I am really excited to share with you all tonights post! Not only is it a super yummy, flavor-packed, healthy dish, but it’s also the first ever recipe series we are going to do! Over the next three weeks, I will be sharing the three separate recipes for this meal. So you will want to stay tuned each week for the complete dinner!
I made mention a few posts ago that I wasn’t always the cook in our family. I never had any interest in cooking, growing up. We were spoiled…my mom ran a daycare from home most of my childhood and she made dinner every night. She taught me a bit of baking and the essentials, like how to fry an egg, but beyond that, I didn’t know much in the kitchen because I didn’t care to know. My dad used to always joke that I better marry a chef because I seemed hopeless when it came to cooking!
[pullquote width=”200″ float=”left”]My dad used to always joke that I better marry a chef because I seemed hopeless when it came to cooking![/pullquote]
Thankfully, for me, I did end up marrying somewhat of a chef! While he’s never worked professionally in a kitchen before, he’s actually an amazing cook! Not only that, he LOVES to cook! BONUS! So for the first 5 years of our marriage, Chris was in charge of cooking dinner. It was actually quite ridiculous how our arrangement worked because I did the grocery shopping, but he did the cooking…not based on the groceries I had bought…just on what inspired him in the moment! So needless to say, there was alot of last minute runs to the grocery store!
Fast forward to the fall of 2011 when I first discovered Pinterest. My life has literally never been the same! No joke! Even Chris will say that Pinterest changed HIS life, because of how it changed mine so dramatically.To be honest, before Pinterest, I didn’t really read blogs (Ah! I know!!) The odd time I would cook, I would either look in a cookbook or I would google that specific recipe I was looking for. But something happened when I started pinning and scrolling through thousands upon thousands of tried and true recipes. All of a sudden, these recipes came to life for me! It wasn’t just reading some professional chefs recipe in a published book, I was reading other moms recipes on their blogs and their personal takes on those dishes. Then I would scroll through the comments and see how readers tweaked the dish to make it there own. And there was just a sense of “Wow…if THIS mom can do this, SO CAN I!” And that is honest-to-goodness how I started cooking. Pinterest actually changed my life!
Now, I am the primary cook in our home…even teaching Chris a few tricks! Cooking used to stress me out SO much…and even when I first started, I would study those recipes and follow them to a tee! But now that I know what I’m doing, after 3+ years of practice (and some failed attempts!), I feel more confident in pairing ingredients and flavors and making recipes my own.
I think that’s why I am so passionate about sharing recipes with you…because recipe sharing, on blogs, was a game changer for me and ultimately for our family. So part of me hopes that others are inspired after reading one of my recipes to go home and try it for their families!
One thing I didn’t like, when I first started using Pinterest and reading recipe blogs, is that I would find that many blogs posts where just about that one specific food item: chicken, beef, fish, etc. If it was a crockpot meal or a one-pot wonder, that was great for dinner. But when it came to wanting to have a balanced meal of protein, veggies and a carb, I found myself getting frustrated that I would need to find 3 separate recipes and then hope they all worked together. I will admit, some nights there were a few laughs from my husband as I served up a greek-seasoned chicken breast with mexican-flavored rice finished with a mix of summer and winter vegetables! I didn’t have a clue what went together!
So that is why I want to bring you this first dinner series. It’s a complete meal, where I will give you three separate recipes! Hopefully this will take any stress out of dinner planning and you can whip up these three separate recipes, that work so well together!
So to start the “What’s For Dinner” Dinner Series, I’m going straight to the vegetable! You might think, boring! WRONG! I promise you, you’ve NEVER had broccoli that tasted THIS good (unless you make a similar recipe!). Most of my life, I’ve hated cooked broccoli. Raw…I’m game…but cooked…no thanks. That is until I tried ROASTING them. OMGoodness…they taste like CANDY! Even my KIDS inhale them! Now, I have to buy two heads of broccoli when I make this side dish because everyone always wants more!
Before I get to the simplest recipe on the planet, let me give you a few KEY tips about roasting.
1. Cut your veggies equal sizes. You don’t want some pieces much bigger than others. As much as you can, keep the size consistent for a even bake.
2. Use a cookie sheet or pan with low sides. You don’t want to use a glass dish that has higher sides because as the veggies roast, water will evaporate. You want that water out of that pan as quickly as possible. Otherwise, your veggies will become more steamed rather than roasted…and we don’t want that!
3. Roast at a high temperature. I’ve come across many recipes over the last few years that call for roasting veggies low and slow. You could do that, but it won’t caramelize the veggies the same way it would at a higher temperature. And that’s what we are looking for…a caramlized effect on the veggies, which gives them that sweet, crunchy flavor and texture.
- One head of broccoli
- 3-4 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil (depends how much broccoli you have)
- Sea salt to taste (I used Epicure's Herbed Garlic Sea Salt)
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
- Wash and cut broccoli into bite size pieces, trying to keep each piece consistent in size.
- Place broccoli into a mixing bowl, add olive oil and toss. You may need to add more oil, depending on the size of your broccoli. Make sure each piece has a light coating.
- Sprinkle with sea salt and toss again.
- Lay the broccoli flat on the baking sheet.
- Bake for about 15 minutes until the broccoli gets that golden, almost charred look. Be sure to watch the broccoli near the end to avoid burning it.
- Take out and enjoy!
Well I hope you have enjoyed this recipe! Why not try adding broccoli candy, I mean, oven roasted broccoli to your meal tonight! Stay tuned next week for Part 2 of “What’s For Dinner” where we talk about my mom’s famous rice!
Love & Blessings,