Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Full Sun Farm 12th Week!

It's high summer and we've got a box from our CSA to prove it! Other interests - mainly summer fun - have left me with little time for the computer and blogging, but I love the bounty we get from our CSA so much that I feel compelled to share it here! I hope you are enjoying wonderful seasonal and local fare, too!

What's in the Box:

Red and Green Leaf Lettuce
Summer Squash
Green Peppers
Green Beans
Red and Heirloom Tomatoes

Notes from the farm:

The green peppers in your box would turn red if left on the plant, but in this climate they often succumb to disease before they fully mature. As such, it is rare that we have enough red peppers for the CSA. I like to eat the green peppers cooked and stuffed, as in this recipe from Vegetarian Cooking For Everyone:

2 bell peppers, halved lengthwise
2 tbsp butter
1 bunch scallions, including the greens, thinly sliced
2-1/2 to 3 cups corn kernels
2 tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced
4-5 oz fresh mozzarella cheese, or 1 cup grated cheddar or monterey jack
2 tbsp finely sliced basil leaves
2/3 cup fresh bread crumbs
salt and freshly milled pepper

Preheat the oven to 375. Lightly butter a baking dish just large enough to hold the peppers. If the peppers won't stand upright, slice them lengthwise in half, leaving the stem end intact. Steam them for 5 minutes and set aside.

Melt the butter in a large skillet. Add the scallions, corn, and tomatoes and cook for 3 minutes over medium heat. Turn off the heat and stir in the cheese, basil, and half the bread crumbs. Season with salt and pepper. Fill the peppers and top with remaining bread crumbs. Set them in the prepared dish, add a few tablespoons water to the dish, cover, and bake until the corn is hot and the peppers are cooked, about 25 minutes. Uncover and brown the tops under the broiler. Dust with paprika and serve.

And here's a lovely idea for an eggplant pancake - one of our farmers adapted the recipe from Almost Vegetarian:

1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
2 tbsp yogurt
1/2 pound eggplant, roasted, peeled and chopped
2 scallions, sliced
1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds

To roast the eggplant, pierce several times with the tines of a fork and place them on a tray under the broiler. Broil until the skin buckles, 4 to 6 minutes. Carefully turn them over and broil another 3 to 5 minutes. When they have cooled, strip the skin, chop the pulp and transfer to a mixing bowl.

In another large bowl, whisk together the egg, flour, and yogurt until smooth. Stir in the eggplant, scallions, and sesame seeds until well blended. Heat a nonstick griddle over medium heat. When hot, add the eggplant batter 1/4 cup at a time. Cook until bubbles form on the surface and the bottom has browned, about 7 minutes. Turn over and cook to brown the other side. Serve warm.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

What Matters Most

Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things that matter least. Goethe

The Pareto principle (also known as the 80/20 rule) states that, for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes.

This principle was named after Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto, who observed that 80% of the land in Italy was owned by 20% of the population. But enough people have observed this principle at work in other areas that it’s worth considering its application to our lives in general.

I’ve seen this in my garden, for example: 20% of my tomato plants are producing 80% of my fruit. It used to confuse me how one plant would be heavy with fruit while the others produced so little, but the Pareto Principle helps me understand it.

In his book The 4-Hour Work Week, Tim Ferriss explains how his business took off when he started applying the Pareto Principle. He looked over his balance sheets and saw that 80% of his sales came from 20% of his products. He also noticed that just a small percentage of problem clients were taking up the majority of his time.

Drawing on these insights, he refocused his energy on his most successful products. And—in one of the most memorable stories from the book—he “fired” his three most problematic clients, informing them that they could either order via fax—the most hassle-free method of ordering he had—or they could look elsewhere for his product. As a result, he cut his workload significantly while doubling the volume of his sales.

What I took away from Ferriss’ exploration of the principle was its dual nature. Based on his experiences—and on my own—you have a choice: you can exert your energy in the direction that brings you the greatest rewards—often seemingly without any great effort on your part—or you can direct your energy where getting even the smallest amount of return seems like an uphill climb.

I shared this principle recently with one of my coaching clients. She is a brilliant entrepreneur and yet she often feels overwhelmed and frustrated. She has been spending the bulk of her time satisfying other people in ways that have little or nothing to do with what brings her satisfaction.

