At long last. And a recipe.

Eighteen months, it’s been. (Since I last penned a Fig post.)

A year and a half of fancy-dancin’ through life and all of it’s twists and turns. My Very Circuitous Journey has been less than predictable – as has yours, I’m sure. And now here we are, today. We collectively find ourselves in a strange place fraught with Serious Unknowns as we navigate the COVID-19 world.

And so we shift gears, and we adjust. The pandemic may have lobbed a ball of fear and anxiety into our lives, but hopefully, we’ve also dug deep and awakened The Beautiful Things like compassion and kindness.

I got to thinking. One of the things I miss most in this time of distanced everything is breaking bread with cherished ones. Making and sharing food with others is a basic act of love. Food doesn’t have to be fancy or complicated. And let’s face it, we all know a simple sandwich always tastes better when someone else makes it. So get to it. Parse together a loving morsel for your family, a Bubble Friend – or drop off a little something-something on a dear one’s door step.

And be sure to use your (well-scrubbed) hands to infuse a heaping dollop of love into your dish. That’s the most important ingredient! Corny as it sounds, your hands bring magic to food!

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Let’s get back into gear and try a recipe, shall we?

The weather is warm…it’s salad season. Leafy greens are bursting out of garden boxes. Here’s an easy-peasy way to use up that mass of earthy chard:

Fresh Chard Dinner Salad

Ingredients

6 -8 cups fresh Swiss chard, ripped into bite-sized pieces (stems too)

1/3 red onion, diced

1/3 cup Kalamata olives, sliced

1/2 cup of sun-dried tomatoes, chopped (soak in water to soften, if not jarred in oil)

  • or substitute grape tomatoes, halved

1/2 – 1 avocado, diced

1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese (or non-dairy equivalent)

1/3 cup walnuts, chopped

4 T hemp hearts

juice of 1/2 lemon

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 garlic clove, minced

sea salt, to taste

Directions

Throw the whole lot – through walnuts – into your biggest bowl. Use your love hands to gently toss about. Add lemon juice, EVOO, garlic and sea salt to a glass jar, lid it, and give a good shake. Pour over this sumptuous salad, give it another turn…and share with a beloved.

Swiss Chard | Food Source Information

Nourishing Nuggets

  • Swiss chard (also called chard or silver beet or Roman kale…among many other monikers) did not originate in Switzerland, but rather, comes from the Mediterranean
  • Chard comes in an array of rainbow-hued stalks
  • It’s easy to grow – flourishes even in poor soil, and with little water or light
  • Raw (uncooked) chard is less bitter than cooked chard
  • Low in calories, chard is teeming with vitamins A and K (think: eyes and bones) and a good dose of vitamin C (think: immune-boosting)
  • Walnuts, hemp hearts, avocado and olive oil bring heart- and brain-healthy fats to the plate, and help absorb fat-soluble vitamins A and K
  • if you’ve got time, soak your walnuts in filtered water for a few hours before tossing up this salad. Soaking nuts eliminates nutritional inhibitors (enzyme inhibitors and phytic acid) so they are easier to digest and nutrients are more readily available for absorption. Be sure to rinse well after soaking, and wrap in a dish towel or paper towel to dry.
  • Fibre abounds in this salad, so if you’re feeling stopped-up, this might be the bowl that gets things…moving…
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