Wednesday, November 3, 2010

My Friend Broccoli

When the produce is good here in sunny Barbados, you have to jump on it! It doesn't matter what you had planned for dinner - flexiblity is your new middle name. Grab whatever looks un-sad and figure out what to do with it!

This week brought fresh, gorgeous, happy Broccoli! I found a very cool site that tracks straight nutritional data (and we all know how I feel about data!). Check out my friend broccoli at:

I rescued enough broccoli to take care of two nights -

Dinner One: Sesame Ginger Tofu, Carrot Rice & Roasted Broccoli

Start with some music - I went with The Pretenders Live. Then pour yourself one perfectly golden Mount Gay Eclipse and Soda Water (just one!)

I've read a lot about tofu presses but frankly, my method is free and works like a charm! Rinse tofu brick under tap water and pat dry. Wrap the brick in two paper towels and then wrap tightly with a nice clean dry dish towel. Place the lovely little bundle under something heavy (Vase filled with sand!) and go back to enjoying your rum for 30 minutes...

Roasting broccoli is the bomb. Everyone else probably already knew that but each day is a new food day for me so bear with me as I learn! The key to this is dry broccoli. Wet broccoli = no yumminess.

400 degree oven
Cut florets off stalk - rinse and dry so thoroughly that you feel like a psycho
Spray or lightly coat with olive oil and sea salt
Cook for about 20 minutes or until desired tenderness - tips should be tanning!
Take out and give those beauties a little more olive oil and a light pinch of parmesan cheese and lemon zest. YUMMMMMMM

Rice is Nice with grated carrot and onion! I used two cups water, one cup basmati rice, 1/2 cup grated carrots and 1/2 onion finely diced. Also tossed in a little sesame oil to promote an Asian spin. Cook like usual.

Tofu was simple and felt like cheating. I used a sesame ginger marinade and left the cubes in the fridge for 30 minutes. Toss into a hot pan and voila - seems like I tried hard but didn't. What's better than that? Threw in some Sriracha and a dollop of the marinade - dinner!

Dinner Two: Broccoli, Potato & Leek Soup with Grilled Cheese & Tomato Tapanade Sandwich

Oopsy Daisy! I fell asleep in the late afternoon with by beloved Kindle and got a late start on dinner. Just a couple of pics as I was starving and needed to eat it..

Started with roasting the remainder of my broccoli. This is how it should look for maximum tastiness.

For the soup, I found a great recipe that I largely stole from a blog called Kitchen Sojourn. She uses the starch in the water from boiling the potatoes as the soup's thickening agent so milk, butter, cream are not necessary. Brill!

Four large potatoes diced down - fill pot with cold water one inch over potatoes
Crank on high heat and cover with a tight lid

In a separate pan, I heated chopped leaks and some extra spinach from a dip I concocted two days ago. Use it or lose it!

When the potatoes are cooked (do not drain), throw in 80% of roasted broccoli and all of the leeks and "extras" from your fridge. Blend in your blender in batches and then toss in the remaining roasted broccoli for some texture at the end.

I served with grated vegetarian cheese and a few croutons (and a few drops of pepper sauce - I simply cannot help myself!)

For the grilled cheese - Ridiculously simple. Roasted red pepper tapenade from Trader Joes, vegetarian cheddar and little bit of dijon mustard. The tapenade gives it some color and an unexpected kick.

Yum. Broccoli. And scene.


  1. You almost lost me at 'rinse the tofu brick', but you found me again w/roasting broccoli! YUM! I love how you set the drink..then cook. Maybe I've been going about all wrong and that's why I hate spending a lot of time in the kitchen. Have you tried roasted brussel sprouts? THE BOMB!
    Food photos are a must too. Way to go Lauren!

  2. Ang, I will take the brussel sprout roasting to heart. Never tried it but I am bolder every day! A principle of cooking in Ayurveda is to cook with intention in your heart. Sometimes we are forced to cook for people we don't like, sometimes we cook in blind haste or (on the good days!) we cook with love for our family and loved ones. Every time I set "the cooking mood" with my intention, it comes out better. I've had to do that A LOT more recently as I try to come up with dishes that fool my huz into not missing the meat. Creativity and trying new things seems to lead to love in the kitchen!