Tag Archives: Greens

Creamy Fall Pasta with Squash, Onions, Kale, and Goat Cheese!

2015-09-22 17.19.17I know I’ve been MIA – per my usual routine of being really excited about blogging, followed by an overwhelming about of work to do, and ending with complete neglect. Well, I’m back. At least for this one post. I am on a lighter rotation right now and was able to make a more involved, delicious dinner last night that I’d felt I needed to share with the work. Eli agreed, this dinner was hands-down delicious! He was picky all day and wouldn’t eat anything but bananas (or nanas as he calls them now). I placed a bowl of this goodness in front of his screaming face and viola! he was silent. It was glorious.  The end result was one super happy (and messy) kid. I am looking forward to when he figures out how to effectively use his silverware; until then I’ll deal with the mess since that means he’s actually eating.

Roasted Butternut Squash, Onion, and Kale over Pasta with Spiced Goat Cheese White Sauce

2015-09-22 17.14.22


  • 1 large butternut squash
  • 1/2 white onion
  • 1 large bunch of curly kale
  • 2 cups cooked pasta
  • 2 cups 1% or skim milk
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp all spice
  • 1/3 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 4 ounces goat cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. Peel butternut squash cut in 1/2 lengthwise. Remove the seeds. Cube squash and place in a sprayed cooking dish.
  3. Dice the onion and kale. Add to the cooking dish.
  4. Roast for 45 minutes, or until squash is fork-tender. Stir part-way through to prevent burning.
  5. Create a slurry (white sauce) by adding 2 tbsp to 1 cup of milk. Whisk well to completely dissolve. Add the remaining flour and milk, whisking while adding. Pour into a sprayed frying pan (not heated yet!). Place the pan over medium heat and stir continuously with a rubber spatula to prevent sticking. Add spices while stirring. Continue to stir until the mixture just starts to bubble. Add the goat cheese and continue to stir until melted and fully incorporated.
  6. Add pasta and roasted vegetable mixture to a pan. Pour white sauce over and stir completely. Enjoy!

2015-09-22 17.19.10

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Posted by on September 24, 2015 in Nutrition


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Grown-Up Mac and Cheese

gourmet mac and cheeseAs a kid, J and I both loved macaroni and cheese. How were we to know that it wasn’t made with real cheese? Thankfully, we’ve come to see how much more amazing this childhood favorite can be. I’ve made a number of takes off macaroni and cheese before, but this is probably my favorite. We don’t plan to feed Eli the box mac and cheese, so we’re hoping something like this will be his favorite go-to childhood meal. Give it a try – I promise you won’t be disappointed.

Grown-up Mac and Cheese


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1  medium red onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups 1% or skim milk
  • 5 ounces (1/2 package) of frozen spinach thawed or 1 bag of fresh spinach cooked down
  • 8 ounces gruyere cheese
  • 1.5 cups elbow macaroni (preferably whole grain)
  • 1 pound cooked chicken, diced

gourmet  (2)Directions

  1. Prepare pasta as directed on package; set aside to cool.
  2. Heat olive oil in a skillet. Add onion, salt, and garlic. Cook down until soft. Add vinegar and cook for 1 more minute. Set aside.
  3. Prepare the white sauce (slurry version)
    1. Pour 1/2 cup milk into a measuring cup. While whisking, slowly add flour, making sure none sticks to the bottom. Once fully incorporated, add remaining milk and whisk well.
    2. Spray a skillet with cooking spray and pour milk mixture into the room-temperature pan.
    3. Heat pan over medium-low heat, stirring continuously to prevent sticking.  Continue to heat until the mixture begins to bubble. Once slightly bubbling, allow to bubble while stirring for 3 minutes (this is the thickening stage) and then lower heat to low.
  4. Add cheese to the white sauce and stir until fully melted. Add onion, chicken, spinach, and pasta; mix well until well incorporated.
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Posted by on May 3, 2015 in Nutrition


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Swiss Chard Bread

Two months ago I had never had swiss chard before. Last week was the 3rd time our CSA came with a bunch, so I am starting to become more familiar with it. I found a delicious Swiss Chard and Sweet Potato Gratin recipe but felt it was too heavy for summer. I am going to save that for the fall. For now, I was craving some herb-seasoned bread. I found it used in a number of recipes online, so I decided to throw together my loaf. This bread has wonderful texture and flavor. I made the dough in the bread machine but baked it in a loaf pan in the oven – I wanted smaller loaves and didn’t want a hole in the middle.


