I got in the mood for some salmon tonight. I am not a big fish eater, despite knowing how wonderful it is, being packed with those wonderful Omega 3’s and all! Anyway, tonight became salmon night and I decided to create my own sauce to spruce it up. I never know what is going to happen when I do this…what an adventure!
Trying to add Kale to my family’s diet has been a challenge. This recipe gives me hope. It came from a site as I was perusing the multitude of great blogs with inspiring cooking ideas. I forgot to save the info on the fabulous blogger who had this idea so I cannot give credit…it is not my own recipe. Had to share anyway…please claim with link to your post if it is yours so i can give credit 🙂
- Sea salt, to taste, plus 1/4 tsp.
- 12 oz. whole-wheat spaghetti or linguini
- 1 bunch (about 1/2 lb.) red or green chard
- 1 bunch (about 1/2 lb.) dinosaur (lacinato) kale
- 4 Tbs. olive oil
- 4 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
- 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
- 1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- Lemon wedges for serving
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until just tender, about 9 minutes, or according to the package instructions.
Meanwhile, prepare the chard and kale: Tear the leaves from their tough ribs and stems, discarding the ribs and stems. Stack the leaves and fold or roll up and slice them thinly. Transfer the greens to a colander and rinse under cold running water, then drain well.
In a large fry pan over medium-high heat, warm 2 Tbs. of the olive oil. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring constantly, until the garlic is fragrant but not browned, about 1 minute. Add the greens and stir to coat evenly with the oil. (If they don’t all fit at once, add in handfuls after allowing the first batch to wilt.) Cook, stirring occasionally, until the greens are tender, about 5 minutes, adding a few tablespoons of the pasta cooking water to the pan if needed to prevent sticking.
Drain the pasta and return it to the warm pot. Add the cooked greens, cheese, the 1/4 tsp. salt and the remaining 2 Tbs. olive oil and stir to mix well. Divide evenly among pasta plates or bowls and serve immediately. Pass lemon wedges at the table. Serves 4.
As part of my project to create A Better Me I have made it a goal to eat the same healthy way I feed my children. All to often you would find me concocting a smorgasbord of nutritionally sound, organic meals for the boys, then collapsing with a bowl of cereal or reheated pizza later on in the evening. Not good!
So…despite Button and myself running fevers (apparently there is a virus doing the rounds), I set to work on a family dinner. Spaghetti and Meat-sauce made the organic and nutritional way (for the most part. Better yet, it was easy and I took healthy shortcuts to save my sanity, as I was not feeling so great. Here is my attempt at giving you the lowdown on how I made the meal:
First of all, I believe in organic foods as much as possible (some fruits and veggies are non-negotiable). My main products are:
- Organic beef (the leanest I can find)
- Organic, whole wheat spaghetti which I am trying to mix with Ezekiel Pasta to wean the boys into the more healthy sprouted grain pasta
- Coconut oil – the nutritionist at my son’s hospital recommended this oil above all others for its power to provide some amazing punch: there are so many benefits I won’t even try to claim expertise on this, just refer you here for the lowdown.
- Wine which I store in my trusty Pellegrino bottle…I never manage to finish a bottle so I save the leftovers once they are less drinkable and use it for cooking!
- Organic vegetables such as mushrooms, onion, yellow or red peppers, and garlic
- Kombu seaweed which naturally salts the water while providing a nutrient-rich punch which helps maintain a good digestive system (do not use daily for more than 2 weeks at a time as it contains a large amount of iodine and can imbalance the thyroid system)
I begin with melting the coconut oil in a large skillet and browning the meat usually adding a sprinkle (I don’t measure anything) of oregano.
The vegetables are very roughly chopped for two reasons. I believe it saves time (lazy but happy) and so my fussy family can pick things out more easily while getting the goodness of having them cooking in the sauce. (I will let you into a little secret later).
I then add the veggies and cook lightly…the less cooked the better for retaining nutrients.
My favorite flavoring is, of course, the wine that I add to the sauce. The wine is actually added during the meat browning, after the veggies are in, and I have poured the sauce over the top! Delicious!
I cheat completely with the sauce on a workday (especially when I am running a fever) and use a delicious pre-made variety that is organic and contains less sodium than other brands.
Now for the big secret: I actually finely chop some of the veggies as they are cooking so that they become hidden in the sauce. Kiddies see big chunks of veggies and pull them out, but they don’t think to look hard at the little tiny pieces on their plate 🙂 They are also being provided the opportunity to have a go at the veggies if they so wish…eventually they will.
Once the sauce is simmering on low, I prepare the pasta. As I’m trying to include an as yet unknown pasta in the mix, I stick with regular Extra-Virgin Olive Oil (yes, it’s organic but not always), and in goes the Kombu. Once boiling, I cook for as many minutes as I think I need to (my goodness this woman doesn’t follow the rules) and serve al-dente without butter. (You can add butter to taste as desired).
In order to please everyone, I serve Peanut with the sauce on the side, Hubby and I have the plate full of pasta and sauce and poor Button had to have crackers as he was still suffering with the stomach bug…but he did join us at the table because, as he declared, “I LOVE having meals together and I don’t want to miss it!” Aww!
And that is how I throw together a healthy and tasty meal in a really short time for my boys…and now I am joining in too! Oh, and Peanut and I had leftovers for dinner tonight which tasted even better! Button has graduated to plain pancakes and Hubby was out.
Who knows what tomorrow will bring…I’m thawing out chicken as I type 🙂