Tag Archives: broccoli

Cheesy Casserole Love

In my pantry today:

  • 3 c broccoli florets
  • 1 c mezze penne (dry)
  • 3/4 c white beans (cooked)
  • 1 whole head roasted garlic
  • 1/3 c colby jack cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 c mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1 10.5 oz can cream of [celery] soup
  • 1 tbsp reserved bacon grease [butter for vegetarian option]
  • 1/3 c plain soy milk
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • salt/pepper
  • dash asafoetida
  • 1/4 c Panko bread crumbs

casseroleWhen my better half walked out the door for work this morning, I promised to have some manner of cheesy casserole in the oven to greet her upon return. On the heels of that promise, I released broccoli from its crisper drawer prison. Then, well… I just kinda winged it.

Nope, not quite clear enough...

Nope, not clear enough…

Mince onions and let cook in bacon grease on ML until onions become translucent. Salt and pepper them for the heck of it (oh, and add in the asafoetida now). While that’s going on, boil pasta until al dente (so that it won’t get too mushy cooking in the ‘role). When done, drain and rinse under cold water; set aside.

In hindsight, I probably should have used a bigger pan. Please learn from my mistake.

In hindsight, I probably should have used a bigger pan. Please learn from my mistake.

When the onions have reached desired glassiness, dump your florets in that pan and mix until everything’s hog-tied in pig drippings [again, butter can be used here for a vegetarian option… I just happened to have some bacon, and, well, you know what happened]. Crank the heat up to M and let them cook, tossing occasionally, until the pan in its entirety blushes a bright green.

And while that’s going on, mix together those mashed up cloves of garlic, “cream of” soup, soy milk and cheeses. Grease the bottom of a casserole dish, then mix all once-individual tasks together — pasta, broccoli/onions, beans, cheese sauce. Bake covered in a 350° oven for about 25-30m, then remove from oven and dust with panko. Let it sit for five minutes, then dig on in to your night’s official flavor destination. 5 spoons!

Fet-accompli!

In my pantry today:

  • 3 c broccoli florets
  • 1/3 c feta cheese in blocks
  • 1.5 c dry tagliatelle (bowtie pasta)
  • 1/3c olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp Parmesan cheese
  • 1-? tbsp unsweetened almond milk

P1100313Simplicity is part of the song for this dish. Start garlic in oil on ML, reduce to L and let simmer until garlic pieces turn the lightest of browns; remove from heat. Take a small part of that and toss with broccoli, add a tsp plain olive oil and garlic/salt. Toss. Put on baking sheet in 400° oven for about 10m. Cook/drain pasta, put back in pot and add garlic olive oil and cubed feta. Toss. Add 1 tbsp almond milk and cover on L. Remove broccoli from oven, sprinkle with Parmesan and broil for 30-60 seconds. Take out and pour into pot with pasta. Toss and serve warm. 5 easy spoons!

Broccoli and Violence (ft. Sesame Quinoa)

In my pantry today:

  • 3 c broccoli florets 
  • 1/2 sweet onion
  • 2 cloves garlicBro
  • 1 packet gravy mix
  • 2 c unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 tsp butter chicken spice mix
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp vegetable ghee
  • 1/2 tsp olive oil
  • 1/4 c quinoa
  • 2 drops sesame oil

broccoliandviolenceLife has been a little more dramatic than usual lately and I am not cooking nearly as much as I’d like. Last night I made a loaf of banana bread just to feel alive (in the kitchen, that is), but as I’ve already recently written about banana bread it’d be pretty boring to write about it again so soon (although this time I used caramel extract and added glazed almonds). Instead I’m going to go with the easy thrown together mess tonight offers. So start out that thinly sliced onion and garlic heating in ghee/oil in a pan warming to ML. Mix in the turmeric to color everything orange, let cook for 5m or so.

Turn the burner up to M, throw in the broccoli until bright green. Reduce heat and add in (already mixed with one another) the almond milk, gravy packet and spice mix. Mix everything then cover and continue to cook on ML for 10-50m, or until broccoli reaches your desired level of crunch. Serve over quinoa cooked with two drops of sesame oil in the water, then pull 4 spoons out of the silverware drawer.

8394572713_00a56d19de_kIn terms of proof of my recent drama, how about this: my car window was shot out while the wife and I were driving through a neighborhood that didn’t look bad enough for it. This had certainly never happened to me before but now I can… check it off my bucket list? Now I can praise Jesus, Buddha, Allah and Xenu that the window stopped it before it came through at full force; I narrowly avoided this shot whose perpetrator probably won’t be found.

