April 28, 2010

Chock full of Chard

We have more chard. Surprise surprise. I like chard, don't get me wrong, but I'm starting to run out of ideas. And if you know me, you know I do NOT like to waste food. So I found a new recipe that called for chard and I was determined to try it.

Except halfway through I realized I completely messed up.

Don't you hate that! Pissed doesn't even begin to describe. Poor David got the brunt of it.

Argh!  I had everything planned out; all our meals for the week. I committed to writing everything down to stay On Plan and within my points.

Thing is, one of the keys to weight loss (or weight maintaining) is to plan; if I don't plan my meals and workouts ahead of time, I end up making choices that don't always support my goals. For example, if I forget my breakfast, what choices do I have? Vending machine? Cafeteria? And if I go there I end up spending extra cash, go for the cheap danish and end up with the empty icky feeling by 10am after I come down from my sugar rush.

*step away from the danish*

Oh but it tastes so good going down!

Anyway, everything was going fine - I had an amazing run during my lunch to earn my APs (activity points), ate a little later and had a late snack so I wouldn't snack on the kids' dinner of ham fried rice.

I picked up local lemons and was ready to use up my CSA chard.

I started the lentils, the organic chicken broth, CSA carrots, spices and started sautéing the onions and realized the lentils weren't holding up.

Maybe this is a newbie mistake, but I suddenly relized that red lentils aren't the same as brown. Der. They were turning to mush.

Grumping through cooking the rest of the onions and tearing the pieces of chard (aggressively I might add), I was sure I screwed this dish up. David tried to console me.  I think I grumped at him some more.  I tasted it before I added the chard and it wasn't terrible - it was more like a thick soup base rather than bean soup.  So I added the chard, simmered it until the leaves softened and then added the lemon juice. When I sat down to eat it I could not believe my tastebuds! It actually worked!

I love my new mistake! Don't you love when that happens?

Here is the recipe for my delicous mistake

Lentil Chard Soup


1 3/4 cups dried lentils (I used red lentils, but recipe called for brown)
1 qt chicken broth
1 qt water
1 cup diced carrot
1 3/4 teaspoons sea salt
Dash of dried thyme
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 parsley sprigs chopped
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons butter
2 cups chopped onion
1 teaspoon ground cumin
6 cups torn Swiss chard
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Combine lentils (sorted & washed), water, and next 6 ingredients (water through bay leaves) in a large Dutch oven; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 45 minutes or until tender.

Melt butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cumin; sauté 10 minutes or until browned. Stir onion mixture into lentil mixture.

Discard bay leaves.

Add chard to soup; simmer, uncovered, 10 minutes or until chard is tender.

Remove soup from heat. Stir in lemon juice and pepper.

Makes 6 bowls of 1 1/3 cups soup.

Serve with 1 tablespoon of plain yogurt.

Adapted from Cooking Light, OCTOBER 2003

NI: 283cals/5.2fat/20g fiber/18.2g protein