Sauteed Chard and Roasted Beet Penne


I should probably rename my blog, “Sometimes I Cook” because that’s a much, much truer title than my title from my high-school/college yesteryears of “cooking during the breaks” since… well, real life (and not even real-real life, grad-school-real-life, which is not the same as ‘real person’ life) does not really contain ‘breaks’ in which to cook to one’s heart’s content [because I’m either recovering from jet lag; excitedly looking forward to weekends to …catch up on all the work; or enjoying non-Indian food (hello burgers! hello smoked salmon! hello RAW SALAD)]. Which explains the last ~2-3 years.

Therefore, it’s not a question of what will I cook today, but do I have

a) time

b) ingredients

c) motivation

d) time

(did I say time already?)

to possibly throw something together today?

Sometimes, all of the above comes together, and motivation is sparked.

Fresh farmer’s market veggies paired with creamy herby goat cheese over whole wheat penne and tiny multicolored tomatoes — a combo that hints at the closing of summer, and the coming fall.

Sauteed Chard and Roasted Beet Penne

Original recipe


1 pound beets, with greens

1 pound rainbow Swiss chard

Coconut oil spray (or other oil spray or just oil/butter)

1 teaspoon butter

1/2-1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon whole cumin seeds

Small heirloom tomatoes, chopped in half

Salt and pepper to taste

Whole wheat penne – 8 oz (half a box)

Goat cheese – plain, or an herb flavor like I happened to get


Preheat oven to 400 F. Rinse beets and chard. Cut greens off of the beets and set aside. Spray the beets with coconut oil, or rub a little coconut oil/olive oil/butter all over and place cover each with aluminum foil. Bake for 1 hour or longer; remove when tender if pierced by a fork. Allow to cool and then peel (they should peel easily) and chop into slices or rounds. Set aside.

Meanwhile, chop up the beet greens and stalks of the chard into small bite-sized pieces. I left the chard greens out to use as salad, or cook for something else, but you can leave them in if you like.

Heat olive oil and butter in a large pan on medium heat. When melted, sprinkle in the cumin seeds and let them brown a little (1-2 minutes). Add the chard and beet greens, toss and sauté until tender. Towards the end of the cooking, add the chopped tomatoes and cook them a little but not too much. Add salt and pepper (if you like pepper, eww, none for me please).

Boil water for pasta. I don’t usually add salt but you can if you want. Cook pasta until al dente; drain and toss with the chard/beet mixture.

To serve, sprinkle some chopped beets, along with goat cheese, on top of a healthy scoop of pasta/veggies.

Sooo delicious. The chard/beet stalks are so tender, and there are so many pretty colors! Plus, the tried-and-true goat cheese/beet combo is just the bomb. I’m obsessed with roasted beets and this just enables the obsession.

Hope you make it, and enjoy it. A certain roommate thought it smelled good. But then again, she’d eat anything: