It’s that time of year when you can find everything from peaches to heirloom tomatoes hanging out in gorgeous rows at farm stands and farmer’s markets. Though the weather hasn’t exactly been showing it here in upstate NY, summer still has a lot more to offer to our inner foodies. Many of these seasonal delights are available only a short drive from our homes.
But nothing beats being able to walk out into the garden and pick fresh ingredients for dinner.
I currently have a patch of rainbow chard out front that’s producing an amazing amount of greens for something that started as a collection of tiny plants purchased from the local co-op. It seems like every time I walk outside, it’s gotten taller, and each trip to the garden yields at least a small bunch of rich green leaves with the brightly colored stems that I get such a big kick out of.
The zucchini are going nuts, too. We had a bit of a slow start to the season with a lot of rain making it too wet to plant, but now everything is starting to bounce back with a vengeance. You know how it goes with zucchini. You get one, then another one, and suddenly you have two dozen and no idea what to do with them all. Me, I’ve been baking a lot of zucchini muffins, adding slices to salads and even feeding it to my dog. (She loves zucchini!) And, of course, I’ve been cooking it.
This recipe makes the most of these two bountiful summer ingredients. At this point you’re likely to find fresh carrots and bell peppers many places as well. The more you can get locally (or from your own backyard), the better! Go for the biggest, most beautiful bunch of rainbow chard you can find for maximum visual appeal in the finished dish.
- 1¼ cup quinoa
- 1½ cup + 2Tbsp vegetable broth
- 2 cups cooked chickpeas or 1 15oz. can, rinsed & drained
- 2tsp dried basil
- 1tsp garlic powder
- 4 cloves garlic, minced or crushed
- 1 cup onion, chopped
- 1 cup colored bell peppers (preferably a rainbow!), chopped
- 1 cup sliced carrots
- 4 cups zucchini, diced
- 1 bunch rainbow chard, stems chopped and leaves sliced thinly
- ¼ cup nutritional yeast
- ¼ cup sundried tomatoes, measured then chopped
- 1Tbsp dried thyme
- black pepper, to taste
- lemon juice, to taste
- In a medium saucepan, combine the vegetable broth and quinoa. Cover the pot and bring to a boil. Add the chickpeas, replace the cover and low the heat to low. Cook for 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and leave on the burner for another 15 minutes, then remove from the burner. Fluff with a fork and keep covered until the veggies are done.
- Meanwhile, add the garlic, onions and peppers to a large skillet. Turn the heat to medium-high and saute for 5 minutes, until the softened. Add splashes of water to the pan if necessary to keep the vegetables from sticking.
- Add the carrots and the card stems and saute for about 3 minutes more, until the carrots begin to soften. Add the chard leaves and stir until wilted, then add the thyme, black pepper and sundried tomatoes. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the chard is wilted; about 3-5 minutes more.
- Stir in the nutritional yeast, remove from the heat and add a drizzle of lemon juice. Serve alongside the quinoa/chickpea mixture or on top of it if you like. Enjoy!