broccoli

1) Soba Salad with Roasted Broccoli, Avocado, and Tofu 2) Roasted purple carrots & avocado with tahini dressing

We’ve finally moved into our little apartment in Milan.  The entire place is still a mess, full of boxes waiting to be unpacked.  From the way I see it, it’s gonna take another whole month to get this home sorted.  Never knew my other half is such a hoarder.  

I’m just glad that we’ve finally got internet here so I can start my rant.  ;)  Lately, I’m a little obsessed with roasted vegetables because I’ve also got my awesome oven installed finally.  I don’t even have a fan in the kitchen yet I must have my oven first.  Those guys who installed it must’ve thought I was weird though; not to mention those awkward lost in translation moments we got there.  I kept asking if I could start using the oven right away with my broken Italian.      

So roasting vegetables has become my new forte and the best sauce to go with that, in my opinion, is the wonderfully nutty great old tahini.  I have two simplest and healthiest recipes to go with my easy tahini dressing here.  Hope you’ll like them.  Happy roasting! :D

Soba Salad with Roasted Broccoli, Avocado, and Tofu - this is one delicious hearty salad 

Soba Salad with Roasted Broccoli, Avocado, and Tofu

Servings: 1 person

Preparation Time: 5 minutes

Cooking Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients: 

1 small bowl broccoli florets

1/2 avocado, cut into finger-sized strips

1/2 package hard tofu, cut into finger-sized strips

1 bowl fresh salad greens

1 bowl cooked soba, rinsed and drained

1 fresh lemon, juiced

2 tbsp toasted pine nuts

2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds

1 tbsp chopped fresh spring onion

1/2 tsp dried chilli flakes

1 tbsp tamari/soy sauce

1 small garlic, finely chopped 

2-3 tbsp sesame oil/extra-virgin olive oil

Ingredients for tahini dressing: 

1/2 cup tahini sauce

1/2 cup water 

1 small garlic, finely chopped

2 tbsp vinegar 

1 tbsp honey

1/2 lemon juice and zest

1 tsp grated ginger

1-2 tbsp tamari/soy sauce

1-2 tbsp sesame oil

Instructions:

1)  Preheat the oven at 180-200ºC.  

2)  Marinate the tofu with chopped garlic and soy sauce for 10-15 minutes.

3)  To make tahini dressing, add tahini, garlic, vinegar, honey, ginger, lemon juice, tamari, sesame oil and add water to thin until smooth.  Adjust seasonings as needed.  

3)  On a baking tray, mix broccoli, avocado, tofu, dried chilli flakes, oil, and season. Roast for about 10 minutes or less.  

4)  On a large dish, assemble the salad, soba, and roasted vegetables with some toasted sesame seeds, nuts, spring onions, and tahini dressing.  Add a twist of fresh lemon before serving. 

Soba Salad with Roasted Broccoli, Avocado, and Tofu

Soba Salad with Roasted Broccoli, Avocado, and Tofu

Soba Salad with Roasted Broccoli, Avocado, and Tofu

Here are the simplest and healthiest ingredients for my second recipe: Roasted Purple Carrots & Avocado Salad

Roasted purple carrots & avocado with tahini dressing

Servings: 1-2 persons

Preparation Time: 5 minutes

Cooking Time: 20-25 minutes

Ingredients: 

1 lb fresh purple salad

1 avocado, cut into slices

1 lemon zest 

1 tbsp sesame seeds

1 handful chopped walnuts

1/4 cup tahini dressing (recipe is above)

handful chopped fresh parsley (you can use mint and others; they are just as good)

extra-virgin olive oil/sesame oil 

On a baking tray, mix carrots, oil, and season. Roast for about 15 minutes then add avocado.

Add avocado after 15 minutes of roasting the carrots.  

Instructions: 

1) Preheat the oven at 200ºC.  

2) On a baking tray, mix carrots, oil, and season. Roast for about 15 minutes then add avocado.  

3) Roast for another 5-10 minutes.  I usually toss in the walnuts in the last few minutes of roasting for an extra nutty flavor.  

4) Garnish with fresh parsley, sesame seeds, tahini dressing and a drizzle of oil.  

5) Add a twist of fresh lemon juice to give the refreshness of this warm salad before serving.  

