Tag Archives: health

Current Obsession: Roasted Broccoli

Obsess!  I love it!  

RCR came over a month or so back with a giant head of broccoli and suggested I roast it.  I thought, yeah, sure, whatever.  I’m pretty into getting healthy, but broccoli is just always a bore.  NOT SO!

I’ve become COMPLETELY obsessed with roasted broccoli over the last month and even sold my family on it while in soothing Nevada City!  Amazing.

How to:

Preheat oven to 400.  Place broccoli florets in a deep baking dish, drizzle with your favorite olive oil (or not), salt and pepper (Maldon is of course recommended), and bake for 15-20 minutes (depending on what type of pan you use and how much broccoli you are roasting).  Serve hot.

brocolli

Amazing because you can simultaneously get the softness of a boil with the crunch of a roast.  I just love it when the broccoli gets that bright chartreuse color in the stem and dark, almost brownish affect in the tips of the florets.

I’ve been so all-over the roasting of florets that I’ve moved onto Trader Joe’s Broccoflower, just for variety, but discovered that the texture is not optimal, and on the dry side compared with broccoli (I would argue similarly about cauliflower, specifically w/r/t this preparation, though it is fabulous in many other ways). 

I’m still experimenting with how to incorporate cheese into this fantastic snack/side dish.  

In the mean time, every time I serve broccoli I. tells the story of Albert Broccoli, the original director of the James Bond films.  (FYI I. pronounces the name Broccoli with a long o on the second syllable). “Hmmm,” he says to his avid listeners, “sounds a lot like the vegetable don’t it?”  And they all agree, because no one would ever disagree with I.  “So you think he might be named after the vegetable right?”  [Muttering agreement] “Welllllll, it was actually Albert Broccoli’s grandfather who bred cabbage with broccoli rabe, thus creating what we commonly know and refer to as broccoli.”  I.’s audience ooh’s and ahh’s in wonder of his vast and specific knowledge, with which he pays equal attention to vintage football stats, and, apparently, horticulture and the etymology of plant names.  I have had to listen to the story upwards of twenty times over the past several years.

I’ve had to listen to the story even more times since my recent obsession with roasted broccoli arose.  I’ll admit I complained vociferously.

But I thought to myself, “Self, you should give I. a little credit when you blahghe about your current obsession with broccoli.”  

Armed only with my fingertips and the fascist state that is Google, I began researching Albert Broccoli (with whom I had no previous fascination nor any with Bond in general) and the plant commonly known in the U.S. as “broccoli” in hopes that I could share the most accurate and well-researched knowledge with you, my beloved readership. 

What I found might surprise I. and his disciples.

The origins of the name for the plant commonly known as broccoli is not, has not, and will never be attributed film director Albert Broccoli’s grandfather nor any of his ancestors.  

For all of our edification, the name broccoli, for the plant that is in the same “cultivar group” as cabbage, cauliflower, kale, collard greens, kohlrabi, and Brussels sprouts, comes from the Latin bracchium, meaning strong arm or branch.  The plant was named as such for its many strong branches that grow from one main stem.  If anyone would like to challenge me, please see this Google search with references.  

Oh, and if you are interested in the pronunciation of Albert Broccoli’s name, please see this link.  It is pronounced the same as the vegetable, no long o.  Also from an obit:

In the late 1950’s, Mr. Broccoli (pronounced like the vegetable) and his partner, Harry Saltzman, bought the screen rights to the novels of Ian Fleming, and proceeded to make Mr. Fleming’s character, James Bond Agent 007, a household name. The 17 Bond films Mr. Broccoli was associated with were reported to have earned $1 billion world wide.

Anyone have any conflicting reports on the pronunciation of Albert’s surname?

I also discovered a fun site called “Clement’s Mind Your English” with a pronunciation guide that includes broccoli the plant, and of course Merriam-Webster’s definition of broccoli the plant with a free wav file to guide your pronunciation.

We might have to go all the way to the OED on this one.

Over and out,

Saddleshoos

Additional References:

Albert Broccoli on IMDB

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Secrets to Success

8 hours of sleep per night.

Low to no intake of illicit and controlled substances.

Lean proteins.

30 minutes of exercise per day.

Broccoli.

Doing what you love.

Knowing when to say no.

I’m not lecturing; I sometimes use the blog as a personal reminder.  In an effort to eat less red meat I haven’t been eating much protein recently and my energy has been very low.  If any of you are looking for secrets to success, you’re welcome.

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Leafy Greens

Have you been eating enough leafy greens?  Can you ever eat enough?

I made a kale salad tonight, that I rendered from memory based on a kale salad of my mother and father’s making, which was in turn adapted from Diabetic Monthly.  I know, I know, Diabetic Monthly.  But SERIOUSLY.  You have to try this.  Anyone who has ever had a plate put in front of them at my family home knows we don’t mess around. 

What I did:

Ingredients:

Early Girl Tomatoes (3 medium sized, diced), 1 Large Bunch Curly Kale, kalamata olives, shallot, sunflower seeds.

Dressing: Mustard, garlic, rice vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, olive oil

In a large bowl mix a dollop (approx. teaspoon or larger) of mustard with a generous splash of soy sauce and one large minced clove of garlic.  Add a generous splash of rice vinegar.  Taste.  Adjust soy/rice vinegar ratio to taste.  Add about a tablespoon of sesame oil for flavor (it’s too thick to do for the entire oil portion of the dressing).  Add olive oil so that the oil to other ingredient ratio is approximately 1:1.

Then strip the kale from the hard center spines of the leaves.  Wash, dry, and chop roughly.  Put in the bowl with the dressing.  Chop tomatoes, add to bowl.  Dice about a third to a half a cup kalamata olives (depending on how salty or olive-y you like things).  Throw those in the bowl.  Dice one shallot, add to bowl.  Throw in a third to half a cup of sunflower seeds and toss.  

Let sit for about 10 minutes for the kale to absorb the flavors of the dressing and other ingredients (kale is like the opposite of any lettuce you would usually use for a salad, it will stay crisp and absorb flavor rather than wilt under dressing).

Those Early Girl tomatoes were AMAZINGLY sweet.  I mean really sweet.  Like let’s make a tomato crisp for dessert sweet.  Wow.

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Healthdefy: Aloe Vera Juice

“Healthdefy:” To defy the normal parameters of mortal immunity and health; to get healthy ex. I’m going to eat kale and brown rice tonight; it will be totally healthdefying*

One way I like to healthdefy is by taking a daily dose of Aloe Vera juice.  1-2 tablespoons cleanse the body and ward off possible infection. That’s all I ever knew about it until I Googled it and found a handy website that lists 10 reasons to drink aloe vera.  My favorite reason would have to be #9: Provides Rapid Soothing.

I personally drink Aloe Life in the Orange Papaya flavor, which can be found at most health food stores.  I got this bottle at Pharmaca (I was initially against it in favor of Elephant, but I changed my tune.  Pharmaca indubitably soothes, especially when it is 3 blocks from your front door).  If you are closer to Grand Lake, go to Lakeshore Natural Food.  It’s always in stock there, and Lakeshore is a truly independently owned and operated store.  I love it.  FWF=F*ck Whole Foods.  That place is whack.

Reason #11 to drink Aloe: it keeps you from getting the cooties from the kids at school.

*a Saddleshoos word; a Saddleshoos definition

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