Broccoli & Pork Stir Fry


Hello there– Do you hit nights that you just don’t want to summon up a dinner??  Me too. Happy for us last night was 99 cent Taco Tuesday!!

But if you do want to put dinner  on the table, here’s a meal that you can cook up in the time it takes your brown rice to cook up.  Set the rice on to simmer and start dropping stir fry ingredients into a skillet.  Quick & Easy.

BROCCOLI & PORK STIR FRY
1 cup brown (or white) rice
1 pound thin pork cutlets, sliced to bite sized strips
2 tab. olive oil
salt & freshly ground pepper
2 small heads of broccoli
1/2 cup chopped carrots
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
ganish:  2 sliced green onions

sauce:
1/2 cup water
2 tab. soy sauce
3 tab. brown sugar
1 tab. constarch
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. Thai chili sauce (optional)

Cook the rice according to the directions on the package.

Heat the olive oil in a skillet (or wok).  Cook the pork on high for just 3 or 4 minutes until it is browned, but still tender.  Salt and pepper the meat while it cooks.  Remove it from the skillet.

Chop the broccoli to bite sized bits and cook it in the microwave for 3 or 4 minutes in a bit of salted water, until it is tender, but not mushy.

In the same skilled at add the carrots and cook for 4 minutes until they start to get soft.  Add in the red pepper and cook just 1 minute more.

Then shake together all the sauce ingredients in a container with a tight fitting lid until it is all blended.  Add it to the carrots in the skillet and stir on medium heat a couple minutes until it thickens.  Add in the meat and broccoli and stir to cover it all with sauce.

Layer the rice and then the sauce & stir fry on a pretty platter.  Garnish with chopped green pepper.  Eat it up nice and hot!

Blueberry Broccoli Spinach Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing


Hello there– Dinner last night was out under the maple tree– chicken enchiladas, beans and this salad– with the MOPS (mothers of preschoolers) Moms.  I can’t remember laughing so much…!  And amazing stories (Lisa!!) of births and love and life with kids!!

Loved the salad– easy and pretty healthy (to balance out the sour cream enchiladas and chocolate cake!)  And you can throw it together in about 10 minutes.  Add chicken and it would be a perfect summer supper.

BLUEBERRY BROCCOLI SPINACH SALAD WITH POPPY SEED DRESSING

Salad:
5 cups baby spinach
1 large heat broccoli, cut to bits
1  cup blueberries
1 avocado, cut into chunks
1/3 cup sliced almonds
1/4 dried cherries (or cranberries)

Dressing:
1/3 cup olive oil
3 tab. tarragon vinegar (or your favorite vinegar)
1 tab. sugar or honey
1 tsp. poppy seeds
salt & freshly ground pepper to taste

Layer the spinach and other salad ingredients into a pretty bowl.

In a container with a tight fitting lid, shake together the oil, vinegar, honey, poppy seeds, salt & pepper until they are all thoroughly blended.  Pour over the salad when you are ready to serve it up.  Enjoy!

Broccoli, Chicken & Bacon Pasta


Hi friends–  We sat down to a luscious dinner at Paul and Sue’s house last week– and this pasta was on the table–  So back home, I had some Cappellacci pasta  that I’d picked up at Homegoods (Don’t you love that place??) and a huge Costco bag of pine nuts (thanks to my mom), and  I thought I’d try to recreate Sue’s wonderful meal.

It’s rich and savory and filling– the best sort of comfort food.  Add a bright salad and a chunk of sturdy bread.  Perfect.

BROCCOLI, CHICKEN & BACON PASTA
1 pound of your favorite pasta*
6 slices bacon, chopped to bits
1  1/2 pound boneless skinless chicken breast, cut to bits
1/2 cup red onion, chopped fine
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 small heads of broccoli, cut to bite size bits
1/2 cup parmesan
1/2 cup pine nuts

Cook the pasta according to the directions on the package.

Cook the chopped bacon in a large skillet until it just crispy and a lightly browned.  Remove it from the skillet, but leave the bacon droppings.

Cook the pieces of chicken in the same skillet, about 4 to 5 minutes until it’s browned and cooked through.  Remove it from the skillet.

Then drop in the chopped red onion and cook for 3 or 4 minutes until it’s tender and add in the garlic and cook a minute more.

While all that is happening, put the broccoli bites until a bowl of salted water and microwave it for about 4 minutes, until it’s done but still a little crunchy.  Drain off the water.

Now is the fun part.  Into the skillet with the onion & garlic, add the drained pasta, broccoli, chicken and bacon.  Then sprinkle on the parmesan and pine nuts and stir it all together over low heat to warm it through.  (If it seems a bit dry to you add a drizzle of olive oil as you stir it up).  Delicious!!

*I used Cappellacci, thin round discs that look a little like sunflowers, but any pasta will do.

