Green is good

October 18, 2009

No, I’m not getting political,environmental or granola on you.  Unlike that “No Impact Man” Colin Beavan in New York, I do not have any immediate plans to give up using toilet paper or stop shaving my armpits.  No toilet paper for a whole year?!  Really?  I can absolutely promise I will never, ever go there by choice.  Me likes me my quilted Northern way too much to do that.  I can’t even do the Kirkland brand.  Ooops, maybe that’s tmi… 

The green I’m talking about are the green veggies in my three favorite vegetable recipes.  At least one of these is on the menu every week in our household.  They are each a great way to get those veggies in and actually enjoy them in the process.  When my kids ask “What’s for dinner mom?”  and one of these recipes is part of my response they actually have been heard to cheer “yes! I love brussel sprouts!”  Crazy, I know…but I promise, completely true.broccoli

Roasty Toasty Broccoli

2 large crowns of broccoli (or as much as you think you need to feed your family or yourself)
1-2 Tbsp. olive oil
sea salt               

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Wash and trim broccoli removing all stalks. My kids like to have some really tiny pieces mixed in with the larger ones because they get very crispy and crunchy, in otherwords, even more yummy!  Pat dry trimmed broccoli and put in a large heap on a baking sheet.  Pour the olive oil over the broccoli and toss with tongs or a fork and spoon to evenly coat all pieces.  (You could also do this is a bowl but why dirty another dish that you’re going to have to wash?)  Spread broccoli pieces out over baking sheet and salt.

Put on top rack of oven and roast for 15 minutes.  Serve immediately.  For a variation, you can also offer fresh grated parmesan at the table.                                                                                                                Serves 4-5 people.

I have to give credit to my good friend Heidi for this next recipe.  She invited us over for dinner one night sometime back and I asked what I could bring.  She said, “Well, I’m making brussel sprouts, we’ll have some grilled steak and blah, blah, blah…”  Basically she lost me at brussel sprouts because they were the one vegetable that both hubby and I detested.  I brought a BIG salad to that dinner since I knew we would not be eating those sprouts.  Heidi proved us wrong and turned our whole family into huge brussel sprout lovers.  It’s all in the preparation.  I think I had only previously tasted them boiled — ugghhh.  No wonder I didn’t like them.  Thanks Heidi! 

240px-Brussels_sprout_closeupMaple-Glazed Brussel Sprouts

1/2 – 1 lb. small to medium-sized brussel sprouts
Olive oil
1-2 garlic cloves, minced
sea salt
Maple syrup (real – imitation will not do)
Trim and halve sprouts (as many as you need for your family – we use at least a 1/2 lb). Put in a large skillet (I do it in my cast-iron) and toss generously with olive oil. Add 1-2 cloves minced garlic and a generous pinch of sea salt.

Saute over med heat, stirring frequently until the sprouts start to get brown and a little crispy on the edges. Just before serving, drizzle maple syrup (only real will do) over entire pan and stir. Serve immediately.

*Allow at least 15-20 minutes for them to cook thoroughly.                   Serves 4-5 people.

I just discovered this recipe in early September and it was an instant hit.  We’ve already had it twice in the past month.  It’s from my absolute favorite little food magazine, Everyday Food, from Martha Stewart.  If you’re not familiar with it, I highly recommend snatching one up next time you’re in the grocery checkout line.  It’s tiny – the size of a Reader’s Digest but they pack a ton of great stuff in there.  Their recipes are simple, healthy (for the most part) yet with enough of a flair to be a little different and unusual.  The best part…they always work!  You will see me post many recipes either straight from their pages or adapted…I am huge fan and dedicated subscriber.  And, no, I am not being paid to write this (Hubby only wishes I was). 

greenbeansGreen Beans With Hazelnuts (adapted from Everyday Food – Sept 2009)

1 lb. green beans, trimmed
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1Tbsp. unsalted butter
coarse salt and ground pepper
2-4 Tbsp. hazelnuts, toasted and chopped (your preference – we like more)
fresh parsley (totally optional)
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
Heat the oil and butter in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add green beans.  Season with salt and pepper.  Cover and cook, tossing occasionally, until green beans are crisp-tender, 5-8 minutes.  Stir in hazelnuts, parsley and lemon juice.  Serve immediately.                                                                                                                 Serves 4-5 people.
*I like this feature on their website that helps you meal plan and grocery shop.  Check it out!

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