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Broccoli and Pasta

Broccoli and Pasta

I loved broccoli and pasta growing up. This was one of those clever dishes that got the three of us to actually eat broccoli by our mom. It’s absolutely delicious and such a great way to pack a ton of vegetable into one plate.. This is my take on a very humble dish. While respecting the essence of the dish I went in favor of playing with texture and layering the flavor of broccoli throughout the dish.

Broccoli and Pasta

Ingredients

  • 1 lb broccoli (stems and florets separated)
  • 2 cups of orecchiette or lumache pasta
  • 3 cloves garlic (finely sliced)
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1/2 chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup grated parmigiano cheese
  • crush red pepper flakes
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Separate the stems and florets of the broccoli. Reserve about 1/2 a cup of the smaller florets for pasta and  use the rest, about 2 cups for the puree.Broccoli Bring a medium sizes sauce pan 3/4 full of water to a boil and blanch first 1/2 cup about 30 seconds. Immediately shock in an ice bath.  Remove, drain, set aside and add new ice to the bath.

Cook the remaining 2 cups of broccoli for about 4 minutes. Remove and shock in the ice bath. Place the 2 cups of broccoli into a blender with 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 a cup of cold water. Puree until smooth. Puree BroccoliPass through a chinois or fine strainer several times. Pour 1/2 a cup into a small saucepan to reheat for plating.  Warm on low and season with salt and pepper.Puree Boil your pasta the recommended duration for al dente. In the meantime, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to a frying pan over medium high heat. Add the garlic and once fragrant drop the 1/2 cup of broccoli into the pan. Broccoli Pasta Sauce 1Sauté 45 seconds and then add the 1/2 cup of chicken stock.  Broccoli Pasta Sauce 2Reduce by half then add 2 tablespoons of puree into the sauce. Season with salt and pepper. Drop the pasta into the sauce. Work the sauce through, add 1/2 the grated cheese.Broccoli Pasta Sauced Place the warmed puree on the bottom of your bowl. Spoon pasta over the top. Finish with remaining grated cheese, a sprinkle of red chili flakes and drizzle olive oil.Broccoli Pasta Plating

Enjoy I would recommend checking out some of the recipes by Jamie Oliver for some healthy pasta ideas.

For a more traditional healthier version Skinnytaste.com has their Easiest Pasta and Broccoli Recipe.

 

Stir Fry

Stir Fry

Who doesn’t love some Stir Fry? It’s such a great way to eat a lot of vegetables and protein. You can pretty much take it any  direction with what ever flavors you wish. Today I went for asian flavors, next week maybe more mediterranian.

The beauty of this is dish being able to use whatever vegetables you have in the fridge and cooking everything in one pan.  For me it’s all about textures  and interplay between crunchy vegetables and chicken. Be adventurous, buy what ever produce looks fresh and tasty and mix it up.

Stir Fry with Chicken

Ingredients

  • 1 chicken breast (1/4 inch thick strips)
  • 1/3 cup carrot (sliced 1/8 inch thick)
  • 1/4 red onion (thinly sliced)
  • 4 brussel sprouts (quartered and blanched 1 min)
  • 1 bok choy
  • 1/2 red pepper (1/8 inch jullian)
  • 2 cloves garlic (finely sliced)
  • 1/4 grated ginger
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1/8 cup mirin
  • 1/8 cup soy
  • 2 scallions (sliced)
  • sesame oil
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Stir Fry Finished

Slice the chicken breast into 1/4 inch thick slices. Add into a mixing bowl with 1/2 tsp of soy, 1 tps of canola oil, 2 drops of sesame oil and season with pepper. Set aside and start breaking down the vegetables.

Slice the carrot, pepper, garlic, scallions and quarter the brussel sprouts. Separate the bok choy. Blanch the brussel sprouts for 1 minute then shock in an ice bath. Mix together in a small bowl the remaining 1/8 cup soy, 1/8 cup mirin and 1/2 cup chicken stock and set aside.Stir Fry Misen en PlacePreheat a heavy bottom pan or cast-iron pan over medium high heat. Add 1 tbs of canola oil when its ripping hot and add the chicken. Sauté for 1 minute then remove the chicken. STchick1Sauté the onion, pepper and garlic to the pan and cook for 1 minute. SFveg2Add the carrot, bok choy, brussel sprouts and ginger to the pan and sauté for 2 minutes. Once they begin to color add the chicken and cook for 1 minute. SFveg3Add the soy, mirin and chicken stock mixture to the pan and reduce for 2 minutes. Season with pepper.SF2SFreduction Serve over rice or eat as is.