She still has something to show for her time and energy—her colleagues love her, and her clients see her as a sort of superhero fighting for their success—but these were not the rewards she was looking for when she started her business.

On the other hand, she could see areas where she did want to direct her energy. She engaged volunteers to write newsletters and keep up with other social media. She hired an assistant to take care of aspects of the business that did not require her immediate attention, like responding to emails.

Delegating her responsibilities frees up time to do what she’s really good at – providing services and developing new ideas - while still allowing her to do other things she loves – like preparing and enjoying meals with her partner, taking walks with her dogs and meeting friends for bike rides. And she is happier than she ever thought possible.

Most folks would agree that the majority of their time is not spent on their priorities or the aspects of their lives they find most gratifying, and that’s why they can benefit from this principle.

To apply the Pareto principle to your life you only have to do one thing – focus your attention on what matters most, the things you do well and what makes you happy.

This week I'm rejoicing in local food - simple preparations of seasonal fare are always delicious and free up time to go for more walks in the evening (with a stop at the playground) and spot the last of the fireflies.

What about you? What do you enjoy most and how will you give it more attention?

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Full Sun Farm 11th Week

What's in the Box
Lettuce Mix
Chioggia Beets
Red and Heirloom Tomatoes

Corn! Glorious Corn! Like the beloved tomatoe, we only eat corn when it is fresh in season - which seems like a precious few weeks.

It's been a year since we last had any but as soon as my 4 year-old son saw the corn on his plate he asked "Where are the green things to hold it?" I had forgotten them - the little holders that are screwed into the cobs before cooking (we prefer the quick boiling method listed below) and are immediately cool enough to touch - but he hadn't!

They were easy enough to put in even when the corn was hot and G quickly ate his one ear and asked - and finished - another. I will to remember to buy even more corn next week - what we get with our farm share is clearly not enough!

Notes from the farm:

The corn and tomatoes make this an appropriate mid-summer box. Because both are absolutely fresh at this time of year, it is likely that we will all want to take advantage of the opportunity to enjoy corn as corn and tomato as tomato, and to subject both to minimal preparation and minimal mingling with other flavors.

For simple corn on the cob, bring a large pot of water to a boil. While it's heating, pull the husks off the corn, rub off the silk, and cut off any blemished tips. When the water comes to a boil, drop in the ears and cook for 2 minuets. (Don't salt the water--it only toughens the corn.) Pull out the ears with tongs, set them on a towel to drain briefly, then pile on a platter. Serve with salt, fresh-ground pepper, and butter.

The tomatoes are easily prepared with a balsamic vinegar glaze: Core the tomatoes, then cut them into wedges about 1 1/2 inches across at the widest point. In a skillet large enough to hold the tomatoes in a single layer, heat 2 tbsp of butter until it foams. Add the tomatoes and saute over high heat, turning them over several times, until their color begins to dull, about 3 minutes. Add 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar and 1 finely diced shallot or small onion and shake the pan back and forth until the vinegar has reduced, leaving a dark, thick sauce. Season with salt and pepper.

If you are interested in combining the two a little more elaborately, try this recipe for corn with cumin, chile, and tomato. (Like the above preparations, this recipe is from Vegetarian Cooking For Everyone.)

6 ears corn, kernels and scrapings removed separately
1 garlic clove
1 tsp ground toasted cumin seeds
salt and freshly milled pepper
2 tbsp corn oil or butter
1 onion, finely diced
1 long green chile, roasted and diced
1 large ripe tomato, seeded and diced
1 tbsp chopped cilantro, parsley, or dill

In a blender, puree 1 cup of the corn kernels with 1 cup water for 3 minutes. Strain, pushing out as much liquid as you can. Meanwhile, pound the garlic, cumin, 1/4 tsp salt, and a little pepper in a mortar until smooth. Heat the oil in a wide skillet with the onion, pounded garlic, and chile. Saute over medium-high heat for 4 minutes. Stir in the remaining corn kernels, scrapings, and pureed corn (corn milk). Lower the heat, cover the pan, and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the tomato at the end and cook until warmed through. Taste for salt, stir in the parsley, and serve.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Envy Is

A child can always teach an adult 3 things: to be happy for no reason, to always be busy with something, and to know how to demand with all his might that which he desires. Paulo Coelho

This article is inspired by a comment a reader left after my post last week.

