Our CSA box brings some pretty lovely foods to our door. It also brings superheroes into our home. Yes, superheroes — produce like rainbow chard and maitake mushrooms that keep me safe from illness, make my body stronger, and can even help me sleep better. Anything that helps me get a better night’s sleep is a hero in my book. Here’s what we’re cooking with today:

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Maitake mushroom — how cool is this little fella?! I almost felt sad slicing this up, it looked straight out of a mystical fairytale forest and I am just waiting for a little gnome to pop out from behind it and sing me a song. In Japanese, maitake means, wait for it, “dancing mushroom.: I want to dance with a mushroom! It also possesses magical powers including immune-boosting properties that are used in to treat all kinds of medical ailments ranging from chronic fatigue to cancer.[1]

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Rainbow chard — don’t you know this is the prettiest leafy green out there? Sorry other leafy greens, but rainbow chard kinda does it for me. But I don’t just eat them for their good looks. Rainbow chard is full of polyphenols (especially the stems), super-potent antioxidents. Combine that with iron, vitamins K1 and carotenes and I’d how could you not call this veggie a superhero?! 

We’re combining all these lovely ingredients, along with bacon, shallot, garlic, and tomato to make a tasty, nutrient-packed plant-based dish that makes a perfect side to seafood, chicken, or even with your eggs in the morning.

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Here’s what you need:

  • 3 slices bacon
  • 1 Maitake mushroom (if you don’t have Maitake mushrooms, no problem. Cremini and baby portobellos are great options, too)
  • 3 t Ghee, divided
  • 1/4 cup shallot
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 medium slicing tomatoes
  • 1 bunch Rainbow chard
  • 3 teaspoons coconut aminos
  • Splash or two of Paleo fish sauce
  • 1 t maple syrup (eliminate for Whole30 or low-carb)

Here’s what you do:

1. Get your oven going right away. Throw the bacon in the oven at 325 for about 30 minutes, until crispy. And what I mean by “throw,” is neatly place the bacon on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, of course. This is my favorite way to cook bacon because it sure beats the hassle of cleaning up splattered bacon grease, tasty as it may be. Once the bacon is crisp and golden, I transfer the slices to a paper towel to cool and soak up some of the grease. Some, not all.

2. Prep your veggies: separate the chard leaves from the stems. Dice the tomatoes. Mince the garlic. Finely chop the shallot. And slice that magical maitake mushroom.

3. Over medium high heat, heat up 2 t ghee in a large skillet. Once the ghee is good and hot, add your shallot and chard stems and let them cook about 2-3 minutes, until they’ve softened and the shallots are slightly transparent.

4. Add your garlic and let it sweat and mingle with the others in the pan, for about a minute.

5. Add the tomatoes. Let them mingle for about two minutes. Stir your pan, occasionally to keep the tomatoes from burning.

6. Add the chard leaves, gradually. Throw in the salt, maple syrup and coconut aminos and stir until the chard has wilted and it bright green.

7. Remove the chard from heat and set aside.

8. In a separate pan, heat the remaining teaspoon of ghee to medium/medium-high heat (depending on the size of your pan and the amount of mushrooms you have).

9. When the pan is good and hot, throw in your maitake mushrooms. Sprinkle a little salt and add the splash of fish sauce (or two). Let them dance in the pan until the mushrooms are tender.

10. Crumple the bacon on top of the chard and then layer the mushrooms on top! Eat this for dinner and get ready for some flame throwing, night flying, fire breathing, superhero abilities. Results may vary.

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rainbow chard with mushrooms and bacon

[1] http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-560-maitake%20mushroom.aspx?activeingredientid=560&activeingredientname=maitake%20mushroom