Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Martha & Me - January


Last fall, I began a subscription to Martha Stewart Living magazine. I received my first two issues, November and December/January, just before Christmas. I've been a closet reader of this magazine for years, thumbing through it every month in the store. I found a good subscription price and decided to treat myself. This magazine is so inspiring. I love the recipes and project ideas and I decided to set a challenge for myself now that I have it coming right to my home every month. I'm going to try at least one new thing - a recipe or a project - from each issue and blog about my experience. I'm calling my series "Martha & Me" and I'll post at the end of each month, sharing what I tried - whether a success or a failure. Please join me! You don't have to use this magazine and you don't have to sign up or get on a schedule or use my series' name, just share your adventure at the end of the month.


I opted to try a recipe from the December/January issue of the magazine. November's recipes and projects, and most of December/January's, were focused on holiday recipes and projects. I sort of dreaded the idea of a retrograde holiday-related project in January, to be honest. It seemed depressing. The pickings were relatively slim for non-holiday ideas, but I settled on a recipe that looked interesting and tasty, Spaghetti with Collard Greens and Lemon. This recipe is on Martha's website and is also found in her new book on clean eating, Clean Slate: A Cookbook and Guide. The above photo is from the magazine. The food styling in this magazine is incredible, by the way. I think it's my favorite thing about it so far.


I liked this recipe as soon as I saw it because it seemed easy and inexpensive, and it's healthy and meat-free. We're not vegetarians but we do limit the meat in our diet. We're staunch observers of Meatless Monday. This means I'm often on the lookout for new meatless recipes and tend to rely on pastas and soups when I get in a cooking rut. This recipe uses pasta but it's fresh and different and we like all the flavors, so I was excited to give it a whirl. I followed the recipe as written, except for one substitution: I used kaleidoscope chard instead of collard greens. To be frank, I don't like collard greens. Also, the chard is readily available in my preferred store, Trader Joe's. And it's so pretty. The colors are gorgeous and they stay when you cook the chard.


The rest of the ingredients are everyday staples in my kitchen: pasta (I used regular Barilla thin spaghetti), fresh lemon, garlic, olive oil, red pepper flakes, pine nuts and Parmesan cheese.



Isn't it amazing to see how much greens shrink when you cook them? I always think of Rachael Ray, when she would say "Frozen spinach is the best value in the store!" She's right, of course. They pack a lot of spinach in those little boxes. The chard cooked right down too. Next time, I would probably chop the chard into smaller pieces, especially the stems.


I'm no food stylist but this was my plate. It was really delicious. There is a lot of lemon and garlic and plenty of sauce after the addition of pasta cooking water. It soaked nicely into the cooked pasta and became sort of silky. It was mildly spicy and the chard had a slightly sour flavor. I always enjoy pine nuts in any dish and they were a nice addition. It felt a little fancy to have them in there. We all added grated Parmesan at the table, which enhanced the flavors and the consistency of the sauce. Everyone liked it, even the kids. They aren't exactly fanatics for leafy greens but there's so much flavor from the other ingredients that the chard went down just fine. This recipe was fast and tasty and I would definitely make it again - I've added it to the Meatless Monday hall of fame.

Join me next month for something new - I've already chosen a project and a recipe to try in February!

30 comments:

  1. That looks so delicious and so beautifully photographed too! My family don't like me doing food posts as they want to eat the food as soon as it is cooked! Sarah x

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  2. I don't know about the magazine food photos, but yours were pretty good, too! I really enjoy the idea of this recipe.... thanks for sharing! I'll give it a go. I know I'll like it but the rest of the family are pretty heavy meat lovers!

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  3. That looks absolutely delicious Jennifer, exactly the sort of dish I love. I know what you mean about not wanting to make festive dishes any more, it's so nice to have lots of nice fresh veggies in January isn't it. I really like the taste of lemon in, well, just about anything. CJ xx

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  4. It looks very tasty, Jennifer. :o)

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  5. Hmm.... I shouldn't have read your post whilst hungry... this looks sooo deliciously mouth-watering! 😊 I love your idea and already looking forward to seeing what you & Martha make in February.
    Hugs xx

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  6. Sounds and looks delicious! It's nice to see a pasta recipe that doesn't involve tomatoes. Makes a change. Bee xx

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  7. This looks delicious Jennifer and the photos are excellent. I like the idea of a similar post to yours featuring a recipe or project a month. Might have a go. P x

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  8. Hello Jennifer,

    This looks and, we are sure tasted, absolutely delicious. Cooking every day for a family can become so dreary so a new taste sensation which is quick and easy to prepare as well as tasty to eat must be a winner. This dish certainly seems to fit the bill.

