Vegetable Love! Smoky Stuffed Chard with Sweet Pepper Coulis
This recipe is a bit more involved than most of my recipes, but hey, it’s Valentine’s Day! Show someone how much you love them with this tasty, healthy dish!
This is my first entry (I am so excited!) into the Vegetable Love 2009 contest hosted by Susan over at the way yummy food blog, FatFreeVegan. She sounded the call to her fellow food bloggers to create some hot, sexy, vegetable-filled Valentine’s recipes, the kind of dishes that will put some zing into an intimate dinner for two. Well, I LOVE contests, so I got thinking…..
First, the main vegetable….Choosing Swiss Chard for the occasion was actually the easy part. Not only do I love chard (all leafy greens actually), but it is really good for your heart! Chard is high in the minerals potassium and magnesium, which both regulate blood pressure, helping protect your ticker. How appropriate!
Now, what would I do with the chard to truly honor the day of love? I wanted to create a recipe that tasted great (of course) and worked well for the occasion. So, I chose Smoky Stuffed Chard with Sweet Pepper Coulis for several reasons:
~You can prepare these ahead of time and bake right before you are ready to eat, leaving you time to do other things! Hello!
~I think sauces make dishes special, especially when they have fancy names like coulis (even though it is really easy to make). This dinner is sure to make your sweetie feel extra loved!
~You can eat these with your hands–which can be very sexy!
~It is fun to say smoky and stuffed!!
Smoky Stuffed Chard
Note: this recipe calls for 2 cups cooked red quinoa so get that cooking ahead of time.
16 green chard leaves (choose small-medium leaves), washed and stems cut off just where it meets the bottom of the leaf
Water and Salt
Fill a large saucepan (big enough to submerge entire chard leaf without folding) with water, add a pinch of salt and bring to a boil. Blanch leaves, one at a time for about 30 seconds to 1 minute, just to soften. You want them to remain bright green. Drain in a single layer on towels. Set aside.
1 teaspoon olive oil (or you could use cooking spray instead)
1 small red onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 teaspoon dried thyme
pinch cayenne pepper
1 package (6 oz) smoky tempeh strips, diced
2 cups cooked red quinoa
2 Tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 cup water
1 Tablespoon tamari
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
Gather all ingredients. Cut onion, garlic, and celery. Heat oil in a large skillet and saute onion, garlic, celery and spices for 3-5 minutes. Meanwhile, cut tempeh and add it to the pan, sautéing until tempeh starts to brown, about 5 minutes (at this point, it should be smelling SO good!) Add cooked quinoa and break up grains with the back of a wooden spoon.
In a small bowl, whisk together the tomato paste, water, tamari and vinegar and add it to the pan, stirring to incorporate. Cook just 5 minutes more to make sure it is all heated through.
Preheat oven to 375F. Lay reserved chard leaves out flat. Spoon quinoa filling into the center of each leaf leaving at least 1/2 inch at the edges (so it doesn’t fall out the sides). Roll leaf around filling and into a long roll (like an enchilada). Carefully place in a baking dish. (You can make it up until this point and put it in the fridge to cook later).
Cover and bake in a lightly greased baking dish for about 20 minutes, until heated through. While rolls are baking, prepare this easy coulis:
Sweet Pepper Coulis
Coulis sounds fancy but this yummy sauce is really easy to make.
1 8-ounce jar roasted red peppers, drained well, 1 tablespoon of juices reserved
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1 small shallot, chopped
1 teaspoon agave nectar (more or less to taste)
Purée all ingredients together until smooth, adding reserved pepper juice if needed for smooth consistency. Transfer to small saucepan and stir over medium heat until warmed through; season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve over Smoky Stuffed Chard.
So, be sure to head over to FatFree Vegan and cast your vote! Until Next Week, Eat Well, Be Well and LOVE Every Bite!