Thursday, April 15, 2010

Loving Spring Greens!

I love it when everything turns green. The flowers are starting to bloom, the trees are budding out, and the grass is ready for regular mowing. This time of year is also exciting in the grocery store. The vegetables all look better as they come into season. Today I'll be featuring four beautiful greens!

First, Roasted Brussels Sprouts! Begin by pre-heating your oven to 400 degrees. Wash your brussel sprouts and trim the ends off, also removing any yellow outer leaves.

Most of mine were a little too large to be "bite size", so I cut them in half.

Toss all halves onto a foil lined baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper.

Bake at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes, until the sprouts are caramelized. I think they were nutty and best with a little sprinkle of salt, right before eating! I served these with with my Stuffed Green Peppers.

Next, I made Sesame Green Beans to go with my pot stickers . I don't have a recipe I follow for these, but here's how I make mine!

First, wash your beans and trim the ends off.

Throw in a pot of boiling water for about 5 minutes, just until beans begin to soften.

Drain water and return beans to hot pan. Turn heat to Medium-High and sauté with 2 TBS soy sauce and 1/4 tsp of sesame oil. Serve topped with a sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds.

Third- Broccoli!! This is the most popular green veggie at our house, and this is my husbands favorite way to eat it.

First trim the thick stalks from the broccoli and wash all florets. I like to keep the stems a little longer. I also trim the outside off the thick stalks, cube and throw into a ziploc in my freezer. My toddler loves this part of the broccoli and I like that I don't waste anything!

Place the broccoli on a foil lined cookie sheet. Drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with kosher salt and red pepper flakes. I also use my micro-plane to grate 5-6 cloves of garlic over the whole pan. Toss well to coat and bake at 400 degrees, for about 15 minutes.

I love it even more when the tops get a little crispy!

And finally, after seeing so many people raving about it, I tried the Baked Zucchini Chips.

First, I sliced my zucchini into thin slices, about 1/4 inch thick.

Mix together 1/2 cup of bread crumbs, 2 TBS Parmesan cheese (I used fresh) and cracked black pepper. After reading lots of reviews, I also added some salt and a pinch of cayenne pepper.
In a second bowl, beat two egg whites.

After dipping each slice in the egg whites and the bread crumb mixture, I placed them on a Sil-pat lined baking sheet.

They baked for about 15 minutes in a 475 degree oven, turning once.

And I must say, the rave reviews were accurate! My husband doesn't usually like it when I make zucchini, but we both gobbled this up and Robyn stole several slices from my plate. We will be making again very soon!

So- I hope you find inspiration in the grocery store, like I did. Not only does the fresh, seasonal produce taste great, but the prices are good too!

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