Oven Roasted Broccoli

When it comes to broccoli I procrastinate a lot.  I give them a glance when they lie in my refrigerator and gladly pick up any other vegetable.

Not this time though, when I saw a bunch of very fresh broccoli heads in Whole Foods. I made up my mind to cook them for dinner. The big fix was, I got a little too carried away and ended buying a little too many of them.   Given my tendency of procrastination when it comes to broccoli, I did not want to stash them away in the freezer.   And then came the idea of a green “super food” dinner.

I made Broccoli Cheese soup which I blogged about earlier and oven-roasted the rest of the broccoli.   The recipe here is adapted from The Amateur Gourmet.   Trust me, when Adam says that this could be “The best broccoli of your life”, he was not kidding.  Atleast for my life, it was 🙂

While in Adam’s post, he does not mind oven-roasting the broccoli without washing it, my conscience did not admit it. So, I washed them and thoroughly dried (all to preserve the crispiness).

I am skipping the ingredient list for this recipe, it is so pointless as the recipe is so easy and minimal.Broccoli and Potato

Instructions:

  • Arrange the broccoli on a cookie sheet. (4 pounds broken into large florets)
  • Toss with 4 Tbsp olive oil, 1 tsp salt and 1/2 fresh ground pepper.
  • Add 2-3 peeled and sliced garlic cloves.
  • Roast in the oven 15-20 min or until the broccoli are crisp and tender.   You can also see that the the tips of some of the florets are browned.
  • I also added few potato wedges and put them along with the broccoli
  • When done, remove it from the the oven.
  • Zest a lemon over the broccoli, squeeze the lemon juice over and 1 tbsp some more olive oil.
  • Top it with 1/3 cup of freshly grated Parmesan cheese (Please see the variation below)

I gave my share of the broccoli a little Indian twist.  I seasoned some home-made yogurt with mustard seeds and red chilli flakes and poured it over the prepared broccoli and potato. In this case, Parmesan was completely omitted.

Broccoli and Potato-1

Broccoli Cheese Soup

I started the soup regimen basically as a means to reduce my postpartum weight, although a little reluctantly.  It was difficult to cut down close to starving (that was how I saw it at least in the start) that too after months of “healthy” and “large” servings I was taking because of my first pregnancy.

Eventually, a very high BMI and a knee surgery has convinced me to be conscious of my meals and here I was, scouring cookbooks and blogs to get the recipes that will please my palate.   Trust me, all you non-believers out there, soups are a great way to lose weight and stay healthy.   i must have lost at least 20 lbs from two nights of soups every week.

Yes, even the following rich version of cheesy broccoli soup is and proved healthy, at least to me.

Recipe Source: Cooking Classy

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Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1 cup diced yellow onion (about 1/2 large onion)
  • 1 large clove garlic, finely minced
  • 1/4 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 3 cups fresh broccoli, finely chopped
  • 6 oz. grated Cheddar cheese
  • 2 oz. freshly, grated Parmesan cheese, the original recipe calls for very finely grated Parmesan, but the lazy me, did not bother.
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

 Broccoli and Cheddar Soup 2

Directions

  • Melt butter in medium saucepan over medium high heat. Add onions and cook until soft, stirring frequently.
  • Add in garlic, dried thyme and flour, and cook for about 1 minute, stirring constantly.
  • Slowly add in milk, broth and then the cream.
  • Cook, until mixture begins to gently bubble, stirring frequently in between and then reduce heat to low.
  • Add the broccoli pieces and cook until broccoli is done ( I added broccoli that was half steamed earlier). Cook for about 4-5 min till tender.
  • Turn heat off, add in cheese and stir until melted.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Serve warm.

Corn, Tomato and Avocado Salsa

Best part of this dish: the vibrant colors. I wont say anything more than this.

Ingredients
For Dressing:

  •   2 tablespoon lime juice
  •   Olive oil
  •    Salt and ground pepper

For Salad:

  •   2-3 cups of  corn
  •   1 large tomato- diced
  •   1 medium avocados, diced
  •   Butter for light frying

Recipe

  • Dice tomato and avocado into small pieces.
  • Heat butter in a small pan and lightly fry the corn.
  • Combine tomato, avocado and corn in a large bowl and toss with the lime juice, olive oil and add salt and pepper.
  • Let sit at least 15 minutes before serving, or cover and refrigerate for up to 4 hours.Tastes good either ways.Image

Spicy Stuffed Avocados

I did not think I will write about Avocados in my second post.   Not that I did not think, it just that I would not have written had I not tried these super inviting stuffed avocados.

I never liked Avocados. That is until now. Guacamole of course is an exception, always loved it.   While Dear H loves avocados, I hated them and every time I buy an avocado thinking to satiate the poor guy’s appetite, they would end up in the bin for lack of usage.   And one fine day, I was flipping through a cookbook (duh!!) in B&N while dear H was at the cash register, I happened to glance a stuffed avocado recipe with pictures so amazing.  And, it was apparent then that the poor avocados will find their way into our tummies and dear H was in for a treat.

It is simple, colorful, flavorful and filling:

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Ingredients

  • 3 ripe avocados
  • 1 Large tomato
  • 1 Green bell pepper
  • 1 Red bell pepper
  • Shredded Mozarella Cheese- 1 cup
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Recipe

  • Chop the peppers and tomato and set aside
  • Carefully half the ripe avocados (it is essential that the avocados a little ripe. I used the shell of avocado for my stuffing)
  • Discard the seed.  Carefully remove the pulp taking care of preserving the avocado shell.
  • Cut or mash the pulp and mix with the rest of the ingredients.
  • Add salt and pepper.
  • Add in the shredded cheese
  • Bake at 350 C for 15-20 min.

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