An easy misconception of vegetarian dishes is that they lack substance, leaving the diner missing the added protein of meat. When cooking vegetarian dishes, I always keep in mind the importance of balancing the healthful benefits of the vegetable components along with the addition of protein in other forms. Other forms of protein can come from sources such as; legumes, nuts, grains, soy and even dairy. The concept for this dish came to existence simply because I was hungry, I didn’t want to leave the house and I had these ingredients on hand. This is one of those thrown together “no recipe, recipes” that is one I will continue making, and probably make differently each time. Enjoy!
two handfuls green lentils, picked through and rinsed
one handful wheat berries, picked through and rinsed
one bay leaf
two cloves garlic, minced
one small fennel bulb, outer layer removed and sliced
one small white onion, sliced
one bunch swiss chard, rinse and drained
1 c vegetable stock
½ tsp cayenne
¼ tsp pimento
1 tsp cumin
salt and freshly ground black pepper
In a small pot, cover the wheat berries and lentils in water, add the bay leaf and boil until tender but left with a bite, about 15 minutes, then drain and set aside.
Next, lightly sauté the sliced onion and carrot, once they start to soften, throw in the spices tossing everything together to evenly coat. Remove the thicker part of the chard stems and chop, then add them to the pan and cook for 5 minutes. Chop the chard leaves into ribbons then toss into the pan along with the sliced fennel, season with salt and pepper. Add the chard ribbons, allow them to start wilting then pour in the vegetable stock, bring to a boil and allow to cook until the chard is completely wilted and most of the vegetable stock has evaporated. Fold in the lentils and wheat berries thoroughly incorporating all of the ingredients together.