    We are looking forward to reading about what else Martha has in store. We have often suspected that she must be a superwoman capable of having every cupboard in the house neatly organised, a garden always in full bloom and preparing gourmet meals whilst simultaneously painting the Drawing Room walls. We shall try our best to keep up!

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  9. It looks yummy just the kind of food I love and a quick easy recipe too.:) xx

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  10. I have magazine envy now! Your dish looks delicious, just the kind of food I love. x

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  11. I'm always on the lookout for good family veggie recipes, trying to cut down on the meat we eat. Thanks for sharing.

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  12. Hey Jennifer,
    That's the sort of food I could happily eat every day. Quick, no fuss, tasty.
    I shall be trying it out for sure.
    Leanne xx

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  13. It looks delicious. I bet it's something I'd enjoy as I love green, leafy vegetables. We sometimes grow chard at the allotment, it certainly adds a bit of colour to the plot.

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  14. I like Martha Stewart, looking forward to seeing the projects you share xx

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  15. This looks delicious and very healthy too. I think some big newsagents here sell that magazine. I'll have a look next time. I think this is a magazine I'd like. x

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  16. Sounds delicious, quick and easy for a fast lunch.

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  17. Looks delicious, Jennifer! I look forward to seeing more of your blog posts about the magazine.

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  18. This looks delicious Jennifer !!! I think this is a great opportunity to push ourselves to learn something new!! I think it is time for me to subscribe as well!! Have a lovely day sweet friend! Nicole xo

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  19. Jennifer, what a great idea! Your spaghetti with kale and lemon looks delicious; I can taste it from here! This looks like something we'd enjoy as we have a lemon tree with the most sweetly scented fruit! Thanks so much for sharing and good luck with your project! Martha would be proud!

    Poppy

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  20. I have Clean Slate in my Amazon basket, but the book is not available here before early February, now I've seen this I can't wait to get my hands on it.

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  21. I've been getting the magazine in the mail too, because like you, I came across a deal I couldn't pass up. I have to be honest and say I've never been a Martha fan, but I do enjoy most of her magazine. I saw this recipe and thought it looked good, but we're not too keen on Swiss Chard. We both love fresh spinach though. We eat at least 3-4 vegetarian dinner meals per week. I'll look forward to seeing what other recipes or crafts you try from the magazine!

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  22. It looks good and I think you styled it well too! :)
    I like Martha Stewart too.

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  23. What a lovely idea. I love any sort of greens with lemon juice and it's always lovely to find a quick, healthy recipe that everyone enjoys. I look forward to more of your 'Martha moments'. x

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  24. I like the look of this! Yum. Anything with pasta, garlic, pine nuts and lemon is going to taste good. This is such a fun idea too - I remember the first year I had a Mollie makes subscription I made one thing from the magazine each month. Xx

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  25. Looks delicious! I really enjoy pasta and this one looks very light. :)

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  26. It looks fantastic! I'm hungry for it now! ;) xo Jen

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  27. This looks very tasty and perfect for increasing the veggie intake! I look forward to seeing what else you are inspired to make, Jennifer. Wishing you a happy weekend.
    Helen xox

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  28. You read my mind! I buy way too many craft magazines so this year I want to make something from every one that I buy. Thanks. For reminding me that I wanted to post about this :)
    We are veggie and I make a really similar meal - fresh pasta with onions, pine nuts, mushrooms and wilted spinach, and Parmesan. Yum!!
    Jillxo

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  29. That looks delicious!! I would love a good read of your magazine. I do love to flick through a magazine. I have a subscription to BBC Good Food magazine although through sheer laziness I've not made anything from it for a while. Maybe this is the kick start I need. xxx

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