 

Sesame Chicken & Broccoli

Hello there– We’ve been traveling the last couple weeks–eating like we were on a vacation from reasonable food– such as mid morning coffee and pastry breaks every day!!  And tracking down fun places to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner!!

So it’s nice to get back to our own kitchen and have an “every day eating at home” kind of meal.  And this is a good one– ready in about 30 minutes, a little sweet, a little spicy.  So good to be at our own little table!

SESAME CHICKEN & BROCCOLI

1 cup white or brown rice
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut in small cube
2 tab. sesame oil
salt & freshly ground pepper
2 small heads broccoli, cut to bitesize pieces (about 3 cups)
1/2 cup water
t tab. soy sauce
3 tab. brown sugar
1  1/2 tab. cornstarch
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tab. Thai sweet chili sauce
1 tsp. sesame seeds

Cook the rice according to the directions on the package.

Cut the chicken in bite size pieces.  Heat the oil in a large pan.  Cook the chicken 4 or 5 minutes until it’s browned and cooked through, salt & pepper it liberally while it cooks.

While that’s cooking, cut up the broccoli and steam it in lightly salted water,  3 minutes in the microwave, until its tender but still crisp.

In  container with a tight fitting lid combine the water, soy sauce, brown sugar, cornstarch, ginger, garlic and chili sauce.  Shake the container until it is all blended and add it to the chicken on high heat, stirring until the sauce thickens, 2 or 3 minutes.

Drain the water from the broccoli and add it into the chicken in the pan.

On a platter, layer the rice and then the chicken and broccoli, scraping all that good sauce out of the pan over the chicken.  Sprinkle on the sesame seeds– ready to eat!

Lulu’s Famous Broccoli Salad

 

Hi there– I’m pretty sure you’ve had some version of Broccoli Salad– me too.  But this one is my favorite.  Got the recipe from my sis, Lulu.  She served up this broccoli salad last summer at our Laurel’s wedding and it was the best!  (The secret is not a secret ingredient– it’s chopping the broccoli fine to soak up all the dressing).

LULU’S FAMOUS BROCCOLI SALAD
3 pounds of broccoli, stems trimmed off and chopped to small bits
12 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled to tiny pieces
3 oz. sunflower seeds
1/2 red onion, chopped fine

Dressing:
2 cups mayonnaise
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1 cup sugar

Mix together the broccoli, bacon, sunflower seeds and red onion.

In another bowl whisk together the mayonnaise, vinegar and sugar.  When you’re ready to serve it up, stir the dressing and broccoli mixture together.   Delish!

 

P.S. This recipe above is not the one we actually made– here’s her original version, meant to serve 70 people! (She used to be a caterer!)

LULU’S FAMOUS BROCCOLI SALAD– ORIGINAL RECIPE
10 to 12 ponds of broccoli< chopped fine
3 pounds bacon, cooked & crumbled (or 1 Costco size bag precooked bacon crumbles!)
1  1/2 7oz. jar sunflower seeds
2 red onions, chopped fine

Dressing:
1/2 gallon jar of mayonnaise
4 cups sugar
1 cup apple cider vinegar

So next time you’re feeding a really big crowd–here’s your super broccoli recipe!!

Here’s my sis Lulu and me at Laurel and John’s Wisconsin Wedding in the Woods last August.  She and her husband Ted cooked up meals for the 120 wedding guests!!  Thanks Lulu!!

Apple Broccoli Salad

Hello friends–  Here’s the old favorite, Broccoli Salad, with a bit of a fresher taste.  Sweet apples and carrots add crunch and flavor.  And a bit of red onion sharpens up the taste.

We had it at a salad pot luck here a couple weeks ago and there were just a few shreds left at the bottom of the bowl by the time we all served ourselves up!  I think you’d like it too.

APPLE BROCCOLI SALAD

Dressing:
1/2 cup unflavored yogurt
1/2 cup mayonnaise
3 tab. sugar
1  1/2 tsp. cider vinegar
1/4 tsp. salt

Salad:
4 cups chopped broccoli
1 apple, cored and cut to small bits
2 carrots, peeled and cut to match sticks
1 cup walnuts, chopped
1/4 cup red onion chopped

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the yogurt, mayonnaise, sugar, vinegar and salt to make the dressing.

Add the chopped broccoli, bits of apple, cut carrots, walnuts and chopped red onion to the dressing and mix well to coat all the veggies.   Chill about 30 minutes before serving.  Delish!

Blueberry Broccoli Avocado Salad with Poppyseed Ranch Dressing

Hi all– Should I apologize for the extra long title of this salad??– I just wanted you to know the yummy components and plus also the lovely dressing on top!

Took this salad along to my brother’s house for our Easter dinner.  And liked it so much we had it again last night!  It’s bright and fresh and I can say it works well with Easter ham or a slice of mushroom pizza!

