More side dishes! I love having endless side dish option, each one a little different. Broccoli is one of my favorite vegetables. When cooked properly it can be super delicious and nutritious.
If available, fresh vegetables are always better than frozen. I find that roasting vegetables is one of my favorite ways to serve broccoli. You don’t need to roast them to a crisp and remove all the nutritious value to get the flavors that roasting gives. The Barefoot Contessa is always roasting vegetables on her show and I love that. She understands how easy and simple it is. You don’t need to blanch your vegetables before roasting as many recipes online call for.
This recipe uses parmesan and Italian breadcrumbs to add some flavor and crunch to this delicious and tasty dish. The key to cooking vegetables perfectly is to not over cook them. I hate when that happens. You just need to take a little bit of the bite and rawness out of the vegetables and then it is perfect. This is also important because you leave more of the nutritious value that is in the raw vegetable. As you keep cooking it the nutrition goes away.
Serve this with your favorite protein for dinner like Salmon (see here for the best salmon seasoning), turkey meatloaf, or a steak.
I love this because of the zingy parmesan that adds a nice salty flavor and breadcrumbs which gives the broccoli a little bit of texture. Make this the next time someone calls your broccoli boring. 😛
What you need:
- 2 heads of broccoli, stems removed and cut into small pieces
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4 cup of breadcrumbs
- 1/4 cup of grated parmesan cheese
- salt and pepper
- garlic powder to taste
What to do:
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- While oven is preheating prepare broccoli and rinse with water in a colander. Pat dry broccoli and place on a baking tray.
- Pour olive oil over broccoli and mix to coat. Once coated sprinkle over parmesan and breadcrumbs. By using the olive oil first this allows the cheese and breadcrumbs to stick to the broccoli. Season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder to finish
- Roast for 15-20 minutes until slightly browned but still tender. Serve with your favorite protein for dinner.
I know what you’re thinking… It’s summer… how could you be eating soup? Once you try one bite of this Summer Minestrone Soup you will change your mind. The squash, zucchini, basil, and red bell pepper are from my garden. This recipe would be good with any fresh summer vegetable- you could also add corn or green beans as well.
This soup is inspired by the small italian restaurant close to my house that serves the best minestrone soup. Every time I went to the restaurant I would order this soup so I decided to make it. I love their soup because all the vegetables are fresh, they are not mushy and are cooked perfect al dente, and finally it comes out piping hot.
As summer begins to wind down and September rapidly approaches the nights are getting cooler. This is a perfect soup to have on a cool August/September night, fall, winter, or spring! I served my Summer Minestrone Soup that is filled with vegetables with crispy garlic bread and shaved parmesan reggiano.
Here’s What You Need:
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 small onion diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 red bell pepper diced
- 2 carrots cut into half circles
- 2 celery stalk sliced
- 2 cans of diced tomato in juices 14.5 ounce
- 44 ounces of organic vegetable stock
- pinch of dried thyme
- pinch of italian seasoning
- 1 bay leaf
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 red potatoes diced into small cubes
- 6 fresh basil leaves torn up
- 2 zucchini cut into quarters
- 1 squash (yellow) cut into quarters
- 2 large handfuls of fresh spinach
- 1 can of green peas drained and rinsed
What to do:
- Cut all vegetables up to add to soup when needed. While chopping preheat oil in a large dutch oven or soup pot. Sauté onion, garlic, red bell pepper, carrot, and celery for about 5-6 minutes until onion begins to cook and soften. Add a little salt, pepper, italian seasoning, bay leaf, and thyme.
- Add 2 cans of diced tomatoes in juice and vegetable stock. Mix and bring to a boil. Once boiling add potatoes for about 20-25 or until potatoes are tender.
- Once tender lower heat and add the squash and zucchini. Simmer for another 12 minutes until vegetables are tender. Mix in the basil.
- Lastly stir in the handfuls of spinach and green peas. Let simmer for another 5-10 minutes.
- Remove from heat and serve with shaved parmesan reggiano and garlic bread.
This soup serves at least 8 people and is flavorful and delicious, enjoy!
Weight Watchers Magazine featured a Summer Fruit Galette, or rustic tart, on the cover for July/August 2014. The Summer fruit tart is filled with fresh summer fruit. I decided to make this recipe, a summer Fruit Galette, and use peaches and blueberries that were picked from a farm and taste like the Summer.
I had never heard of a galette before but after some research I learned that it is a free standing rustic tart. The galette originated in France and is often filled with apples, cheese, egg, berries, or similar ingredients. The ingredients from this Galette were picked from Lewin Farm on Long Island.
Summer Fruit Galette is very easy to make and can serve up to 10 people. This is a healthier desert option because less crust is used then in a traditional pie. You can also use fruit that is in season such as peaches, raspberries, or blueberries. According to Weight Watchers the PointPlus value is 4.
Weight Watchers Summer Fruit Galette:
- 1 1/4 cups of all purpose flour (or you can use whole wheat)
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3 tsp canola oil
- 1 tbsp. cold butter, cut into pieces
- 3-4 tbsp. ice water
- 1 1/4 lb peaches, pitted, halved and cut into 1/2 inch wedges (about 6)
- 6 oz fresh blueberries or raspberries
- 1/3 cup of sugar
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- pinch salt
- 2 tsp fat-free milk
- 1 tsp sugar
- Make crust. Pulse flour, sugar, and salt in food processor until blended. Add oil and butter; pulse until mixture is like coarse crumbs. Add 3 tablespoons ice col water pulsing until dough forms. If dough does not come together add another tablespoon of water. Shape dough into ball and wrap in plastic and refrigerator until firm, 1 hour or up to 1 day. *If you do not want to use a food processor you can follow the same directions with a bowl.
- Make filling when ready to prepare fruit tart by combining all ingredients in a mixing bowl.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees an cover baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface area. Transfer onto baking sheet. Pour filling on center of pie crust.
- Fold edges of dough up pleating as you go. Brush edges of dough with milk and then sprinkle with sugar.
- Bake until filling is tender. 35-40 minutes. Let galette cool and cut into wedges.
- Enjoy. Can serve up to 10 people.
Weight Watchers Magazine July/August 2014