As I mentioned earlier this week, I’ve planned out my meals for the week. So far so good, though I had to replace soaked oatmeal for breakfast yesterday with a fried egg and sourdough toast with jam. I spaced the night before and thought I didn’t have any milk or yogurt, but I did. Oh well, the egg and toast were tasty!
One problem I’ve had lately has been incorporating enough vegetables into my diet, so I included them in the meal plan. Since it’s spring, asparagus is in season, so I’ve had that a couple times already – once with quinoa and once simply roasted with olive oil and salt. So good, especially this time of year (I rarely eat it out of season).
I also cooked up a couple bunches of organic swiss chard – when I am running, as I’ve started doing again, I often crave dark leafy greens. Not sure why, but I do. I just love them. I’ll have them for lunch and dinner throughout the week.
I am convinced that if I hadn’t planned it all out, I would not have eaten those vegetables, and they would slowly rot in my fridge. Not good.
I love to cook and explore new recipes, but I have to be careful about not tiring out in the evenings after work, especially now that I’m running and exerting a lot more. So, a lot of the time I tend to fall back on just cooking, not following a recipe (however, I have reserved one evening this week to devote to something more elaborate). I put together things that taste good together, using cooking techniques I’m comfortable with (sauteeing, boiling, roasting, etc.). This week that manifested itself into the following meals:
red quinoa with white onions, asparagus, and walnuts
sauteed chard with garlic and lemon
cubed cheddar cheese
Both meals are easy to make and allow for some improvisation. They contain, real, whole foods in season, with plenty of green veggies to counteract my recent habit of not eating many. I also cooked the quinoa with the chicken broth I made on Sunday, making the dish even more nourishing.
Although both meals contain pretty straightforward dishes (you can pretty much figure out how to make them from their description), one tip I’ll pass on has to do with the garlic lemon chard – get rid of the excess liquid created by the chard after it wilts. All that liquid dilutes the yummy garlic and lemon flavors. Here’s the full recipe:
Garlic Lemon Greens
1 bunch greens (spinach is best, but chard and kale work, too)
1-2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1 lemon and its zest
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
Cut off the stems and wash the greens to get rid of any dirt. Check over the washed greens for any discolored leaves and remove them. Chop into big pieces.
Add olive oil to a hot skillet. Add garlic then a little salt, and saute for about 30 seconds.
Add the chopped greens and immediately rotate them. Add a little salt. When they have started to wilt, add lemon zest and red pepper flakes. Continue to rotate the greens until they are quite wilted.
Dump entire contents of the pan into a sieve. Press the greens down to dispose of as much extra liquid as possible. Return greens to the pan.
Add juice of 1/2 to 1 lemon (depending on how lemony you like your greens) and mix with the greens. Drizzle another tsp of olive oil over the greens. Serve immediately.
This post is participating in Real Food Wednesday, hosted by Kelly the Kitchen Kop.