I am a BIG fan of leafy greens. Collards, kale, mustard greens…you name it, I probably like it. Except for swiss chard. I’ve never been convinced of swiss chard. Now to be fair, I haven’t given it many chances. I made a chard gratin many years ago with the stems and it turned out mushy and bland. I sauteed the leaves and they were a little bitter. And then I gave up because I already had a long-term relationship with collard greens and didn’t really feel the need to rock the boat.
Last week I decided that maybe it was time to give chard another chance, in the name of trying new things and expanding my veggie-loving horizons. I bought 2 bunches and planned to try preparing them using this recipe. And then I got busy, and the chard went bad. So on Saturday I bought another two bunches and made sure to plan a meal with them at the beginning of the week so that there wouldn’t be a repeat of last week’s waste.
We had a couple of ingredients in the fridge leftover from this weekend, bacon and heavy cream, two items I don’t get to cook with very often in my quest to eat healthfully. So, in the name of not wanting to waste more ingredients in my fridge, this recipe was born.
Swiss Chard + Bacon Linguine with Butternut Squash Cream Sauce
makes 4 servings
- 1 pound swiss chard, preferably rainbow or red-stem
- 1/4 pound bacon
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 8oz butternut squash puree’
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
- 3/4 pound whole wheat linguine
- salt + pepper
- Wash chard and separate leaves from stems. Course chop both, separately.
- Boil linguine for 10-12 minutes, until al dente. Drain and set aside.
- Fry bacon in large, nonstick skillet. Set aside on paper towels.
- Saute’ onion in nonstick skillet for 2 minutes, until translucent. Add chard stems and saute’ for an additional 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add 1/2 cup of water to pan along with chard leaves. Cover with a cookie sheet and allow to simmer for 3-5 minutes until stems are tender. Remove from heat and keep warm.
- Whisk squash and cream together over medium high heat. Bring just to a boil then lower heat to simmer, whisking constantly. As sauce thickens add parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. Remove from heat.
- Pile noodles on plate. Drizzle with a bit of sauce. Add chard mixture and crumble bacon on top. Drizzle additional sauce across the chard.
This was really delicious. Swiss chard and I are now good friends, and I think we have quite the future ahead of us… What vegetable have you tried in the past but written off because of an unpleasant first experience?
Ahh routine. I LOVED spending so much time with friends this weekend and having an excuse to eat several meals out and drink lots of wine, but my body is thanking me for getting back on track. I was starting to feel a little blah what with all the unhealthy eats, vino and lack of exercise due to a sore foot, so today was definitely a welcome change. Granted, my dinner included a small amount of bacon and cream, but at least it was whole and homemade. :)
I started the morning off inspired by the custard oats I’ve seen pop up on both Sarah’s and Heather’s blogs. These two ladies are really fabulous, and their blogs are daily reads of mine. Check them out if you haven’t yet!
Breakfast: custard oats topped with cinnamon, flax seeds, dried figs and a PB spoon.
To make the custard oats I combined 1/2 cup soymilk, 1/2 cup water, 2 egg whites and 1 tsp vanilla in a small pot on the stovetop. I set the heat way too high and walked away from the stove, resulting in a very smelly mess of boiled over milk and eggs. Thank goodness for glass cooktops! Yuck. I didn’t want to give up, so I quickly jumped back on Heather’s blog to read that I was supposed to keep the heat on medium and whisk the ingredients constantly until they thicken a bit. MUCH better. At this point I added 1/2 cup of rolled oats and kept the heat on medium, stirring occasionally for 8-10 minutes. After the oats had thickened quite a bit more, but were still a little runny, I removed the pot from the heat and covered it to allow for additional thickening while cooling.
I topped my bowl with:
- a sprinkle of cinnamon
- 1 tsp flax seeds
- 1 dried fig
- 1 tbsp natural peanut butter
The verdict? Well, the oats were certainly very creamy, but I think I prefer the texture of my standard oats much better. The banana doesn’t cream-ify the oats quite as much, and lends such a wonderful sweetness to the whole bowl. With the egg whites I kept thinking I could taste them, and worried about whether or not they were actually cooked. Eggs freak me out a little. Don’t judge. :) I’m glad that I tried them though, thanks ladies!
Lunch: the other 1/2 of my Amy’s Curried Lentil Soup and a big salad. Look familiar? It was SO welcome.
This beauty contained:
- red bell pepper
- hearts of palm
- garbonzo beans
- a tangelo
- poppyseed dressing
YUM! I finally remembered to take a picture of the dressing bottle for you too. Its SO tasty, but definitely not low-cal. Does anybody know of a good low-cal creamy poppyseed dressing? I’d love to know about it! I’m addicted to poppyseed dressing on top of fruit on top of salad. The bottle says that its good drizzled on fresh peaches…hmmmm.
Snack: a peanut butter cookie larabar. After witnessing several of my fellow bloggers ignore the salmonella scare and refuse to waste their favorite bars, I decided to do the same. Its my favorite flavor, and I can’t find them ANYWHERE (or at least can’t remember where I found this one) so I decided to risk it. Probably stupid, huh? It was tasty though! :)
Ok, this post has been really long. I’ll quickly tell you that I didn’t get a run in tonight because I had to work late, but my foot is feeling much better! There is still slight pain, so its probably best that I gave it another day before pounding the pavement. I do have plans for some yoga tomorrow morning though, and I can’t wait!
Oh, and I almost forgot! Look what was waiting for me when I got home tonight…Quaker True Delights bars from Foodbuzz!!!
I’ve been dying to try these new bars from Quaker since seeing them on Jenna’s and Kath’s blogs last fall, so of course I said YES when Foodbuzz asked if I wanted to try them! Thanks Foodbuzz!!!
The hubb and I split the dark raspberry almond flavor for dessert and it was SO good. I think I’m in love with a new granola bar…move over Kashi! :)
Ok, now its bed time. G’night!