Tag Archives: weeknight supper

Roasted Broccoli

This is my favorite way to cook broccoli. It’s easy, delicious and beautiful. Plus, I’m always looking for ways to get my food into the oven and off of the stovetop. Oven-roasting is so much easier and cleaner, no?

It’s great as-is, but also delicious with some grated parm. In this picture, I’ve tossed it with toasted pinenuts, grated Parmesan and lemon zest. YUM

  • One large head broccoli
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1/2 t sugar (I know, it’s weird. But it really helps it caramelize)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Black pepper
  • Lemon wedges to serve
  1. Adjust oven rack to lowest position, place large rimmed sheet pan on rack and preheat oven to 500. It’s important to preheat your pan with the oven, so that the broccoli is seared when you put it in the pan.
  2. Cut broccoli at head of. Peel from stalk and cut stalk into 2- to 3-inch lengths, then cut each stalk piece into 1/2-inch-thick slices.  Cut crowns into 4-6 wedges, depending on size of crowns. Note that you are not trying to create individual little “trees” like you might normally. Ideally, each piece you cut will have a flat section of exposed stalk.
  3. Place broccoli in large bowl; drizzle with oil and toss well until evenly coated. Sprinkle with salt, sugar, and pepper to taste and toss to combine.
  4. Working very quickly, remove baking sheet from oven. Carefully transfer broccoli to baking sheet and spread into even layer, placing flat sides down. Return baking sheet to oven and roast until stalks are well browned and tender and florets are lightly browned, 9 to 11 minutes.
  5. Transfer to serving dish. Serve immediately with lemon wedges. Or toss with basically anything you like.

Here it is again on the plate with some de-licious lemon-glazed sweet potatoes and a simple arugula salad:

 

2 good dinners

  1. Thai chicken salad: I marinated a chicken breast in a ginger marinade, grilled it up and sliced it thin. The dressing is fish sauce, lime juice, chilies, a little sugar and grapeseed oil. The greens are mache, spinach and cilantro. Throw in some peanuts, carrot sticks, red bell pepper, and we’re good to go!
  2. Greek pita and salad: First of all, we didn’t need the beet/goat cheese stacks. I had a roasted beet leftover, so I made it. But it was overkill. Just saying.  I made small patties with ground lamb, lemon zest, salt & pepper, and chopped mint. Sauteed those and served in half a whole wheat pita. Top it with greek yogurt mixed with a crushed garlic toe, a whole shredded cucumber, salt & pepper. YUM. The greek salad is just parsley, cherry tomatoes, red bell pepper, cucumber and feta, tossed with olive oil, lemon juice, salt & pepper. Boom

Broiled eggplant parm

I am going to be upfront with you, people. This is not as delicious as eggplant parm. BUT, it is way healthier and easier. That’s worth something, right? My eggplant garden is exploding, so I needed some new cooking methods. I liked it and will certainly make it again, but it does not top the eggplant stuffed with spinach and ricotta. That is divine. I’ll make it/post it next week. In the meantime, this really was quite delicious.

Shown here with my creamy israeli cous-cous (but with whole wheat cous-cous and sauteed mushrooms added…YUM)

  • 2 lbs eggplant (~2 large or 3 medium)
  • 1 T table salt
  • 2 T EVOO
  • 4 t good balsamic
  • 1 toe garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozz (as opposed to grated- just sort of tear it up into small pieces)
  • 6 T fresh grated parm
  • 3 T fresh basil
  • 1/2 C marinara (you can just used good jarred)
  1. Cut off and discard stem and bottom end of each eggplant. Don’t peel. Cut eggplants crosswise into 3/4-inch slices. Lay slices out on a cutting board, sprinkle tops with half the salt, and rub it in with your fingers. Turn eggplant slices over and repeat  with remaining salt. Place eggplant in a colander set over bowl or sink and let eggplant stand for  2 to 3 hours.
  2. Rinse eggplant under cold, running water, rubbing slices lightly in your hands. Shake colander to drain. Lay slices about an inch apart on triple thickness of paper towels or clean dishtowel; cover with another triple layer of towels or clean dishtowel. Using your palms, press each eggplant slice very firmly until it looks green and translucent and feels firm and leathery when pressed between fingertips. You may need to refresh towels if they get too wet.  You can do this and refrigerate up to 3 hours before cooking.
  3. Heat broiler. Mix oil, vinegar, and garlic in small cup. Arrange eggplant slices fairly close together on a baking sheet; brush tops with half of oil mixture. Turn slices over and brush with remaining oil mixture. Broil eggplant slices about 8 inches from heat source until tops turn brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Turn slices over; broil until other sides lighter brown, an additional 4 to 5 minutes. WATCH CAREFULLY.
  4. While broiling, combine mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses. When eggplant is broiled on second side, remove and sprinkle slices with cheese mixture; return eggplant to broiler until cheese melts and becomes a little crusty. Sprinkle with basil and serve with marinara.