BLUEBERRY BROCCOLI AVOCADO  SALAD

Salad:
5 cups of your favorite salad greens
1/2 cup broccoli, chopped
1 avocado, chopped
1 cup fresh blueberries
1/4 cup crumbled feta
1/4 cup dried cherries (or cranberries)
1/4 cup pecans, chopped

Poppyseed Ranch Dressing:
1/2 cup unflavored yogurt
1/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tsp. tarragon vinegar
1 tsp. sugar
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp. poppy seeds
1/8 tsp. garlic powder
1/8 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. freshly ground pepper

Layer the salad ingredients in a pretty bowl.

Then stir together the ingredients  for the dressing until they are thoroughly blended.  It makes more dressing than we needed on our salad, so there’s more in the fridge for another day.

Ginger Peanut Broccoli Slaw

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Hi there– I am an avid cole slaw fan.  I’m always up for a new version, especially with summer right around the corner.  Lately I’ve been buying this bagged Broccoli Slaw at our market.  So much crunch and more veggie flavor than the cabbage I usually chop up.  And it’s easy!  Just open that bag and pour it into the sauce.  5 minutes.  Done.  And delicious!

GINGER PEANUT BROCCOLI SLAW
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
1/2 cup peanuts
1 lime, juice (about 2 tab.)
1/2 tsp. salt
3 tab. canola oil
1 tab. rice wine vinegar
2 tab. sugar
1 tsp. ginger, peeled and minced fine
1 bag “Broccoli Slaw”*

In a mixing bowl whisk together the cilantro, peanuts, lime juice, salt, oil, vinegar, sugar and vinegar until it’s all well blended.  Then mix in the bag of broccoli slaw and set it on the table!  What could be easier than that?!

*If you life in So. California, Broccoli Slaw is available at Stater Brothers.

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Broccoli Quinoa Salad

 

IMG_2673Hello all– One more recipe left from our Christmas table that I wanted to share.  I haven’t used pomegranate seeds before– I’m afraid I was too lazy to cut open a pomegranate and extract all those seeds.  But now that you can buy little packets of seeds from Trader Joe’s I think they’ll be a regular in my kitchen.

This bright salad is crunchy and fresh and slightly sweet– using an old favorite coleslaw dressing.  If you want to be a little healthier this January, you can cut back the sugar or I’m planning to try it again with a simple oil and tarragon vinegar dressing.  Any way you make it, I think you’ll enjoy it like we did.

BROCCOLI QUINOA SALAD
3 small heads of broccoli
salt
1 cup white quinoa
1/2 cup coarsely chopped hazelnuts
1/4 cup pommegranet seeds

Dressing:
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. freshly ground pepper
2 tab. tarragon vinegar

Mix the dressing ingredients together in a large bowl.  Set aside.

Cook the broccoli in salted water until crisp tender, about 1 minutes.  Drain and set aside to cool.

Cook the 1 cup quinoa according the the package directions, about 12 minutes. Drain if there is extra water in the pan.  Fluff with a fork and let it cool.

Then mix together the broccoli quinoa, and dressing.  Set in the fridge a few minutes to chill.  Stir in the hazelnuts and pomegranate seeds just before setting it on the table.
Eat away!

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Broccoli Pancetta Frittata

IMG_2163Hey there– Tuesday was the first day of school!!  And also we had had a full weekend with our kids here.  So the last thing on my mind was what to cook for dinner.  When I got home, there was a quick survey of what we still had left in the fridge–and a tracking down of this recipe from the newest “Cooking Light” on the counter,  and dinner was on the way.

We sat down to a light dinner (after all that weekend eating!) –frittata, a bright salad and some seedy bread.  Just about right.

BROCCOLI PANCETTA FRITTATA
1 crown of broccoli (bot 2 cups)
1/2 tsp. thyme leaves (or your favorite herb)
1/3 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
6 eggs
1/4 cup grated parmesan romano
1 tsp. olive oil
2 oz. pancetta, chopped to small bits*
1/2 cup sweet onion, chopped fine

Cook the broccoli for 2 minutes in a bowl with a 1/4″ water and a sprinkle of salt for 2 minutes.  Then plunge the broccoli into ice water to stop the cooking and keep it’s pretty green color. After a couple minutes, drain the broccoli well.

Heat an ovenproof skillet and dribble in the olive oil.  Add the pancetta and cook 2 to 3 minutes until it is just crispy.  Remove it to drain on a paper towel.

While it’s cooking whisk together  the thyme, salt, pepper, eggs and parmesan in a bowl.

After you take the pancetta from the pan.  Put in the onion and cook for 2 minutes until it just starts to brown.  Then dump in the drained broccoli and cook a minute more.

Pour the egg mixture into the pan over the broccoli and then sprinkle the cooked pancetta on top.  Cook on medium-low heat for 3 minutes to set the bottom.

Then move the pan-full into the oven at 350 degrees for 12 to 13 minutes until the eggs are set and just start to brown.

Take it out and cut it into wedges– great eaten warm, but leftovers cold the next day are quite nice too.

*In place of the pancetta, you can use any nice smoky bacon.  It may take a little longer to cook.

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Blueberry Orange Broccoli Salad

IMG_1475Hi there– Big birthday dinner around here this week.  Jobay turned 3!!  It was tons of fun –hot dogs for all! (Jobay’s fave), all the best kind 3 year old presents and Pin the Tail on the Donkey– I didn’t realize how good a 3 year old can be at cheating on that game!!

Along with the hot dogs, there were some salads on the table, including this fruity broccoli salad– fresh and sweet.  We gobbled it down to the last blueberry…

BLUEBERRY ORANGE BROCCOLI SALAD
2 crowns of broccoli, cut into chunks (about 7 cups)
1/4 cup red onion, minced fine
2 oranges, peeled & cut into little chunks
1 cup fresh blueberries
2/3 cup walnuts, cut into chunks
1/3 cup sugar

dressing:
1/3 cup unflavored yogurt
1/3 cup mayonnaise
2 tab. honey
2 tab. cider vinegar
1/4 tsp. salt

Start with the walnuts.  We’re going to candy them.  Put the nuts and sugar in a small skillet and stir them over medium heat until the sugar melts to a caramel color and coats the walnuts.  Spread them over a sheet of foil on a heat proof counter.  Let them cool.

Then the dressing.  In a large mixing bowl whisk together the yogurt, mayo, honey, vinegar and salt.

To the dressing, mix in the broccoli, onion, orange chunks and blueberries.  Set the the bowl into the fridge to chill of an 30 minutes or more.  When you’re ready to set it on the table, stir in the candied walnuts.  Delish!

IMG_1533Jobay our birthday girl– She had more fun celebrating!!

 

Broccoli Rice

IMG_8939Hi there– Rice is nice.  It’s one of those staples in the cupboard that seem to fit in most anywhere– Chinese stir fry, Mexican burritos, Spanish paella, most any chicken or pork dish…  So when I rushed through the market and grabbed an already roasted chicken for dinner this week, planning the meal on my 5 minute drive home, I knew I had a big bag of rice waiting in the cupboard.

This recipe couldn’t be simpler, but it makes your dinner with rice just a little more delicious.  (and may be one way to get kids to eat broccoli–It worked with 2 of our 3 grand-girls!)

BROCOLI RICE
1 smallish yellow onion, chopped fine
1 splash of olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup rice
1/2 tsp. salt
1 head of broccoli

that’s all.

Heat the olive oil in a pot.  Drop in the chopped onion and cook til it’s tender but not yet browned.  Add in the garlic and cook just a minute more.  Then stir in the rice, salt and 2 cups of water.  Let it simmer on low for 10 minutes and take it off the heat.

Meanwhile, chop just the broccoli flowerettes (throw away the stems– or save them for soup) into smallish bits  (makes about 2 1/2 cups) and put them in a microwave proof bowl with 1/2 cup of salted water.  Cook for 3 or 4 minutes, just until the broccoli is tender (not soggy!)

Stir the broccoli into the cooked rice and serve it hot.

Crunchy Broccoli Coleslaw

IMG_2470Hey there–  It was a potluck a Jeff & Betty’s and it couldn’t have been more fun!  Everyone wandered in, setting one of their best dishes on the table to go along with Jeff’s bar-b-qued brisket.  Oh yes!  It was eating heaven– along with tables full of convivial friends.  My contribution was this bright, crunchy cole slaw.  I hope you try it next time you bar-b-que with friends…

CRUNCHY BROCCOLI COLE SLAW
2 3 oz. packages ramen noodles
1/2 cup sliced almonds
4 tab. rice wine vinegar
1 lime, juiced
4 tab. sugar
1/2 tsp ginger, grated
1 clove garlic, minced
1/3 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp. salt
6 cups napa cabbage, thinly sliced
2 cups broccoli, cut into small bits
1 carrot, grated
1/2 cup red pepper, cut fine
1 cup jicama, peeled & cut to bits

Set the oven to 350 degrees.  Toast the ramen noodles 10 minutes and the almonds only 7 minutes.  Set them aside.

In a large bowl mix together the vinegar, lime juice, sugar, ginger, garlic, oil and salt.  Whisk them together to blend thoroughly.  Then toss in the cabbage, broccoli, carrot, red pepper and jicama.  Toss them to coat everything with dressing.

Just before you serve it up, stir in the noodles and almonds.  So fresh and crunchy!