Here is a recipe from our editor that shows you a great way to use your food processor to "hide" healthy greens like chard in your food. It's a good way to get kids or picky eaters to try a new vegetable. This casserole bakes perfectly in a toaster oven.
Greens such as Chard are incredibly healthy but we all know it can be hard to get picky eaters to try them. This recipe "hides" the Chard by blending it into a tasty tomato sauce and cooking it into a delicious cheesy Chorizo casserole. Whole grain pasta ups the fiber and nutrition in this tasty meal. This is one of those healthy meals that even picky eaters will enjoy.
3 cups of dry whole wheat pasta shells, or other pasta of choice
1/2 pound of Chorizo sausage, removed from casings
1 medium onion
4 ribs of celery
6 garlic cloves, smashed and skins removed
6 cups of chopped Chard with stems, well packed
1 tablespoon of dried thyme
1 tablespoon of dried basil
1 teaspoon of dried oregano
1/4 cup of brandy
2 cups of chicken stock, homemade is of course best
1 can (28 ounces) of whole San Marzano tomatoes
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/4 pound of good melting cheese, Mozzarella or Gruyère work well
Cook the whole wheat (or other whole grain) pasta in boiling, salted water for six minutes. The pasta will still be very firm. Drain, reserving the cooking water. Put the pasta in a toaster oven safe casserole dish and set aside for now.
Heat a heavy bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Break the Chorizo sausage into small pieces and put into the pot. Cook until lightly browned, about 5 minutes, stirring only occasionally. Transfer the cooked Chorizo sausage to the casserole dish, leaving the excess fat in the pot.
Remove the skin and stem from the onion and cut it into quarters. Cut the celery into quarters. Put into your food processor work bowl fitted with the multipurpose blade. Pulse until roughly chopped. Transfer the onion and celery to the cooking pot with reserved Chorizo fat. Add the whole garlic cloves. Cook over medium flame until the onions begin to brown, this should take about 10 minutes. Add the chopped chard, thyme, basil and oregano and cook everything for an additional 2 minutes.
Turn the heat off and add the brandy and chicken stock. Be certain that all cooking flames are extinguished before pouring in the brandy to avoid the risk of fire. Use a wooden spoon to scrape up all the brown bits off the bottom of the pot. Add the tomatoes and 1/2 cup of the reserved pasta cooking liquid. Heat to a simmer. Continue to cook the sauce for 45 minutes to an hour.
Use your food processor fitted with a shredding disc to shred the cheese. Set aside. Heat your toaster oven to 400 degrees F.
Move the cooked sauce to the food processor and pulse until well blended. Add salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Add the blended sauce to the casserole dish and mix well. Top with the shredded cheese and bake for 30 minutes. Enjoy!