Do you ragout?

And the hit titles just keep on coming.

Can you believe I’m posting two days in a row? I doubt it will become a habit again, as 2009 is shaping up to be a fairly busy year, what with my new productivity system™ (read: a notebook I use for my to do lists at work that involves a complicated system of two different colors of ink) and my lofty goal to read 100 books in 2009. Obviously my work life has little to do with this blog, but the reading thing does get in the way. If you’ve ever worked, lived, or spent any significant amount of time with me, you know that I’m highly goal-oriented, so setting a number on my reading goal for the year is kind of a blessing and a curse. In order to get on track for the year, I’ve been reading for pleasure at a pace unprecedented in my adult life. At any rate, blogging keeps getting inadvertently moved to the back burner (get it?? Back burner! Because this is a cooking blog!). Personal enrichment comes at such a high cost.

Okay, I know, this is about food. But, actually, I’m reading a book about food right now, so… it’s all kind of related.

Today was kind of mellow, just physical therapy and reading and some yoga, so I went for one of the more complicated dinners on our meal plan for the week.

red chard, potato, and white bean ragout

red chard, potato, and white bean ragout

The recipe that inspired it can be found here. My modifications included: using canned cannellini beans instead of dried, using dried thyme instead of fresh, using vegetable broth as the liquid base, and leaving out the step where you saute the chopped chard stems (“That does not sound good.” -Matt). This was a winner, and the next time I have two hours to prepare a meal, I’ll be making it again. It’s actually a very simple dish, but anything with chard takes a good bit of prep time for me.

I think you could make other substitutions in this dish, like subbing in another hearty green (kale, even collard greens). I think spinach would be too flimsy all around, but it might work if you just threw it in for a few minutes instead of the 15 they call for. I was actually planning to do kale, but our supermarket miraculously had really pretty bunches of organic red chard, so it worked out perfectly.

And now I’m off to get some sleep so that I can return to work (and my system) feeling refreshed. Also on tomorrow’s agenda: my first 5:30 gym appearance in… probably months. We’ll see how that works out.


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