Roasted purple carrots & avocado with tahini dressing

Roasted purple carrots & avocado with tahini dressing

Thai Chili + Miso Sauce with Mixed Veggies

This recipe was inspired by Anthony Bourdain's Parts Unknown episode about Thailand.  The original recipe used shrimp paste and cooked with pork.  Instead of shrimp paste, I used Japanese white miso for a sweeter and lighter taste.  It was a little experiment I had this afternoon.  The outcome was very satisfying.  I think this recipe would go well with most winter vegetables.  Expect to see my future dishes flourished with a twist of Southeast Asian flavors.  :P

Thai Chili and Miso 

Thai Chili with Miso

Thai Chili + Miso Sauce with Mixed Veggies

Servings: 1-2 person

PreparationTime: 15 minutes

Cooking Time: 50-60 mins

Ingredients: 

1 floret broccoli

1 small zucchini, quartered 

1-2 carrots, cut into sticks

1 bunch spring onion, finely chopped

1 bunch coriander, chopped

extra-virgin olive oil

1 cup vegetable stock

Ingredients for the sauce:

2-3 tbsp white miso

1 chili

1 shallot

2 garlic cloves

3-4 cherry tomatoes

Ingredients for fragrant sprinkles: 

1 garlic, minced

1/2 cup breadcrumbs

1 handful almonds, finely chopped

Instructions: 

1) Use the mortar and pestle or a blender to make the sauce.  Set aside. 

2) Preheat a small frying pan with a tiny bit of olive oil on medium low heat, cook garlic 1 minute, add breadcrumbs and almonds and cook until they turn golden.  Heat off and set aside.

3) Preheat oven at 200-220ºC.  

4) Place broccoli, zucchini, and carrots in a baking dish.  Season and drizzle a little olive oil.  Roast the vegetables 20 minutes.  

5) Add vegetable stock and 3-4 tbsp chili and miso sauce.  Mix well.

6) Stir occasionally to coat the vegetables with the sauce.   Roast 30-40 minutes.  

7) Transfer the vegetables to a plate.  Garnish with some fragrant sprinkles, spring onion, and coriander.  Drizzle a little more oil before serving.  

Thai Chili + Miso Sauce with Mixed Veggies

Thai Chili + Miso Sauce with Mixed Veggies 

One Broccoli Two Destinies

Most of my inspirations come from whatever I have in my fridge.  My goal is to utilize everything I have in my kitchen.  These two recipes are extremely easy and I usually make them when I can't be bothered with anything.  In other words, "plain lazy" is what I am saying.  Lately, I've been swamped with work.  I just want something quick and easy by the time I get home.  

So I got this broccoli from the market the other day and I wanted to utilize this broccoli so I split it into two meals.  These two recipes are perfect for the busy bees.  Both dishes required very minimal ingredients and they must've costed me less than USD10 all together.  

Plus I've always had a thing for broccoli because of the numerous nutritious benefits.  I like my broccoli a little crunchier so I don't usually cook it for too long.  I prefer to retain a bit more nutrients and that's probably better for us anyway if not eaten raw.  

TGIF!  Have a great weekend! 

Love, 

Cindy x

The three essential ingredients are broccoli, garlic, and chili.  With just those three super ingredients, we can whip up an effortless and delicious meal in no time. 

The first dish is the "no brainer" spicy broccoli pasta.  

Serving: 1 person

Preparation Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients: 

1/2 broccoli, chopped into florets (reserve the stalk for the second recipe here)

1/2 chili, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1/2 lemon zest

1/2 cup vegetable stock

1 sprig of sage leaves

1 tbsp grated parmesan

100g spaghetti

extra-virgin olive oil

Instructions: 

1) Bring a pot of salted water to boil, cook pasta according to its package label.  Remove from heat 1 minute before it is cooked. Reserve a ladle of pasta water.  

2) While cooking the pasta, on another stove, preheat a saucepan with olive oil on medium heat.  Cook garlic, chili, and sage for 1-2 minutes.  

3) Add broccoli florets and vegetable stock. Cook for 1 minute and reduce heat to low.  Put a lid on and cook for 5 minutes.  

4) When the pasta is ready (remove from heat 1 minute before), add the pasta to the saucepan with a ladle of pasta water.  Mix well and heat off when the pasta water is absorbed.  Season with some fresh ground black pepper.  

5) Add lemon zest, grated parmesan and a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil before serving.

spicy broccoli pasta 

spicy miso broccoli fried rice

Serving: 1 person

Preparation Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 7-10 minutes

Ingredients: 

1 broccoli stalk, thinly chopped into small pieces

1/2 broccoli florets

1-2 garlic cloves

1 tbsp chopped spring onion

1/2 chili, finely chopped

1 tsp miso pasta

1/4 cup water

1 bowl cooked rice ( I used leftover rice for this recipe)

extra-virgin olive oil

Instructions: 

1) Preheat a frying pan with medium heat, cook garlic and chili for 1-2 minutes.  Add chopped broccoli stalks and florets and cook for 1 minute.  

2) Add miso paste and water.  Put a lid on and simmer for 3 minutes.  

3) Add the cooked rice to the saucepan, mix well and cook for 2-3 minutes.  Season.

4) Serve with some fresh chopped spring onion.  

Spicy miso broccoli fried rice