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Saturday, April 6, 2013

What's cookin'...when I should have been studying

Spring seems to be finally peeking around the corner and it's just at a time when one more flake of snow, crunch of excessively poured salt on the sidewalk or trail of gravel through my kitchen could send me into a complete and utter fit of rage.  Think I'm exaggerating?  I assure you, I'm not.  And I happen to be a Central New Yorker that doesn't really mind the crazy climate here (I mean I probably should have chosen elsewhere by now if I did), but I did finally reach my mental quota of cold and cloudy days this year, making me wonder if somewhere in my grad school-induced haze, I had actually crossed over into Mordor and should start looking for Froto Baggins to show me the way out.  Anyway, we're all happy to see some sunshine again and look forward to some warmer temperatures ahead.

As welcome as the spring weather is, it also brings with it the end of my last semester of school (eek!).  That means crazy comprehensive exams, interviewing for dietetic internships and frantically trying to finish my big deal, sleep is overrated anyway.  One more thing all of this work means to me is productive procrastination, usually in the form of cooking.  Here are a few of the things I put together this week while I should have been doing work...let's just call it brain food.

Swiss Chard Pasta
Adapted from Martha Stewart
Serves 4

1 lb whole wheat spaghetti
2 tbsp unsalted butter
3 tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 shallots, minced
1 bunch green chard, stems and leaves chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
2 tbsp lemon zest
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/3 cup ricotta cheese
Fresh grated parmesan

1. Cook pasta according to package.
2. Heat butter and olive oil in a large pot over medium heat and add garlic and shallots.  Saute for about 2 minutes.
3. Stir in chard, lemon zest, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper.  Cover and cook for about 2-3 minutes, or until the chard is wilted, but still bright green.
4. Add cooked spaghetti and ricotta cheese, toss until combined.

Dill Yogurt Vegetable Dip

1 cup plain yogurt (I used Stonyfield)
2 tbsp fresh dill
1/2 tsp garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients and refrigerate for 2 hours.
Use as a dip for veggies, pita chips, or whole wheat crackers.

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