Wednesday, March 23, 2011

eating my vegetables: roasted brussels sprouts (uh, with a little bit of bacon.)

 Take this-

Add some heat.  And get this--

This is why I love cooking.  (Well, besides my love of eating.)  It's like a science experiment and usually the experiment has favorable results.

The "Recipe":
brussels sprouts
center cut bacon
extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper

Cut brussels sprouts in half.  (I think I had around a dozen.) Take a few slices of bacon and cut in large equal chunks.  (I used 4 slices and cut them in sixths.)  Place on a cookie sheet.  (If you want easier clean up, cover cookie sheet with foil.  I was too hungry and didn't.) Drizzle a tablespoon of olive oil over the top and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss gently.  Roast at 400 degrees for 20 minutes, tossing everything after 15.  Remove brussels sprouts from the cookie sheet and return bacon to the oven as it won't be cooked through.  Roast bacon until it's done to your liking -- I prefer crispy!  Toss everything back together when the bacon is done and sprinkle with more salt and pepper to taste.  I ate this for lunch but of course it would make an excellent side dish.  Super easy and you can make more or less depending on how many you are serving.  And to you (brussels sprout) haters, I simply say that if you don't like brussels sprouts, you've been eating them the wrong way.

Monday, March 7, 2011


I can't affectionately refer to Ava as "the five year old" anymore.

Let the adventures of SIX begin...

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

eating my vegetables: roasted beet and citrus salad

One of my favorite restaurants in Newport Beach is Gulfstream.  I'm guilty of always ordering the same thing--their amazing ahi burger with roasted beets on the side.  (I want to note that I substitute the beets for incredible shoe string French fries because I'm that healthy.)  While I don't think I could ever duplicate the ahi burger, I have always wanted to try my hand at a roasted beet salad.  And Pretty Mommy's Brighter and Lighter Recipe Exchange was a perfect excuse to do it.  That, and the fact that I like to eat.  Here's what I came up with.  (It's better than the inspiration.)

Roasted Beet, Citrus, Mint, Goat Cheese and Walnut Salad, serves 2 or really, just me
3 red or golden beets, roasted and peeled and cooled. (See how here but increase temp to 425 degrees so that you can get to eatin' quicker.  Also, a suggestion -- wear GLOVES when peeling!)
1 orange or two tangerines or something orange colored and citrusy (see photo below.)
1/2 cup walnuts (Put in oven for 5 minutes while you roast the beets.)
few handfuls of organic baby spinach
1/4 cup fresh crumbled goat cheese (More is good too.)
2-3 tablespoons fresh mint leaves

Citrus Dressing
zest of one orange
zest of one lime or lemon
2 tablespoons fresh lime or lemon juice
1/4 cup fresh (or not) orange juice
1-2 tablespoons honey
1/3 cup + 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Mix first 5 ingredients.  Then whisk in olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Adjust salt and pepper to taste.  You will have leftover dressing and it's good.

{Do you ever have to label your food in your own house?  I don't know what this actually is.  The produce 
man at Gelson's told me to get it.  Best orange-like substance I have ever tasted.  I will ask him the next time 
I go grocery shopping, which is pretty much every day.}

Cut the beets into large chunks. Peel orange and cut into bite size pieces.  (You could be fancy and section your orange like this, but I save fancy for when I'm going out to eat and someone is serving me, not when I'm making myself a salad for lunch.)  Put the oranges in a large bowl with the spinach, walnuts, and mint.  Pour a little dressing over and toss lightly.  Plate the salad.  Top with chunked beets and crumbled goat cheese.  Drizzle with a bit more dressing.  Eat it up.  If it's after four in the afternoon, drink a glass of cabernet with it.  Also, go ahead and roast some more walnuts because you'll eat them while you are drinking your wine and waiting for those beets to hurry up and be done.

Thanks to Michelle for including me in her recipe exchange.  Please check out the rest of the scrumptiousness right over here.