I love greens! Spinach, kale, collard, mustard…but I had never tried chard before! So, I was super excited when a colleague brought in a couple of bags of “excess” produce that she had from her membership in the CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). My “loot bag” included a large earthy turnip, a big bag of peppery arugula and a beautiful bunch of sweet rainbow chard! I must say, there is something about the rainbow chard…its deep green leaves with colorful veins and stems in purple, orange and green is definitely a thing of beauty!
Driving home, I made a mental note of how I was going to use up all that beautiful, fresh produce! I decided on South Indian style mixed vegetable and lentil stew (sambar) with the turnip, thin crust pizza (I used a prebaked crust made of whole wheat and kamut flours) with pesto, mushrooms and arugula and…tilapia with rainbow chard sautéed in extra-virgin olive oil with a healthy doze of minced garlic!
This tilapia/rainbow chard dinner is a snap to prepare. It requires very few ingredients and takes about the same time as watching a pot of water come to boil and cooking a box of pasta! Instead of a bowl of plain, cooked pasta in less than 20 minutes, you get a beautifully plated! I sort of missed the summer BBQ flavors and opted to go with that for this dish! The chard is super simple to make – just garlic, pinch of salt and bit of olive oil! I think the green is so delicate that anything beyond this simple combo might just overpower its natural flavor and taste!
Isn’t everyone talking about the health benefits of eating fish! So, go for it! Grab yourself a few filets and whip up this dinner in a snap!
Pan-Grilled Tilapia with Garlic Rainbow Chard
4 Tilapia filets, skin removed
1 tablespoon BBQ seasoning or other seasoning of your choice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 bunch of rainbow chard, chopped up
3 large cloves of garlic, finely minced
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Pinch of salt
1. Lay the tilapia filets on a large plate and coat both sides with the BBQ seasoning.
2. Heat a tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.
3. Place the fish in the hot skillet and “grill” for 4-5 minutes on each side. The fish is done when you can flake it easily with a fork.
4. Wipe down the pan and return to heat. Add the remaining tablespoon of oil. Add the rainbow chard and garlic and saute for 3-4 minutes.
5. Serve the fish immediately over a serving of sautéed chard for a simple, healthy and delicious meal!
Weeknight meals are tough, even for the most seasoned cook. You are dealing with kids’ after school activities, homework, house work, other errands etc., that even if you love cooking, it sounds like a grueling task! It doesn’t have to be an arduous task if you have a quick, delicious and not to mention rather healthy recipe!
That brings you to this spaghetti dish in a spicy tomato sauce. As an option, you can add in seafood of your choice – shrimp, mussels, lobster meat, or even scallops! I used shrimp in mine because I had it on hand.
Instead of grabbing a bottled pasta sauce, I wanted to make something from “scratch” – in quotes because I didn’t quite blanch the tomato and crush it. I opted for a can of no-salt added crushed tomato, saving precious time in the kitchen! 🙂 Grated lemon zest, chopped fresh basil and a good sprinkling of crushed red peppers lend a wonderful blend of spicy, citrusy note to the sauce that goes so perfectly well with the seafood. Yum! The sauce itself is a keeper even for a simple vegetarian meal!
You can save even more time if you already have leftover cooked pasta of any kind. If you are really in a pinch, use a low-sugar bottled pasta sauce AND add in extra basil, lemon zest and crushed red pepper. By using a can of crushed tomato, you can adjust the salt and other seasonings to your own specifications – now who wouldn’t want a tailored sauce??!!
Weeknight Spaghetti in Spicy Diavolo Sauce with Shrimp
1/2 package spaghetti of your choice (regular, whole grain etc.)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup chopped onions
2 cloves garlic, minced finely
1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes (adjust to your taste)
1 1/2 cups no-salt added crushed tomato
Grated zest from half lemon
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Kosher salt to taste
3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1/2 lb large shrimp, shelled and deveined
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley for garnish
1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
1. If not using leftover cooked pasta (a time saver), cook pasta according to package directions and set aside.
2. Heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a frying pan over medium high heat and sauté the shrimp till cooked through. Sprinkle with a dash of salt. Remove from pan and set aside, covered to keep warm.
3. Heat a small sauce pan over medium high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and sauté onion and garlic.
4. Add crushed red pepper flakes, crushed tomato, basil, lemon zest, lemon juice and salt. Reduce heat to medium low, cover and let simmer for 12-15 minutes till all flavors meld well.
5. Stir in the basil and remove from heat.
6. Toss the pasta with 1/2 cup of sauce and shrimp. Serve on individual plates. Top with remaining sauce distributed among four plates. Garnish with a sprinkling of parsley and freshly grated parmesan cheese. Serve immediately! Bon Apetit