Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Slightly New Format...

   Sorry for the absence here. Work has been crazy and just started settling down. Sort of. Just getting settled into the busy season once again.

     Anyway, with the time off I've been thinking about what I can do to this blog to be slightly more informative. Such as actually writing down my recipes so you can make them at home. And with the power of technology I can even provide nutritional information! How awesome is that for everyone! Tonight's dinner was the first test run I've had with all this, and while it took a little longer to measure everything out in a way my app can understand it wasn't too bad and certainly something I'd be willing to do. Especially if doing so allows me (and thus you!) to better track my calorie intake and make better choices. On to the blogging!

     If you haven't heard of the nutritional powerhouse that is Swiss chard... you aren't alone. I only recently stumbled upon it myself. But it is high in vitamins A,C, and K, high in dietary fiber, and also high in protein. It also is a natural way to help control carbohydrate breakdown and blood sugar. For a more in depth look at all the health benefits, check out this site.

     With all those benefits  it's no surprise I decided to try and find a way to work this leafy green into my diet a little more often. Most preparations I've found online remind me of how I've seen spinach prepared, so I venture into chard territory with a slightly altered recipe from my childhood: Chard Cheese Pie. Or if it sounds more appealing, Crust-less Chard Quiche. 
Click to make it readable...
     It's a fairly simple recipe to make, fiveish simple steps and dinner will be on your plate! A few things I learned along the way though. You have to saute your chard enough to remove a good bit of the water, but not so much as to make it bitter. I under cooked it just a little bit and as a result there was a little bit of water in the bottom of my pie plate. The eggs were cooked perfectly, so I wasn't concerned about that. If you error on the side of caution like I did, it's all good. I rather have a little water than a bitter dish!

     Also, feel free to make additions or substitutions. It's a flexible recipe. Add mushrooms, spinach, peppers, bacon if you aren't going veggie... Egg Beaters instead of whole eggs. Almond milk, soy milk, or rice milk instead of skim. Use whatever cheese tickles your fancy.  I opted for 6 ounces of Cabot's Sharp Light Cheddar and 4 ounces of their Jalapeno Light Cheddar. I like a little zing in my dinner, but feel free to use whatever you have in house! I also seasoned mine with some Trader Joe's African Smoke Seasoning Blend. I love the flavors in that.

     This is mine, straight from the oven. I could have possibly even cooked it a bit longer to get more of that browned cheese flavor, but dinner was smelling good and everyone was getting hungry! I shared this dish with my parents as well as my daughter, and it went over fairly well. My parents loved it, my dad even took a second slice! My daughter... she liked the browned parts quite a bit, and after quick run through the microwave to help dry it out, she liked it well enough. Perhaps not a favorite dish for her, but not a least favorite either.

     Now, as promised nutritional values! Just some background on how these were calculated... I have a new app on my phone that I absolutely love called "Lose It!" In this app you can record what you eat and it will track your calories for you. With a little bit of information, it sets a budget for you to help you reach your goals. Mine for example are set to lose 2 pounds a week until I reach 150 pounds. So I am allotted 1,285  total calories a day. Which doesn't sound like a lot, but when I started recording everything I ate, I realized most of the calories I ate in a day were from grazing at work. By cutting that out, I've actually had trouble even getting to my budget goals. Also, by recording any (and I mean ANY... they have it all figured out including housework, romance, and music playing) exercise the app gives me those burned calories back to have a chance to eat them again. So really... you don't have to exercise to lose weight, just don't go above your budget! Anyway... in the more section, it gives you the opportunity to plug in a recipe and number of servings and it will calculate it all out for you! Which is what you see here, my recipe, broken down into eight servings. So if you alter the above recipe, the nutrition facts will be different for yours. But hey, at least I've given you a frame of reference now! Happy quiche making!

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