And on Friday I start a new DMD (“Disease Modifying Drug”) that requires my first dose be monitored for six hours in a doctor’s office because it might dangerously slow my heart rate. discovery_medicine_no_64_volker_brinkmann_figure_4If I clear that hurdle, however, I get to take a pill for MS instead of having to give myself nasty injections. I’ve been trying to clear off the bulk of my client(s) work in case of a worst-case scenario here, but it occurred to me that I also need to cook  in case I am unable to feed us properly once getting home. If I weren’t so busy right now I might have time to be a little more scared than I am; as it is, I’ve got to stop spending selfish time here and get back into Photoshop. Wish me all kinds of luck getting to the weekend!

Black Bean Soft Tacos with Broccoli Salsa Tapenade

In my pantry today:

  • black beans
  • 1/2 c minced onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 c vegetable broth
  • 1/2 c broccoli salsa tapenade (below)

broccolitapenadeI want to cook with the new white corn tortillas I found at Aldi which are exactly like the ones my favorite (and really, the only I eat) soft tacos at our favorite Mexican restaurant here. There are black beans in the cupboard and in the fridge a few leftover broccoli florets that I just don’t want to see die. But black beans and tortillas, ok. I see that. But fitting broccoli into the equation?

  • 1/2 c broccoli crowns
  • 4 tbsp salsa
  • 1/2 tbsp garlic paste
  • 1/2 tsp taco seasoning packet
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne (optional)
  • Juice of 1 lime wedge

Invite the food processor and that big bag of frozen lime wedges you still don’t entirely know what to do with, and get going on this easy little addition that will turn out to be better than anticipated. Pulse the broccoli and garlic paste until the broccoli is more finely minced than your human hands could possibly muster (yet not completely pureed). Remove to a small bowl and add seasonings, salsa and finish off with the lime. Set aside — you can obviously eat this immediately, but a couple of hours sitting never hurt no seasoning blend.

limesTo make the beans, start out minced garlic and onions in olive oil on ML for a few minutes, then do a half-ass drain/rinse on your can of black beans (a little of the gook in there will be helpful) and put in the pan. Add most of the vegetable broth, saving a little for additions later. Stir everything together, then place two (frozen here) lime wedges on top, cover and let cook for 20m or so. Remove limes, stir and add rest of broth then let simmer until taco time. Heat your tortillas between wet paper towels in the microwave for 30s — layer on beans, broccoli and cheese — I give this 5 spoons for both taste and creative use of leftover broccoli.

Cheddar Chicken Pie with Broccoli Sentinels (is Only Platonic Friends with the Curry Cabbage)

In my pantry today:

  • 1 frozen, unbaked pie shell
  • 1 can chicken breast, drained and rinsed
  • 2 c large broccoli florets
  • 2/3 c cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 “roasted chicken” flavored gravy packet
  • 1/2 c unsweetened almond milk
  • 3/4 c vegetable broth
  • 1/2 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 c minced onion, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • pinch asafoetida

I have had so. much. pie. this holiday season. It really is kind of ridiculous how pies culminate for an annual winter slaughter of the human diet and pride: pecan, caramel apple cheesecake, plain cheesecake with a mandarin orange pie winning the pie-ze this year for both deliciousness and moxie. After rounding out the last family jaunt yesterday with a pizza, I feel it is safe to start officially distancing myself from rich meals and desserts that do nothing but inadvertently complicate my health and/or well-being.

That being said, I made a pie for dinner tonight. Don’t you judge me.

In the freezer still lived the other half of a crust two-set I’d gotten on sale, canned chicken in the cupboard and cheese in the fridge. Oh, and fresh broccoli; that’s probably the healthiest and therefore most important part of things. Before you get to arranging health around the edge of your pie, start your onion and garlic in butter heating to M. After five or so minutes of making sure everything gets coated and tossed, add the turmeric and asafoetida; stir. While that’s being perpetrated drain and rinse the can of chicken and mix your gravy packet with almond milk. Add eggs to this mixture one at a time and whisk until blended. Return to the stove and stir in 1/3 c of broth and the chicken; toss everything together and spoon into the pie crust. Add the remainder of broth to the egg/gravy mixture. Arrange chunky florets around the edges and secure it all with a pour-over of casserole gravy. Bake in a 375° oven for 45 minutes, remove to sprinkle 1/3 c cheddar over and into the florets and continue baking until a knife comes out of the middle clean. And because I made this earlier today in advance of dinnertime, when I warm it back up at 35o° for 10m I will have sprinkled on another 1/3 c cheddar. This ended up being delicious in flavor, but a little unsatisfactory to me in consistency… then again, the bottom crust I found too soggy was forked off my plate and eaten by my wife. Still, my conscience tells me to go with just 3 spoons on this.

