Organic Red Chard

Nuts Over My Chard

Is it weird to drink a new veggie before ever eating it?

I tried out a beautiful leaf of organic red chard today. I’ve never eaten chard before, but at the time of this photo, I was about to drink it!

Organic Red Chard

Organic Red Chard, about to go into the Vitamix

This turned out to be an excellent smoothie! It was light and nutty and didn’t taste green at all. I don’t mind green-tasting smoothies, but I’m also glad to whip up a few concoctions that don’t taste green. It didn’t look green, either.

Nutty Chard Green Smoothie

Nutty Chard Green Smoothie (that doesn’t look green)

The one big leaf equals a little over 1 cup of greens, which is about what I use in my single servings. It worked out well!

This makes about 1 quart total – 432 calories in one large serving, or 216 if you split it with a friend. You can swap the nuts for any variety you like – I’ve used walnuts, cashews, and even 1 scoop of PB2 in place of the nuts. It’s delicious every which way. (Different nuts or PB2 will affect the nutrition content – this info was generated based on walnuts). Full nutrition info follows the recipe.

Enjoy!

Nutty Chard Green Smoothie

by Shelly Hokanson

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 0 minutes

Ingredients (1-2 servings)

  • 1 cup vanilla soymilk or other non-dairy milk
  • 1 leaf swiss chard (approximately 1 cup, packed)
  • 3 slices pineapple, round
  • 5 medium strawberries, hulled
  • 1/4 cup walnuts or other nuts
  • 3 inch hunk of cucumber, peeled (about 1/4 of a medium cucumber)
  • 4-5 ice cubes

Instructions

Blend in a high powered blender or Vitamix until smooth, approximately 45 seconds.

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My Fave Soup

Why is it that the best soups always seem to be a pain in the arse to make? Not so in this case, cowboy!

(Cowboy? What?)

This soup has nothing to do with cowboys. It’s hearty enough for a cowboy, though.

Really. I’m not kidding. Yes, it’s a veggie soup. Yes, it’s hearty. Bonus: it’s vegan! And it is incredibly easy to make.

First up: saute some garlic and leeks and/or onions in a little olive oil.

Saute garlic and leeks/onions.

Next, add broccoli, rolled oats (the original kind, not the instant kind), soy milk, and dill. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 10 minutes.

Broccoli soup in progress

Add salt and pepper to taste, then puree with an immersion blender. Voila!

Creamy Broccoli Soup

So filling. So good.

This recipe works great with asparagus, too. I suspect it would be great with any soup-happy vegetable. If you don’t have an immersion blender, a food processor or blender works too – just let the soup cool a bit before you process it, and make sure to have the steam vent open while blending.

Enjoy a soup-er meal!

Creamy Broccoli Soup (Vegan)

by Shelly

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients (4 servings)

  • 1 leek, chopped and 1 small onion, chopped
  • OR
  • 3 leeks, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 6 cups broccoli (frozen or fresh)
  • 4 cups unsweetened soy milk
  • 1/2 tsp dried dill
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

1. Saute garlic and onions and/or leeks over medium heat in olive oil until soft, about 3 minutes.

2. Add broccoli, soy milk, oats, and dill. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until broccoli is soft, about 10 minutes.

3. Puree with an immersion blender.

4. Add salt and pepper, to taste.

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Purple Cauliflower

Purple Cauliflower

Your eyes are not deceiving you. This isn’t some wacky Photoshop hack.

Purple Cauliflower

Purple Cauliflower

I was wandering through the last few days of the fall market at the Harrisonburg Farmers Market when I came across a booth with… purple cauliflower? I asked the farmer, “What is this purple cauliflower?” and he replied, “Well, it’s purple cauliflower!” I was expecting some sort of bizarre answer, after my encounters with alien cauliflower, but no. It was just purple cauliflower. According to Wikipedia:

Purple color in cauliflower is caused by the presence of the antioxidant group anthocyanins, which can also be found in red cabbage and red wine.[9] Varieties include ‘Graffiti’ and ‘Purple Cape’.

Excellent! But what would I do with it?

I decided to follow the same path as I did with the romanesco cauliflower; I boiled it.

Purple Cauliflower, boiling

Purple Cauliflower, boiling

Holy cow – that was fun!

Then, I mixed it with some Daiya mozzarella and unsweetened soymilk and turned it into cheesy purple cauliflower.

Cheesy Purple Cauliflower

Cheesy Purple Cauliflower

And while this was cheesy right off the spoon, it was even more delicious when I started dunking hunks of crusty bread into it.

I will miss the awesome produce of the farmers market through the winter. The market does continue through the winter here, but finding local, seasonal produce becomes less and less likely. Just one more reason to look forward to spring!