Sichuan Green Beans

Among other things, my mom instilled in me a deep love of Sichuan green beans. That sweet, spicy, sticky glaze sends me over the moon. I am sorry to be the one to tell you this (if you didn’t already know), but  most restaurant versions are deep fried. That doesn’t entirely cross it off my list, but I do sort of stop counting it as a “veggie” if it’s primary method of cooking is submersion in hot oil. Call me crazy.

Anywho, I found this recipe on Cooks for stir-fried Sichuan green beans and figured I’d give it a go. I edited it a bit, mostly to eliminate some ground pork. Not that pork wouldn’t be good, but I want a veggie dish. Plus, cutting out the pork, but keeping the sauce the same means that the beans are extra saucy and I like that. Boom

Here they are with an Asian cucumber salad and some of those frozen shrimp potstickers I chefed up awhile back:

  • 2 T soy sauce
  • 1 T dry sherry (or vermouth, in a pinch)
  • 1 t sugar
  • ½ t cornstarch
  • ¼ t white pepper
  • ¼ t red pepper
  • ¼ t dry mustard
  • 2 T water
  • 2 T veggie oil
  • 1 lb green beans, ends trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 T fresh ginger, minced
  • 3 scallions, white and green thinly sliced
  • 1 t toasted sesame oil
  1. Stir together soy sauce, sherry, sugar, cornstarch, white pepper, pepper flakes, mustard, and water until sugar dissolves; set aside.
  2. Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over high heat until very hot (just smoking). Add beans and cook, stirring frequently, until crisp-tender and skins are shriveled and blackened in spots, 5 to 8 minutes. If beans darken too quickly, reduce heat to medium-high.
  3. Reduce heat to medium-high and add garlic and ginger. Cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant (~20 seconds). Stir sauce to recombine and add to pan. Toss and cook until sauce is thickened, 5 to 10 seconds.
  4. Remove pan from heat and stir in scallions and sesame oil. Serve immediately and ENJOY!

Pasta Carbonara

My sis sent me this recipe and it was delicious and super easy. It’s not going to win any cooking light awards, but we had a small portion with a big serving of salad, and I did not feel even a little guilty afterwards. The other cool thing, is that you probably have most of this stuff on hand all the time. I love pantry/freezer dinners.

On that note, it has been AGES since I went to the grocery store. I think at least a week.  We’ve definitely eaten out a few times, but I am mostly just pulling together delicious, healthy meals from the freezer and pantry.  I need to do a post about that one of these days. Grrrr….

  • 1 large onion, cut into thin strips (half moons)
  • 1/2 pound bacon, cut into strips
  • 1 clove garlic, minced or pressed through
  • 1 (16 ounce) package fettuccini pasta
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Heat large heavy saucepan over medium heat. Stir in bacon, and cook until bacon is evenly browned. Remove bacon with slotted spoon and set aside. You need ~ 1 tablespoon bacon fat. Depending on how much fat is rendered, either keep in pan or pour off and measure out 1 tablespoon.
  2. Over medium heat, stir in onion and sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and slightly browned. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Remove from heat.
  3. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente. Before draining, remove ~ 1 Cup pasta water (TIP: put your measuring cup inside your colander in the sink. You’re less likely to forget to save pasta water that way). Drain pasta, then return it to the pot.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk together egg yolks, cream, and shredded Parmesan. Pour the bacon and onions over the pasta, then stir in the cream mixture. Thin as needed with reserved pasta water. The mixture will thicken up as it cools, so make it a tad looser than you’d like. Season with salt and pepper.

Tomato Gratin

I heard about this recipe on Smitten Kitchen (shocker) and then saw it pop up in a few other places. I haven’t had the best tomato summer, so I was looking for something to do with less than oh-my-god-this-is-heaven tomatoes. This definitely did the job. The tomato flavor comes through like a punch to the jaw, it’s easy, can be made days in advance and is a generally excellent veggie entree.

We had it 3 times so far….

1. Tomato gratin + green beans with toasted garlic + an insanely delicious salad of arugula, fresh cherries, marcona almonds, shaved parrano and balsamic vinaigrette

2. The next morning with a fried egg on top

3. Tomato gratin + asparagus with bacon and parm + a great salad of chopped romaine, shredded havarti dill, shredded carrots, tomatoes, chopped egg and a green chile Caesar dressing

The second time I made it, I went too light on the croutons and it was too loose and lacked some substance. Learn from my mistakes.

