Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Delicious Winter Dinner

I have to share last night's dinner, because I finally made something I'd been looking at for a while: swiss chard chips.  You can make them out of just about any sturdy leafy-green, I just happened to have swiss chard in the fridge.  I hear lacinto, or dinosaur kale also works well.
We also had a sweet potato (not a yam) in the fridge that I wanted to use up, so last night centered around oven-roasted winter vegetables. 

First, I chopped the sweet potato into french-fry-like shapes, tossed them with extra-virgin olive oil, sea salt, ground pepper and a sprinkling of curry powder.  Those went into the oven on a greased cookie sheet at 400 degrees.  They'll take 30 - 45 minutes depending on the size of the fries.
Even though sweet potato fries have become quite popular lately, many pre-packaged varieties contain gluten, often because flour is used.  So the easiest (and healthiest) way for me to have sweet potato fries is to make them myself!

While the fries were cooking, I started in on the swiss chard.  I washed it, removed the leaves from the stems, cut them into squares about 4in x 4in, then sent them through the salad spinner to make sure the leaves were very dry.  After patting them dry, I transferred them into a gallon zip-lock bag.  I added olive oil, salt, pepper and a little bit of cumin for extra flavor.  (We realized after the fact that I added a bit too much salt, but we like salt in our house, so it's not the worst thing!  A few good shakes of salt should be plenty.)  I mixed everything up to ensure that all leaves were coated in olive oil, then transferred them to 2 oiled cookie sheets.
I think swiss chard is a beautiful vegetable!  It's a great ornamental, but I think it too often is overlooked as a food.

I stuck the chard in the 400 degree oven for about 10 minutes, but watched closely to ensure they weren't burning.  They're done when they're turning brown.

When I took the out of the oven, the leaves had all flattened and looked like they'd be stuck to the cookie sheet.  But using a spatula, I careful lifted them off the pan, and discovered that they had crisped perfectly!  It was all I could do to not eat the entire pan right then and there!  Crispy, salty, flavorful, and better than any potato chip I've ever tasted!  I'm a convert.  I have to warn you, though.  They aren't the most visually appealing when they come out of the oven, but give them a chance - they're divine!
Trader Joe's Tomato and Roasted Red Pepper soup, a smoked Gouda grilled cheese sandwich (with Udi's Gluten Free Bread), curried sweet potato fries and the swiss chard chips made for a fantastic and easy winter meal!  Nevermind that winter didn't officially start until today, it was a great way to start off the winter season.

1 comment:

  1. nummy! kale chips was one of those things I had on my list this summer that i never got around to. This makes me want to go dig around in the snow in my garden, and see if any kale or chard is still edible. Probably not, but it's worth a look. If not, there's always gateway and next spring. I love sweet potato fries, an old favorite, We always make our own.


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