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spiced curiosity | appetizers Archives - Page 6 of 7 - spiced curiosity
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roasted vegetables

Thursday, February 2, 2012

orange fennel roasted vegetables – new years save

  • 1 entire fennel
  • 1 large orange — definitely want organic here – we’ll be grating
  • 6 large cloves of garlic
  • 1 acorn squash
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 sweet potatoes
  • 2 large tomatoes
  • 2 red potatoes
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon of dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • cracked pepper + extra salt to taste

February 1st. Where did all the new year’s resolutions run off to?! Honestly, I tried, but running an hour every morning and existing purely off of vegetable juice probably wasn’t that realistic. I mean, I think about running every a.m. to the juice bar. And then I hit the glorious Snooze three more times.

fresh fennel

cuttin' and choppin'

So…consider this my appeasement to the health gods. Read: an effort to clean out the vegetable shelf.

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brussel sprouts_featured

Friday, January 27, 2012

roasted brussel sprouts with pistachios and garlic

  • 1 lb of brussel sprouts
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 heapin’ cup of pistachios
  • salt and pepper

Oh Brussel Sprouts. Nobody likes you. You’re blander than cauliflower and your name sounds like a German compost heap. (This is beginning to sound a bit like Sonnet 130.)

brussel sprout stalk!

the view from above

But you are a crispy, green sprout. How could we dress you up? This recipe amps up both features pretty nicely; roast for a few minutes, to accentuate the crunch, and pair with pistachios, which have their own brilliant green hues (and crispness). Don’t get me wrong, I love to eat sprouts plain (die for: sunflower sprouts); but for some reason I believe these need extra help.

My family usually ingests these morsels in the fall, around Thanksgiving, due solely to mom’s determination. While the rest of my family writes a grocery list for making stuffed onions or sweet potato pie, my sweet mom insists on brussel sprouts (?). We would feel bad joking about it if they didn’t taste so terrible. Less than bad: bland. We tease that they’re the equivalent of drinking water.

fresh off the stalk

pinch o'pistachio

Anyway, there had to be a way to “doctor them up,” as my mom says, so this year we experimented with basic complements we happened to have around the kitchen: olive oil, garlic, and some sort of nut. I encourage you to add your own family twists and weird ingredients, because that’s how this recipe was born.

nestled in the bowl

grab one, quick

In the end, the little sprouts barely made it from the oven to the table, we kept sneaking so many.

Please enjoy, and pick on another veggie.

roasted and delicious

Before prepping, preheat the oven to 400°. (Unless you take forever, like I always do, and may want to wait until five minutes before you think you’re done.) Rinse the brussel sprouts under cold running water for a few minutes. Then on a clean cutting board, cut the sprouts in half, mince the garlic cloves, and chop the pistachios into quarters. (For the busy cooks, I’m sure a food processor would work well too.)

Pour all into a large mixing bowl. Drizzle over the olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Mix well. Now that your oven is preheated (did you forget?), evenly pour the mix onto a baking sheet. Cook in the oven for about 10 minutes, or until the sprouts turn a nice brown, toasted color.

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rosemary garlic broc_featured

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Rosemary Garlic Mayonnaise with Steamed Broccoli

  • 1 head of broccoli – about 5 cups
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 teaspoons of whole grain mustard
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 tablespoon of fresh rosemary — or 1 tbsp dried
  • 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice or apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cups of olive oil
  • salt + black pepper

I grew up loving broccoli. My mom was determined to make both her children love all greens: spinach, broccoli, chard,…and thankfully she succeeded. If the plant sprouts dark green, most likely my family will eat it.

Mom had the most delicious way of keeping the greens moist but al dente, too. (Kind of snobby, but I equate mushy broccoli with 50’s TV dinners. Never tasty and highly questionable.) Later I found out her simple trick (confirmed by World’s Healthiest Foods) – just steam ’em. For only five minutes. Retains the greens’ nutrients and makes ’em juicy? Yes, please. Hopefully this recipe will even convert all the broccoli-haters out there.

broccoli, excited to get steamed

Now you wonder – make mayonnaise? One, no thank you; white, oozy sauce is not high on my list of foods to eat. Two, it’s much easier to buy that thing for a few dollars at the supermarket. And I completely agree.

rosemary garlic

Mayonnaise is a misnomer for this delicious creation. Whereas mayo is synonymous with blandness (in color and taste), this creation has a punch of color and a whole arsenal of savory flavor. Then, outside of prepwork, there are only two steps to making the sauce. (I honestly consider this more of a sauce than “mayo.”) The food is also tailored to your taste, and making it is infinitely more satisfying than buying a jar off the shelf.

simply done

I love this recipe so much, I actually eat it for breakfast on just toast with cracked pepper. Maybe overboard, but don’t judge – just try it. Then let me know what you think (and how many loaves of bread you devoured!).

I get out of bed for this.

ready to devour

Appreciation to World’s Healthiest Foods & NYT for this combined recipe:

Wash the broccoli thoroughly, then dice into medium-sized pieces. Let sit for several minutes to gain more nutrients before steaming. (To keep busy, peel the garlic cloves while you wait.) Once your boiling pot (or steamer, you lucky person) is ready, cook the broccoli for five minutes. This should make then just tender enough, but keep all the juice. Place the lid on to keep warm.

On to the mayonnaise! Put the eggs, mustard, garlic, rosemary (minus one teaspoon), and lemon juice/vinegar into a food processor, and turn on the machine. Slowly drizzle in half the olive oil through the nozzle. Turn the machine off, and salt and pepper to taste. Add the rest of the oil until you get your desired consistency. (Some days I prefer more, on others much less!)

Transfer the broccoli to a server bowl, and cover evenly with the mayo (reserve a 1/4 cup for breakfast tomorrow). Toss and garnish with rosemary. Enjoy.

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cowboy_featured

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Cowboy Caviar – Lucky Black-Eyed-Peas

  • 1 can black-eyed-peas
  • 2 small ears of sweet corn — or about 1/2 can of corn
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 1 large, ripe tomato
  • 1 avocado
  • juice from 1/2 lime — about 1 tbsp
  • 2 Tablespoons of fresh cilantro
  • granulated garlic
  • salt

Happy new year! I hope you welcomed it in the best way. This year I vowed many new things, which I’ve shockingly been keeping up with – more or less.

It’s easier to start anew when I feel genuinely refreshed. Before New Year’s, I actually ventured back home to the deep south, and brought back a classic recipe to share. As it happens, not only is it fresh and aligned with healthy goals, but it also brings in great luck. The main component, Black-eyed-peas, are esteemed to garner good fortune and health when eaten on New Year’s Day (or in the first week…or month…), so I couldn’t resist making this.

dip in!

While visiting home, I also ventured to Austin with my boyfriend. It was bizarre being back for the first time after six months, but it still has just as warm a glow. Literally. We sprawled on the grass in 70 degree weather, crazy!

Barton Springs

bird's eye view

shocking color

my tree monkey

SoCo sidewalk

cacti

So here’s a healthy, simple recipe, that gets a nod from Southerners and regular crazy people alike.

peas

fresh

corn scrapin'

the whole bowl

Drain and rinse the peas (gets rid

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