Rainbow Chard Herb Bread


  • 1 bunch of rainbow chard (amount to make 1 cup cooked)
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil
  • 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 dried garlic cloves
  • 2 hot peppers (small red chilies)
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tbsp canola oil
  • 3 1/2 cup bread flour*
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp dry active yeast


  1. Cut the stems off the chard and place in a food processor. Pulse into small pieces. Add leaves and continue to pulse into small pieces. Remove from the food processor and place into a microwave-save container. Lightly cover the dish and microwave for 1 minute to soften.
  2. In the meantime, add basil to the food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Add other spices and oil. Pulse until well mixed. Push down the sides and add the steamed chard. Process for a few seconds to mix well.
  3. Lightly spray the bread machine pan with cooking spray to prevent excessive sticking. Add water, salt, oil, and chard mixture first. Then add bread flour. Sprinkle the top with sugar. Scoop a small hole in the center of the flour and place the yeast. Make sure the yeast doesn’t come in contact with the salt (that’s why you put it under the flour)**.
  4. Put the bread pan in the bread maker and set on the dough cycle. You can set it on the regular baking cycle if you’re OK with the shape of the bread pan loaf.
  5. If you’re going to make the bread in the over, prepare 1 or 2 loaf pans.
  6. Once the dough cycle is done, lightly flour the counter and dump the dough onto the flour. Try to touch the dough as little as possible. Split in half and place each  half in the baking pan (or all into 1 if you are making  a big loaf).
  7. Cover pan with a clean towel and let sit for 20-30 minutes in a cool, draft-free place (I use the pantry).
  8. Preheat the over to 350F. Once the dough has doubled in in size, DON’T touch the dough. Gently move the pans from their resting spot to the oven. Bake for 35-45 minutes, or until the top is golden.

*I didn’t used whole wheat but you could probably do 1/2 and 1/2 if you wanted. Remember, this has a leafy green it in, so you can give yourself a pass if you want to just use all bread flour

**salt kills yeast, sugar feeds yeast. You put salt in bread to prevent it from over-proofing, so don’t try to be a health freak and omit it all together. The salt in this bread is not the reason we have problems with high blood pressure in this country.

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Posted by on August 3, 2013 in Nutrition


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Sausage and Kale Pizza

This recipe was something we quickly threw together on a Sunday afternoon for lunch. We had a ton of kale left from the CSA and there was a chance we’d be getting more on Tuesday. Originally I thought I’d make kale brownies again, but opted to make real food instead. For some reason, when I think of kale, I instantly think of sausage. While we didn’t have any sausage on hand, we had (and still have) plenty of ground beef. The end product was actually quite delicious and super filling – definitely a man’s pizza.

Kale and Sausage Pizza

Sausage and Kale Pizza


  • 1 premade whole wheat pizza dough
  • 1 large bunch of kale
  • 12 ounces ground beef
  • 1 large onion, sliced thinly
  • 1/4 cup pizza sauce
  • 6 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese


  1. Preheat the oven to 425F. Prepare pan with cooking spray.
  2. Brown meat with onion.
  3. Roll out the pizza dough and press into the prepared pan.
  4. Thinly spread the pizza sauce over the prepared dough. Add kale and beef. Top with cheese.
  5. Bake in the own for 10-14 minutes, or until the edges are golden.
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Posted by on July 29, 2013 in Nutrition


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Swiss Chard Pesto

swiss chard

In case you forgot which green this was, it is this beauty.

Here’s another Swiss Chard and Garlic Scape post for those of you with more than you know what to do with! I had so much food on hand that I ended up freezing this recipe.

Swiss Chard Pesto
Adapted from {neverhomemaker}’s Garlic Scape and Swiss Chard Pesto


  • 5 garlic scapes, chopped
  • 1 cup swiss chard, leaves only
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 can of white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • Salt + pepper, to taste


  1. Add the scapes, swiss chard, and basil to the food processor. Process until a thick mixture is formed.
  2. While processing, pour in the olive oil and lemon juice. Once relatively smooth, add in the beans and process until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste.
    At this point you can also add in some fresh Parmesan cheese – I forgot about it, so I didn’t include it in my ingredients.
  3. If you don’t plan to eat all the pesto now, consider freezing it for later. Line a baking sheet (or dish) with plastic cling wrap. Pour the pesto mixture onto the cling wrap and spread out. Place the pan in the freezer, uncovered, for a few hours, until frozen through. Remove from the freezer and cut into 1″ x 1″ squares. Individually wrap with plastic wrap and place into a freezer bag. Keep frozen until use. This portions come in handy for last-minute meal ideas.

garlic scape and swiss chard pesto

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Posted by on July 18, 2013 in Nutrition


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Swiss Chard Pancakes

swiss chard

We got a TON of Swiss Chard a few weeks ago. I had always admired the bright colors when I saw it at the market, but had never cooked with it before. I wanted to make something different with it, so after a little searching I found a number of blog posts about swiss chard pancakes. I figured we’d give them a try. One day we served them with caramelized onions, goat cheese, and balsamic roasted beef. Another day we substituted eggs for beef (see picture below).

