Saturday, October 8, 2011

Chicken and Swiss Chard Noodle Pesto

Our gardening season for 2011 may be coming to a close....but the garden itself is still kicking out all sorts of yummy things.  Most days we have a hard time keeping up with eating all of it!  That's when we're fortunate to have lots of friends who are willing to take these free vegetables off our hands...tee hee!

The other day, Hubbie asked me if I could make those swiss chard pesto noodles.  I was a little I wasn't sure how good they were the first time I made them.  I guess they were a hit, when they are getting a second request!

I thought I would go over that recipe in more I think I glossed over it largely in the the 3 recipe post a while back.  First you need an enormous pile of swiss chard.  I'm not even kidding here.  The bigger the better!!!  This stuff wilts down to almost nothing....and I almost always underestimate.

Fortunately this time we had prepared pesto on hand.  Hubbie made it with basil from our herb tub.  He used walnuts instead of that was all we had on hand.  Now is actually a good time to be collecting walnuts...if anyone has a walnut tree and would like to get rid of their pesky walnuts...LET ME KNOW!!!

Originally with the pesto chard noodles...I used garlic, oil, walnuts, parmesan cheese and basil directly on the noodles...this time I just spooned the mixture over the chard liberally...which was not necessarily a good thing...

Here is a shot of the chard cut into "noodles".  I wash the leaves, rinsed them, then shake off most of the excess moisture (or you could use a salad spinner).  I remove the ribs of the chard...Hubbie always reminds me I can leave them in...but I only do that when I want the water chestnut texture in my dish....not this time though....

Next we took all the meat off of a whole roasted chicken from Costco...the in-laws buy them for us now and again...and it's always a welcome treat!

Here I wish I owned a the biggest frying pan we own doesn't quite seem to do it.  Swiss chard was spilling everywhere.  I added a touch of pesto sauce to the bottom of the pan and started warming it up.

At some point the chard wilts down enough to fit into the pan.  I then realize how this dish is lacking in I dice up a yellow zucchini and throw it in too!  It is also at this point that I start to notice how much liquid is in the pan.  It occurs to me that by spooning on the pesto...I've added too much oil to this time I'll use more restraint when adding the pesto mixture!

I started heating up the pulled chicken pieces in another frying pan with lemon juice, S & P.

I layer the swiss chard noodles and zucchini on the bottom of the plate, next the chicken, then chopped up parsley on top.  I also halved some cherry tomatoes and threw them at the plate after all was said and done.

The cherry tomatoes added more colour and were nicely warmed by the hot meal.  (I had trouble taking pics of this dish....the steam kept fogging up my camera lens!) 

This dish is EASY, healthy, colourful and warming.  I feel healthier after eating all of that dark, rich, green matter.  I understand this to be a very low carb meal...but kept wondering if a piece of toast or crusty bread would have gone nicely with this dish.  

What is the healthiest meal you've ever made fresh out of the garden?

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