I decided, last night, to revisit the concept of hiding the vegetables in a pureed form. It really does work. The pasta I concocted last night contained three tomatoes and a large bunch of chard, and no one was any the wiser. They all ate their fill of it and said they liked it! I am not sure how much of a serving of veggies this counts as, exactly, but it is certainly a step in the right direction!
Of course, I also set out a dish of carrot sticks ... I know they would be suspicious that the veggies were in the pasta if they didn't see them next to the pasta. I also garnished it with a sprig of basil. They somehow believe that basil is flavoring, while chard is a veggie. Basil in sauce is acceptable; chard in sauce is just mom being mean, again. I knew the basil would be a perfect foil to account for the slightly greenish-brownish coloring of the chard sauce.
I feel so sneaky.
This dish was very simple, used a minimal number of pots and pans, was quick and healthy. What more can I ask of a weeknight meal?
For your healthy pleasure, past with chard-tomato-cream sauce:
3 medium tomatoes, cut into large chunks
1 bunch swiss chard
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1 Tbsp. dried Italian herbs
1 pound pasta
1/4 cup heavy cream
Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
Cut up the chard into large pieces, and when the water is boiling, add the chard. Let it cook for a few minutes (until the chard is getting wilty), and then lift out the chard with a pair of tongs. Also remove a half cup of the boiling water.
Begin to cook the pasta in the boiling chard water. Cook it for a couple minutes less than the recommended time (it will continue to cook later with the sauce).
Place the cooked chard in a blender with the tomatoes, diced garlic, herbs, parmesan cheese and cooking water. Puree until it is smooth.
Once the pasta is done, drain it and toss it in the pot with the chard-tomato sauce. Add the cream and toss until combined. Let it all cook over low heat for a few minutes until the sauce thickens a bit.