These didn’t turn out quite as planned, but I think I know why. First, since they are called pancakes, we used the pancake griddle and scooped out portions of batter as if we were making normal pancakes…not the greatest idea. The result was a dense, rubbery blob. Next, the recipe said we could just chunk up the chard (that it didn’t need to be well processed). Also,  not the greatest idea. The result was big chunks of chard surrounded by rubbery-ness. Lastly, I would have preferred a thinner pancake, so if I were making these again, I’d add more milk to the batter. So, the take home message from my experience – pulverize the chard, add more milk, use a pancake griddle, and scope small portions of batter at a time.

swiss chard pancake with eggs, onions, and goat cheese

Swiss Chard Pancakes
Recipe adapted from The Splendid Table


  • 2 cups 1% milk
  • 2½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 garlic scapes, diced
  • 10 fresh chives, snipped
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 5 large or 10 small Swiss chard leaves, center ribs removed, washed, and dried

swiss chard pancakes


  1. Preheat pancake griddle to 250F.
  2. Place the swiss chard in a food processor and process into small pieces (not pureed). Remove and set aside.
  3. Working in batches, put everything else into the food processor. Be sure to work in batches unless you have a food processor that can handle this much liquid. Mine had milk pouring out the bottom 😦
  4. Process the mixture until the batter is smooth. Add the chopped chard to the mix and process until well incorporated.
  5. Once the griddle is ready, spoon 1/4 cup of batter onto the surface. Cook about 2-3 minutes per side, or until golden. Transfer the pancakes to a plate and cover with towels to keep warm.

These pancakes in crepe form can be seen here.

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Posted by on July 15, 2013 in Nutrition


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Spinach Egg Scramble

I am a breakfast person. Some people don’t have an appetite for anything in the morning, or can get by with a piece of fruit or a slice of toast. Not me. I need a meal. I love having vegetables for breakfast for three reasons:

  1. They are filling (so I am not wasting 1/2 of my morning trying to ignore my  hunger or eating snacks)
  2. They help keep my blood sugars steady (I have reactive hypoglycemia)
  3. I can mentally check off 2 of my 5 veggies servings for the day (score!!)

My favorite thing to make in the morning is eggs with some type of vegetable. Usually it is an omelette, a scramble, or a frittata. This morning I threw together a spinach and tomato egg scramble over a spinach salad, topped with fresh Romano cheese and balsamic vinegar. It was delicious 🙂

I know what you’re thinking – you’re a dietitian, why are you eating cheese and eggs?!? First, eggs are actually GREAT for you. I usually eat 1 whole egg and 2 egg whites. The volume is the same as 2 whole eggs but you cut out 50 calories of fat and add in 15 calories of protein. There is no cholesterol or saturated fat in an egg white, so this is actually very heart healthy. And as for the cheese. Well, I’m a Wisconsin girl, so cheese is a pretty big part of my diet. I like to choose cheese with a lot of flavor, so that I can use a little. There is barely anything in 1/2 TBSP of aged Romano cheese, except flavor of course 😉

Spinach Egg Scramble

Spinach Egg Scramble


  • cooking spray
  • 1.5 cups of fresh spinach
  • 3 eggs
  • 6 cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 TBSP fresh Romano cheese
  • 1 TBSP balsamic vinegar


  1. Heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat (around a 7) and spray with cooking spray.
  2. Once heated, add 2 egg whites and 1 whole egg. Mix together once and top with a 1/2 cup of spinach. Let stand for a few minutes.
  3. Scramble the mixture for 2 minutes to make sure the egg is cooked throughout. the spinach should start to shrink at this point. Turn off the heat.
  4. Cut the cherry tomatoes in half and place in the pan. Scramble the mixture until you are satisfied with the egg’s doneness.
  5. Put the rest of the spinach (1/2 cup) into a bowl. Pour the egg  mixture over the spinach salad. Top with cheese and balsamic vinegar.
  6. Enjoy – and get ready for a super productive morning now that your brain is nourished and your belly is full 🙂
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Posted by on May 20, 2013 in Nutrition


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