Saturday, January 3, 2015


If you ask me, the prize of this week's basket was RAINBOW CHARD!  It's one of the most exciting of the winter greens because it brings so much color to what is usually the least colorful time of the year.  Good chard looks, feels and smells crisp and fresh.  You'll want to store it in the refrigerator in a plastic bag with excess moisture removed.  Once you're ready to use it, you've got plenty of options.  Here are a few:
  • Add to omelets
  • Add to soups and stir fries
  • Boil, steam, or stir-fry them on their own
You'll want to wash it thoroughly under water.  Uncurl the leaves or anywhere there might be dirt in the crevices.  Let air dry, blot dry with a paper towel, or use a salad spinner.  Both leaves and stalk are edible.  The stalk just needs longer cook-time.  Quick cooking tips:
  • To Boil:  Should take about 3-5 minutes - just until tender.
  • To Steam:  About 2-3 minutes.
  • To Saute:  Heat a little olive oil over medium heat.  Add some minced garlic and red pepper flakes and saute for 30 seconds, then add the greens.  Saute until slightly wilted, then cover and cook until tender.  It won't take long!

We've put together a meal plan, with feeding a family of 4 in mind.  However, these ideas would be great no matter how many you're feeding.  This meal plan uses produce from a Utah basket from Bountiful Baskets and is based on MyPlate recommendations.  We'll also use a few simple ingredients from a well stocked kitchen and minimal additional items from the market.  You can click on each recipe name for the recipe.  Everything shown here was included in the basket contribution - $15 plus a small fee ($2.50).  Everything pictured came from my personal Bountiful Basket.  

Basket items:  Head of Broccoli
I'm torn this week.  We've had broccoli almost every week lately and I'm usually not a broccoli lover.  Having it so often and being forced to find ways to enjoy it has actually helped me to like it!  Now I can't decide if I just want to crunch on it raw, simply sauté it with some light flavorings, or turn it into a one-pot meal like Chicken Divan.  (Serve with rice)  Chicken Divan (which has a delightful curry flavor) would stretch it the most to make a complete meal and feed more people, so I'm putting that in the meal plan. Broccoli & Cheese soup would also make an affordable meal.  You can also make both dishes using our fabulous SOS mix.

Basket items:   1 bell pepper, most of one head of lettuce, handful of blueberries, handful of strawberries
Won't these items make a pretty salad?  I'll add almonds (you could also use chicken, beans, or other protein), shredded cheese, and cooked long grain wild rice (or other grain).  Add your favorite dressing or just oil and vinegar.  

Basket items:  leaves of the Rainbow Chard
This egg-drop soup is one of my favorite cold-weather comfort foods.  And, it's a crowd-pleaser! We'll just be using the leaves of the chard for this recipe.  Save the stalks for later in the week!  This would go well with italian seasoned breadsticks and side salad.

Basket items:  1 large spaghetti squash, 1 bell pepper
My best friend makes this regularly for her family and occasionally when I am lucky enough to be a guest at their home for dinner.  She's one of the best cooks I know (and today is her birthday!)  HAPPY BIRTHDAY, BRITTANY!!  This dish is very healthy and tasty.  Use whatever vegetables you have on hand or pick up a few more at the market.

Basket items:   A few leaves of lettuce, 1/3-1/2 of the pineapple, 4 medium potatoes
All I need are the burger buns, the hamburger patties (or vegetarian option...Mmm... portabello burgers sound mouth-wateringly good), and some sweet onions (which I will sauté.)  This recipe makes delicious roasted potatoes.  Potatoes can be baked whole or cut into fries, seasoned, and baked.

Basket items:  handful of blueberries, 1/3 of 1 bell pepper, several potatoes
I love having breakfast for dinner.  And I double love blueberry pancakes.  Of course, I could eat a package of blueberries in one sitting.  Making something with the blueberries will help to stretch them to make sure everyone at your table gets to enjoy them.  You can add them to any pancake batter recipe or use the one above.   I pour the batter onto my skillet, then drop the blueberries onto each one as it is cooking.  This helps the color from the berries not to run into the pancakes and turn them blue or green.

I'll make a skillet meal with the potatoes and part of one of the peppers.  I'll also use an onion, seasonings from my kitchen, and possibly eggs and cheese (sausage or ham would also be good!).

Basket items:  1-2 bell peppers, stalks of the Rainbow Chard
Serve as side dishes with the main course of your choice.
RAINBOW CHARD:  Don't waste those gorgeous stalks!  Slice them into bite site pieces and sauté.  Melt butter or oil in a saute pan at medium heat. Add the stalks. Stir slowly but constantly for two to three minutes or until the stalks are slightly browned. If desired, add salt, paprika, garlic or lemon juice for flavor, or other ingredients.  Mashed potatoes would go nicely as another side dish.

PEPPERS:  I just love orange peppers.  It's probably because they sport one of my favorite colors and are just so darn cute.  I would eat all of them raw and be pretty happy about it.  But I need more of a meal for Sunday so I'm thinking I'll roast them in olive oil and have them over a sliced baguette.  To stretch even further, use as topping on a pizza.

Basket items:  Most of 1 clamshell of strawberries, 1/2-2/3 pineapple, 3 grapefruit, 1 dozen fuji apples

Strawberry Smoothie or other smoothie
fruit parfait
Strawberry Shortcake
Fresh grapefruit halves sprinkled with cinnamon
5-minute apple crisp
Pineapple Curry
Fruit salad
Apple slices on grilled cheese sandwich/quesadilla
Strawberry or apple empanadas
sliced or whole fresh fruit
Fresh fruit in a green salad
Apple slices with peanut butter
Fresh fruit sliced over a bagel w/peanut butter or cream cheese
yogurt or cottage cheese with fresh fruit
Waldorf Salad
Strawberries dipped in fat free plain greek yogurt sprinkled with brown sugar
homemade applesauce
dried apples
homemade fruit roll ups
freeze fruit for homemade sherbet


  1. Thank you for these ideas. We are not fans of Chard, however, I cooked some bacon pieces, removed them, sauteed the Rainbow Chard in it, than returned the bacon to the pan along with slivered almonds. It was yummy. Tonight I will make Chicken Stir Fry to serve over brown rice. I will use chard, broccoli, orange pepper, celery, carrots, water chestnut and whatever else I find to throw in. Love the Bountiful Baskets.

  2. Jackie, thanks for sharing your ideas with us! You reminded me I should keep some water chestnuts in my pantry and everything you described sounds delicious!