Apr 1, 2012

The Cleaner Plate Club - Sauteed Red Chard with Clementines, Feta and Balsamic Reduction

This is a very colorful side dish with lots of flavor.  It's earthy, sweet, salty & tangy.  I'm not sure how many kids would eat it.  Mine are fairly adventurous, but wouldn't try it.  Otherwise, I would make it again.  (Even if you don't try this recipe, it tells how to make a balsamic reduction, which is delicious, especially on fresh strawberries!)

2 T evoo
1 bunch red Swiss chard, stemmed and sliced into chiffonade
salt and freshly ground pepper
2 clementines, oranges or tangerines, peeled and sectioned
1/4 c balsamic vinegar
2 oz feta cheese, crumbled

Heat evoo in large saute pan over med-high heat.  Add chard and saute until it starts to wild, about 2 min.  Remove from the heat and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Allow to cool until just warm.

Toss the greens with the orange sections in a bowl.

Reduce the balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan over medium heat by two-thirds, or until it is of a syrupy consistency and will coat the back of a spoon.

Drizzle the greens and oranges with the balsamic reduction.  Top with the cheese.  Serve warm.

(Serves 4-6)

The Cleaner Plate Club - Hearty Kale and Potato Soup

This recipe is easy, healthy and tastes good.  I would skip the suggestion for pureeing the kale, unless you don't mind bright green soup.  Although this was supposed to make it more appealing to kids, mine weren't convinced.  (They called it Grinch soup).  When I suggested trying it with their eyes closed, my five year old finished his entire bowl.  As far as I'm concerned, anyone who can get a five year old to eat kale soup is genius!  (I did not use Parmesan rinds).

1 T canola oil
3/4 lb. sweet Italian sausage, casing removed or chopped very small
2 garlic cloves, chopped
8 c chicken broth
1 lb potatoes, chopped to 12 to 1/4 inch pieces
1-2 Parmesan rinds (optional)
12 oz kale, stemmed and chopped fine
salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 lemon
1/4 c grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

Warm oil in a large stockpot over med. heat.  Add sausage and cook until browned, about 6 min.  Mix in the garlic and saute 1 min.  Set aside in a bowl.

In the same stockpot, add the broth and potatoes.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until tender, about 20 min.  Using an immersion blender, blender or food processor, puree until the texture is chunky-smooth.  (If you think your kids will have issues with the kale, hold off on the puree.  Add the kale and simmer for 12-15 minutes, then puree and add the sausage, Parmesan rinds and seasonings).

Add the Parmesan rinds, if using, kale, and the sausage mixture.  ring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 12-15 minutes, until kale is cooked but still retains its bright color.

Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Remove rinds.

Squeeze a bit of lemon juice over each bowl.  Add about 1 t of grate Parmesan, if using, on each serving and serve hot. 

(Serves 8)