Posts tagged ‘broccoli’

June 24, 2014

Broccoli & Rice Bowl with Peanut Sriracha Sauce {Vegan}

peanut sriracha bowl

A lot of what I eat day-to-day involves some sort of “Bowl”. When I’m looking to get a good hit of vegetables or just use up the bits and pieces in the fridge, a Bowl is the answer.  More than a salad, but with a similar amount of a commitment, Bowls are thrown together easily and often amount to much more than their individual elements.

The most important component of a Bowl is a kickass sauce or dressing. Once you have a good sauce, you’ve got something worth eating.

About these ads
November 7, 2012

Broccoli and Leek Soup

I’m gearing up to tell some stories. Actually, I’ll just be telling one specific story, multiple times.

This weekend, F’s parents are throwing us our Australian engagement party. It’s going to be a lovely night in the backyard with friends, family, good food and bubbles.

There’s one catch: I’ll be obliged to tell the story of our engagement to many of the guests. While I’ve already had quite a bit of practice in the two months we’ve been engaged, I still haven’t got better at telling it.

Where do I start? One minute, I was on a rooftop in New Orleans’ French Quarter laughing at his pre-proposal speech, not being able to take a compliment and the next I realized what was going on. I think I probably just sound like a jerk when I tell it…I dunno.

It was a perfect night – like, majorly – and we were the happiest couple in NOLA, I just wish I could express the sequence of events better!

It doesn’t really matter though – we’re just excited to celebrate with the people we love.

I wish I had a better story about this soup too, but the truth of the matter is that I found myself on a Monday waiting for my fruit and veg delivery and very hungry. I scraped around the crisper and came out with a head of broccoli and a big leek. Instead of an omelet or some quick stir fry I opted for a simple and silky smooth soup.

Admittedly, you have to be a broccoli fan for this one, but you could try subbing in more potatoes or roasted carrots instead. I like to garnish the whole thing with chives, which add a nice mellow onion-y compliment to the leeks. I also think a little grating of Parmesan or cheddar would go over extremely well in this situation.

The end.

BROCCOLI & LEEK SOUP

  • 1 medium head of broccoli, cut into small florets
  • 1 large leek, white and light green parts sliced thin
  • 1 small-medium white potato, pealed chopped into 1/2-inch pieces (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
  • olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 liter or 4 cups vegetable broth
  • salt & pepper
  • 1-2 tablespoons chopped chives, to serve

In a large pot, heat a glug of olive oil over a medium high heat. Add leak and garlic and sauté until the leek is softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the thyme and cook for another minute.

Pour in vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Add broccoli and potato and reduce heat to medium. Simmer for 10 minutes until the broccoli and potatoes are tender.

Allow the soup to cool for a few minutes and purée with a stick blender or in batches in the blender.

Pour back into the pot, bring to a boil and and simmer for another 5-10 minutes. Serve with chopped chives and extra black pepper.

June 7, 2012

Chopped Broccoli Salad

Real talk: some days I miss Whole Foods real bad. I realize that this is a total first-world problem and that I’m beginning to sound ridiculous – but [my favorite pastime] grocery shopping is just not the same after having been so spoiled on the regular.

They have all the random things I decide I need in my kitchen immediately. Mulling spices? Right near the apple cider! Pre-cut butternut squash? Fo sho. Three-year aged Gouda? Got it. Truffle salt? No prob.

Let’s not even talk about the gelato bar and bakery, please. And the salad bar! Ah, the salad bar…so amazing, so dangerous! This salad I made today was one I found on Oh She Glows, an awesome vegan blog. Angela reminded me of the joys of the Whole Foods salad bar when she made her own version of their Detox salad.

It’s crunchy, zesty and a little sweet with a satisfying chew-factor from the dried fruit – plus it’s raw and easy to throw together.