Colleen was at a workshop where the instructor was preparing to leave for a week-long trip to Italy. Someone else in the class said, “You are so spoiled to get to go there.” And Colleen replied, "No. She is not spoiled: she is creating and living her dream - manifesting it."

If you’re like me you probably heard some envy behind the “spoiled” remark. I interpreted it to mean that this classmate wished she could be on her way to a really cool trip to Italy.

I mean, who wouldn’t?

Of course, I know that “envy” has a negative connotation. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Instead, we could learn to embrace envy – to pay attention to it as a strong signal from our deepest selves. Envy is simply desire clouded by the belief that we can’t have what we want.

But we can have it. If we think of envy as a gift we haven’t opened yet, we can learn to open it and see the thing we really want.

Back in February 2001, I wrote in my journal that I envied someone with whom I worked. She had spent years of her life working as a medical missionary in Haiti and I envied the circumstances that seemed to make the travel and service possible for her.

At the time I thought that a medical mission would be impossible for me because it would be irresponsible to leave my good job– with no guarantee that another job would be waiting for me when I got back – to do volunteer work in another country.

But then I had an epiphany: The envy I felt for my colleague helped me focus my desire on living and working abroad. I decided to commit to my dream, and as you know from my last article, providence moved and supported me every step of the way.

What I learned is that envy is a form of ignorance. It comes from an ignorance of ourselves and our ability to achieve any outcome we want if we just set our minds to it. Envy reveals something that we don’t know about ourselves and need to know in order to achieve our own perfect happiness.

At its heart, envy is desire – a sign pointing in the direction of our dreams, a sign we need to pay attention to on our journey. It may not always point us in the direction of Italy, but it always directs us toward any great big dream that we think is unattainable, but really isn’t.

When I wrote Colleen back and asked if she thought there was an element of envy in the statement “You’re so spoiled…” she agreed. She also added that there was no malice in the statement, just wistfulness. And I believe the sense of wistfulness – really, powerlessness – associated with our desires is another misunderstanding.

Envy is a form of power. I want us to see envy as a manifestation of our desire - of wanting something - and associate that feeling with power. Rather than feel wistful about what you want, get excited. Be like the child and demand with all your might that which you desire.

This week I'm rejoicing in the delicious anticipation I feel when I know there is something I want. Want to know the current object of my desire? My husband calls it Prius Envy.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Full Sun Farm 10th Week

What's in the Box
Green Leaf Lettuce
Swiss Chard
Summer Squash
Heirloom Tomatoes

It seems that all CSA members got different varieties of the heirloom tomatoes - we got Aunt Ruby's Green and a Striped German. Yum!

I also couldn't resist getting myself that gorgeous bouquet of sun and wildflowers. They make me smile every time I look at them.

If you follow my menu plans you know I love frittatas. They are made quickly and easily and use up the abundance of eggs from our chickens. This recipe for trouchia (chard and onion frittata) is from Deborah Madison's Vegetarian Cooking For Everyone, one of my favorites.

The trick is to cook everything slowly so that the onions become carmelized and sweet and the flavors deepen.

3 tbsp olive oil
1 large red or white onion, quartered and thinly sliced crosswise
1 bunch chard, leaves only, chopped
salt and pepper
1 garlic clove
6 to 8 eggs, lightly beaten
2 tbsp chopped parsley
2 tbsp chopped basil
2 tbsp chopped thyme
1 cup grated Gruyere cheese
2 tbsp grated Parmesan

Heat 2 tbsp of the oil in a 10-inch skillet, add the onion, and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until completely soft but not colored, about 15 minutes. Add the chard and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until all the moisture has cooked off and the chard is tender, about 15 minutes. Season well with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, mash the garlic in a mortar with a few pinches of salt, then stir it into the eggs along with the herbs. Combine the chard mixture with the eggs and stir in the Gruyere and half the Parmesan.

Preheat the broiler. Heat the remaining oil in the skillet and, when it's hot, add the eggs. Give a stir and keep the heat at medium-high for about a minute, then turn it to low. Cook until the eggs are set but still a little moist on top, 10 to 15 minutes. Add the remaining Parmesan and broil until browned. Serve trouchia in the pan or slide it onto a serving dish and cut it in wedges.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

What's Cooking 7.12-7.18

This is a very full week, so I am getting our weekly menu out a little late. My parents actually came by on Sunday and brought a chicken and other food for us and that helped us postpone a trip to the store until today. Their thoughtfulness was especially appreciated because I worked full days in clinic on Monday and Tuesday. My husband filled in the rest of the gaps with one shopping trip (with our 4 year-old no less! he's my hero!) at our pricey whole foods store for a total of $49.22.

Curried Split Peas
Brown Rice
Sweet Potatoes
Green Salad

Green Chili
Brown Rice
Green Salad

Wednesday:Late Night at the Pool!
Grilled Bratwursts
Whole Wheat Buns

African Groundnut Stew
Whole Wheat Couscous

Pizza with homemade dough and sauce
Pepperoni and Roasted Peppers
Green Salad

Whole Wheat Pancakes

Black Bean and Sweet Potato Burritos
Green Salad
Chips, Salsa and Guacamole

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Providence Moves

I just found out on Friday that Verve - a fabulous local magazine - wants to publish an article about the time I lived and worked in Mexico with Doctors Without Borders in 2002. A full version of this article will be published in an upcoming issue, but I hope you will read this abridged version and see how my committing to a decision 7 years ago opened the door to the life I love!

When I started working as a midwife 11 years ago I joined a wonderful private practice. I worked in a clinic 5 days a week and was on call for births 7-8 days of the month. I’ve always loved helping women achieve the birth of their dreams.

After almost 4 years at this practice, however, I found myself wanting more. I found that I enjoyed interacting most with the few Latina women who came to a public health clinic I staffed one morning a week.

I realized that I wanted to be fluent in Spanish to better serve Latina women. I also wanted part-time work that would give me the opportunity to do what I loved and fulfill my dream of becoming a mother.

I didn’t know there was a job that would fulfill my desires, but I felt compelled to lay the groundwork for finding it, inspired in part by this quote from Scottish mountaineer WH Murray: The moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. A whole stream of events issues from the decision.

And sure enough, as I took my first step, providence moved. Thinking that I needed to improve my Spanish and better understand Latino culture, I applied to Doctors Without Borders and within a month was offered an interview in their New York office. As it happened I was going to be in New York anyway to run in the NYC Marathon and could easily set up a time to talk with the director of the organization.

During my interview, however, I learned they had no positions for midwives in Latin America. I explained I wasn’t interested in any other placement. So the director said she would keep my application, but didn’t think there would ever be a desirable position for me.

I continued to think of other ways I could meet my goals and trusted something would come to me. Less than two months later the phone rang, and it was Doctors Without Borders telling me that they were starting a new maternal health project in Mexico—and that the director of the project wanted me to join the medical team!

People thought I was crazy to leave my life in the States for a volunteer position in a remote Mexican village. But I knew, like Murray, that I had created this opportunity by committing to my dream and I was not going to be dissuaded.

So I went and I had an amazing experience – you’ll have to read the upcoming article in Verve for more details of that trip!

What I want to share here is that when I got back to the States I quickly found a job - not just any job, but the job that I had hoped would come my way.

And I still am at that same job today and it is wonderful—I work in a public health practice that serves a large volume of Latina women, using my fluency in Spanish and my knowledge of Latino culture I gleaned through my work with Doctors Without Borders. What’s more, it is part-time, and the salary matches the salary of the full-time job I had left to go to Mexico.

My time in Mexico changed my life in other, more profound ways. What I appreciated most about Mexican culture is how they value family and community, and I have taken great pleasure in fostering the same values. I know that my life, and the lives of those around me have been enriched because of this appreciation.

In the end, my time in Mexico opened a window on life in a dramatically different culture and a setting. It also opened the door to a new life for me here at home.

This week I'm rejoicing in the amazing alchemy that occurs when you decide to create a life you love.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Full Sun Farm 9th Week!

