Tag Archives: eat more greens

Crostini with Broccolini, a Recipe of Sorts

Gentle Readers, what is cuter than a dancing cat on the interwebs? A dancing kitten, of course. Yes, baby things are supercute, and that applies to food as well. Meet broccolini, the cuter broccoli.

Crostini with Broccolini

Crostini with Broccolini

Today’s recipe is both simple and stolen. I’m the Practical Cook, not the proud on. It was a huge hit with TPC’s Junior, and served as the appetizer course of a 3-course Italian meal. Thanks Waldorf, we can now resume arguing about food.

The Crostini was such a hit, I had to pack it for lunches the next day (foil plus clear container)!

The Crostini was such a hit, I had to pack it for lunches the next day (foil plus clear container)!

Crostini with Broccolini, A Recipe

1 bunch of broccolini, washed and roughly chopped
splash of olive oil
2 garlic cloves, peeled but left whole
salt to taste
crusty bread of your choice, sliced thin and toasted
goat cheese

Heat the olive oil in a large-ish frying pan over a strong medium heat, toss garlic cloves in to flavor oil. Heat to hot but not smoking. If you overheat it, throw the windows open, turn on your fan, and accept that your house will smell like garlic for 3 days. (Not saying this happened or anything.) Saute the broccolini, seasoning well with salt, until it’s crisp tender, just a few minutes.

Meanwhile, schmear the goat cheese on the toasted bread. Now top with broccolini. Enjoy. (In a pinch, sauteed spinach is a nice substitute.)

Are you a fan of broccolini? Post a comment below, or Tweet my way!

Send your green veggies and goat cheese to practical cook at gmail dot com. Connect on Facebook: The Practical Cook Blog. (Thanks in advance for spreading The Practical Cook Blog word. Press “like” on Facebook today!)

Follow practicalcook on Twitter

Coming up on Sunday, it’s time for Weekly Menus.

1 Comment

Filed under Punt!, Recipes

Creamed Spinach, Simplified

Gentle Readers, strap in, because we’re about to take a Flight to Fried. Yes, as you may have noted from The Practical Cook’s incessant repetition of the information, October 13 is the kickoff of the N.C. State Fair, and yours truly is the Deep Fried Ambassador. So look forward to lots of thoughts about mobile food, including the best of and how to bring it to the home kitchen.

Boston Market Creamed Spinach

Boston Market Creamed Spinach Wins Taste Test

But first, we must eat our vegetables as a necessary warm-up. Today’s post is brought to you by special request of The Dealer, after we shared a confessional moment over our love of creamed spinach (we’re not the only ones who secretly like Boston Market Creamed Spinach). Yes, that makes us somewhat geriatric in our tastes, or as I prefer to say “retro-chic,” but I just can’t resist ordering it anywhere and everywhere, including Indian style (because Saag Paneer is a curried cousin).

However, it’s generally not a health food. Today’s recipe is both simple and reasonably healthy. You’re welcome.

Simplified Creamed Spinach Recipe

1 box frozen spinach
2 Tablespoons butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup onion, chopped
1/4 cup parmesan, grated
1/4 cup sour cream
2 Tablespoons Italian flat-leaf parsley, chopped
fresh nutmeg
salt and pepper

1. Prepare spinach according to the box in a medium-sized skillet. When cooked, squeeze out all of the extra liquid. (I recommend making a kitchen towel tourniquet of sorts and twisting.

2. Melt butter over medium heat in the skillet. Saute garlic and onion briefly, taking care not to burn the garlic. Add spinach back to the pan and toss to mix.

3. Remove skillet from heat and add remaining ingredients, stirring thoroughly. Season to taste with a couple grinds of fresh nutmeg and salt and pepper.

The Secret to Simplifying Creamed Spinach

The Secret to Simplifying Creamed Spinach

Serve promptly, great with rotisserie chicken for a fast meal, or naan and chickpeas for a fake Indian feast!

Are you a creamed spinach fan? Post a comment about your favorite spot, or Tweet #creamedspinach !

Questions, comments, ideas? Email practical cook at gmail dot com. Connect on Facebook: The Practical Cook Blog. (Thanks in advance for spreading The Practical Cook Blog word. Press “like” on Facebook today!)

Follow practicalcook on Twitter

Coming up, we’ll either A) Discuss the Latest in Fried at the N.C. State Fair or B) if I’m under embargo, talk about ways to bring the fair into your home kitchen.

2 Comments

Filed under Recipes

Salad Bar Secrets: Don’t Hate the Leafy Green

Gentle Readers, The Practical Cook loves a good salad bar, sneeze guards and all. First, there are the myriad veggies all prepared and waiting, and second, endless combinations. This one goes out to the salad haters (eyes on you CaptCranky). You know, the people who swear they’d rather croak than eat a salad every day, because it’s too hard, too expensive, too boring, too girly, etc. Bring.It.On.

Composed salad from work with berries, nuts, and goat cheese.

Composed salad from work with berries, nuts, and goat cheese.

The Practical Cook’s Guide to Winning Salad

1. Rebrand  it. Are you salad-phobic or salad-curious? How about if your lunch or dinner was something something on a bed of greens? There, all better now.

The Great Tuna Salad Experiment

The Great Tuna Salad Experiment

2. Dressing is the enemy. Yeah, I said it. Most of the dressings you’ll find are gloppy and narsty. And they weigh a lot, thus costing you more, too. Use sparingly, dilute with vinegar or lemon juice, and focus on other items. I’m a fan of chopped egg with a healthy splash of olive oil and balsamic. Avocados are good for this too. Healthy fatty goodness.

The Practical Salad

The Practical Salad

3. Top it with meat. Normally I’m an all-veg salad girl (though past my salad days, Wonder Woman), but sometimes I crave protein. I heart the Whole Foods salad bar, and just across from it is the smoked meat bar. Yes, that’s a slab of brisket on the top. Take that. Think outside the bowl, people. (Also note the grapefruit to counterbalance and remind me why I don’t want to be on statins.)

Brisket on a bed of greens.

Brisket on a bed of greens.

4. Tomatoes are heavy. Simple rule, you will pay an arm and a leg for tomatoes and their like. Get one or two, not a half dozen. If you need a box of tomatoes, you’ll find them in produce.

Wedge Salad Update

Wedge Salad Update

5. Salads aren’t all green. There are lovely fruit salads, potato salads, etc. Consider a salad plate or meal composed of multiples. Beets, grapefruits, etc. are all out there, waiting to be your lunch.

Beet and citrus, potato, and Caesar salad from Foster's

Beet and citrus, potato, and Caesar salad from Foster's

Where do you stand in the great salad debate? Make your opinion known, or I’ll simply post a comment and attribute it to you. 🙂 Or Tweet.

Weigh in on salad ideas at practical cook at gmail dot com. Connect on Facebook: The Practical Cook Blog. (Thanks in advance for spreading The Practical Cook Blog word. Press “like” on Facebook today!)

Follow practicalcook on Twitter

Coming up tomorrow, Kitchen Tool Talk: Three More of My Favorite Things.

Leave a comment

Filed under Kitchen Philosophy