Tag Archives: broccoli

Broccoli + Beans or Meat = Dinner Served

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You can read about how I declared this the Best Cookbook You’ve Never Read <– here.

You can read about the first recipe I cooked from this cookbook here.

You can read about how I cooked tuna and salmon – {from a can!} – for the first time here.

You can read about how I made a stir-fry for some friends and made salads without dressing here.

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But it was from this recipe out of 5 ingredients, 10 Minutes that I learned that if you have a bag of frozen broccoli and a half pound a meat or a can of beans, that you can have a dinner on the table any night of the week in just MINUTES…

Super Simple Broccoli with Almonds
Recipe Ingredients: broccoli, almonds, butter, lemon juice

I think this base recipe was originally meant to be a weeknight side dish. Here is a photo of the pic in the cookbook. Looks yummy, no?!

I was going to make this as a side to some burgers I whipped up for Rob and me one night. But as I’ve mentioned, Jules shares possible variations at the bottom of every recipe in her 5 ingredients, 10 Minutes cookbook.

Her variations help those with dietary restrictions and even the pickiest eaters among us whip up something delicious and healthy. I am not allergic to nuts. In fact, I love them as a nice added roasty crunch to a dish. However, when I read Jules’s nut-free variation of this dish, I knew I’d be making it as a meal for myself instead:

Nut-free: leave them out or replace with a small can of chickpeas

I adore chickpeas {Rob doesn’t} and knew this was going to make a wonderful lunch for me. And it was:

This dish may not sound nor look exciting to you; but the results are all in the preparation. That is why I wanted to provide you with a few notes on why/how this is such a fantastic, versatile dish:

Notes with my adaptations in blue:

  • The dish calls for one head broccoli. I took a bag of broccoli out of the freezer and thawed over night.
  • I cut the broccoli into smaller pieces than they came, cutting them into “little trees” as instructed and thinly slicing the stems. This helps the broccoli cook faster and those little bits will get such a nice char! {I also personally like smaller pieces of broccoli, that this sounds like an obvious step I should have been doing anyway.}
  • I also liked Jules’s tip to get the pan on the heat before you chop the broccoli to get it nice and hot.
  • The variation suggested a small can of chickpeas. I’ve never heard of such a thing, so I just drained and rinsed a whole can and dumped them in, creating a more substantial lunch.
  • Even with my chickpea/garbanzo bean substitute, I did add a few crushed almonds. They did seem to get a little bit soft in the pan. I think if I made this dish with nuts, I’d add them at the end next time.
  • I generously seasoned this dish while cooking and after it was finished. I also added a little extra drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. I don’t think adding garlic, red pepper flakes, nor shredded parmesan would hurt either!
  • You can find this recipe in Jules Clancy’s cookbook 5 ingredients, 10 Minutes or her blog The Stone Soup {sans almonds, but the technique is there.}
  • This dish took me 12 minutes to make, including chopping.
  • I’d make 800 variations of this again! Here’s why:

While Jules lists 5 different suggested variations at the bottom of this recipe, the final one reads:

More substantial: toss in a drained can of chickpeas or serve with some hummus. {Okay, so I realize now that I didn’t get the idea to use a whole can of chickpeas to make it more substantial by myself.} Or toss with hot pasta and your best quality extra virgin olive oil. Or add a drained can of tuna in oil, allow to warm through and serve with a wedge of lemon. Or team with a fried egg.

You see? All you need is a head of broccoli (or a bag reserved in your freezer) and either a can of beans / can of tuna or salmon / egg / scoop of hummus / box of pasta / pre-cooked protein such as diced chicken and you’ve got dinner on the table in minutes. I’m sure you could cook up some ground beef or turkey and mix it in, too.

The possibilities are endless.

Do you have a go-to formula to get something on the table quick based on ingredients in your fridge-freezer-pantry? If so, please share!

Cheers~
Carrie

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The First Recipe (from the best cookbook!)

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I’ve now made a few recipes from the Best Cookbook You’ve Never Read. I do – for the first time ever with a cookbook – intend to make every single one, à la Julie and Julia. Well, kind of… I figure if I do about 3 per week, I should be able to get through this book in about a year. Think of all of the experience throwing healthy ingredients together to make a satisfying meal I’ll have under my belt by then!