This salad is great to make for lunches throughout the week – dressing it as you go, to prevent it from becoming soggy. It lends itself to additions, so you can change it up each day – simply serve it alongside grilled shrimp, a veggie burger or chicken and the next day you can mix it with some leftover pasta or rice and feta cheese to give it a new life. You can mix it with chickpeas, black beans or tofu too, for a vegetarian-friendly protein hit. Or eat it inside a pita with a dollop of yogurt and hot sauce. Mad ideas for this salad, yo.

Chopped Broccoli Salad (serves 6 as a side)
Based on Detox Salad from Whole Foods’ salad bar and Oh She Glows

1 bunch of broccoli, cut into florets
2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
1-2 celery ribs, finely chopped
1/3 cup mix of sunflower seeds and pepitas
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup dried cranberries
a handful of chopped parsley
a handful of chopped cilantro
juice of 1 lemon
1-2 tablespoons maple syrup
salt and pepper

In a food processor, finely chop the broccoli and carrots until they become rice-like in texture. (If you don’t have a food processor, chop the broccoli and carrots with a knife as small as you can get them.) Mix with other ingredients in a large bowl and season with salt and pepper. If you’re looking to stretch out the salad throughout the week, you may want to reserve the seeds and the lemon juice/maple dressing and add it as you go. (I added it all at once and it still had a nice crunch the next day.)

Bulk it up with: 1 cup of brown rice, quinoa, cracked wheat or orzo pasta
Add some protein with: 1/2 – 1 cup chickpeas, cubed tofu or black beans
Add some gratuitous cheese with: a little bit of crumbled feta, blue or goat cheese

February 13, 2012

My New Favorite…Way to Cook Broccoli

Let’s take it niiice and easy.

Jog a little slower. Have an extra cup of coffee. Stop and take a picture of something pretty. Buy yourself a new book. Eat some extra greens. But make them taste like candy.

Green, caramelized, feta-flecked candy.

Be nice to yourself…it’s Monday.

It’s a simple concept, but roasting vegetables (as I have mentioned before) can really amp things up. Caramelizing is a powerful and delicious thing, my friends. Use it recklessly.

