Let Your Food Make You Laugh

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Can we all agree that “fusilli” is a fun word to say? I know that may seem off-topic, but it’s not. Really.

I wrote last week about about the real meaning of comfort food in that food is so much more than just what we eat, and you all confirmed the notion big time with your answers to the State of the Kitchen Survey. Over three-quarters of you said you defined “being nourished” as “eating in a way that makes me feel healthy and energized.”

That ain’t no diet, folks. That’s a way of being. It’s a feeling that permeates beyond our physical cells into our souls.

So how does all that apply to Fusilli with Artichokes and Swiss Chard? Because one of the best ways to bring that healthy and energized spirit into your eating is to bring light and laughter into your kitchen. This dish not only has all the Nourishing components for your body–whole grain pasta, lots of leafy greens and seasonal goodies, a touch of goat cheese to amp up the creaminess factor–it’ll have fun with you if you let it.

Here’s an experiment.

1. Get everything ready to make this dish and take note of how you’re feeling–if you’re preoccupied about something at work, feeling rushed because of an evening activity, what have you.

2. Now look at your kid–or at yourself in the mirror–while holding a piece of dried pasta and say the word “fusilli” 10 times fast. Just try not to smile or laugh. I dare you.

3. Now … check in and see if your mindset has lightened or changed, and how that shift affects the rest of your dinner.

Did you notice a shift? Share your experience in a comment below.

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Fusilli with Artichokes and Swiss Chard

I love this dish. It’s winter and spring, and light and creamy all at the same time . . . a perfect pasta for late spring.

Fusilli with Artichokes and Swiss Chard

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 cup trimmed baby artichokes (or defrosted frozen artichoke hearts), quartered lengthwise
3 shallots, thinly sliced (about 1/2 cup)
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 bunch Swiss chard, cleaned, stemmed and cut into 1/4-inch-wide ribbons
Zest and juice of 1/2 lemon
3/4 cup vegetable or chicken broth
Sea salt and crushed red pepper
1/2 pound whole wheat fusilli pasta
1 ounce soft goat cheese

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat, and swirl in 1 tablespoon oil. Add the artichokes to the pan, and sauté for 3 minutes. Add shallots and garlic, and continue to cook for 3-5 minutes, until all are a nice golden brown. Add Swiss chard, lemon zest, juice and broth, and bring to a boil, scraping the bottom of the pan. Lower heat to medium, season with salt and red pepper. Cover, and cook for 10 more minutes.

Cook pasta according to package directions less 1 minute. Drain and return to pot. Drizzle remaining 2 tablespoons oil into the artichoke mixture and toss to coat. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper. Pour artichoke mixture into pasta pot and toss several times to mix well. Divide pasta amongst four bowls and top with crumbled goat cheese.

Serves 4

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=595763805 Maria Czamanske Stuart

    I love this pos Lia! And the pasta looks delicious too!

    • liahuber

      So glad you liked it, Maria! I have to admit chuckling to myself when writing it, mumbling “fusilli, fusilli, fusilli” over and over again.