Laissez Faire

Letting Life Lead

Diary of an Inconsistent Cook #36: Red Chard Stem Pasta Sauce (Waste Not)


We are back from a visit to my husband’s family who live in Ohio.   His eighty something Grandparents own a small family vegetable farm that is in the last season’s of its life.  I consider myself fortunate to have been able to see and visit it, even in its waning years, and my children may remember these last hurrahs.

We drove sixteen hours both way and we did indulge in convenience food, and now we must get back on track.

Lots of greens are in our future!


Simple sauteed red chard with fresh tomato salsa, fried green tomato, and homemade dipping sauce.

Simple sauteed red chard with fresh tomato salsa, fried green tomato, and homemade dipping sauce.

I had to cook some red chard I bought yesterday that saddly got frozen in my too cold refrigerator.  Fresh in a salad was out of the question.    It was nothing fancy.   I removed the stems and sauteed the leaves with some garlic, onion, and a little oil then finished it with a squeeze of lemon.   The kids liked it!


Red chard stem pasta sauce with oven baked, brined fried chicken.

I had all these stems though that I didn’t want to throw out and I wasn’t in he mood for soup.    I diced the stems quite small and put them in a little water to cover and cooked them with a little salt for about twenty minutes until tender.  I drained some of the remaining water then added a mystery jar of Ragu, oregano, dried onion, pepper, and freeze dried garlic.  I cooked it until the flavors melded, then tossed it with some shell pasta.  Super easy.

My husband declared from the next room as I was making my plate, “This is good!   What did you put in it?”

When I returned with my plate, his was bare and clean.  “Believe it or not chard stems.”

Blank stare.

“It is kind of like collards but prettier.”

Blank stare.

“Okay…um….It is like a giant spinach with huge stems.  I just used the stems in the sauce.”

“Oh, I thought that was hamburger!”

People, this is like being given a Michelin star.  You have no idea the magnitude of this moment.

I might cry.



3 comments on “Diary of an Inconsistent Cook #36: Red Chard Stem Pasta Sauce (Waste Not)

  1. grayfeathers1963
    July 1, 2015

    Is it just me or is there a face on that chicken leg. lol

    Liked by 1 person

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