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Saturday, October 26, 2013

Gluten Free Vegetable Scrap Stew: Cannelini Beans and Swiss Chard Stem Stew

Free of gluten, nuts, soy, dairy, seafood, Vegan friendly

One of the things I've realized in the process of creating my GF, Locavore-ish Weekly Meal Plans over the last couple of months is that, while I can get pretty creative with baked goods, I have been a bit lazy when it comes to dinners. I find myself falling back on the same stir-fries and quick dinners over and over. 

And when I do get creative with dinners, I don't end up photographing them and sharing them with you, often because we're hungry and the lighting for taking photos sucks at night. This isn't fair to you. You, my dear readers, deserve much more from me.  You deserve healthy dinners, not just Apple Dumplings and Sprouted Lentil Breads

So this Cannelini Bean and Swiss Chard Stem Stew (made from end of the week vegetable scraps) marks the beginning of what I hope will be an inspirational relationship between me and my meal planning  - and maybe my new crockpot, too!


Usually by Friday the fridge is looking pretty bare. This is because I like to clean things out for our big farmers market shop on Saturday, where we load up on local produce.  By Friday we've usually worked through most of our bunches of kale, parsnips, carrots, potatoes and so on, and there's a few little odds and ends kicking around.

So this week I defied last week's meal plan and gathered up my scraps to turn into a stew, and it turned out awesome! Here are some of the benefits of this scrap stew:

1) I found another way to use up my constant abundance of Swiss Chard stems to add to my list of 8 Ways to Use Swiss Chard Stalks

2)  I only had to clean one pot at the end of it all

3) My husband and I both loved it

4) There was enough leftover to freeze for a whole other meal and extra for my husband to take to work for lunch

5) It'll probably be a bit different next week based on whatever is leftover in the fridge

6) It was cheap and super healthy and allowed me to clean out the fridge of all the leftover veggie scraps! 

So here's how it went:

Ingredients (makes 5 servings):

3/4 c dried cannelini beans, soaked overnight (or 2 15oz cans, approximately 2 cups cooked beans))
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp EACH dried oregano, basil, thyme, and rosemary
1/2 tsp dried sage
1 bunch of Swiss chard stalks (leaves removed, ends trimmed and stalks cut into 1/2-3/4" chunks)
1 15oz can petite diced tomatoes
1 carrot, peeled and thinly sliced in rounds
1/2 c dry quinoa
1 bunch of kale, washed, stems removed and chopped
5 c gluten free vegetable broth (or use my Homemade Chicken Stock for a meatier option)
Fresh chopped parsley to garnish
Parmesan cheese to garnish (optional)


1. Soak cannelini beans in a pot of water overnight (8-10 hrs), drain, and cook 30 minutes, until softened. OR drain and rinse 2 cans of cannelini beans.  

2. In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat.  Saute onions 7-8 minutes, until translucent.  Add garlic and saute another minute. Add herbs and cook 1 minute. Add some juice from canned tomatoes if needed to prevent sticking.

3. Rinse quinoa under cool water and strain through a fine mesh strainer.  Add chard stalks, tomatoes, carrot, quinoa and broth to the pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer for 20 minutes, until everything is softened and quinoa is cooked.

4. Add kale and stir in 1-2 minutes until kale is wilted.

Serve with  parsley and optional parmesan. 

And yeah, it was dark by the time we ate dinner and I got around to photographing this, so I did my very best to brighten these photos up so they don't look like they were taken in a moody living room on top of my fold up tv table!  Here was my set up:

Yes, yes that is my window curtain and you can see the darkness looming behind it!

How do you use up your vegetables scraps?

This post was shared on the following great link parties: Musings of a Housewife, Melt in Your Mouth Monday, Gluten Free Tuesday, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Traditional Tuesdays, Fat Tuesday,


  1. Me enamoré de este rico y lindo plato realmente una exquisitez saludable,abrazos.


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