A few things to note:

Jules points out that in her book 5 Ingredients, 10 Minutes that the five ingredients do not include things you should already have in your pantry like salt pepper and olive (or other cooking) oil. Also, these recipes take her about 10 minutes. While it may take the novice cook a bit longer, she does offer tips and tricks to cut down on the timing. And really, as long as a recipe takes me 30 minutes or less and doesn’t feel complicated on those nights that I don’t want to think, but I still want to eat something healthy and satisfying, it’s a win for me!

Oh! One more thing I never did mention on why this might be one of the best cookbooks is that almost all of the recipes serve just two people. In my book, that’s a win because it’s so hard to get my husband to eat leftovers. No more repeat dinners or extra lunches in the freezer! {I do enjoy having those leftovers for myself; but we’ve kind of met the max on the freezer right now.} Plus, if I’m making a chicken or fish dish, I will only have one leftover serving for myself rather than 3 or 5. For those of you with families, feel free to double these recipes. They’ll still be easy!

Lastly, I’ve been taking notes on each recipe page to remember what I did, how long the recipe took me to make, how I changed things up, or what I’d like to try next time. I’m including those in my summaries.

Now on to the very first recipe I tried from Jules Clancy’s 5 Ingredients, 10 Minutes

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Broccoli and Green Curry Soup

My first recipe was a winner! I didn’t get any photos of it because this is before I decided to make all the recipes and document them on this blog. I made this for lunch for Rob and me and was going to combine it with the Super Simple Sang Choi Boa, also in the cookbook. That part didn’t happen, but I’m so glad it didn’t, because who knew a broccoli soup could be so filling on its own!

Here are my notes:

  • There are only 4 ingredients in this recipe!
  • I used a bag of frozen broccoli from Costco – worked just fine.
  • I love green curry, but I wasn’t sure if my husband had before, so I erred on the side of caution and used 3Tbsp green curry paste. I’d use at least 4 Tbsp next time!
  • I forgot to add the green curry paste when instructed, so I added it later and it still turned out just fine.
  • I used the rest of my leftover can of coconut milk with some leftover farro and fruit for breakfast the next few mornings!
  • My husband thought this soup was very filling, too. He liked it, but didn’t love it. I guess I’m much more of a green curry fan.
  • I like a bit of heat, so add some red pepper flakes if you do or a squeeze of Sriracha like I did!
  • This recipe took me 12 minutes.
  • Will make again.
  • You can find this recipe in Jules’s free e-Cookbook on her blog The Stone Soup! It is the first recipe in the book and here is it called Addictive Green Curry of Broccoli Soup.
  • P.S. Remember when I didn’t like broccoli? LOL!

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I promise to have photos of my next several results! Okay, writing this made me want to make this soup again… plus the weather is getting colder…

Do you have a favorite easy soup recipe?

Cheers~
Carrie

Sauteed Broccoli with Garlic Dip

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I can’t believe all my life I haven’t been eating broccoli, because I hated it! But now I am. Rob is so happy that I’ve been making it on a pretty regular basis!

Last week, I made Blackened Pork Chops and served them with a side of Sauteed Broccoli. Roasted Broccoli is my go-to; but when something is already in the oven, I feel like I need to cook the side on the stove for timing’s sake!

About a month or so ago, I replicated the broccoli portion of this recipe. Last week, I decided to change it up a bit so that I could use up some of my garlic dip.

Writing this post is purely selfish, so I can save the method to my recipe arsenal!

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Sauteed Broccoli

(Serves 2 – 3)

Ingredients:

  • 1 head broccoli, washed and cut into medium florets
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 – 2 Tbsp Garlic Dip
  • 1 cup stock or broth
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Shredded Parmesan

Method:

  • Heat oil in a large pan sprayed with olive oil.
  • Add broccoli and saute for 2 minutes stirring constantly.
  • Add garlic dip and saute for 2 more minutes, stirring constantly to distribute evenly.
  • Add 1 cup stock and continue to saute over medium heat until broccoli is tender and most of liquid is absorbed, stirring occasionally. (About 10 more minutes.)
  • Season broccoli with salt and pepper.
  • Top with shredded parmesan and serve immediately.

Note: Alternatively, you can omit the garlic dip or just serve it on the side for dipping!

Next challenge: I’m going to try steaming broccoli with this method.

What is your favorite broccoli preparation?

