Last week I used Swiss chard to make a surprisingly delicious apple ginger green smoothie, with everyday pantry ingredients I usually have on hand. Having at least one delicious idea for Swiss chard come to mind makes buying this green veggie somewhat less daunting. Yet, to get really comfortable with this new ingredient, I am inspired to discover more everyday delicious uses.
Swiss chard Adventure #2 ~ Everyday Salads
When I asked for your suggestions on Facebook, someone mentioned that Swiss chard tastes good in salads if the leaves are finely chopped. So I put the tip to the test in a spring version of my “Everyday Salad.”
The Ingredients for an Affordable Everyday Salad
I always see people making big salads with the most expensive organic produce like chopped tomatoes, cucumbers and bell peppers, probably because they don’t know what else to use, yet these ingredients will make your grocery bills add up. To save money, make your everyday salads using affordable carrots and beets! Not only are these colourful roots less expensive than their salad counterparts, they store a long time in the fridge. So if you do not get around to using your veggies right away they will still be alive 1 or sometimes 2 weeks later. :-)
In my books, grated carrots and beets are the tastiest way to use these veg. I do not have the time to grate them every day, so I shred a big batch using my food processor. I shred enough to last 2 - 3 days by storing in an air tight glass container. :-)
Not only am I being brave by adding Swiss chard to my salad, I am also going to add bitter dandelion greens ~ one of the ultimate liver lovin' superfoods. Click here to read about the benefits, including lots of bitter greens into your spring-time cuisine. By the way - I have not tried this myself, but you can eat the leaves from the dandelion weeds that grow in your garden (just make sure no dogs have been nearby); you can't get much more affordable and local than that.
One of the secrets to making everyday food delicious, is the addition of fresh herbs. One of my favourite choices is basil. Some people avoid buying fresh herbs because they use them once then go to waste. However, if you plan your weekly grocery list with flavours that complement one another, fresh herbs can easily be used throughout the week. This is part of learning the “Art of Everyday Health.” Yes it takes a bit of practice, but it is possible. My Produce Shopping List for Everyday Spring West coast Cuisine, has been, in part designed so that the flavours of the vegetables and herbs compliment one another. If you follow the link, it is available to download for free :-)
In the end, I created a delicious “Everyday Salad” with a base of green lettuce, a few dandelion greens (not too many, otherwise they will overpower the taste), finely chopped Swiss chard, fresh basil & fresh mint all roughly chopped and tossed together for a healthy delicious salad. I topped my creation with affordable shredded carrots, beets, and superfood sunflower seed sprouts. The large pieces of fresh basil and mint LOVED the carrots, beets, and made the bitter dandelion and the Swiss chard delicious!
I paired the salad with a lemon thyme dressing. Thyme is one of the most versatile herbs. That is why I have included it as one of the five herb "must-haves" on my Everyday Pantry Shopping List. Did I mention that thyme LOVES lemon ~ a fruit that is one of the more potent liver detoxifiers.
I was sure to make a large amount of dressing so that I could use it all week long to help make everyday healthy meals quick. The best part of making your own dressing (besides the fact that it is WAY healthier than the store bought stuff), is that as the week progresses, the flavours blend together, and the vinaigrette becomes more delicious.
So voila! Another example where healthy meets practical, meets affordable, meets delish! Enjoy.
As always, I love to hear from you! Please be in touch to share your recipes, tips and feedback.