  • 3  Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups diced bread, in a 1/2 inch dice with crusts removed (a good french bread works well, but just nothing sour)
  • 1 1/2 lb tomatoes, 1/2 inch dice
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon fresh black pepper
  • 1/2 Cup fresh slivered basil
  • 1 Cup grated Parm
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Heat oil in large pan over medium high. Add croutons and toast thoroughly.
  2. Meanwhile, combine tomatoes, garlic, sugar, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Let sit at least 3 minutes to release some juices
  3. When croutons are toasted, add tomato mixture and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and stir in basil. Place in casserole dish (it won’t rise, so it can be pretty full) and top with cheese.
  5. Bake for 35-40 minutes until lightly browned and bubbly. 

Raspberry brown sugar gratin

3 ingredients, people! You are 3 ingredients and 15 minutes away from an insanely delicious and elegant dessert. Really, how can you not jump on that? Come on. It isn’t the prettiest girl at the dance, but it is the one you want to take home to meet the parents, knock up and live happily ever after with. Did I mention that it only has 3 ingredients?

1 pint (2 cups) fresh raspberries (or your choice of berry)
1 pint (2 cups) sour cream or crème fraîche (at/close to room temp to ease folding)
1 cup dark brown sugar

  1. Preheat broiler and set rack to lower middle level. Gently fold raspberries and sour cream together in a shallow 1-quart dish.
  2. Evenly sprinkle brown sugar evenly over the dish.
  3. Run the dish under the broiler until the sugar just starts to caramelize. Watch VERY carefully. Eat at once.

Mustard roasted potatoes

As I know I’ve mentioned before, I am not a potato girl. Just not my favorite “vegetable.” If I’m going to do a starch at dinner, I would much rather bread, pasta, cous-cous, sweet potato, rice, etc. Basically anything else. BUT, I really liked this recipe a lot. It’s a keeper for sure. Easy and delicious. The potatoes end up with a nice crust, a meaty yummy flavor, and a nice tang. What more could you ask for? The recipe here is halved, so feel free to double it. If doubling, just use two baking sheets and alternate levels as directed in recipe.

Nonstick vegetable oil spray
1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon whole grain Dijon mustard
1 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoons butter, melted
1 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 tablespoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon peel
1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
1 pounds small unpeeled new/red bliss potatoes cut into 3/4-inch-wide wedges

  1. Position 1 rack in top third of oven and 1 rack in bottom third of oven and preheat to 425°F. Spray 1 large rimmed baking sheet with nonstick spray.
  2. Whisk ¼ cup mustard, olive oil, butter, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, garlic, oregano, lemon peel, and salt in large bowl to blend. Add potatoes; sprinkle generously with freshly ground black pepper and toss to coat.
  3. Place potatoes in prepared baking sheet, taking care to leave any excess mustard mixture behind in bowl. Spread potatoes in single layer.
  4. Roast potatoes 25 minutes at lower level, and then transfer to higher rack. Roast until potatoes are crusty outside and tender inside, turning occasionally, about 20 minutes longer.
  5. While potatoes are roasting, add remaining mustard and lemon juice to the bowl with mustard mixture and whisk to blend. When potatoes are done, transfer back to bowl and toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper. If you like (I did), pop back in over on high level for 5 minutes to just crisp up and reheat.

Spicy Mango dressing

I love to make Indian food. It’s absolutely one of my favorite cuisines and their vegetable dishes are plentiful and scrumptious. As a salad lover, I have struggled over what type of salad to serve with such flavorful dishes. In the past, I’ve gone in the direction of bright, straight-forward, palate-cleansing flavors. So, maybe mixed greens and grapes with a simple dressing of lime juice, salt and olive oil. No more, my friends. I LOVE this dressing. Major Grey’s mango chutney is pretty common, so anyone should be able to make it.

One note- you end up “wasting” all of the solids in the mango chutney. Just puree them and save them for mixing in turkey burgers, or as a sandwich spread, or to serve with cheese and crackers. Waste not, want not…especially when it comes to yummy, spiced mango spread.

1/2 cup Major Grey’s chutney
2/3 cup fresh lime juice
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon cayenne + salt to taste

  1. Force chutney through a sieve into a bowl and whisk in lime juice,  cayenne, and salt to taste.
  2. Slowly whisk in oil (a food processor works great)
  3. Dressing may be made 1 day ahead and chilled, covered. Bring dressing to room temperature before using.

Some good meals that I am too lazy to post recipes for

1. Leftover (delicious) pot roast becomes a divine sandwich….pot roast, garden tomatoes, arugula, whole wheat bun and a smokey pickled ocra on the side.

2.  Roasted chicken, avocado and ricotta salata omelet, fresh corn, green chile and mushroom hash, and garden greens with garden serranos and lime juice

3.  Roasted salmon with tomato and basil relish, carrot mac and cheese, cucumber salad and garlic green beans

4.  Spicy Indian curry with chickpeas, garden peppers and tomatoes with garden cucumber raita

5. Tandoori chicken, garden tomatoes with sea salt and lime, and arugula, avocado and mango salad with spicy mango chutney dressing (ok, I’ll probably include that dressing because it was so scrumptious)