Friday, October 19, 2012

Home Again Dinner

Last weekend I flew to Southern California to wish a dear, dear friend a Happy Birthday.  How dear?  Well, let's just say, there aren't many people who could persuade me to take a picture like this...

If you're going to rock a duck face, the only way to do it is in fabulous glasses.

I hadn't been back in CA in 4 years.  It was a little surreal to see the old stomping grounds again.  Between seeing old friends and visiting old places there was lots and lots of eating at old favorite restaurants.  Imma pretend it was all 100% unprocessed, m'kay?  When I got back, I needed something to cleanse my palate from all the Indian/Fondu/Italian/Random Stuff I Found in People's Pantries/Disgusting Water Kefir (a story for another day) I'd been pounding for two days.

This is the kind of meal we eat a lot.  Simple, balanced, seasonal.  I threw this together with what I found in the fridge.  If you have the beans and beets made ahead of time, this comes together pretty quickly.  

Roasted Beets with Sautéed Chard, White Beans and Quinoa
2 C cooked white beans
1 large roasted beet, peeled
1 bunch chard, washed and roughly chopped
2 large cloves garlic, pressed
3 C cooked quinoa
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
1 tsp olive oil
feta or fresh Parmesan cheese (opt)

If you don't have your beans and beets made, go ahead and get that started.  You can quick soak your beans two or three hours ahead by bringing your beans to a boil, turning them off and letting them sit covered for an hour.  When the hour is over, drain the beans, cover with water and add a teaspoon of salt and boil for another hour or until beans are tender.  Or of course you could use canned.  

To roast your beet, preheat the oven to 350°, wrap the beet in foil and put it on a cookie sheet.  Bake until you can pierce easily to the center.  It took about 40 minutes to cook my large beet, but I've had them take up to two hours!

When beets and beans are nearly ready, start quinoa on the stove.  Wash your quinoa with clean water until water runs clear then boil with a little salt for about 15 minutes.  

Once your beet has finished, wait until it cools enough to touch, then peel and slice as desired.

Meanwhile, sauté chard and garlic in olive oil until chard wilts and garlic becomes aromatic.  Add thyme and cook until fragrance releases (between 30 seconds and a minute).  Remove from heat.

You can plate it as I have above, or you can just mix it all up together and top it with cheese.  We don't stand on ceremony much in this house...

If I'd had it, I would have added 1/2 C chopped chanterelle (or other) mushrooms to this, but I was slap out.  If you have mushrooms, add them when you add the chard.

You can sub the beans with just about any kind, goat cheese would be a nice sub, too.  And kale or beet greens could easily stand in for chard if you have them.

On an Unprocessed note, Mary Papoulais-Platis posted a very interesting article on Eating Rules for last year's October Unprocessed about olive oil.  Did you know that a lot of the cheap ones aren't even 100% olive oil?!  It pays to know what you're paying for, folks.


  1. Great recipe and something that's really adaptable. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thanks, Chris! I just checked out your blog. What an inspiration!

  2. HAHA! I LOVE this picture!!! I am sooooo glad that I finally got to meet you Brooke. I had a real fun time with you ladies :) Can't wait for the next visit (my turn to come to you)...


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