Dinners

Recipe—Swiss Chard and Chicken Pasta

Sometimes when I want pasta I want a dish that isn’t smothered in sauce, something more refined. This rustic pasta dish is it. You have some nice hearty chunks of chicken, bits of salty prosciutto, a mild creaminess from the ricotta, and of course some healthy greens mixed in, and it’s all finished off with a nice crispy topping. It really is a perfect balance. There is just something about hot baked pasta coming straight out of the oven and onto the plate that warms my belly and makes me happy. I just put the entire baking dish down on the table and let my family serve themselves. Unfortunately, we lack self-control and could not stop eating it! It was just so good!

Note: In case this is one of your first times cooking with chard be sure to wash it thoroughly and then pull the leaves off the thick stalks. They can be tough and bitter so you just want to eat the leafy green part.

INGREDIENTS
1/2 lb (8 oz) penne pasta
olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 tsp garlic, minced
4 oz prosciutto (chopped pieces for cooking)
1 bunch Swiss chard, chopped
salt and pepper
1/2 c white wine
1 1/2 c ricotta cheese
1 rotisserie chicken, meat removed and shredded
2 tbsp butter
1/4 c grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 c panko crumbs

STEPS

  • Preheat oven to 375°.
  • Fill a large pot with water and a pinch of salt and bring to a boil.
  • Add the pasta and cook until al dente per the package instructions. When the pasta is done drain will and toss with a generous amount of olive oil (enough so that all the noodles have a nice coating but aren’t swimming in it). Set aside until you are done with the rest of the filling.
  • While the pasta is cooking heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a large wok or pot over medium-high heat.
  • Add the onions and cook for 5 minutes or until translucent.
  • Add in the garlic and prosciutto and cook for an additional minute.
  • Add the Swiss chard to the pot and season with salt and pepper.
  • Cook the chard for 8­10 minutes stirring occasionally until the greens are wilted and tender.
  • Stir in the wine and ricotta until well combined and then mix in the chicken and cooked penne.
  • Transfer your pasta to a medium sized baking dish.
  • Melt the butter in a small bowl.
  • Add in the Parmesan and panko and stir until well mixed.
  • Sprinkle the panko mixture over the top of the pasta,
  • Bake for 20–25 minutes or until the top just starts to turn a golden brown.
Dinners, Sandwiches

Recipe­—Italian Sausage Burgers with Garlicky Greens

Italian Sausage Burgers with Garlicky Greens

I love a big thick juicy homemade beef burger just as much as any one else, but I also love coming up with tasty alternatives to the all American meal. When I saw a recipe for an Italian sausage burger on Huffington Post I knew I had to try it. I love the flavor of Italian sausage and like Popeye I love my greens. So I made my own little tweaks and made these fantastic Italian sausage burgers. They were awesome! They are definitely rich, but oh so tasty.

INGREDIENTS
1 lb bulk Italian sausage, formed into 4 thin patties
4 slices of provolone cheese
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp garlic, minced
1 bunch chard, kale, or spinach, inner stalks stripped out and greens chopped
salt
1/4 c pesto
1/4 c mayonnaise
4 ciabatta rolls, cut in half

STEPS

  • Heat a large skillet to medium-high heat.
  • Add the sausage patties and cook until browned on the bottom, about 5–7 minutes.
  • Flip the patties and cook on the other side for an additional 5–7 minutes or until cooked all the way through. (Top each patty with a slice of provolone during the last couple of minutes.)
  • While the sausage patties are cooking, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Add the garlic and chopped greens.
  • Cook until the greens are wilted and tender and season with salt.
  • Place the ciabatta rolls in the oven to lightly toast and heat through.
  • In a small bowl mix together the pesto and mayonnaise.
  • Spread the cut side of each roll with the pesto mayonnaise.
  • Place the cooked patty on the bottom bun and top with cooked greens and top bun.

Recipe adapted from Huffington Post.

Brunch, Dinners

Recipe—Chard and Mushroom Frittata

By now you probably know, or have read that, I recently signed up for organic produce delivery. It’s always fun trying to come up with recipes that utilize as many of the ingredients as possible. I feel like I’m on an episode of Food Network’s Chopped. One of my latest boxes included red chard, crimini mushrooms, and green onions. As soon as I saw the produce I knew I had to make a frittata.

A frittata is an Italian version of an omelet and it somehow seems much fancier. Rather than having the ingredients as a filling like an omelet, a frittata’s ingredients are mixed into the eggs. Frittatas are typically started on the stovetop, finished in the oven, and served as slices. While it is typical to cook a frittata in a cast iron skillet I use a pie dish. Frittatas are fabulous in that they can be served for any meal and they are great for reheating. A frittata can be made up of any combination of ingredients so have some fun and get creative.

One of the many benefits of a frittata is that it’s a great way to get in some vegetables. Frittatas are low carb and are a healthy alternative to a cheesy omelet. I made this for dinner along with some sourdough toast and it was so quick and easy. Swiss chard is one of my favorite leafy vegetables and it is a fabulous source of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber. It goes great when sautéed with garlic and is a wonderful complement to the earthy flavor of crimini mushrooms. I was very pleased with how this recipe turned out and will most certainly be making it again.

 Note: If chard is not available, spinach is a great substitute. 

INGREDIENTS
2 tbsp olive oil
2 c crimini mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 tbsp garlic, minced
1 bunch red chard, thoroughly washed
8 eggs
2 tbsp milk
2 green onions, sliced
salt and pepper
1/2 c Parmesan cheese

STEPS

  • Preheat oven to 375º.
  • Separate the stems from the leaves of the chard.
  • Roll the leaves of the chard up together and slice into strips about a 1/2” wide.
  • In a large skillet heat the olive oil over medium-high heat.
  • Add the mushrooms and garlic and cook until mushrooms are soft and lightly browned, about 10 minutes.
  • Add the chard to the skillet and cook until limp but still a bright green color, about 4 minutes.
  • Remove skillet from heat and transfer veggies to a greased pie dish making sure that the veggies are distributed evenly.
  • In a medium bowl whisk together eggs, milk, green onions, and salt and pepper.
  • Pour the egg mixture over the veggies making sure that the mixture covers the dish completely.
  • Bake for 20–25 minutes or until eggs appear set.
  • Sprinkle with the cheese and finish under the broiler for an additional 3 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and allow to cool for a minute.
  • Cut into slices and serve.