Dinner for One

I am an only child. And I really love being by myself. So, my husband forgives me when I admit that I love it when he goes on business trips. It's just me and the boys. Nacho and Guero, that is.

The house is quiet if I want. Or not. I can watch TV or not. I can read. Or not. I can eat dinner or not. I can leave the house. Or not. It's all up to me!

But the truth be told, I do miss him during meals. It's hard to cook for yourself. And since I do not like take-out and really don't want a "full meal deal" in a restaurant, I get to cook "stupid dinners" as we call them.

A stupid dinner is a little bit of this and that or just something completely weird. Like sauteed Swiss chard with garbanzo beans. Now this would not be an acceptable dinner or lunch for David. Yes, it would be a fine side, but he'd require meat.

Though, since I am all by my lonesome, I can cook whatever I want! I picked up some gorgeous Swiss chard at the markets this weekend (we ate Saturday's purchase on Saturday night and this is Sunday's purchase) and decided to make a meal out of it by adding a can of garbanzo beans. You can Moroccanize it by adding a little cumin and red pepper flakes.

Served on a bed of couscous or quinoa or some naan bread, this is a perfect way to end a day alone.

Buen provecho!

Sauteed Swiss Chard with Garbanzo Beans
The Cowgirl Gourmet was inspired to make this by a friend

Print recipe

This dish is a great side to accompany grilled meat or a sensible vegetarian dinner served over couscous or quinoa or with naan bread. You can play with the spices and see what you like best.

Serves 4

1 bunch of farmers market fresh Swiss chard, washed thoroughly
1 can garbanzo beans, no salt added, drained and rinsed well
1/2 yellow onion, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, sliced
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional
3-4 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt, plus few dashes

Place a large skillet over medium high heat. Once it's hot, add 2 Tablespoon olive oil and swirl it around to coat the skillet. Add the sliced onions and toss to coat in the oil. Sprinkle onions with a dash of Kosher salt. Allow to cook for 4-6 minutes, stirring occasionally.

While the onions are softening, wash the Swiss chard well and then remove the thick stems. Lay the leaves together and slice cross-wise into strips.

When the onions are cooked and have a bit of caramelization on them, add the garlic, one more Tablespoon olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon cumin and red pepper flakes, if using. Stir and cook for one minute. Then add the Swiss chard and sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt. Stir well to combine.

Once the greens have wilted slightly, after about 3-4 minutes, add the drained and rinsed garbanzo beans, stir and allow to cook for another 4-5 minutes until everything is combined and heated through.

Taste. You may want to adjust the seasoning now, perhaps adding a little more salt, cumin or red pepper flakes.

Serve immediately and, once plated, drizzle a little more olive oil on top.
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