Chard Pilaf

This summer, my mom signed up with a local co-op where you can pick out as many fresh fruits and vegetables as you want, as long as it fits in your basket. I was so excited to begin making recipes with zucchini, squash, and eggplant. But all my mom can back with was…chard. My first reaction was, “where’s all the good stuff?” (turns out the “good stuff” is not ready yet 😦 ) and then I wondered, “what the heck is chard?” Turns out, chard is a lot like spinach when it comes to cooking. And it’s quite tasty. The red stems also add a nice red tint to onions when sautéed. This pilaf was a nice way of introducing chard to my family and I. I just randomly added the rest of the ingredients with whatever I had on hand. Bon appetit!

Chard Pilaf 

Ingredients:

2 cups brown rice, uncooked

chicken broth

water

1 Tbsp olive oil

1 onion, chopped

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 bunch chard, shredded and stems removed and set aside for later

2 celery stalks, chopped

1/3 cup carrots, chopped

1/3 cup frozen corn

1 can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained

1 can diced tomatoes

1 and 1/2 tbsp thyme

1 tsp basil

1 tsp oregano

1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

3 bay leaves

1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

3 tbsp soy sauce

salt and pepper to taste

Optional: parmesan cheese

Directions:

In a large pot, cook the brown rice according to box instructions, using 1/2 chicken broth and 1/2 water for the liquid amount needed (for me, it was 2.5 cups water and 2.5 cups chicken broth). Meanwhile, heat oil in a deep skillet and add in the onion, garlic cloves, and chard stems. Sauté for 8 minutes. Add and mix in celery, carrots, corn, beans,  tomatoes, basil, thyme, oregano, crushed red pepper flakes, and bay leaves. Cook for 10 more minutes. Add in chard and cook until wilted. Then, transport the chard mixture to the cooked brown rice. Stir in mozzarella cheese, soy sauce, salt, and pepper. For more flavor, serve with parmesan cheese, if desired.

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