Also, while making that I had also started some cabbage that’s been waiting patiently in the fridge. I don’t know what I’m going to do with it yet — I don’t want to take the easy way out by throwing it into broth and declaring a soup; I’ve got plenty of that in the freezer right now. No, I want this cabbage to go places, travel the world and be better than freezer soup:

  • 1 medium head cabbage
  • 1/2 c onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1-2 c vegetable broth
  • 1 tbsp vegetable ghee
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1.5 tbsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tbsp hot curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/8 tsp asafoetida

cabbageThis one’s easy. Start the mustard seeds out in a ghee-oiled pot heating to M. When it’s near full heat, add the onion and garlic. When the seeds start snapping, add the spices and stir into a pasty mess. Add a dash of broth. Add cabbage in by little handfuls, all the while mixing and adding broth as needed to get everything spiced right proper. Add enough broth to cover the pan bottom, then put a lid on it and dial the heat down to the L side of ML. I cannot yet give this spoons because I do not feel it is yet a finished product. Good luck to my imagination!

 

Vegetarian “Not Pie”

In my pantry today:

  • 1 can crescent rolls
  • 1/2 can red beans, drained
  • 2 c broccoli florets
  • 1 medium carrot
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2/3 c sharp cheddar cheese, 1/2″ cubes
  • 1.5 c unsweeteend almond milk
  • 1 tsp vegetable ghee
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp corn starch
  • 1/2 tsp coriander
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • pinch asafoetida

notpie2It’s not a pot pie. In fact, it’s not even really a pie as the crow flies; having simply the spirit of a pie does not really qualify. Let’s just go with “Not Pie.” It’s not really macaroni and cheese either, since there’s no macaroni. But the spirit is strong in this one!

Sliver your garlic and cut your onion into tiny rectangles and saute them on ML until translucent; remove from the pan and set aside — but erstwhile you’ll have plenty of time to cut the veggies and mix a sauce. Give a quick stir fry to notpie1the small dices of carrot and broccoli florets until the broccoli goes from a waning HULK green to a more vibrant “HULK SMASH!” hue. Toss the broccoli, carrots, garlic and onions together in a baking dish. Cover them with the sauce you made by mixing cornstarch, egg and all above mentioned seasonings in with the almond milk; pour over dish and let bake for an hour at 350. Remove dish from oven, roll out from their can some crescent rolls and lay on top of the buffet below. Bake according to can-structions until golden browning appears. Remove from oven and let cool for a minute or two before digging in to see how this hot mess-erole turned out. Turns out, it was entrancingly delicious… but texturally deficient. I give it 4 spoons for flavor, but 3 spoons for consistency. Next time, I might be adventurous enough to try a bottom crust or perhaps a roux instead of cornstarch. We’ll see, because there will be a next time on this.

Broccoli Casserole-ish (or, “Well, There’s Only Everything Good in It”)

  • 3 c broccoli florets
  • 1/3 c yellow onion, minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 10 oz  can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 egg
  • 2 oz cream cheese
  • 1.5 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 c sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 c panko bread crumbs
  • dash of salt

I’m going to have to tell you all something.

I’m not proud, and hope to use this public forum to ensure I bear the full responsibility for having held such a simple secret for so long.

…I’ve never made a broccoli casserole.

There. You got it out of me. Proud?

broccasseroleishAnyway, please suffer through this, my first time, as an experiment in both flavor and safety. Mince the garlic and onion and saute on ML in butter until onions become translucent. While that’s going on, cut florets to a medium-small proportion, set aside. Beat the egg into the can of cream of mushroom soup. Melt the cream cheese into the butter/onions/garlic, remove from heat and fold everything together. In large bowl, combine the contents of that pan and the egg-soup mixture. Shake in a smidge of salt and mix well. Toss your florets with this goop, put in a baking pan then top with cheddar cheese and panko. Bake in a 350° oven for 20-30m. What comes out will work well either as a stand-alone side or as a slightly saucy accessory to penne pasta; I didn’t know exactly what to expect, and I will strive in the future to perfect this concoction’s consistency. As it stands, though, this was really, really tasty and earns 4 spoons.

Nutty Broccoli, Fried Rice and Chinese Food for Dogs

In my pantry today:

  • 3 c broccoli florets
  • 1 c dry roasted peanuts, unsalted
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1/3 c blackberry preserves
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp garlic paste
  • 1/2 tsp ginger-garlic paste
  • 1/4 c tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp red hot chili powder
  • 1/8 tsp asafoetida
  • 1/2 c water
  • 1/2 tbsp corn starch

Broccoli is delicious and I wish I had not overcooked it — that, of course, is really my largest complaint of last night’s dinner, and one which only you can avoid in the future (or me, but lets not play a game of semantics here). It’s easy as sin to cook onion slices to near-sheer on ML then to add peanuts. Take the pan from the burner and let the nuts toast for a few minutes. While that sits, get another pan and start the broccoli cooking on MH. When it turns a full, bright green go ahead and add the peanut/onion mixture. Stir together all the other ingredients  (starting from blackberry preserves –> down) and toss your nuts. And the broccoli. And bring it to a low boil on M for the corn starch to thicken things up a little. In the pan from whence the onion/nut mixture came, there should be an oily enough residue to start the rice.

