Welcome to Romeo's Food Lady! This blog contains recipes for delicious vegetarian food. Most of these are not recipes authored by me. Rather, this is just a compilation of great veggie food I've found from all over the place, usually tweaked just a little. It's intended to be a reference FOR ME so I don't lose great food I've found nor the changes I've made to suit my tastes, but I'm happy for you to use it, too. After more than 25 years of being a vegetarian, I know what tastes good.
Romeo's Food Lady is named after my friend and cat, Romeo. Romeo is not a vegetarian, but his Food Lady is!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Swiss Chard with Pasta and a Lemon Shot

Don't judge me, but tonight was the very first time I've cooked with Swiss chard which, I believe, is a member of the beet family. I tried to grow it in my autumn garden this year, but I think I sowed the seeds too late for them to be productive. They sprouted, but then they didn't go anywhere. Maybe I didn't water them enough. I'm a VERY lazy gardener, especially when it comes to watering.

So while Scott's catching up with his very first best friend, Kareem, with whom he reconnected on Facebook (I guess Facebook is not 100% evil.), and while Romeo plays with a bug he found, and while Grace and Elvis sleep despite the fact that they've been sleeping since they "got up" this morning, I thought I'd post my Swiss chard project for the evening. It turned out fabulously!! I can't wait to eat it again! Here goes:

2 T. extra-virgin olive oil
2 T. vegan margarine
1 shallot, minced
1 bunch Swiss chard (I got the kind with brilliantly red stems.), washed
1 t. salt
freshly ground black pepper, to taste (I like a generous amount. You may not.)
2 cloves garlic, minced
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 lb. penne pasta (or, you know, you choose the shape)

First, rip the washed chard leaves from their stems and cut them into bite-sized pieces. Thinly slice the stems, sort of like celery.

Start a large pot of salted water on the stove to reach boiling. Cook the pasta according to package directions.

In the meantime, melt the vegan margarine with the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Sauté the minced shallot in the oil/margarine combination until it is transparent. (Don't all recipes start sort of like this?) Add the chard stem slices, the salt, and the black pepper. Sauté for 4 minutes, then add the garlic. Sauté a couple of minutes more, until it feels right. Once it feels right, add the chard leaves to the oil/butter/shallot/stem mixture and sauté until the leaves are wilted and coated with the oily sauce that is developing. Chard is a very wet green, and this will make a lot of moisture in the chard mixture. This is fine, so don't panic. Once the leaves are wilted down to a satisfying consistency when you bite one, squeeze the 1/2 lemon over the leaves and mix thoroughly.

Toss this with the finished pasta and serve immediately (with more freshly ground pepper, if you like...I do.). How cool are you for cooking with Swiss chard?!

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