Sautéed Rainbow Chard

One of the first vegetables I seeded and planted was Rainbow Chard. I had never cooked or eaten this vegetable before, but it sure is pretty and I was very successful in growing it. So I needed to figure out how to cook it!

When I first harvested my chard, I had only about four to five leaves, and when I cooked them, they began to wilt and soften. They cooked down to about a half dollar size amount of vegetables. That same wilt and that “far less than you started with experience” happens with spinach too, and I hate that. So, I set out to solve it.

Through my experiments, I found that chard and/or spinach does not wilt away so quickly if you cook it with another heartier vegetable. It is much easier to control that way. The cauliflower gives it substance and something to cling to. I add extra pepper during seasoning. It just gives this a remarkable flavor. Enjoy!

Serves:

4 – 6

Total Time:

40 minutes

To Prepare

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs. rainbow chard (leaves and stems)

  • 2 sweet onions

  • 2 cloves of garlic

  • 1 package of riced cauliflower, 16 oz.

  • 2 Tbsp. butter

  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil

  • Salt and extra pepper to taste

 

Directions:

On medium heat, add the butter and olive oil to a large sauté pan.

Starting with the onions, slice in thin rounds and then cut the rounds in half. Sauté until golden brown and caramelized, about five to seven minutes.

Mince the garlic and add to the onions. Sauté for about one minute before it turns brown.

Add the cauliflower and stir until it softens and looks a bit transparent.

Chop off the stem of the chard right at the base of the leaf. Taking about five leaves at a time, stack them on top of each other and then roll them like a cigar. Chiffonade the chard by slicing in ¼ inch slices across the rolled chard.

Slice the stems of the chard in thin slices the way you would celery.

Add the chard stems to the pan and cook until soft. Then, add the chiffonade chard and cook until hot and slightly wilted. Serve immediately.

 

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By the way, fermented vegetables is the easiest way to heal your gut. No probiotics needed if you are eating fermented foods. One to two servings a day and you are enriching your gut lining and getting good and healthy. During the COVID lockdown, we were really focused on eating lots of sauerkraut (no one was hoarding sauerkraut, so it was plentiful to purchase) to keep our immune system and guts strong and healthy.

Dry Fermenting

Serves:

Three to Five Mason Jars full

Total Time:

45 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 cabbage sliced, quartered and then sliced thin
  • 2 Tbsp. Himalayan Pink salt or Kosher salt
  • 1 outer leaf of cabbage cut round the size of the top of a lid

 

Directions:

Chop or shred cabbage. Place in a large ceramic or glass bowl and sprinkle with salt. Combine well with your hands until all the cabbage has been coated with the salt.

Let the mixture sit for about ½ hour. This allows the salt to pull the juices out of the cabbage.

After ½ hour or so (you can let it sit for hours), massage the cabbage with clean hands, until the juice begins to drip down to the bottom of the bowl (about 5 minutes).

Pack the wilted cabbage down into your canning jars. Tightly pack it in as well as you can. Make sure there is space between the top of the cabbage and the rim of the jar. 

Cut one of the outer leaves of the cabbage in a circle about the size of the lid. Using one of the clean, outer leaves of the cabbage, lay it on top and press the cabbage below the surface of the water. You might need to weight it with a clean rock or buy a fermenting weight.

Screw your lid on tightly keep in a cool dark place for t weeks.

Tip: It is normal to see bubbles, white scum, or foam on top during the fermentation. You shouldn’t see any actual mold, though. If you do, scrape it off the top, and make sure all the rest of the cabbage is fully submerged. All cabbage below the brine level should still be fine.

 

Wet Fermenting

Serves:

Two Mason Jars Full

Total Time:

45 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 C. filtered water

  • 2 Tbsp. Himalayan Pink salt or Kosher salt

 

Directions:

Use any vegetables of your choice. Some ideas are: carrots, garlic, cauliflower, lemons, radishes, just be creative.

Fill your jar tightly with all of our veggies and herbs.

Pour the salted water over the top of the veggies and fill the jar to the top.

Place your lid on tightly and store in a cool dark place for 10 to 14 days. It is normal for the water to get cloudy and for it to bubble. If it gets moldy, air has gotten inside. Once opened, place in the refrigerator.

 

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Serves:

6

Total Time:

2 hours

To Prepare

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp. Olive oil

  • 1 Tbsp. Butter

  • 2 large shallots, chopped

  • 3 scallions, chopped, white and green parts

  • 1 tsp. red pepper flakes

  • 1 clove garlic

  • 1.5 Lbs. collard greens, chopped

  • 1 ½ C. vegetable stock

  • 9 cherry tomatoes halved

  • Kosher salt and freshly

  • ground pepper to taste

 

Directions:

In a large skillet with a top, add the oil and butter and heat over medium heat.

Sauté the shallots and scallions until slightly softened, about 2 minutes, then add the red pepper flakes and garlic, cook another minute.

Add the vegetable stock, cover and bring to a simmer until the greens are tender, about 30 minutes.

Cover and cook for about 20 minutes at least, and then simmer again for another 30 minutes.

Add the tomatoes and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

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We love vegetables from the garden. But during the end of some seasons the vegetable choices are slim pickings. How do you use the same vegetable night after night and yet make it seem totally different? Here is how I mix it up! (No pun intended.)

