Broccoli is one of my favorite vegetables that I don’t eat nearly as often as I should or would like. I prefer it plain with a dash of salt. As I’m more comfortable using my oven than attempting to steam something into mush, roasting is my favorite way to cook this beautiful vegetable. In addition to being easy, the flavor is just outstanding. Hit with a bit of kosher salt and olive oil, this has become a go-to side dish to pair with many types of cuisines.
I know this is not a complicated recipe or really even a recipe for that matter as much as it a how-to on a basic dish. But, sometimes we just have to be reminded that the simplest things are usually what makes it into the weekly menu rotation. Easily modified and adapted to whatever main course you are preparing, this is a great base recipe.
adapted from Ina Garten
- 1 bunch of broccoli, cut into florets (I also keep the stems)
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- Preheat oven to 425F.
- Toss the broccoli with the olive oil.
- Lay out an even layer on a cookie sheet.
- Sprinkle with kosher salt.
- Bake for 20 minutes, until the florets are tender and some may have browned edges.
I love a one-pot main meal. Even if it is a side dish. A healthy side dish at that. Earthy quinoa mixed with hearty chickpeas and tomatoes with a crisp refreshing lime dressing is really comfort food for the summer. I have made this dish often and have failed to obtain a picture of it as it disappears from my kitchen quickly.
I initially bought quinoa to eat for breakfast, in place of oatmeal. However, I find myself finding savory uses for quinoa instead. Well, what I mean is that I made this recipe and I make it at least once a week. It’s simple, delicious and healthy.
Mediterranean Quinoa Salad
Adapted from Gourmet and cooking the quinoa from Edible Perspective
Yields approximately 4 servings
- zest from 1 lemon
- juice from the 1 zested lemon
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
- 2 cups water
- 1 (15 oz) can of garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 medium sized tomatoes, diced
- 1 medium sized red onion, finely diced
- 1/4 cup cilantro, finely chopped
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- In a large bowl, whisk together the lemon zest, lemon juice, butter, olive oil, and salt.
- Cook the quinoa. In a pot, over medium heat, add the cup of quinoa and roast for approximately 2 minutes. Add two cups water, increase to medium-high heat, and bring to a boil. Stir once and reduce the heat to obtain a simmer and cover the pot with a lid. Cook for 15 minutes (don’t dare open the lid). Once 15 minutes is up, turn off the heat and remove the pot from the heat. Leave covered for 5 minutes. After five minutes, uncover and fluff with a fork.
- Add the cooked quinoa to the dressing and stir to coat evenly. Let it sit for 5 minutes so the dressing will have a chance to absorb.
- Mix in remaining ingredients and adjust salt as you see fit. Go easy on the pepper.
Binks and I rarely cook together. I am responsible for the food (cooking, ordering out, planning, etc.) in the house. However, one meal, since the beginning of our relationship, brings us to the kitchen together. Tacos. Binks cooks the tacos and makes salsa. I, on the other hand, am responsible for the sides. And, for our taco meal, the sides are always the same. Refried beans and Spanish rice.
While traditionally (as traditional as Tex-Mex goes) you would usually make Mexican rice (very different from Spanish rice), I love the taste of Spanish rice and prefer it to Mexican rice. The addition of tomatoes and bell pepper gives the rice a bold flavor to serve alongside tacos, burritos or all on its own. I love making a rice bowl with Spanish rice leftovers, taco meat or lentil tacos, fresh veggies and a splash of lime juice.
Whether you use it as a part of your main dish or a side, you will be very happy with the results.
- Adapted from Allrecipes
- Yields approximately 6 servings
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 cup uncooked, long-grain white rice
- 1 onion, finely diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 green bell pepper, diced
- 2 cups vegetable stock (you can also use chicken stock)
- 1 (10 oz can) canned tomato and green chilies (e.g. Rotel), undrained
- 2 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp salt
- Heat oil in a deep pan (I used my dutch oven), heat olive oil over medium heat.
- Saute the onion, garlic and green bell pepper until it gets soft. Add the rice and brown until the rice is a bit browned.
- Add the stock, canned tomatoes/green chilies, chili powder, cumin, and salt.
- Cover and bring to a simmer for 30 minutes, or until the stock is fully absorbed into the water.
- Once absorbed, remove from heat, remove from heat and fluff with a fork.