Swiss chard? Not so hard!

Bowl of swiss chard pasta

I mentioned in my first post how I was excited to purchase new vegetables that I had not worked with before from the farmer’s market and experiment with them. Well this weekend, I did just that! My mom was in town for the night on Friday on her way home from a knitting class in Alexandria, VA. On Saturday morning, she went with Jesse and I to the South of the James farmer’s market in Richmond. I bought a bunch of produce for the week including sugar snap peas (my favorite), radishes, asparagus (Jesse’s favorite), and Swiss chard, which is BEAUTIFUL, but I’ve always been intimidated by it bRaw Swiss Chardecause I’ve never worked with it. I mean look how pretty it is raw.

Gorgeous, right? I knew I could make something out of it that even if it wasn’t delicious, it sure would be pretty on my blog! One of my favorite things about Knoxville has always been the Saturday morning Market Square farmer’s market, so I was excited to experience Richmond’s since I officially live here now. It was a different atmosphere since it is in a nice park rather than in the middle of downtown, but I kind of liked that. Not to mention the farmers were very nice and one of them was a Steelers fan! So yes, you could say Jesse and I approved and will be frequently returning. It is one of our favorite things to do together.

This morning as I was washing all of the produce we purchased, I found a slug in the colander that must have been on the radishes! Now THAT is how I know our vegetables are straight from the ground and are as fresh as can be. Not going to lie though, I definitely woke Jesse up to get the slug and he carried it outside to be set free.

Okay, so back to the Swiss chard. We decided to sauté it and mix it with some whole wheat linguini and a bunch of Parmesan cheese (pretty much goes on everything in this house). It was delicSwiss chard being sauteedious! Jesse has declared he likes Swiss chard; me too! One of the things we decided we like about it is that it is kind of like two vegetables in one. You have the pretty rainbow stems that become tender when cooked, and the yummy leaves that are the perfect greens to add to pretty much anything. We worked together on this dish tonight, and it was successful teamwork! To the left is a picture of the stems of the Swiss chard cooking. We did them first with some garlic, onion, and Extra Virgin Olive oil, then added the leaves for about two minutes at the end until they cooked down. We mixed the final product with the linguini and a little extra olive oil, and then topped with Parmesan! I also added a bunch of red pepper flakes to mine beForkfull of swiss chard pastacause, come on, they are the best. The picture at the top is the finished product – without the Parmesan because I wanted you to be able to see the Swiss chard. Here is a photo Jesse took of his first bite to the right. We loved our Sunday night dinner and decided that we will definitely be making Swiss chard again! I think it would be good with a nice filet of salmon, so maybe we will try it with that. We are looking forward to more adventures at the farmer’s market and the new dishes we try as a result! I am planning on roasting some of the radishes we bought this week, so I will have to keep you posted. Stay tuned!




Broccoli meatballs and spaghetti squash - Version 2Spaghetti and meatballs. Except there was no spaghetti – or meat. That is what we had for dinner tonight!

Being in an Italian family, I’m sure there are a lot of doubters! Growing up, my family used to think I was crazy because I didn’t like red sauce on my pasta. Nope, just plain noodles with butter and Parmesan for this girl. Well now I actually do love red sauce, but I wanted to try it with a healthier, more vegetable-filled dish!

I know it has been a while since I posted. I have been very busy finishing up final exams for my LAST semester of undergrad and moving to Richmond, VA! Throw in packing up my apartment, my friend visiting from Chicago, and surprising my mom for her birthday, and you can see why I haven’t had time lately to cook anything worth sharing about. Tonight; however, I made an exciting dinner for Jesse and I! I wanted something with only a few ingredients and that wouldn’t make a ton of leftovers since we are going to Knoxville this weekend for graduation. I know Jesse loves spaghetti squash with marinara sauce, which we haven’t had in a while. Not to mention it’s so easy – so spaghetti squash it was! I wanted to add something a little heartier to the dish to give it more protein and make it filling. I went on searching for meatballs that didn’t involve any meat. I thought about lentils, but knew Jesse wouldn’t eat more than a bite (I still want to give those a try sometime! You never know!). Then I came across something I had not thought of, “meat”balls made out of broccoli, almonds, and Parmesan! Now THIS Jesse would devour and it sounded awesome to me, too.

I found the recipe here:

Long story short, the recipe involves pulsing almonds in the food processor (I LOVE my food processor!), doing the same with broccoli, adding Parmesan, spices, and an egg. You make little balls and bake them in the oven! Really easy!

For anyone wondering about how I prepared the spaghetti squash, I cut it lengthwise, put a little olive oil, salt, and pepper on each side, and baked it at 400 degrees for 40 minutes. After that, it shreds with a fork into “spaghetti.”

It was a yummy dinner and we have more “meat”balls in the freezer to have this dish again after we get back from our trip this weekend! Go vols!