Rainbow Chard and Quinoa
Is it still “buying local” if you drive 200 km to get to the farmers’ market? This weekend I headed down to Prince George to visit my aunt and uncle. I also had the intention to stock up on groceries unavailable (or too expensive) here, and was very pleased to realise that it was Saturday and therefore the farmers’ market.
I discovered P&R Organics and looked no farther. (Okay, that’s not true. I did check out the competition, but they had more vegetables than anyone else, and were reasonably priced as well.) I bought potatoes, cherry tomatoes, a cucumber, zucchini, yellow squash, carrots, and rainbow chard. And then I had to stop myself. But then I found the used book store just a few doors up the street… but that’s another story.
I didn’t feel up to making a big meal tonight after getting home but I did want to start using my vegetables so I came up with a quick recipe using rainbow chard and some of the organic quinoa my aunt had given me.
1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed*
1 cup water
1 tbsp canola or olive oil
12 stalks (or more) rainbow chard, cleaned, leaf part torn into large pieces, and stalks cut into inch-long pieces
1-2 tbsp raisins
1 clove garlic, minced
salt, pepper, butter (or margarine) , and white vinegar to taste
Place quinoa and water in a small saucepan, cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes or until all water is absorbed. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large saucepan. Add chard stems, and cook, stirring occasionally, until partly softened, about 4 minutes. Add leaves, raisins, and garlic; cover. Cook, stirring occasionally, until leaves are wilted and stalks are tender, about 6 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat, season with salt and pepper; season with butter and vinegar if desired. Served chard over quinoa.
*The easiest way I’ve found to rinse quinoa is to use cheesecloth, as strainers are generally too coarse and you’ll get quinoa everywhere. If your quinoa says “pre-washed” or “pre-rinsed” then you don’t have to worry about the bitter saponin coating.
If you are one of those people who asks, “Is organic really any better?” (cough, cough, Mum, cough) I don’t have a complete answer, but here’s an article about how pesticide use affects birds.