Quick and Healthy “Tidbit” Side Dish

By Edan Goode

Lately, I’ve found myself making meals out of tidbits from the fridge. Part of that is because I’ve been super busy lately and just haven’t done the menu planning … or the shopping for said menu planning for a couple of weeks. Ironically, the impromptu, experimental cooking I’ve had to do lately has resulted in some really good meals. For instance, here’s a side dish I made last night that could easily be a vegetarian main dish on its own, with quinoa or polenta. I made something similar the other day and served it over a slice of crusty bread, topped with a sunny side up egg. I’m liking this “tidbit” cooking!

Chard Side Dish 2
The finished product. Isn’t it pretty?

As I started pulling things from the refrigerator to make a side dish, here’s what the various ingredients in front of me formulated into:

Saute a little bacon, onion and garlic. Smells SO good!
Saute a little bacon, onion and garlic. Smells SO good!

Rainbow Chard with Kale, Bacon, Onion and Tomato! 

Ingredients:

Rainbow Chard and/or Kale

Bacon Onion (any variety)

Tomato (any variety-Cherry tomatoes cut in half would be especially pretty)

Directions:

1. Chop up one or two slices of bacon and stir them around in a pre-heated, ungreased skillet. As they start to brown, the fat will render, so that you can add…

2. One onion, sliced or chopped. Saute it with the bacon pieces until the onion starts to become translucent. Add…

3. Two cloves of garlic minced. (Hint, always add garlic after onion because garlic cooks much faster than onion and will burn and turn bitter. You just want garlic to be slightly past the point of being raw to bring out its best flavor.)

4. Add as much chopped and washed Rainbow Chard and/or Kale as your pan will hold, mounding it. Drizzle with olive oil, stir around and cover with a lid.

5. Stir periodically, adding a splash of water if you need to but between the bacon fat, olive oil and slight moisture from the onions, it shouldn’t stick. The greens will cook down. Don’t let them completely wilt. Remove them from the heat when they still look fresh and not a wilted mess. This preserves flavor and nutrition and looks prettier.

6. Near the end, add 1 diced tomato. You are just warming it up, not cooking it down.

7. Finish with a drizzle of fresh lemon juice if you have it (about 1 teaspoon) and a grind or two of sea salt and black pepper.

With something off the grill, this was the perfect meal for the first dinner on the patio of the year!
With something off the grill, this was the perfect meal for the first dinner on the patio of the year!

I served this with grilled pork chops and mini corn meal muffins for a healthier twist on a  Southern-inspired meal. It was delicious. Even my kids loved the greens. Bacon and onion make everything a little better…

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