Yeah, I know, that’s not a quality that any self-respecting food blogger should be admitting to, but what can I say? I’m also brutally honest 🙂
Of course once in a rare moon (read once or twice a year) I love to stand over the stove for a whole day carefully preparing a delicious meal-of-a-lifetime that everyone who eats it will remember forever and ever (or at least I hope!). You know, the kind that, if I don’t have a single tiny ingredient, I’d run to the grocery store to get it — or better, send Desi to get it?
But for the rest of the time, I like meals that I can slap together in under an hour or even half an hour, with anything that’s available (and still recognizable) in the fridge, while ensuring that everything is delicious and nutritious at the same time.
This Lima Bean Stew with Swiss Chard is just my kind of dish, then, and one I would make any night when time is short and the temptation to order out is really strong but completely unnecessary.
The stew is really easy to make, wonderful with some plain boiled rice or some crusty bread, and heaven for the palate and for my health and my family’s. Since the stew has both vegetables and beans, I don’t feel bad at all if I don’t have time to make a separate subzi or vegetable side-dish when I cook this up.
I love swiss chard because of how easily and quickly it cooks up and because it’s easy to find beautiful, fresh bunches of this delicious green in the summer. But if you don’t get it where you live, spinach– another quick-cooking green– would be perfect too. In fact, you might want to even experiment with greens that are tougher, since I pressure cook the greens which makes them nice and tender in a short time.
The small lima beans I used in this recipe are wonderful because they hold their shape even after the cooking has reduced them to a creamily soft texture. But again, feel free to experiment with other beans– black beans or even chickpeas would be great because both have great flavor.
On, then, to the recipe. I need to sit back and revel in the wonderful feeling of doing nothing, at least for the next five minutes.
1 cup small lima beans, soaked for a few hours, then drained
1 bunch swiss chard, washed and chopped into shreds
6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 medium tomatoes, diced
Salt to taste
Put all the ingredients into a pressure cooker or a large pot, add four cups of water, and cook until the lima beans are tender.
In a small skillet, heat:
1 tsp canola or other vegetable oil
1 tsp cayenne pepper or red chili powder
1/2 tsp turmeric (optional)
(You want to make sure you have your vent fan going full-speed since this will bring the tears to your eyes)
Stir for about 10 seconds, then add to the rest of the stew.
Bring the stew to a boil, adding some water if it’s too thick. Check for salt, turn off the heat, and serve hot with boiled rice or crusty bread.