What's in the Box:

Red or Green Leaf Lettuce
Swiss Chard
Beets, topped
Summer Squash
Green Onions
Cherry Tomatoes

The picture really doesn't do justice to the tomatoes - the first pint from the farm! - they are gorgeous and absolutely delicious. Our Sungold cherry tomatoes from our own vines are also ripe - the ones G calls "chocolate 'matos" because they are so sweet. He pulls them down and eats them by the handful and I think he has eaten more than his dad and I combined! He is really taking after me here: Tomatoes are truly my favorite seasonal offering - I gorge myself on them during the summer and shun them for the rest of the year.

Beets were the most abundant offering from the farm this week so it seems fitting to offer a recipe for Beet Risotto. It is from Almost Vegetarian and described as "brilliant in color with a sweet burst of beet in every bite." I think it will make a perfect lunch on Saturday!

2 medium beets, topped
1 bay leaf
1 tbsp unsalted butter
1 small onion, chopped
1 tbsp orange zest
1 cup arborio rice
2 tbsp raspberry or lemon vinegar
pinch of sugar
1 tbsp sour cream or yogurt cheese

1. Put beets and bay leaf in a saucepan and add 4 cups of water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then lower the heat and simmer, covered, over medium heat, until the beets are cooked through, about 40 minutes.

2. Remove the beets with a slotted spoon, then strain the cooking water and discard the bay leaf. Pour the cooking water back into the saucepan. Slip the skins off the beets.

3. Chop 1 of the beets and set aside. In a food processor puree the other beet and stir into the strained broth. Cover the broth and keep it at a gentle simmer over low heat.
(The portion of the recipe above--the beet broth--can be made in advance and stored in the refrigerator, and used as a base for things other than the risotto that follows.)

4. In another large, heavy saucepan, melt the butter. Add the onion and orange zest, and saute over medium heat until the onion is soft and translucent, about 7 minutes. Add the chopped beet, and stir well. Add the rice and stir until it is well coated with the seasonings and is glistening, about 2 minutes.

5. Add the vinegar and stir until it evaporates, about 2 minutes.

6. Using a ladle, add about 1 cup hot broth. Stir constantly over medium heat until the broth has been absorbed. Add another ladleful of broth and keep stirring until it has been absorbed.

7. Continue the process, adding broth 1/2 cup at a time and stirring in this way until the kernels are plump and no longer chalk white in the center. This should take 25-30 minutes altogether. the rice is almost done when the kernels are still separate but starting to bind, and there are pools of broth on the surface. It is done when the liquid had been absorbed, and the kernels are bound in what looks like very ricey, yet somewhat creamy, rice pudding.

8. When the risotto is done, stir in the sugar, cream or yogurt cheese, and stir well to blend. Serve at once.


Monday, July 6, 2009

What's Cooking 7.6-7.12

I managed to make it to Amazing Savings for the bulk of my shopping and stocked up on organic cereal, vegetables and cheese. I spent $60.46. Then I went to our pricey whole foods store to complete my list. There I spent $23.26. For a grand total this week of $83.72. Nice.

Summer squash, carrots, onions and swiss chard are still plentiful from our CSA share, so if any recipe calls for mixed veg or greens you know what I'll be adding to the dish!

Guadalajaran Swiss Chard Quesadillas
Chips and Salsa

Whole Wheat Pasta

Wednesday:Late Night at the Pool!
Grilled Portobello Pizzas


Pizza with homemade crust and sauce
Roasted Peppers and Pepperoni
Green Salad

Mixed Vegetable Kootu
Brown Rice

Spinach Feta and Tomato Quiche
Green Salad

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Lessons of the Albatross

Last week a friend and I were talking about some challenges in his life and I remembered a line from a poem by Robert Bly:

The albatross that lands on the mast began flying a thousand years ago.

A long time ago, back when we were pure positive energy, we didn’t doubt for a minute that manifesting would be pretty cool. But when we arrive in our physical forms and challenges pop up, we forget that every experience is an opportunity to discover what we really want and to become our best selves.

We don’t need circumstances to be pleasing, or for others to make things easier for us, or to give us praise, or even acknowledgement. It’s wonderful to get those things - but not at all necessary.

What’s necessary is to know that we’ve got everything we need inside us for a great journey. By the fact of our existence we are worthy of love and all good things. We already are love and all good things.

It’s funny, I think my albatross metaphor distracted him, because, as it turns out, he is quite a bird lover and has a bit of an issue with the albatross.

