Pasta with Chicken, Spinach and Feta; questions

Another pasta dish with a Greek twist.

I’m rather (excessively?) fond of feta cheese and dry-cured black Greek Olives.  I think the combination adds so much flavor to any pasta dish. Or risotto or vegetable or salad.

Add pepper, spinach, garlic and onions and you have a simple, skillet dinner.

The recipe, Chicken, Spinach and Feta Pasta, has been updated, nutrition information added, and re-posted here: Chicken and Spinach Pasta.

I was reading Cooking Light magazine the other day.

First – my apologies, Cooking Light.  I really think you have a wonderful magazine and, for the most part, I like your recipes (everyone has a dud now and again, don’t feel bad). But there are a few things in every issue that I take issue with (;-))

I know you measure precisely so that your nutrition information is as accurate as possible…..

But do you really expect cooks to use 1/4 cup of onion?

And if I’m trying to be as accurate as you, how finely should I chop that onion to fit in my 1/4 cup?

Apparently I’ve been out of the US too long.  I saw several ‘easy, weeknight recipes’ that featured steak or shrimp. I’ve always kind of considered steak or shrimp to be for a nice, leisurely weekend dinner…. Not something I whipped together after a busy day.

Do regular, working people really eat that well?  Or is steak and shrimp that reasonably priced in the US?

Speaking of prices…. I can buy 3 level of ground beef: 5% fat, 15% fat and 20% fat.  The 5% fat is the cheapest with the 20% fat being the most expensive. Thought you should know.

Back to the mag….

At the back of the magazine, under ‘The Enlightened Cook’. there is a step-by-step bit on how to prep Swiss chard.

It tells one to fold the leaf in half lengthwise and cut out the hard ‘stem’, then to slice and use the leaf.

Here, in France one would be told to trim the leaf away from the ‘rib’, then slice or chop and use the rib (stem).

Being multi-cultural I use it all.  I give the sliced or chopped stem a few minutes head start in the skillet.  For a salad I would sauté the stems and use the leaves raw.

How do you use chard? (If you use chard… if you don’t, you should)

Finally, I know the majority of Cooking Light readers are perfectly happy using the low-fat this and the non-fat that.  Personally, I would never touch the stuff.  I would either use less or substitute something else…. like yogurt for sour cream.

But, that’s just me.  We all get to have our quirks.

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8 thoughts on “Pasta with Chicken, Spinach and Feta; questions”

  1. Swiss chard, aka silverbeet in (some) Commonwealth countries, can be used in a way I found casually mentioned in my trattoria cookbook of Italian recipes. When using the leaves chopped or shredded in a pasta recipe, it seems some Italian cook slice the washed stems/ribs into short lengths, cook them in a little water for perhaps 20-30 minutes till well softened and then put them in an oiled casserole dish and liberally sprinkle with grated parmesan cheese, and bake – 10-15 minutes will do. I really like eating them this way.

  2. Down with “low fat” products! Tasteless, usually. Except Skinny Cow ice cream on a stick – both chocolate flavors are good.
    As to Swiss chard, I do cut off the ribs, then coarsely chop and saute the leaves in garlic and butter very briefly, until wilted. Then it makes a great side dish or substrate for chicken or fish. I have to admit I throw away most of the stem.

  3. I agree about magazines like this and so many other blogs. As a single person who lives in the South, I can usually get shrimp at a reasonable cost. But for several people or a family, forget it. The same goes for berries. Blackberries, raspberries even blueberries are almost four dollars a half pint. But what really gets my goats are recipes that call for unusual ingredients one can only find in a large metro area.

  4. I work 6 days a week at the moment so one day would be the same as the next, except my day off which is Sunday. Steak and shrimp are usually made for company but I should really splurge on myself once in a while.

  5. I used to get Cooking Light Magazine. They have some good recipe ideas, but I can’t find the ingredients they ask for and I don’t use light versions, like they ask for, either.

  6. Pam, I don’t cook the stems nearly that long – but I do pick them young, unlike the French who like them very mature.
    Tanna, thanks ;-))
    Zoomie, give the stem a try – and a head start.
    Gary, I can get strawberries, but I really miss blueberries and raspberries…. very expensive when I can find them. Shrimp very in price and size here with the really small and the really large being really expensive.
    Val, the odd splurge is always good – but we eat a bit cheaper for everyday.
    Meredith, I can’t find a lot – and don’t want to find a lot (non-fat cream cheese? Why bother?)

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