Tag Archives: swiss chard

Want me Baby

Butternut Squash Lasagna

butternut_squash_lasagna

I’m not a fan of fall weather, even more so when it comes to the season after fall, but I am a fan of many of the vegetables that pop up during these chilly months.  From the winter squashes, to the greens, to the delicious root vegetables – the fall is well stocked with delicious vegetables. Today’s treat features a number of those goodies, including some of the last of the produce from the Farmer’s Market at my office.  Butternut Squash is a familiar vegetable in our house and it really seems to go with everything.  In this case I added some swiss chard, baby kale, and some mashed pie pumpkin (thought the variety was called baby boy but that just resulted in lots of baby costumes) that was leftover from making the pumpkin chocolate chip cookies.

Want me Baby

Ingredients

1 pack of lasagna noodles (ready to use or pre-cooked)

1 medium butternut squash, halved lengthwise

2 cloves garlic

1 tbsp butter, unsalted

1 cup mashed pumpkin

2 cups kale, chopped

1 cup spinach, chopped

1 cup swiss chard, chopped

1 1/3 cups favorite alfredo sauce

1 cup ricotta, divided

1 1/3 cup mozzarella, divided (shredded or fresh sliced)

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425. Lightly oil a roasting pan and place butternut squash in roasting pan cut side down. Bake for 45 minutes. Flip squash in pan cut side up and use a melon spoon, or fork, to remove flesh to a blender. Add garlic and butter and puree until slightly smooth.
  2. Turn oven down to 350
  3. Line the bottom of a 9x9 pan with a 1/3 cup of the sauce and spread around, to include the sides of the pan. Place the first layer of noodles, trimming as needed to prevent overlap. Spoon 1/3 of the butternut squash and pumpkin purees on the noodle. Then top with a third of the greens, 1/3 cup of ricotta, and 1/3 of the Mozzarella. Spoon 1/3 cup of the sauce on top and spread evenly.
  4. Add the next layer of noodles and repeat the layers, then top with the final layer - ending with noodles. Top with the last of the sauce, then the last of the mozzarella (1/3 cup) and the Parmesan cheese.
  5. Bake at 350 for 40 minutes, the cheese should be a light golden brown on the edge and the cheese should be bubbling.

Notes

If using cubed butternut squash, reduce roasting time to 15 minutes and flip at halfway point. For a GF variety, use brown rice lasagna noodles!

http://dancingveggies.com/2014/11/want-me-baby.html

Lasagna will never be a healthy dinner option, and it’s not always the most budget-friendly option, but it will always be something delicious and hearty and fantastic.  I figured that if I only make it a few times a year it’s not that bad…right???  I’m sending this recipe over to November’s Secret and in Season, which is being hosted by Katie of FeedingBoys and was founded by the awesome Ren.   There are so many delicious fall recipes being linked up over there, I can’t wait to give them a whirl!!!

Come and Get It

Super Greens with Polenta

Super Greens with Polenta

I’ll admit it, I was a strange child.  From a rather young age I greatly enjoyed vegetables (especially greens) and was known to trade away my lunch time sweets for carrot sticks – which I’m sure my classmates enjoyed.  That’s not to say I would always pick a healthy treat over something sweet, but it made the challenge for this week a bit more challenging than normal.  For /52weeksofcooking this week we are to cook with an ingredient we didn’t enjoy as a child, and that doesn’t leave me with much.  Many commonly avoided vegetables weren’t served in my house and the few things I remember avoiding as a kid I still don’t eat: cottage cheese, tapioca pudding, porridge, and meat.  Luckily my hubby was more of a “normal” child and gave me a rather large list of foods: broccoli, spinach, brussel sprouts, kale, cabbage, and anything spicy.  So essentially anything green, which gave me lots to work with.  I decided to pick a variety of greens, toss in some chickpeas, and serve everything over some baked polenta.