Recipe sharing encouraged!

Cheers~
Carrie

Look at Me Eating My Broccoli! AR

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It’s a miracle.

I’ve learned to like broccoli.

I never thought it would happen. I couldn’t stand the stench of it. If one of my college roommates or an co-worker made it, I had to leave the room. People have said that I hadn’t had it prepared in a way that I’d like it. Some say to try it with cheese sauce. No no no! I would never want to ruin cheese that way! Even with the cheese, the smell of the broccoli would just make me gag. I found later, that the only time I could really eat it is if it was chopped up really small into a stir fry. Even then I’d pick most of it out.

But when I was a kid:

  • I didn’t like seafood (or even had much of it) – but I do now.
  • I didn’t like mushrooms (the ones we had were canned!) – but I do now (if they are fresh!)
  • I didn’t like green beans (also canned) – but I do now (if they are fresh or frozen.)

And now… broccoli!

Here’s how. Because I never make it, my husband begged me to make him some after he put a package of the frozen stuff in my cart at Costco.

“That’s a lot of broccoli!” I said.

“Yeah.” he said with a smile.

That week, I got an email in my inbox with a recipe for Garlic Parmesan Roasted Broccoli from Damn Delicious. I was cooking some steaks for us that night and decided to thaw out a portion of broccoli to roast for him. I had some tomatoes I wanted to eat that I knew he wouldn’t want anyway. When it came out of the oven, it didn’t smell bad nor stink up my house. Because I learned I liked broccolini when it was roasted, I took a little taste of the roasted broccoli. “Not bad!” I thought. It was good enough for me to even pop a whole piece into my mouth!

So the next time I made that recipe, I made enough for both of us. And I ate up all of my broccoli on my plate! Yes, moms across America would be so proud. I truly believe that it’s the roasting that mellows out that strong broccoli aroma.

So look what I bought for the first time ever at the Farmer’s Market last weekend!

My first head of fresh broccoli!

My first head of fresh broccoli!

The whole time I was chopping this, I kept singing Dana Carvey’s “Choppin’ Broccoli.” I couldn’t help myself. I made it for the girls when they came over on Thursday, alongside this Garlic & Herb Chicken from Kalyn’s Kitchen. I had this vision of pouring my beloved Roasted Tomato Dressing over the chicken. I had made some of that the night before.

Roasted tomatoes waiting to be pulverized to become dressing!

Roasted tomatoes waiting to be pulverized to become dressing!

The dressing was fabulous, but didn’t work quite so well over the chicken. Maybe it was a bit a bit overpowering? Maybe I should have warmed the dressing? What’s strange is that I did like dipping cold pieces of chicken into the dressing later. Hmmm…

So here were my leftovers:

photo 5 (2)

So I put some into a Power Bowl for my Friday lunch!

  • red kale
  • chopped roasted garlic roasted parmesan broccoli!
  • chopped tomatoes
  • onion
  • sliced chicken breast
  • sprinkling of shredded mozzarella
  • about four teaspoons of the roasted tomato dressing

I warmed it up in the microwave at work and this was an out-of-this-world bowl of leftovers! One of my best bowls yet!

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So what about this week?

planning

Food

We’re changing things up a bit this week! Rob isn’t always in the mood for what I have planned for dinner. And unless I make two separate meals for each of us, I never get to eat chicken or fish. This week, we are on our own. We might try to do one meal at home together on the weekend.

Dinners:

Lunch:

  • Leftovers
  • Snacks – Honeycrisp apples, nuts or string cheese and dark chocolate

Breakfasts:

Fitness _ TBD

  • Monday – Walk 1 hour OR Run 1 mile OR HIIT Run/Walk OR 30 min on recumbent bike.
  • Tuesday Walk 1 hour OR Run 1 mile OR HIIT Run/Walk OR 30 min on recumbent bike.
  • Wednesday – Walk 1 hour OR Run 1 mile OR HIIT Run/Walk OR 30 min on recumbent bike.
  • Thursday – REST
  • Friday – REST
  • Saturday – Walk 1 hour OR Run 1 mile OR HIIT Run/Walk OR 30 min on recumbent bike.
  • Sunday – Walk 1 hour OR Run 1 mile OR HIIT Run/Walk OR 30 min on recumbent bike.

What foods have you learned to like?

Cheers~
Carrie