I know it seems like I’ve stopped eating, but I promise I haven’t. I even still take pictures of most of the things I cook (usually), they just never make it this far. This one I just took with my phone as I reheated last night’s leftovers for lunch today – but that counts, right?
First, the exciting news. I’ve discovered my new favorite website/tool – Pepperplate – which basically consolidates recipes from the internet or inside your head and lets you tag them, sort and search them, meal plan, and make shopping lists from the ingredients. For free. It has a few quirks, and things I think it’s missing (I’ve annoyingly emailed them every time I find something), but it’s a great tool and it’s allowing me to move away from my immense piles of printed recipes that I can’t ever find or remember I have to something much more useful. It also partners with Smitten Kitchen, which is both awesome and dangerous, because it means I am spending inordinate amounts of time on her site looking through all the billions of recipes I want to make. Which leads me to the Broccoli Pesto.
Broccoli is one of those things. I love it. Calin does not love it. We agree to disagree, but he still has to eat it sometimes, so I’m always on a quest to find broccoli recipes that he will eat and hopefully enjoy at least a little bit. When I discovered this recipe, I immediately added it to Pepperplate (see where that comes in?) to make soon – because pesto! and pasta! and broccoli! and kind of easy! Well, the reality didn’t come out quite as well, but it was absolutely worth trying, and I’m definitely going to tweak it for us in the future.
Problem 1: My garlic and onions were both sprouting. In garlic, I think that makes it stronger, but apparently in onions it makes them more mild, because the onion flavor was minimal.
Problem 2: I lost the garlic. Seriously, one minute it was there, and the next minute it was gone. I finally found it hiding in with the broccoli, dutifully steamed. Weird. So I added another clove, but that one didn’t get cooked long enough, so I ended up with this weird combo of faux-roasted and raw garlic.
Problem 3: I didn’t have any heavy cream. I used half 1% milk and half plain yogurt instead. Definitely different, and less flavor, but better for us…
Problem 4: I overcooked the broccoli. There’s no getting around this one.
So the pesto was tasty, but a little bland (I also didn’t measure the salt or pepper, because I’m lazy), and Calin’s verdict was that he would probably rather just eat broccoli. Or, preferably, not eat broccoli at all. So, success for me but still a no-go in the “eating more broccoli” department. Oh well. The leftovers were actually pretty good, too. I think I’ll try fixing the problems first, and then maybe see if I can add some other things to make the flavor stronger if that isn’t enough.
Do you have reliable go-to broccoli recipes you’d recommend?
Potlucks are so much fun, because you get to make one thing and try a dozen. I usually have the problem that no matter how small my portions are, I can’t fit some of everything on my plate, and I always eat too much. It’s worth it, though, to get to share all that tasty food. People always bring something they know they make well when they have to share.
I like to make pasta salads, because they are fast, they taste good hot or cold, and they travel well. They are also the kind of thing you can throw together from whatever random ingredients you have in the kitchen – the only essential is pasta, and who doesn’t have pasta?
My most recent pasta salad ended up being pesto and red pepper. I mixed things up a bit by boiling the noodles with a little bit of garlic oil, and using garlic oil instead of plain olive oil to toss the salad. (more…)
Lasagna is one of our favorite fall-back recipes, because it always makes an amazing amount of leftovers. It is time consuming, because layering does take a while and it has to cook for 45 minutes or so, so it’s not a last minute meal, but it’s worth the effort when you have the time.
We make ours with spinach, sweet Italian turkey sausage (I don’t like the spicy kind), mozzarella cheese, and a little bit of some other cheese to add extra flavor. We use whatever pasta sauce we have in the house. I always drain as much of the grease out of the meat as possible, and use as much spinach as possible, to make this as healthy as possible. If you added more veggies, you could even use fewer layers of pasta and it would be even better. (Calin doesn’t like vegetables, so we don’t do this often. I did try it with one layer of thin slices of zucchini once, and you could barely taste it, but I felt healthier just knowing it was there.