Monday, August 13, 2012

Swiss Chard, Sweet Potato, and Goat Cheese Tart...with Teff Crust



Slowly, slowly, things are changing around here. I think perhaps we've been doing things a bit backwards...or maybe sideways.  I might just be in the "very slow learner" camp when it comes to eating healthy nutritious foods.

Instead of embracing whole foods, flavors, fats, and the best foods that can be found, we've been caught up on the "low calorie/low fat" treadmill.

I don't think it has worked for us very well.







As we all experimented with the "lower carb" lifestyle this summer and watched some excess pounds melt off, we moved carefully up the "carb ladder" after a couple of weeks to reach a more balanced "whole foods" array of food options.

My, my, my...there are a wonderful array of better food and recipe options that we have been missing.  We concentrated too much on low calories and low fat.  By choosing lots of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, and proteins, we've each noticed positive changes.  

The door is flung wide open now.  We're slowly removing processed white flour, rice, and sugars from our recipes and experimenting with all sorts of wonderful and diverse options.






No more low calorie/highly processed snacks.
No more "baked" chips this or "low fat" that candy options.

Well, let me qualify that bold declaration...

In moderation of course, if the previous article doesn't shamefully showcase what can happen during a day the Kenney's spend at a place like Silver Dollar City in Missouri.






This vegetable tart is a good example of small changes.  Instead of a white flour tart crust, it uses a mixture of teff flour and whole wheat flour.

This Gluten Free Girl blog article does a terrific job of explaining the history and nutritional benefits of incorporating teff flour into cooking and baking.  And, yes, it's a gluten-free grain.

In fact, I enjoyed reading her article so much that we're going to canvas this vast city of Houston and find an Ethiopian restaurant so we can sample their "injera" bread, made with teff flour that is used for scooping up their fragrant dishes.





It feels like the sky is the limit right now as we uncover more and more ways to prepare dishes that involve less calorie counting and more whole food nutritional awareness.

This Swiss Chard, Sweet Potato, Goat Cheese Tart made with a teff crust is a good example of one of our dinners that has shifted in ingredient focus.




My first love is to travel to foreign cultures to sample their cuisine.  When I can't do that, I find myself buried in my kitchen traveling to countries through stirring, tasting, and creating their signature dishes at home so my mind can travel there in a different way.

I am finding a new way to "travel" in the kitchen as well.  Perhaps I am feeling more confident about the chemistry behind cooking and want to know how many ways we can avoid using such processed ingredients in our cooking. 

What tastes good?  What doesn't taste good?






I've been so busy in my kitchen this summer.  It's too hot to do much of anything outside in this humidity soaked part of the country.

So, I've been experimenting and creating and changing up a lot of recipes.  I've been writing and photographing these fun food journeys and I cannot wait to highlight my new finds here at "thyme".


I feel like it's a challenge.  It will be a journey, of a different sort.  

And I'm all about taking journeys...what about you?




This recipe is replicated from the blog:  The Flour Sack
(The only change I made is I substituted goat cheese for the feta cheese...just a matter of preference)

19 comments:

  1. That is so so beautiful. You capture the mood so exquisitely and that pic of the tart, so full of bounty is breathtaking.

    I love eveything about this Sarah...you do it all so well :)

    chow! Devaki @ weavethousandflavors

    ReplyDelete
  2. The tart looks like it's about a mile long. A mile of deliciousness!

    I've been working at incorporating alternative flours into my baking as well. I haven't done too much cutting down on refined sugar yet, but I figure it all gets balanced in the moderate amount of exercise I do. And if I ever have concerns about my weight, I just remind myself that I've never strived for a low-calorie diet. Just a diet with foods that make me smile, and say "We MUST make this again!"

    Is your daughter headed off to school already/soon? Yikes! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love your food outlook Emma! That is exactly what we are trying to do. It is becoming a fun challenge to see how can change recipes and use better ingredients and then see how...it tastes! Yes, my daughter is off to college in one week. We are having moments of surrealness but I am working to stay very upbeat.

      Delete
  3. How can it be that I've never even heard of this flour? I'm going to track it down and give it a try. I'm up for the healthy challenge!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I had never heard of it either but you won't believe how many grains and foods that companies like Bob's Red Mill are turning into flour!

      Delete
  4. I love that you have embraced the whole food movement. It's very difficult to give up the convenience of packaged goods, but it's something we must all strive to do. I'll admit, I had a bag of Baked Cheetos yesterday and I loved it, but it would have been great to have home-baked potato chips or maybe even kale. That tart looks delicious -- hope you enjoyed it!


    xoxo,
    La Petite Gigi

    ReplyDelete
  5. beautiful tart, way to be with the whole foods :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. Such beautiful Tart...
    I really need to start using more chard... This is such a healthy recipe...
    gorgeous pics....

    ReplyDelete
  7. It really sounds like an exciting and educational challenge. I've been toying with the idea of moving away, or maybe just incorporating more whole foods into my kitchen. I know I don't eat enough vegetables, yet do use many pulses, but really am curious about different grains. I've never heard of teff before so you've piqued my curiosity enough to get out and buy some.
    Love your tart, btw!

    ReplyDelete
  8. You're so right. I think I heard it best from the comedian Louis CK this weekend - FOOD IS FUEL. And I've just started thinking that way. Getting into homemade baked bread is NOT the way to promote low carb eating though, just so you know. :) In Houston, check out Radical Eats. It's a vegan Tex Mex restaurant and I don't think you'll be disappointed

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can't wait to play around with home made breads. Winter hopefully will be filled with big bold husky breads and lots of kale packed soups!

      Delete
  9. Such great dark moody pictures. What a lovely way to eat healthy.

    ReplyDelete
  10. These are foods I love and your pictures are beautiful. I love the pewter dish and I've always wanted to make something with teff.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Sarah I went and looked at your about page. Loved how you featured your family.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Sarah, This tart looks incredible and I know I will be making it very soon! Love the combo of sweet potatoes and swiss chard…yum!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Sarah,
    brillant tart!
    I like Swiss Chard.
    Beautiful photos .

    ReplyDelete
  14. Your photos are so gorgeous! I love the first picture, the ingredient shot, it's gorgeous! And the tart looks so delicious!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Oh, your tart looks gorgeous! I hope that you enjoyed it. I feel honored to have my blog mentioned by you :) So, thank you! And happy food journeys!

    ReplyDelete
  16. My mother is ethiopian so I grew up with Injera but I have never used teff for anything else. I cannot wait to try this recipe. Thank you for sharing!

    ReplyDelete

How wonderful to hear from new friends...