Roasted Broccoli with Lemon & Garlic ♥ Recipe

Roasted Broccoli with Lemon & Garlic
Until now, I just couldn't get roasting broccoli right. Turns out, it's as simple as can be, just roast the broccoli (careful knife work makes a difference but it's just the usual way of roasting fresh vegetables) but then, this is the trick, splash the broccoli with lemon juice. It makes all the difference. Low carb. Weight Watchers 1 or 2 points. Not just vegan, "Vegan Done Real".

There's a reason why a food blog about vegetables, yes, that's A Veggie Venture, has more than 1000 vegetable recipes but doesn't yet have one for something very basic, roasted broccoli. I've tried a half dozen times to like broccoli roasted in the oven, it just wasn't happening. I'd even reached the conclusion that while broccoli could be roasted, why waste a cruciferous bunch to the oven? I decided to give it one more try.

Turns out, the trick to roasting garlic is what happens after roasting, just a splash of lemon juice. I know, I know, call me the last person in the world to know this about broccoli and lemon. But. Now. I. Do. TOO.

TODAY'S SMILE People may love broccoli but sure can't spell it. Google searches often come in for 'brockley' and 'brockly'. Welcome, broccoli lovers! You've found the right place.

ROASTING VEGETABLES IS EASY! No recipes are required, just use How to Roast Vegetables: 15 Tips & a Master Recipe.

Chayote Soup with a Kick ♥ Recipe from the
Seasons of My Heart Cooking School in Oaxaca, Mexico

Chayote Soup with a Kick
Today's soup recipe, a bisque, really, a creamy blend of chayote squash, onion, garlic and spinach and for that promised kick, roasted poblano. Serve it at room temperature or better still, chilled.

Last week when I published the recipe for my current favorite protein-rich brunch dish, Refried Bean Sauce with Eggs on Top at Kitchen Parade, I teased a little about someone attending the Seasons of My Heart cooking school outside Oaxaca, Mexico. Well, the secret's out: that lucky someone was me! (Remember those little Mexican jumping beans that used to be sold at dime stores? That was me, so excited about this day.)

The school is owned by the lovely Susana Trilling. Readers may know her cookbook, also called Seasons of My Heart and the 1999 PBS series called (menotes a theme here, you too?) Seasons of My Heart.

My brain is madly processing the day at Seasons of My Heart, the whole week really, even while my fingers pore through hundreds of photos, picking and cropping, all to build and frame the story, one plate, one dish at a time. More later ...

In the mean time, the soup, the soup! In the many-course meal at Seasons of My Heart, the soup wasn't the favorite (that, people, involves mounds of mangoes and pillows of cream whose recipe, I promise, will emerge some time soon) but it was the one dish we all imagined making most often. In the dim evening light of the Mexican high desert, the soup's color was a pretty pale green; mine today turned out decidedly more spinach green, which makes me think less spinach is a good idea.

In the grocery line, the woman behind me asked, "What will you make with the chayote?" I pointed to the poblano, "Chayote soup with a kick". She smiled. The chayote soup of her childhood, she remembered, was pale and bland. "How will you make it?" she asked. Here's how.

How to Roast Potatoes to Perfection ♥
(Maybe) My Grandfather's Recipe for English Roasted Potatoes

How to Roast Potatoes to Perfection
A two-step technique for roasting potatoes that produces potatoes crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Not just vegan, "Vegan Done Real".

So I've been thinking about Chocolate & Zucchini's post for Perfect Roast Potatoes for two months now. Seriously, Clotilde, you stopped me in my tracks three ways. Such is the power of blogging, yes?!

THE BIG IDEA First, the idea of mastering, really nailing, the simple recipes you'll make again and again. Until now, my own practice has been all about variety, throwing noodles against the wall to see how each one sticks. That's well and good but what, you know, if you'd just like to roast some really good potatoes? You want to know exactly how to do that. Thank you, Clotilde, this idea has embedded itself in my brain, it won't let go.

SIMPLE IS GOOD BUT IT ISN'T ALWAYS BEST Second, Clotilde's recipe for roasted potatoes. Yes, it takes two steps and usually, I'm all about eliminating steps. But these are by far the crispiest, most evenly cooked roasted potatoes, to emerge from my oven. I've made them every couple of weeks since mid-January, they're fabulous. The lesson is, some times, not always but some times, a little extra effort pays huge dividends.

JUST MAYBE, A FAMILY CONNECTION Third, I call this Clotilde's recipe but all her commenters from Britain are asking, "Isn't this how everyone roasts potatoes?" In a funny way, I keep thinking that this is my grandfather's recipe for roast potatoes -- a grandfather who died when my mother was young, so not a man I knew, but he was English, and family lore says that he loved Sunday dinner's roast beef with roasted potatoes. What a funny recipe connection, this. If my Canadian family ever updates the family cookbook, I'll include this recipe and call it "Grampa's English Roasted Potatoes".

So what's the big deal about these roasted potatoes? Technique, technique, technique.

Crispy Salty Kale Chips ♥ Recipe
aka Why Did I Wait So Long to Bake Kale in the Oven?

Crispy Salty Kale Chips | vegan, paleo, low carb, Weight Watchers PointsPlus 1 |
Today's vegetable snack: Fresh kale rubbed with a little oil and mustard (or a vinegar, anything with a little acid) and then baked until crispy and salty. Weight Watchers 1 point. Not just vegan, "Vegan Done Real".

~recipe updated & republished for a little weekend cooking inspiration 2015~
~more recently updated recipes~

A couple of St. Louis restaurants are famous for their flash-fried spinach. People like the spinach so much, I get tempted again and again. But to my taste, it's just a greasy pile of greens, especially because it cools down so fast, becoming a cold greasy pile of greens. Ewwwwwwww.

I figured that the food-blog famous kale chips would be the same. But not! They taste fresh and alive and I just love the crispy-salty texture. I have the idea that they'd make a quick pre-supper snack, a way to stave off hunger with something hot and nutritious while cooking the meal.

There's a Woody Allen line about the difference betweeen Episcopalians and Catholics: "All of the pomp, none of the guilt". The same applies to kale chips and flash-fried spinach: "All of the greens, none of the grease."