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Category Archives: Swiss Chard

The Fifth Day of Christmas: Spiral Pasta with Ground Turkey and Butternut Sauce

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Tonight’s dinner was at Little Man’s Christmas meal request.  He loves pasta.  He would eat it at every meal if I would let him.  His request was actually only one word, “Pasta!”  He did not care what kind of sauce as long as there was pasta involved.

For tonight, I modified my Vegan Butternut Squash Sauce slightly.  The additions make the meal no longer vegan, but I can live with that.  I had the butternut squash cooked and pureed in the freezer, so the meal came together quickly.  The swiss chard was also already in my freezer from my garden this fall.  I didn’t have any fresh basil on hand, so I used dried instead.  It really does make a difference, but dried is better than nothing.

I really like this meal better with ground pork, but the grocery store was out when I was shopping.  Turkey is my second choice.  Just be sure to get the higher fat percentage turkey, or the meat will be too dry for my taste.

Butternut Pasta Sauce
Spiral Pasta with Ground Turkey and Butternut Sauce

One batch Butternut Sauce, prepared ahead of these instructions
2-3 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp salt, to taste
1 lb ground turkey (or pork)
Fresh or frozen swiss chard (or spinach), to taste
1.5 lbs gluten free spiral pasta, cooked

Start a pot to boil and cook the pasta according to package instructions.

In a skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat.  Add the garlic, onions, fennel, thyme, and salt.  Sautee about five minutes.

Add the ground meat and cook thoroughly.

Add the swiss chard.  Wilt if fresh, and warm if frozen.

Pour in the butternut sauce and warm throughout.

Pour the sauce over the cooked pasta and serve with a side salad if desired.


Quick Sunday Dinner

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We love leftovers at our house.  Well at least I do.  My family doesn’t complain.  Leftovers are my coping strategy for having to cook almost everything from scratch.  I try to cook large recipes Monday through Friday and use the leftovers for lunches and the weekend meals.  Remember, we don’t do sandwiches much around here, so our homeschooling lunch is often leftovers.  I really like to avoid cooking on Sundays, too.

Sometimes, that plan doesn’t work out so much.  Sunday evening came and there was only lettuce ready to eat in the fridge.   Little Man would not approve of solely bunny food for dinner, so something had to be done.

Saturday morning I volunteered at my local Bountiful Baskets site.  Most weeks I contribute to this co-op on Monday.  Then, Saturday at a local school a big truck arrives.  You never know what is going to come out in cases, but $15 (plus a small handling fee that varies based on location) gets you a basket of fruit and a basket of veggies.  Volunteers help sort the cases into shares and distribute to other contributors.   Volunteers get to take home a little something extra from the items that don’t distribute evenly.  This week, I got an additional bunch of asparagus to bring home.  In addition, my basket contained: apples,  bananas, bell pepper, carrots, green leaf lettuce, mangoes, potatoes, tomatoes, grape tomatoes, what might be the world’s biggest yam, and the initial asparagus bunch.  There are also add on items you can get at additional cost.  I got three princess pumpkins and a pear pack that included bosc, bartletts, d’Anjou, red, and asian varieties.  The beauty of this co-op is that you contribute weekly.  If you don’t need anything this week or you’re going to be out of town when the truck comes, don’t contribute.

This morning I contributed towards a harvest pack that will have multi-color corn, mini pumpkins, and other winter squashes.  This is the time to stock up on winter squashes.  The best prices come in October and November.  Today’s decorations will be tomorrow’s food!

Now back to Sunday dinner.  The credit for this new recipe goes all to my husband, John.   I really didn’t want to go to the store to get anything, but I kept coming up an ingredient or two short.  Normally when I make this recipe I use broccoli, but this time John suggested I saute up some swiss chard from the garden.  The results will be repeated, but could be done with any tasty green you have on hand.

Baked Potatoes with Turkey and Swiss Chard

10 potatoes, baked using your preferred method
1 lb cooked shredded turkey from the freezer
1/2 medium onion diced
plenty of swiss chard from the garden (8-10 leaves), washed
2-3 T olive oil
salt to taste

I scrubbed the potatoes, and Snuggle Bunny jabbed them liberally with a fork.  We got them in to cook despite Little Man’s best efforts to practice his pitching skills.

Out to the garden to snip off many leaves of chard, a few of kale, and four okra while we were there.

Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large pan that has a lid.  Add the onions and start cooking with a pinch or two of salt.

Then remove the stems from chard thinly slice stems.  Add the stems to the pot and let Little Man stir vigorously.  Make sure you use a pan with a high enough sides that you don’t lose half of dinner in the process.

Cut the leaves into ribbons, and add with the cooked turkey when the onions and chard stems have turned translucent.  Stir it until the veggies are incorporated.  Cover with the lid and allow to steam for a few minutes until the chard has wilted.

Place potatoes on the plate.  Slice and mash slightly with a fork.  Drizzle with olive oil or coconut oil and a pinch of salt.  Top with turkey and chard.

I served this with steamed green beans from the freezer, but a salad or fruit would have been nice, too.

What about the kale and okra from the garden?  The okra waiting happily in the fridge for another day.  The kale was sauteed and cooked with scrambled eggs Monday morning for breakfast.  Well at least for the ones who can have eggs.  I like to snatch a few bites before the eggs, or sometimes cook it with some breakfast sausage instead.