ligurian chard with pine nuts, quinoa + feta

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To say that I’ve an addictive personality would be an understatement. I tend to cleave to things, people, to an excess, to the point where the very thing I once love begins to sicken me. From the blueberry muffin to the glorious almond croissant (I won’t quit you!) to toxic girlfriends, my addiction has run the gamut so I’ve got to be careful.

One of the reasons why I subscribed to Blue Apron Meals {brief parenthetical: I’m in no way, shape or form being compensated or incentivized to prattle on endlessly about these guys — I just seriously love the service and have gotten scores of my work colleagues hooked} is the fact that it affords me meal diversity because I tend to get into a food rut when under considerable work stress. Then all of a sudden the delivery guys have my phone number programmed into their cell phones, and my garbage bin is piled high with leftover tubs of gnocchi pesto. NOT GOOD, PEOPLE. No wins in this scenario and a month of wearing leggings is the epitome of the downward spiral.

So today after French class I raced home and cooked up some healthy and FLAVORFUL chard with pine nuts, feta and quinoa. Not only do I feel virtuous about the food I’m eating (and the money I’m saving), I’m not hitting the Italian restaurant on speed dial.

INGREDIENTS: Recipe courtesy of Blue Apron Meals
1 bunch swiss chard
1 cup quinoa
1/4 cup golden raisins
4oz feta cheese
1 tbsp pine nuts
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
3 cloves garlic
8-10 Kalamata olives
1 cup vegetable broth
1 small onion
1 lemon

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DIRECTIONS
First, put a medium pot of water to a boil. Wash the chard, shake off the excess water. Next thinly slice the greens, onion and garlic. Finally, pit and chop the olives and set everything aside.

Add the quinoa to the boiling water, add a little salt, and cook for 8-10 minutes. While the quinoa is cooking, toast the pine nuts in a dry pan over high heat for a few seconds. Keep an eye on the nuts as they can burn and then you are left crying because pine nuts are EXPENSIVE and you’ve just ruined them. Trust me, I’ve been there. Remove the pine nuts from the heat and set aside.

Once the quinoa is done, drain it well and mix with the golden raisins, half of the pine nuts, half of the cheese, and the juice of half of a lemon. Season with salt (go easy on this as the feta and olives are quite salty) and pepper to taste.

Drizzle a little olive oil (1 tbsp) in a medium pan and turn the heat to high. Sauté the onion, red pepper flakes, and garlic for a few minutes, or until the onions start to soften. The last few Blue Apron recipes I tried I had to dial down the temperature and time as my garlic was getting chard. I had it on medium heat for 2-3 minutes, adding a little salt so the onions could sweat, and I was golden. Then, add the chard and sauté for a few more minutes until the leaves start to wilt.

Next, add the broth to the pan and simmer over medium-high heat. Cook until the broth reduces a bit, 5-6 minutes. Season with salt/pepper to taste.

Divide the quinoa between two plates (or pack a separate tupperware for work, as I do), then serve the chard over the top. Sprinkle the chopped olives over the quinoa and greens. Garnish with remaining cheese and pine nuts, along with a lemon wedge. Enjoy!

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