swiss chard and other csa things

i knew going into this whole csa thing, it would make us try vegetables we’ve never even  seen or heard of before. i decided early on to take this on as a challenge and hope for no fails. i have seen swiss chard at the market i buy produce at, i’ve seen people use it on cooking shows and i have seen it on menus, but i have never actually ate or cooked with it. so here goes nothing:

i made 2 dinners this week with swiss chard.

a veggie frittata

started by caramelizing onions, once a light brown color i added red peppers and zucchini, sauteed for a few minutes, then added the swiss chard to cook down a bit, only for a minute or so, then added the eggs (used a box of egg whites and 3 full eggs) and some fresh parm to the top, cooked until the eggs were pretty solid on the bottom and sides and then stuck it in the 400 degree oven for 15 minutes, served with whole wheat toast and was fantastic, i like the swiss chard how ever the onions were the total star of this dinner. (yes that is apple crumble in the corner, i will get to that… eventually)

crock pot bbq pulled chicken, with sauteed greens and corn bread muffins

this was that crock pot chicken with coke, i know not a healthy choice but i had a taste for it, so i made it, it is super simple and tastes awesome. i took a lb of chicken (breasts only) along with a bottle of bbq sauce (i used trader joes kansas style, i know i should make my own… i will get there… eventually) and a can of coke. throw it all in the crock pot 4 hours on high or all day on low, shred and serve. I usually serve this on whole wheat buns, but thought with the corn bread this would have too much carbs. i know those scary carbs….right?

speaking of the corn bread, i know, it looks weird, i used the white corn meal, and forgot to use baking powder, tasted good, but the texture was off. it wasn’t as sweet as cornbread i have had before, i did use a recipe that called for white corn meal, and it had an option to make it sweeter, i think i will do that next time. the greens- that is actually the swiss chard and tatsoi we got in our box this week. i thinly sliced 3 cloves of garlic, lightly browned them in a some garlic olive oil (did i mention we love garlic?) threw in the greens, cooked them down and added some fresh squeezed lemon. salt and pepper….. and some fresh parm too… mmmm parm…

may i recommend–DMK burger bar—lombard

dmk, the chicago location, has been featured on diners, drive-ins and dives. however this is not how i came to love this place. i was on 22nd street heading torwards yorktown mall when i noticed the big red DMK letters in between the starbucks and the jareds. so when i got home i googled (is that a verb yet?). and then saw the menu. i was sold, i had to go.

This was my third visit:

fried pickles & okra, a MUST

chili rubbed onion strings- very very good, but fried pickles always win my heart/taste buds over.

lots and lots of fries- the sweet potato is by far my fave, the others are awesome, and this was the first time i had fries with gravy, good but very rich

#13- crispy portobello, fontina cheese, arugla, marinated tomatoes & horseradish sauce= amazing

I have actually tasted many of the burgers there, my top three being the pastrami one, the patty melt and the one above. the bison and lamb are good but my top 3 are better.

i highly recommend making a trip out to this place, not sure if the one in the city is much different food-wise, i hope not though. the cocktails are unique and delicious, i had the backyard bbq and lemonade ones. the mac and cheese is so good i can’t even think of the words to describe it, i just start drooling. they also have homemade sodas and a decent beer selection. It is on the small side but on a friday at 7 we got seated in less then 20 minutes. staff is friendly, maybe too casual at times (our waitress was sitting down at another table and sometimes would take awhile to get/refill our drinks). and the nerdy design geek in me loves their logo, i kinda want a t-shirt.

csa asparagus

as mentioned before we got aspargus in our last csa box. my favorite way to eat aspargus is wrapped in prosciutto with lemon and basil and then grilled. probably not the healthiest way to eat it, but that was not the question. i tend to just throw asparagus into things like stir fry, frittas, pasta etc.

here is one the super easy, super fast ways to make asparagus pasta:

cook pasta according to directions, for the last 2-3 min of the pasta cooking throw the chopped up asparagus in the pot with the pasta. once those 2-3 min is up, drain the pasta and asparagus, in the same pot i added a lug of olive oil and squeezed in a whole lemon, then added some frozen basil (fresh works best, but it was all i had, and i think the frozen tastes better then dried, ok that should be a post all on it’s own.) after that i threw the pasta and aspargus back in the pot added salt and pepper to my liking, then the best part i added the parmesean cheese, about a quarter cup mixed in to get slightly melty, i’m sure that’s a legit culinary term… then plated and added more parm of course.

i did use whole wheat pasta. we don’t mind it, so for an everyday dinner i go with it, if i was making pasta for company,  or people i’d need to impress, i’d go to standard market and get the fresh made stuff. i hope to one day to venture into the pasta making world, but i haven’t gotten those attachments for my kitchen aid just yet…