  • 3 c cooked, cold rice
  • 1/3 c frozen peas
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1/4 tsp sesame oil

Scramble your egg and set aside. Add frozen peas and rice to hot pan , toss. Add the egg back in, squirt in some soy sauce and continue tossing until the rice is hot. Serve everything together and call it a night of order-in. 4 spoons!

Oh, and I’ve been making that dog food for a while now. It was referred to once as “Chinese Food” from its appearance in refrigerated clear Tupperware; the dogs love it, I love what it doesn’t have in it, but I don’t love how quickly it spoils. I’ve prepared in advance the meat/barley mixture to freeze and have ready on those days I feel tired enough to buy another can of rendered, rotten meat. Rice is something we usually keep on hand cooked so I can usually add it later, but that can obviously be mixed in and frozen with this mess.

  • 1 c cooked barley
  • 1/2 c cooked ground turkey
  • 1 tbsp ground flax
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 c cooked rice for mixing in after thawing

Mix the turmeric and cinnamon into the boiling water when you cook the barley, salt the turkey while it’s cooking. When both have cooked to completion and cooled enough to combine, add the flax and olive oil along with some cooked brown rice. I did forget to add a little bit of mixed vegetables to this batch… but that it won’t faze the animals. Freeze whatever you can’t use in 3 days.

 

Broccotta Casserole (Or, “Where DID I put my camera?!”)

In my pantry today:

  • 3 c broccoli florets
  • 1 c quinoa (cooked)
  • 1/4 c rice (cooked)
  • 3/4 c ricotta cheese
  • 3/4 c shredded cheese (jack/colby/mozzarella blend)
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp garlic paste
  • 1/2 tsp dill
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp salt (or to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper (or to taste)

Broccoli, you say? With ricotta cheese, you say?And while there is rice in the dish, there is little and this isn’t just one of those “sauce over rice’ numbers you’re all so used to seeing from me. Actually, I’ve never made a broccoli casserole before (did I say that out loud?) so this was largely an effort in adventure. There was a head of broccoli in the fridge, and ricotta cheese that’d been sitting on the top shelf unopened for two weeks. There was (ass usual) onion and garlic. There was leftover quinoa and rice. Really, didn’t this build itself?

Start your finely diced onion and garlic in olive oil on ML then turn to dicing the broccoli into whatever sizes your palate dictates; set aside. In a bowl, mix together ricotta, beaten egg, garlic paste and a pinch of salt; set aside. Now that the onion and garlic are becoming soft, stir in the turmeric for that fun bright yellow color for which I would like to become the poster child. Stir in dill and let sit for a minute while you begin building within the pan’s walls.

Lay broccoli florets across the bottom and layer in the quinoa/rice mix. Go to the stove, fetch the garlic and onion and gently fold everything together. Sprinkle 1/4 c of shredded cheese on that. Layer the ricotta/egg blend over it all and sprinkle the top with remaining shredded cheese, black pepper and breadcrumbs like some kind of otherworldly pot pie crust. This is a good vegetarian fall dish that’s hearty, filling and feels decadent. 4 spoons!

Now, about fitting into something for that wedding I’m having in two weeks./squee

 

 

 

Half Baked? Try Twice Baked!

In my pantry today:

  • Look at these floors! I feel like a rich person!

And also:

  • 1 grocery store rotisserie chicken (I’m not proud)
  • 2 large baked potatoes
  • 2 c broccoli florets
  • 1 tbsp safflower oil
  • 4 tsp garlic paste
  • 4 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp rock salt
  • 1 tsp hot red chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric

Normally I might just pair this lazy man’s bird with salad to soothe my so-easy-to-eat-animals guilt but we had had one for lunch. So how about those potatoes in the fridge? I’d baked them a few nights ago with vague intentions; I felt certain their destiny would be revealed in a few days’ time. Slice them lengthwise into quarters then halve each of those so that they transform less into wedges and more into seemingly noncommittal chunks.

Roll said chunks in a mixture of: 2tsp safflower oil, 1 tbsp garlic paste, 1.5 tsp salt, and 1 tbsp lemon juice. Place on baking sheet (it should of course have edges to catch any drips) and sprinkle with 1 tsp hot red chili powder and 1/2 tsp turmeric. Mix your broccoli florets with the remainder of the oil, lemon juice and salt. Roast potatoes at 425° for 15m. Put chicken and broccoli in a glass pan; cover. After 15m, take your wedges out and flip them onto another side. Put potatoes back in beside the glass dish, then turn the oven off. Give it another 15m, then scarf down in exhausted, happy hunger. 5 spoons!