Super Greens and Polenta

Serves: Serves 4-5

Ingredients

1 tbsp olive oil

3 cloves garlic, diced

1 sweet onion, diced

1 tsp thyme

1 tsp rosemary

1/2 cup Greek yogurt (So Delicious or dairy), at room temperature

1/4 cup milk (coconut or dairy)

3 cups spinach, chopped

3 cups kale, chopped

2 cups swiss chard, chopped

2 cups chickpeas, presoaked and well rinsed (or 1 15.5 oz can)

Pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large dish saute pan over medium heat, then add in the onion and garlic. Cook for 7-10 minutes, then add the herbs and stir for one minute.
  2. In a small bowl mix together the milk and yogurt, then stir in to the herb and garlic mixture. Slowly begin adding in the greens, being careful to not crowd the pan. Once the greens have slightly wilted, add the chickpeas then turn heat to low and cook for 10 minutes.
  3. Season with some black pepper and Serve!
http://dancingveggies.com/2014/01/come-and-get-it.html

While I’m not sure which of us any future children might take after, it’ll be interesting to see where they fall when it comes to green food.  Tho worst case scenario I can always sneak it in…

Thing to Do

Summer Quinoa

Summer Quinoa

The combination of rain and sun has resulted in a glorious garden, which is resulting in a large amount of delicious produce and with that meals filled with vegetables.  Thanks to some coworkers I’ve had a steady supply of beets and swiss chard, and thanks to my garden I now have large amounts of tomatoes and carrots – a vegetarian paradise!  When it came time to cook everything I relied on the Top Chef motto of “what grows together, goes together” and combined anything and everything to see what would happen.  At the end of the week I had a little bit of everything but with the exception of the tomatoes I didn’t have enough of any of thing to make it a feature.  So everything got tossed together with some quinoa in the ultimate tribute to summer vegetables.

Summer Quinoa

Serves 4-5

Ingredients

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

3 garlic cloves

1 cup red onion, diced

1/4 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp cayenne powder

1/2 tbsp chili powder

1 cup fresh corn

1/2 cup beets, cubed

2 cups garbanzo beans, presoaked and well washed

1 1/2 cups swiss chard, loosely torn

1 cup quinoa

2 cups vegetable stock

Instructions

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large stock pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and onion and cook for 7 minutes before adding the spices and cooking for an additional minute, stirring well.
  2. Add the corn and beets and cook for an additional 5 minutes before adding the beans and swiss chard. Cook until the chard has mostly wilted, about 6 minutes, then add the quinoa and vegetable stock. Turn heat to high and bring to a boil, then cover, turn heat to low, and allow to simmer for 20 minutes. Fluff the quinoa and serve!
http://dancingveggies.com/2013/07/thingtodo.html

I topped mine with some greek yogurt for dinner and had it “naked” for lunch the next day and both ways were amazing.  This is one of those dishes that is guilt free, even if seconds are involved!

Your Honey Bee

White & Green Lasagna

White and Green Lasagna

One of my goals for this year has been incorporating a larger variety of vegetables in to my diet, to go beyond the standard spinach, peppers, tomatoes, and mushrooms that I tend to live on.  While this will be much easier to do once farmer markets are in full swing this spring, I didn’t want to put off this goal for fear I would keep pushing it off.  So I started exploring the hothouse vegetable section of my grocery store to see what was being produced locally.   I didn’t expect to see much beyond root vegetables and tomatoes and with that was pleasantly surprised when I saw the plethora of greens waiting for me to give them a go.  From bitter mustard greens to earthly collards to sweet baby spinach and all the colors of chard in between it was a mecca of leafy vegetables.  I decided to grab a few varieties and see what all I could come up with.  I’ll admit, most of the kale wound up being used in salad or juice form, but I when I realized I had grabbed more than I needed I started thinking of recipes that could use a large amount of greens.  When it comes to fridge clean out I need to go to pizzas or pastas and this time was no different – except I decided to make my own lasagna sheets.   Since the point of this meal was to use as many veggies as possible even the pasta wound up going green with the inclusion of spinach and kale though in the future I’ll make sure to process them more in order to get a more even distribution.

Your Honey Bee

serves 5-6

Ingredients

For dough:

1/2 cup all purpose flour

1/4 cup semolina flour

1/4 cup durum flour

2 eggs

1 tbsp EVOO

1/4 cup kale, well washed and dry

1/4 cup spinach, well washed and dry

Filling:

