Here’s a healthy and quick weeknight meal I came up with when I looked into the fridge last night and asked myself, “What the heck can I make with the stuff that’s in here without having to go to the store?”
Brown Rice Pasta with Kale, Shiitake and Turkey Bacon
4-5 slices turkey bacon
1/2 large onion, sliced thinly
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 bunch kale
1/3 lb. shiitake mushrooms
1-1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1/4 c. parmesan cheese
1/2 bag brown rice pasta (Tinkyada is good. You could use whatever kind of pasta you prefer for this.)
1) Cut turkey bacon into 1/2 inch dice. Brown in large sauté pan with a little olive oil to desired crispness over medium high heat. (I am not a fan of flaccid, undercooked bacon, so I crisp it up!) When bacon has reached desired crispness, remove from pan and drain on paper towel covered plate.
2) Add a bit more oil to pan and add onion and a pinch salt. Turn heat down to medium and sauté until tender and translucent. Add garlic and sauté. Begin cooking pasta at the same time.
3) To prep kale, cut off stems and chiffonade greens into thin strips. (Can use any type of kale or greens you desire. This would also be good with chard. I used lacinato, or dino kale, but any kind will do. Since kale tends to take a while to cook and get tender, cutting it into thin strips helps speed up the cooking process.)
4) Add kale to onion and garlic with another pinch of salt. Sauté until kale begins to get wilt-y.
5) Add 3/4 c. chicken broth and cook until veggies have absorbed most of the broth. Add more as necessary while pasta is cooking.
6) Add shiitake to veggie and broth mixture to absorb flavor. Salt and pepper to taste.
7) When pasta is about cooked (I like to undercook the pasta just a tad, so that it will still absorb the chicken broth once added to the veggies), reserve approximately 1/4 c. of the pasta water, then drain pasta. Add to veggie mixture.
8) Cook pasta and veggies together, with added pasta water. Add parmesan cheese. Cook until broth/water is absorbed by pasta and veggies.
9) Add bacon back to mixture and toss to coat.
10) Serve with extra pepper and parmesan cheese.