“Wait a second,” he said, “The albatross? That’s like a dodo bird. And it symbolizes adversity.” Moments after we hung up I received an email from him, citing a Wikipedia entry:
An albatross is a central emblem in The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge. It is from the poem that the usage of albatross as a metaphor is derived; someone with a burden or obstacle is said to have 'an albatross around their neck', the punishment given in the poem to the mariner who killed the albatross.

So he didn’t like the metaphor, but after learning more about the albatross, I think it is very apt.

First of all, going back to the poem, the sailor was punished because he had destroyed something that was considered sacred. When we forget or are unable to see that we have come to this planet to accomplish something special, it is a similar waste.

We are here to do good work and do it well. Experiencing joy is the greatest measure of our success. And when we focus on what is not going well, it’s like we are hanging the albatross around our necks.

On the other hand, live albatrosses are symbols of effortlessness. And here again, I think the metaphor is apt. Also from Wikipedia:
Albatrosses are amongst the largest of flying birds, and the great albatrosses (genus Diomedea) have the largest wingspans of any extant birds…They are highly efficient in the air, using dynamic soaring and slope soaring to cover great distances with little exertion.

Knowing some of the cool attributes of albatrosses, who wouldn't love them? And you know what's also cool? Covering great distances with little exertion is what my coaching practice is all about!

I hope you will visit my website and discover more: I offer a free E-Book about the benefits of humor, lots of inspiring articles and science-based coaching programs - all intended to help you create a life you love!

This week I'm rejoicing in the lessons of the albatross!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy 4th!

We just got back from a spectacular show of fireworks. It was the first we've ever shared with G. He loved it! We also lighted some sparklers and I think he enjoyed them as much as our town's grand display. I hope everyone had a fabulous 4th!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Keeping Fridays Fabulous

We're keeping Fridays fabulous around here! This week we hosted G's best friend, B, and her two sisters. After creating giant chalk drawings on our back porch (you can see some of the blue chalk ended up on G's cheek in the 2nd picture), I asked if the kids would like to help me in the kitchen.

I had a couple of bananas that were going south so I thought muffins were in order and tonight we're having a picnic and "Shakespearience" (a collection of scenes from Shakepeare's plays) at a park so I wanted to make brownies, too.

Of course, these kids don't need any reason other than to eat some delicious treats and they seemed to enjoy the process of making them as much as eating them!

We barely got the batter in the pans after everyone submitted it to tasting for quality control!

12 mini-muffins and half a pan of brownies were gobbled up in less time than it took to make them (and much less time than it took to clean up after)! It was a very sweet morning in every way.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Full Sun Farm 8th Week!

What's in the Box:

Red Leaf Lettuce
Green Leaf Lettuce
Green Kale
Swiss Chard
Red Pontiac Potatoes

Notes from the Farm:
The potatoes in this week's box are the first we have dug this year. At this point in the season they are technically "new" potatoes, a designation that refers to potatoes of any variety that are harvested young.

At this stage of their life cycle they haven't fully converted their sugar into starch, and one result of this is a thin, underdeveloped skin. Because the skin sloughs easily, we haven't washed the potatoes before putting them in the box; be gentle when you scrub them and they'll hold up fine.

Because they hold their shape after being cooked and cut, new potatoes are said to be particularly suited for potato salad, and are also excellent boiled or pan-roasted.

During the hotter months of the season Swiss chard will be the staple green. Kale and collards don't tolerate the heat; we're harvesting the last of their spring planting now, and we've sown the fall plantings of each, but chard will continue to be planted and harvested throughout the summer months.

The tender greens and crisp, celery-like stalks can be prepared separately or together. Farmer John's Cookbook describes this as the classic Mediterranean preparation of Swiss chard:

1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup thinly sliced onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1 bunch Swiss chard, coarsely chopped
1/3 cup raisins
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

1. Heat 3 tablespoons of the oil in a large skillet. Add the onion; cook, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 15 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook 1 minute more.
2. Add the chard in batches, adding more as each batch wilts (the only water you will need is the water clinging to the leaves from rinsing), and keep the pan covered between batches. When all the chard is added and the leaves are wilted, stir in the raisins, pine nuts, lemon juice, and the remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.