Serves:

4 – 6

Total Time:

20 minutes

To Prepare

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups organic breadcrumbs

  • 4 Tbsp. freshly grated parmesan cheese

  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika

  • 4 tsp. Italian seasoning or Herbs de Provence

  • 1 tsp. salt

  • ½ tsp. pepper

  • 4 C. small cut veggies (cauliflower, broccoli, zucchini, eggplant)

  • 1 bottle organic olive oil spray

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees.

Spray baking sheet.

Combine the breadcrumbs, cheese, paprika, salt and pepper in a baking dish for ease of breading.

Place the veggies of your choice into a mixing bowl and spray with the olive oil then roll each piece into the breadcrumb mixture and then place onto a baking sheet. (Or you can place the breadcrumb mixture into a bag and put the veggies into the mixture and shake till covered.)

Place on a baking sheet spaced apart so they roast not steam.

Bake 10 to 20 mins until they are tender and golden brown. Enjoy!

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I found that smoked paprika is the key to this recipe’s great taste. Your guests will never know they are eating jicama unless they suddenly ask (and they might). The jicama is so much sweeter than potato fries. It takes a moment but watch your family and guests’ eyes sparkle when you tell them what they are eating.

Serves:

6 – 8

Total Time:

20 minutes

To Prepare

Ingredients:

  • 2 large whole jicamas or 2 to 3 packages of pre-sliced jicama from the market

  • 3-4 Tbsp. of EVOO or olive oil spray so as to cover all of the jicama

  • 1-2 Tbsp. of smoked paprika

  • 1 ½ Tbsp. Kosher salt

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees

Skin the Jicama and then slice it in half lengthwise.

Place the flat side of the jicama on the cutting board and proceed to slice cross-wise creating about ½ to ¾ inch slices.

Then, cut the slices that may be up to 2 inches wide into ½ to ¾ inch long slices to look like French fries. If you are using pre-packed cut jicama sticks (so much easier) start here.

Place the jicama sticks on a cookie sheet spray or sprinkle generously with the EVOO.

Sprinkle the fries with the smoked paprika and begin to toss with your hands until all of the fries are covered well on all sides with the paprika. The paprika allows the fries to look browned like real French fries and sweet potato fries and gives them a very smoky taste.

Sprinkle generously with Kosher salt and toss again.

Place them into the oven for 20-30 minutes until they are sizzling and browned and ready to devour.

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Nanny Bubby’s Challah

I love tradition. So many of us are only two generations removed from our ancestors who crossed the pond to come to America. Many of us were raised with deep traditions that have taken a back seat to our fast-paced American lives. For me, I was raised with the traditions of Eastern European Jews.

Our Thanksgiving table had things on that table that I, to this day, do not know how to pronounce or where to find it. As our families secularized and the old traditions seemed not to be as important as they once were, I still cling to wanting to share with my grandchildren who I am and how I grew up when I was their age.

My full identity was that I was a Jew. I want to pass down what that means to me to my grandchildren, and this is what one of my most trusted rabbis told me: “Marla, if you do nothing else, every week make challah with your grandchildren and light Shabbat candles.”

This recipe is so easy and helps me keep our traditions alive. Since my granddaughter, my little “Doll Face”, was two years old, we have been making challah together. It’s a good thing she can’t remember that when we started it was as hard and heavy as a hockey puck, LOL! But it’s been perfected now.

Remember when you bake bread it never turns out exactly the same each week. It takes on the essence of you in that moment. If you are being distracted, if you are happy and joyful, if you are angry or feeling stressed your bread reflects back to you where you have been in the present moment while making it. Baking bread is like yoga or anything that brings you into the now. Just watch. Enjoy!

Serves:

10 or just 4 – Regardless there is never challah left over.

Total Time:

3 hours 15 minutes

To Prepare

Ingredients:

  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • 2 tsp. rapid rise yeast
  • 2/3 C. warm water
  • 4 ½ C. bread flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/3 C. sugar
  • 1/3 C. avocado oil
  • 1 tsp. Kosher salt
  • ¾ C. warm water
  • 1 egg for egg wash prior to baking

Directions:

Combine the sugar, yeast and warm water and spin gently with a fork. Let sit for about 5 minutes till the yeast gives you about a one inch foamy top or more.

Put flour in mixer, make a well, and add the eggs, sugar, oil salt, water and yeast mixture. Mix on low just until ingredients are incorporated (about 30 seconds).

Change mixer to dough hook and knead for about five minutes. Add more flour if needed. Place dough in an oiled bowl and cover with a towel.

Place the bowl of dough in a warm dark place, which for me is my oven set at 125 degrees. Let dough rise for 1 ½ to 2 hours.

Punch the dough down. Braid the dough into one big or two small loaves.

Place braids on greased (or Silpat) baking sheet, cover and let rise for another 30 mins to 1 hour.

Pre heat oven to 325 degrees.

Brush tops of loaves with egg wash (one egg + one Tbsp. water).

Sprinkle with poppy or sesame seeds, or coarse salt, or Trader Joe’s Everything but the bagel seasoning if desired.

Bake one large loaf at convection at 325 degrees for 35 mins, or two small loaves at convection at 325 degrees for 30 mins.

For High Holy Days, I add one cup raisins and instead of braiding place in a circle on a baking sheet or into a spring form pan. Enjoy!

Tip: The “rule of thumb” for conventional ovens when translating from convection oven times and temps: the oven should be 25 degrees warmer than convection recipes and cook for 10 minutes longer.

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