it over the bowl or directly into the sink. (Be aware: your hands will take on a bright magenta color during this process, but it does eventually wash off!) Place the rounds on an ungreased baking sheet and bake for about 20 minutes or until tops become deep red in color.

For extra crispy beet patties, transfer the rounds into a warm skillet with 2 Tablespoons of olive oil for about 5 minutes, flipping once. You can skip this step if you prefer to just bake them. Serve patties with pita, swiss chard or lettuce, and feta. For more flavor you can add a sauce of ½ a diced cucumber, 3 sprigs of finely chopped dill, and 2 Tablespoons of yogurt. This recipe serves 4-5 people.

If you’re completely new to beet burgers, feel free to use the recipe for its original purpose by making the mixture into patties instead of balls. And, you can add shredded cheddar cheese (about ½ cup) right into the mixture to give it an even richer burger flavor. I would serve them on wheat buns with your favorite burger toppings.

Photos and recipe by Blooming Glen Farm apprentice Rebecca Metcalf.

Wet weather aside, I’m welcoming the cooler temperatures of late because they have allowed me to reacquaint myself with my kitchen. It seems like I’ve taken a hiatus recently from actually cooking. Instead of cooking meals, I’ve been favoring anything fresh I can throw into the same bowl. Now that it’s not 100 degrees in my kitchen, I’m a bit more excited to prepare a real dinner.

And what better way to celebrate my reintroduction to cooking than with juicy pork chops, fragrant herbs, and creamy swiss chard? This meal is easy, quick, and heavenly. It’s got all the advantages of a one-pot meal, but all the elegance of a steak house entree. The perfect end to a day spent working in the rain. (I could barely manage to squeeze in the photo shoot before scarfing it down).

Herbed Pork Chops with Dijon Swiss Chard

Rub both sides of 2 pork chops with salt, pepper, and 2 tablespoons of fresh chopped sage and thyme (both can be found in the Discovery Garden during your CSA pick-up, or at our farmstand at market).

Heat 1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat. When butter is melted, add pork chops. Sear chops, about 4 minutes per side, until there is a nice crust of fried herbs and meat is just cooked through. Remove from pan and cover with foil to keep warm.

Using the same pan, reduce heat to medium and add  1/2 yellow onion, chopped. Cook until translucent. Add 3/4 pound swiss chard, stems removed and leaves roughly chopped. When chard has partially wilted, stir in 3 tablespoons dijon mustard and 1/4 cup half-and-half or whole milk. Continue cooking the chard until it is fully wilted and the sauce has thickened a bit.

Top a mound of chard with a pork chop and drizzle any remaining sauce from the pan on top. Fluffy homemade biscuits drizzled in local honey make a divine addition to the meal, but it would go equally well with some crusty bread or steamed rice. (Serves 2)

Text and photography by Kate Darlington – Blooming Glen Farm second year intern, fresh food enthusiast, and budding food blogger. She also writes for the Digging Deep Campaign as well as for her personal blog, Growing Things.

Power Breakfast: Swiss Chard, Fresh Tomato and Egg If vegetables are lacking in the standard American diet, leafy greens are the scarcest of all. Given the incredible and unique nourishment these veggies offer, learning to cook and eat greens is essential for creating lasting health. Thankfully, adding these nutritional powerhouses to our diet is easy, especially if you’re a member of a CSA — greens grow from the beginning to the end of the season, with kale and collards bracketing the more tender Swiss chard.

Swiss chard is a unique leafy green in that it contains at least 13 different polyphenol antioxidants, which have been shown to aid our circulatory and respiratory systems by protecting us from atherosclerosis (clogged arteries), high blood pressure and air pollution damage. Polyphenols also contribute to cancer prevention and longevity.  Considering all of their health benefits, making sure we include them in our diet first thing in the morning will start us all off on a day fit for a superhero!

The addition of a local, free range, organic egg will add a “complete protein” that contains an adequate proportion of all nine essential amino acids necessary for our diet, healthy fats like omega-3s, and choline, which helps regulate the brain, nervous system, and cardiovascular system. In order to reap these benefits, you must be sure your eggs are from chickens raised in a natural environment. The ones sold at various local farms and markets are a great choice, like those from Deep Springs Farm in Harleysville, Purely Farm in Pipersville, or Happy Farm in Kintnersville.

Finally, the fresh tomatoes in this recipe are shown to prevent cancer, heart disease as well as high cholesterol — not to mention the fact that they taste great!

Superhero Breakfast: Swiss chard, Fresh tomato and Egg
Note: this dish can be made ovo vegetarian (dairy-free) using options below.

Sauté 1/4 cup chopped onion with a pinch of salt in 1/4 cup of water only (water sauté) over medium heat until onions are tender, about 3 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat small skillet with butter or grapeseed oil.  Add 1 1/2 to 2 cups of Swiss chard cut into thin strips to the onions and mix well, adding more water if necessary.  Cover and cook until tender and bright green, about 2-3 minutes.  Break one nature perfect egg and fry on the oiled skillet.

Add several splashes of vinegar to chard/onion mixture and stir well. Turn off heat and stir in 1 very small chopped tomato. Flip egg, cook for one minute and turn off heat.

Using a slotted spoon (to leave any remaining liquid in the pan), place the greens-onion-tomato mixture into shallow bowl and sprinkle generously with nutritional yeast flakes, romano cheese or parmesan cheese. Top with egg and serve immediately.

Recipe and photo by Mikaela D. Martin: Blooming Glen CSA member since 2005, board-certified health counselor, and co-founder and -owner of Guidance for Growing, an integrative wellness practice in Souderton. Read more about healthy eating and living on her site, http://guidanceforgrowing.com!