Teaching myself to cook, one recipe at a time.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Lemon-Pepper Broccoli

Hubby and I are on this diet that basically has you buy a month’s worth of pre-fab entrees, leaving you to add in the fruits, veggies, and dairy. Essentially, it forces you to eat a low-calorie diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables. We’ve had good results with this in the past, so although the entrees aren’t exactly gourmet, no matter what the commercials tell you, we’re giving it another shot. No, it’s not permanent, but it’s a good kick-start.

But it leaves us wondering what to do with our veggies. Yes, you can steam, boil,stir fry, roast, or microwave. But what can you add to make it flavorful without packing on calories? I wanted to avoid butter if possible, and I wanted something a little more complicated than salt and pepper. It just gets old when you’re doing it every night.

So I invented something. Dangerous, since I don’t usually end up with great results when I do that, but seemingly necessary. I just wasn’t satisfied with anything I was seeing online.

First, I chopped up a bunch of fresh broccoli.


I put it in a wok with some olive oil and started sautéing it.


I wanted a flavor with a little zing to it, and decided that lemon sounded good. I started off by throwing some lemon pepper seasoning in with the broccoli, along with a generous sprinkling of salt. I started with just about a half teaspoon, but ended up adding more.


Yes, that’s the generic Safeway seasonings blend. Don’t judge.

When the broccoli was starting to get tender, I remembered that I wanted to add minced garlic. So I did.


Yes, that is an enormous jar of minced garlic. I’m sure real chefs would cringe, but hey. I will go through this eventually, and I’d rather have it be fresh like this than have real cloves get shrunken and rubbery with those little green shoots in them. So yeah, I added about a teaspoon of the garlic, and then a bunch of lemon juice. I’m not sure how much, but I’d guess about 2 tablespoons.

I followed it up with a sprinkling of dried parsley. I think this picture is weird because the fluid from the lemon juice and garlic was evaporating and steaming, but you get the idea.


As for the entrée, here it is. Nom nom nom.


And the finished product:


Honestly, I thought it was really good! The color was off, like the heat may have been a little high and it was just tired-looking. I guess I could have avoided that by blanching it, as I learned for another recipe. But that aside, the taste was fresh and had a zing to it that was refreshing and addicting.

As I was doing dishes, I thought about how I wanted to blog about this side dish at least so that I’d remember how to do it again, since I liked it. Hubby hadn’t commented on it, which probably meant he wasn’t a huge fan, but I didn’t mind. But as I was thinking this, he came up behind me and told me that he liked the broccoli. Score! So give it a shot and let me know how it goes. Play around with it. I’d be interested to hear what works and what doesn’t.

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