 

“Cobb” Salad

“Cobb” Salad

Cobb Salad

I love Cobb salads, but they are so unhealthy. The whole salad thing stops being a healthy dish when you start jamming it full of bacon and egregious amounts of blue cheese. Don’t get me wrong I love both of those things, but sometimes it’s good to eat cleaner and healthier.

Healthy eating requires dedication, making better choices and altering what you normally love to consume.  I subtract many of the unhealthy items like the bacon and blue cheese in favor of extra chicken and more avocado. Increasing the intake of clean proteins and good fats like olive oil and avocado can not only help burn body fat, but boost energy levels as well.

Lets start making this this salad!

“Cobb” Salad

Ingredients

  • 2 hard boiled eggs
  • 1 chicken breast (diced)
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1/2 package of spring mix
  • 1 tbs balsamic vinegar
  • 1/8 cup olive oil
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Make the hard boiled eggs by placing them in a sauce pan covered by 2 inches of cold water. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer for 1 minute then turn off and leave them in the water for 10 minutes. Place in ice bath. CeggsCicebathAdd 1 tbs of balsamic vinegar to a mixing bowl. Whisk in 1/8 cup of olive oil then season with salt and pepper. Add the greens, 1/2 the chicken and mix thoroughly. Serve topped with the rest of the chicken, eggs and avocado. CdressingCobb Salad

Chicken and Avocado

Chicken and Avocado

Chicken and Avocado

I’m back to eating healthy again and that means a lot of clean protein like chicken breast, greens and good fats in the form of avocado and olive oil. When you eat the same proteins day in and day out it can get really boring. I mean like really boring. It forces you to change up the seasoning daily and be creative. Today is geared more towards the flavors of Mexico.

The balance of spice, textures and acid are enough to want you craving another bite. This dish is unbelievably simple as well which never hurts.

Chicken and Avocado

Ingredients

  • 2 chicken breast (boneless and skinless)
  • 1 avocado
  • 1/2 cup brussel sprouts (finely shredded)
  • 1 lime
  • garlic granules
  • chipotle powder
  • chili powder
  • cumin powder
  • olive oil
  • canola oil
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This entire dish can be prepared within a 10 minute window. Preheat oven 350. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the chicken heavily with chili powder. Lightly sprinkle on the chipotle, garlic granule and cumin as these are very potent.Chicken Preheat a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of canola oil then the chicken. Cook for 5 minutes then flip the chicken. Place the pan into the oven to finish the chicken for ~5 minutes.Chicken pan roastedChicken Pan Roasting  CAsaladRemove the outer layer of the Brussel sprout then clean. Shred the brussels and set aside. Split and remove the avocado from its skin. Place into a mortar or mixing bowl. Break down the avocado until smooth and creamy. Season with the juice of 1/2 a lime, a pinch of salt, pepper and then add the shredded brussel sprouts for texture.Avocado SaladAllow the chicken to rest at least 4 minutes before slicing. In the meantime make a simple vinagerette with the other 1/2 of the lime juice, olive oil and season with salt and pepper. As with any vinaigrette use a 2:1 fat or acid ratio. Chicken and Avocado

Roast Chicken

Roast Chicken

There is nothing more satisfying and delicious as a properly made roasted chicken. Roasted chicken is an utterly simple dish and  will be something that you will end up making often. The biggest choice you will make is wether you want to brine the chicken or not. I tend not to bother when cooking at home to brine, but the other variation does give a more uniformly season chicken. I prefer the roaster chickens from Whole Foods or a Bells and Evens brand roaster.


1 large roaster chicken

2 sprigs of thyme

1 spanish onion quartered

1 large carrot quartered

1 stalk celery quartered

3 cloves of garlic

2 cups of chicken stock


 

Preheat the Oven to 450 degrees. Place the chicken on a cutting board, remove the extra fat and dry the skin with paper towels. Allowing the skin to properly dry will ensure it becomes crispy during the cooking process. Let the chicken air dry on the cutting board and get room temperature.

Cut into quarters the onion, carrot and celery and place onto a roasting pan. Rub the chicken with canola oil then season with salt and pepper. Place the chicken over top of the vegetables and sprinkle with thyme. Place ~ 2 cups of chicken stock in on the bottom of the pan and place into oven.

Cook for ~20 minutes then lower the temperature down to 400 degrees.

Roast for 1 hr minutes in the oven. Once the chicken is done place on a cutting board  covered in foil and allow it to rest. This will redistributed juices back into the chicken.

Place the roasting pan over medium heat. Scrape the bottom of the pan to release any of those tasty bits. Strain the vegetables and liquid into a small sauce pan and reduce. Skim the fat and season with salt and pepper before your ready to serve the chicken.