I’m a big believer in having some sort of whole-grain starch at every meal in reasonable portions- they give me the energy I need to fuel my busy days and put me in a good mood. Though I aim for lots of variety like quinoa, whole-wheat couscous, brown rice and dense, dark breads, I seldom eat pasta. I thought the best way to change that would be to come up with an appealing recipe where I could incorporate this Italian staple. Swiss chard is an extremely nutrition packed green that comes into the season in the Fall so I decided to use that as my inspiration. Mahir raved about how good the dish was and though he refuses to eat leftover seafood, he asked me to pack him the extras for his lunch next day. That was my sure sign that my experiment was a success! ~Shivani
1 pound of medium, large or extra large shrimp
1 to 1.5 cups of dry whole wheat rotini (or your favorite pasta)
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 large bunch of swiss chard, washed and chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon of lemon zest
1 tablespoon of lemon juice
1/2 to 1 teaspoon of red chili flakes (optional)
salt and pepper, to taste
Cook pasta according to package directions.
In the meanwhile, heat 1 teaspoon of oil in a medium nonstick pan and saute garlic. Add swiss chard, season with salt and pepper and stir-fry for 3 to 6 minutes or until wilted.
Remove from pan.
Season shrimp with salt and pepper.
Heat another teaspoon of oil in the same pan, add shrimp and cook until done- about 2 to 3 minutes a side depending on size of shrimp.
Turn off heat.
Add swiss chard, pasta and all the other seasonings to the pan, and mix together.
This is a self-encompassing meal, but feel free to add a simple lettuce, tomato and onion salad as a side dish.
You can use canned or fresh chickpeas or cannellini beans in place of the shrimp. Skip the sauteeing shrimp step, and leave the swiss chard in the pan. Add all the other ingredients including one can of beans and the extra teaspoon of olive oil that you didn’t use to saute the shrimp.