All you need to do is the prep, then kick back and let the oven do all the fancy work. Nice and easy.

~~~

This recipe is based on Adam Roberts’ (aka The Amateur Gourmet) The Best Broccoli of Your Life who based it on Ina Garten’s (aka the Barefoot Contessa) Parmesan-Roasted Broccoli. So you know it’s good.

I decided to use marinated feta and toasted sunflower seeds instead of Ina’s Parmesan and pine nuts – but the slightly nutty, browned broccoli is the real star here.

My Favorite Way to Cook Broccoli
– 1 head of broccoli (about 2 cups), cut into small florets and stems cut into small pieces
– 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil
– salt & pepper
– zest from half a lemon
– toasted sunflower seeds
– 2 tablespoons cup crumbled feta

Heat oven to 200 C/400 F.

Toss broccoli with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, salt & pepper (to taste, but I prefer a heavy pour with both). Add more olive oil if all of the florets aren’t coated well.

Spread broccoli out on a baking sheet. Place in the oven and cook for 15-20 minutes (tossing half-way through) until florets are beginning to brown a little.

Zest the lemon over the broccoli and let cool.

Toss with feta and sunflower seeds to serve.

Notes:
I used feta marinated in preserved lemon, olive oil and herbs. But regular feta with a squeeze of lemon juice works well too.

February 1, 2012

Tortilla Salad and the Definition of a Slack Tea

Apologies if you’re Australian and reading this. You can probably just skip to the part where I start talking about tortilla chips.

Slack tea is another Aussie phrase that I probably would have gone years, if not a lifetime, without knowing if not for my ongoing cross-cultural communication experiment/loving long-term relationship.

Slack tea sounds funny at first but totally makes sense after you get used to it. Like the very Australian penchant for shortening words – for brevity’s sake or love of the letter “o”, I’m still not sure, but I’ve made room in my vocabulary for such things.

Avo for avocado has proved particularly useful in my life. (NOT to be confused with arvo for afternoon.)

Anyway, the most confusing part of the slack tea concept is that “tea” can refer to the drink (although, we could just call that a cuppa), a snack, or an entire meal. For our purposes, “tea” in conjunction with “slack” is usually referring to dinner.

Sure, I could have just said “easy dinner” but slack tea has a more carefree vibe. A vibe that makes you want to crumble a few tortilla chips on top of whatever you’ve got going on because, why not? Slacking means we can still have fun, dude.

My example of a slack tea today is tortilla salad, named for its last-minute garnish.

It’s made up of various types of leftovers over a bed of crunchy Romain lettuce and shredded red cabbage tossed with my new favorite Dijon vinaigrette.

The point is to use whatever you have, toss it in a bowl and be thoroughly satisfied by it. It should feel like you spent a whole 15 minutes making it instead of 5. Really only spend 5 though.

I used:
– Leftover roast chicken, shredded
– Avo
– Leftover Amazing Roasted Broccoli (recipe coming soon)
Red pepper chilli sauce
– Tortilla chips, crushed

My New Favorite Dijon Vinaigrette
(to toss with the lettuce and cabbage or whatever greens you have)
– 3 tablespoons olive oil
– 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
– 1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard
– 1 tablespoon Greek yogurt
– 1 clove of minced garlic
– salt & lots of pepper

Put all ingredients in a jar with a lid and shake it like mad. Add a little water to thin out, if needed.

January 26, 2012

Kalamata Chimichurri with Grilled Vegetables

There’s a lot to like about chimichurri sauce.

Mostly because there are endless variations of the traditional Argentinian sauce, so there’s a good chance you’ll find a version that you like. The basic recipe has parsley, oregano, garlic, vinegar and olive oil. But it’s not unheard of to involve tomatoes, peppers, cilantro, rosemary, thyme and my favorite addition, paprika. The constant in chimichurri for me is the paprika – no matter what herbs are thrown in I must have olive oil, garlic and paprika. I love the deep orange tint and rich, full flavor it gives.

Another excellent rendition is this kalamata olive chimichurri, from Bon Appetit’s 2012 cleanse menu. The salty olives are a perfect foil for the fresh parsley and smokey paprika.

This sauce was intended for a nice piece of grilled beef, which I still plan on using it with, but I also thought I would try it out on some fresh grilled vegetables. To me, the kalamatas are meaty and the paprika is reminiscent of chorizo, so I didn’t even really miss the beef. That said, this makes for a beautiful side to grilled fish, steak, or a seafood paella. You could also serve it over brown rice for a satisfying and colorful meat-free meal.

Kalamata Chimichurri
(adapted slightly from Bon Appetit)
– 2 tablespoons olive oil
– 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
– 1/4 teaspoon of red chilli flakes
– 1 bay leaf, broken in half
– 1 medium sized shallot, finely diced
– 1/4 cup fresh parsley
– 1/4 cup roughly chopped kalamata olives
– 2 tablespoon red wine vinegar
– 2 teaspoons paprika
– 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
– salt and pepper, to taste

Heat olive oil in a medium sized skilled over a medium heat. Add garlic, chilli flakes, and the bay leaf and cook for 1 minute.

Add shallots and cook for about 2 minutes, until translucent. Stir in paprika and cayenne and remove from heat. Stir in parsley, olives, vinegar, and a teaspoon or two of water.

You can prepare ahead and let stand at room temperature until you’re ready to use. Add more water in very small amounts if the sauce needs thinning.

For the Grilled Vegetables:
Ideally, I would do this on a BBQ, but I did a quick pan “grill” session, to speed things up.
All you need is a little olive oil in a pan over a medium-high heat, season the veggies with some salt and pepper and you’re on you way. I used:
– Red pepper/capsicum, cut into thin strips
– Broccoli florets
– Zucchini, cut into thin strips

Add the vegetables that take the longest to cook to the pan first. I put the red peppers in first, because they take a little while to soften but also because they give off the most aromatic flavor of the bunch. Then in went the broccoli for a minute or two, and the zucchini last. I covered the pan to trap a little steam in there to move things along. All up, my veggies took about 10 minutes total.

Spoon chimichurri over the top to serve.

%d bloggers like this: