One of the things I like to do best is look in the fridge to see what’s available and try to combine ingredients in a way I haven’t done before. About a year ago, I had a ton of broccoli on hand and we’d already eaten it a few different ways that week, so I was looking for some way to use up the broccoli and create something new for us. That was the birth of the Broccoli Apple Salad with red onions and pine nuts. I love the colours together and the flavours work well too. Typically, I use red or white wine vinegar in my salad dressings, but I thought the slightly milder, sweet flavour of rice wine would work here and I really like how it comes out. I’ve done this salad with broccoli that was already steamed and also with raw broccoli. I prefer the raw version, but I know that some diners would prefer more tender broccoli…so, as always, choose what’s best for you! I also like leaving the skin on the apple…it adds fibre and nutrients, it looks nice – and, it saves time!
*Drop me a note to let me know about dishes you created with ingredients on hand…I’m always looking for new ideas! Happy Cooking, Friends!
I came up with this recipe when I had lots of broccoli and wanted to use it in a different way. I checked the fridge to see what was there and this is what I created…try it with grilled or roasted meats of any kind, as well as burgers. It could also be a great accompaniment to a traditional quiche or frittata.
6 to 8 cups chopped broccoli
1 apple, skin on, cut into about one-inch pieces
about ⅛ cup thinly sliced red onion (the thinner, the better!)
about ⅛ cup toasted pine nuts (optional)
a little less than ¼ cup olive oil
about ½ cup rice vinegar
about ½ tsp salt
about ¼ tsp ground pepper
Toast pine nuts until golden brown, about 4 minutes in pan on the stove on medium. Watch carefully so they don’t burn. Set aside to cool
Combine broccoli, apples, onions and nuts in a serving bowl
Add oil, vinegar, salt and pepper and combine well
Let sit for at least 15 minutes to allow dressing to absorb into broccoli, especially if using raw broccoli
Variations: Use raw or lightly steamed broccoli. Use walnuts or pecans instead of pine nuts, or make it nut-free. Keeps nicely in the refrigerator for 4 or 5 days
What to make?…Where’s the recipe??…Cooking can be daunting, but it doesn’t have to be…In today’s world, recipes for anything and everything are at your fingertips and it’s never been easier for home cooks to elevate their dishes to near gourmet levels. But don’t stress about it! You don’t have to make things complicated to create delicious, healthy and visually pleasing meals in a relatively short amount of time. If you’ve done some thoughtful food shopping, just have a look in the fridge…
To balance your meal, you need:
veggies and maybe a fruit…
If you want it to look appetizing, think;
and flavour, of course!
I’m not a dietician or a chef or a scientist…this is just what our Moms taught us and even with all the micro-information of today, balancing food groups is still a good rule of thumb to get a healthy and nutritious diet. And, it can also be fun and visually pleasing if you take a minute to think about it!
One of the easiest, fastest cooking, star ingredients to a meal is eggs. They can be the jewel of the dish if you make it so. In today’s world eggs are a simple and complicated food. The simple part is that eggs are quick to cook, versatile and tasty. When I was growing up, eggs and bacon was a common weekend breakfast. Next came the complicated part…we started to hear about cholesterol being a health issue and the comfort of that eggs and bacon breakfast was disrupted. Eggs were identified as being potentially harmful because they were high in cholesterol. As time went on, egg whites came on the scene as a readily available food. I have been using egg whites for my weekend omelettes for over a dozen years. I have learned to love their light flavour and I do not miss the whole eggs at all when I make omelettes. I have yet to eat scrambled eggs whites, although I know those who do. For me, the colour and texture is all wrong. But, I do find egg whites are great for omelettes. In fact, I now prefer egg white omelettes to whole egg omelettes. But, for those of you who still prefer the over easy, sunny side up or poached eggs to dip your toast into the creamy yolk, there is good news. There is some recent research to suggest that the problem cholesterol may not be from the eggs after all, but from the fatty bacon and sausages that were typically eaten with the eggs….again, I am not a dietician, so therefore not an expert on this…I am merely offering commentary on things I have read and observed.
Although I did love bacon as a teen and young adult, I found it messy to cook once I was responsible for my own cooking, and once I heard it wasn’t super healthy, I didn’t mind finding ways to leave it out of the weekend breakfast. I know that eggs have some very healthy benefits, so I didn’t want to give those up completely. In the last 10 years, I have found ways to enjoy eggs for breakfast and lunch without the salty, fatty meat that was the traditional accompaniment. And, when eggs are on the menu, you don’t need a fancy recipe…just have a look in the fridge and think food groups, colours, and textures and you’ll come up with an eye-pleasing, tasty, balanced meal!
One of my lunches from last week was what I called the Anytime Egg Plate. I chose that title because as I was eating it, I thought that is would be a lovely meal for any time of the day. This dish was created when I scanned my fridge and found eggs, veggies and bread and leftover rice. Toast is an easy accompaniment to eggs, but I was making lunch and thought that toast felt more like breakfast. I haven’t typically served eggs with rice, but then I remembered that my niece, “A”, who is a wonderful cook has made plates with eggs and rice and has eaten rice for breakfast…why not? Brown rice is a delicious and healthy food, that can have a mild flavour or be dressed up with herbs and spices for interest at dinner…So, I opted for the leftover brown Basmati rice instead of the toast. Here is what I did: Continue reading “Egg’s Anytime? Yes, Please!”