1 1/2 cup low-fat ricotta cheese, divided

1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

1 tsp pepper

1/2 tbsp oregano

1 tsp savory

1 tsp crushed bay leaf

1 cup favorite white sauce, divided

3 garlic cloves, minced

2 roma tomatoes, diced and divided

1/2 cup spinach, loosely torn

1/2 cup Swiss chard, loosely torn

1/4 cup kale, loosely torn

1/4 cup Mozzarella cheese, shredded

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded

Instructions

  1. For the pasta, use a food processor to partially puree the spinach and kale then set out a paper towel to dry.
  2. Blend the flours together in a large bowl, form a well in the middle and add the eggs and EVOO. Slowly mix the liquids into the flour mixture, once full incorporated fold in the spinach and kale mixture. Kneed mixture on a well floured surface for 5 minutes, dough should be stiff. Cover with towel and allow to rest for 30 minutes. (while resting prepare the filling below)
  3. Once dough has rested divide in to three balls and roll out. Pasta should be less than 1/4 of an inch thick. Use knife or pasta cutter to create the lasagna sheets, keeping the dough not in use covered to prevent it from drying out. Once the sheets are cut allow to rest for 5 minutes before forming the lasagna.
  4. For the filling, mix the ricotta cheese with the seasonings and garlic cloves. Set aside. Preheat oven to 400 F
  5. To assemble the lasagna spoon two tbsp of the sauce on the bottom of a 9x11 baking dish using a spatula to fully cover the bottom and sides. Place the first layer of the lasagna sheets on the bottom, trimming as needed to prevent overlays. Spoon 1/4 of the cheese mixture on top, along with a quarter of each of the vegetables. Top with enough sauce to just cover the noodles before beginning the next layer. Repeat until all filling has been used, ending with a layer of pasta. Top with the remaining sauce and the shredded cheeses.
  6. Bake at 400 for 35 minutes, the sauce should be brown and bubbling around the edge, along with an exposed pasta. Serve hot and enjoy!
http://dancingveggies.com/2013/03/your-honey-bee.html

This might not be the healthiest lasagna out there due to the cheese, however it does pack a healthy punch of vitamins and nutrients.  I also like that this is another one of those dishes where there is no right or wrong ingredient – just add whatever vegetables are threatening to turn and enjoy!

Back in the

Spinach and Kale Pizza

Very Green Pizza

Another week, another challenge from r/52weeksofcooking.  This week the theme was Mother Sauces, something I explored a few years ago thanks to a Top Chef episode. I have done numerous tomato sauce based recipes, and a few veloute sauces as well but for the most part I avoid the creamier sauces.  Cream is very high on the list of things my doctor has told me to avoid – so with that in mind I set out to make this as healthy as I could.  One of things that helped me on that quest was learning that bechamel does not actually require cream!  Instead of doing a standard pasta I decided to do pizza, making a whole wheat sourdough crust and tossing on as much spinach, chard, and kale as possible.  I was a little bit nervous working with the dough, but it was surprising easy to roll once I figured out the right flour:starter ratio – so no dough went flying across the kitchen this time!

Spinach and Kale

Serves: serves 5-6

Ingredients

Crust:

3/4 cup starter

1 cup 2 tbsp water

2 tbsp EVOO

3/4 tsp salt

2 cups whole wheat flour

1 cup all purpose flour

1 1/2 tsp yeast

Topping

2 tbsp EVOO

1 red onion, diced

1 cup baby spinach, rinsed and torn

1/2 cup swiss chard, rinsed and torn

3/4 cup kale, rinsed and torn

1/2 cup Mozzarella cheese, shredded

Sauce

2 tbsp butter

1/4 cup flour

1 1/2 cup milk

1/4 tsp nutmeg

salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. For the dough - I used my bread machine taking full advantage of the timer and pizza dough setting. Once done, roll out on to pizza sheet cover with a towel and allow to rise for 30minutes. Set aside
  2. For the onions, heat the olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring regularly, for 25-30 minutes or until onions have caramelized. Set aside to slightly cool
  3. For the sauce, melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Once melted slowly whisk in the flour before slowing adding the milk, stirring the entire time. Bring to a simmer then add the nutmeg and cook for 10minutes. Cover and set aside to cool.
  4. To assemble the pizza: spoon 1/2 cup of the sauce (storing the rest for the future) onto the dough, spreading around. Add the onions, followed by the spinach, kale, and swiss chard. Top with the shredded cheese.
  5. Place pizza in oven and set to 400 degrees. Bake for 35 minutes, crust will be golden and the cheese will be starting to brown.

Notes

the sauce freezes very well - I poured it in to ice cube trays and once frozen popped the cubes into freezer bags.

http://dancingveggies.com/2013/02/back-in-the.html

This isn’t the healthiest pizza out there – and I’m sure it’s not the healthiest version of  bechamel floating  around – but it’s a healthier option compared to what most pizzas are.  Another advantage of doing a white sauce is it’s much easier to reduce the amount of cheese required, assuming people aren’t looking over your shoulder attempting to add more.