Vegan Stuffed Swiss Chard

I used to really almost loathe swiss chard, which is surprising because I’ll eat just about anything that grows from the ground. I found it too earthy and gritty, but since I’ve been working at Greenbrier and bringing home copious amounts of the colorful, beautiful leaf, I had to find a way to make it that was completely delicious.

Sauteing it with some olive oil, garlic, cumin, sriracha (who doesn’t love the red rooster sauce!), salt, and a hint of maple syrup sold me. But I wanted more–more variety, more flavor, and something that wouldn’t leave me hungry a half an hour later!

Cheezy, slightly spicy, with the flavor of sweet corn and sweet potatoes.

Vegan Stuffed Swiss Chard
10-15 Swiss Chard leaves
1 Medium size sweet potato
1/2 chopped white onion
1 15 oz can black beans (well rinsed)
1 cup sweet corn
2 cups cooked quinoa (I used red quinoa)
3/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp curry powder
1 tsp garlic powder
Sweet Potato Cheeze Sauce  

Sweet Potato Cheeze Sauce
1 cup cooked sweet potato (about half of the sweet potato listed above)
1/2 cup cashews
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup non-dairy milk
3/4 cup water
3/4 cup nutritional yeast
3/4 tsp onion powder
1 tsp dijon mustard
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp turmeric (for color)

1. Cut the sweet potato in half and chop coarsely. Cook on stove top over medium-high heat with olive oil. While this cooks, start the rest of your sauce.

2. In a food processor, blend the cashews, sunflower seeds, garlic, non-dairy milk, and water until smooth. Add in the rest of the ingredients. When the sweet potato pieces are soft, add to the sauce and puree until creamy.

3. Make sure your swiss chard is thoroughly washed, and remove the stems by slicing them off of the leaf. Don’t discard them–chop them, the other half of the sweet potato, and your onion and saute in a pan with olive oil.

4. Cook until the sweet potatoes have begun to soften and add black beans, corn, and cooked quinoa. Sprinkle with salt, curry powder, and garlic powder.

5. Now it’s time to stuff the chard! Lay one row of leaves in a 9X13 glass pan. Spoon a generous amount of the sautéed mixture onto the leaves.

6. Add some cheeze sauce and roll the leaves. You will have to break the stalk as you roll it. Continue until you’ve stuffed all your chard (sounds like an insult, doesn’t it?)

7. Top all of the rolled chard leaves with the remaining sauce.

8. Bake in a 350 oven for 15 minutes.

 I enjoyed mine with some sriracha 🙂 You’ll need a fork and knife to dig into this baby . . .

How do you prepare swiss chard? 

This is shared on: Real Food Wednesday and Fight Back Friday.


Flavorful Flourless Fiberful Chocolate Brownies!

Can you say yum? Because I can, and it sounds a lot like eating a gooey, warm, chocolatey brownie . . .

These special brownies have a secret ingredient (not that) that adds protein and fiber! When I served them to friends and asked them to guess, they speculated love and happiness. How sweet. Well, they have plenty of love, but the special secret is black beans! I’ve made these once before with my sister, but re-stumbled upon the recipe at Practical Stewardship. Though most of my recipes are vegan, this does use eggs. I used eggs from my internship at the farm, so they are from truly free-range, happy, heirloom chickens. Farm fresh eggs have less fat, less dietary cholesterol,  more vitamin A, more vitamin E, and more protein (source).

Per serving, these brownies have about 5 grams of dietary fiber,13 grams of sugar, and 7 grams of protein. Compare that to a Betty Crocker Brownie Mix Supreme with 1 gram of dietary fiber, 32 grams of sugar, and 1.5 grams of protein. Actually, they really don’t compare 😉 In other news, I’m still struggling with my alliteration problem . . .

Flavorful Flourless Fiberful Brownies
1 15 oz can black beans, rinsed
3 farm fresh eggs
2 Tbls Earth Balance
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 Tbls vanilla extract
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup raw sugar
1/4 cup dark chocolate chips

1. Blend all ingredients (except chocolate chips) in a blender or food processor.

2. Pour into a greased 9×9 pan.

3. Sprinkle with dark chocolate chips, or other desired toppings (I think walnuts or pecans would be simply divine).

4. Bake in a 350 oven for 30 minutes, until a toothpick comes out of the center clean. Mine were cooked thirty minutes and were still veryyy gooey, so if you’d like them a bit firmer I suggest cooking 32-35 minutes.

5. Let cool as long as you can before eating one (or two)!

Do you ever sneak “healthy” ingredients into indulgent foods? 

Asian “Mac & Cheese”

This dish is DELICIOUS . . . but not perfect yet. I’m going to have to play around with it a bit to get the texture right on the cheezy sauce. But the taste is outta control delicious, which comes in part from Chinese and Indian influences!

After going to Indian food two weeks ago, I picked up some goodies at the attached Indian grocer. One of the ingredients I bought is called “simmer sauce,” and it looks absolutely divine. It’s ingredients include: cashews, onion, coriander, red chili, sea salt, coconut milk powder, garlic, turmeric, ginger, rice, green chili, green cardamom, safflower oil, pistachio, clove, bay leaf, black pepper, fennel, cumin, mace, and saffron.

I promised you  this recipe for today, so I’ll give it to you! Just realize that soon, I will redo it. And it will be even better!

 Asian “Mac & Cheese” 

1 package of your favorite macaroni pasta shape
1 cup raw cashews
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
3/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 1/2 oz tofu (about 1/4 of a block)
1 cup almond milk
2 garlic cloves
1 tbls earth balance
1 tsp dijon mustard
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp turmeric (for color)
1 tsp miso
1 tsp simmer sauce (substitute any combination of the above list)

1. Cook pasta according to package instructions. I usually put some olive oil into my water to keep the pasta from sticking.

2. In a food processor, blend cashews, sunflowers, tofu, almond milk, nutritional yeast, and earth balance until smooth.

3. Combine the sauce and pasta. If you don’t want to do a baked dish, heat on the stove on medium heat until warmed throughout. Enjoy!

4. If, however, you want to bake it . . . preheat that oven to 375, place the macaroni in a dish, and top with Daiya Cheese and homemade croutons*!

5. Bake at 375 for twenty minutes.

6. Devour quickly.

Homemade croutons:
Cube 2 slices whole wheat bread.
Spray with olive oil.
Sprinkle with salt, garlic powder, and dill.
Broil in oven on high until toasted.

I’m excited to remake this soon! I have some ideas to make it even more creamy and delicious, and to make those flavors really pop! And, even though it isn’t perfect in my mind, I did have a friend tell me at the meal yesterday, “It isn’t mac and cheese, but I think I like it better than mac and cheese!”

Mission, accomplished.

What is your favorite pasta dish?