Eating More Scary Veggies – Romanesco

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At first glance you might think  this was some type of odd undersea creature.   Maybe some type of sedum (succulent garden plant)?   My hubby even said it looked mathematical.   Grant’s take?  Alien ear wax.  Hey, what can I say, he’s a 6 year old boy!  Although I do have to say the vibrant green color does lend to alien thoughts.

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Is it starting to look any more familiar?     What if you took those gorgeous conical spirals and and made them look more like mini trees?   Any ideas yet?

Yep, Romanesco is actually a heirloom variety of one of my favorite veggies – broccoli.  It’s a beauty to look at and one to taste as well.

I really should have taken pictures the day it came in my farm box.   It looked so much prettier.  But I didn’t.   So you get pictures with bumps and bruises after sitting in my veggie drawer for a few days.   It still looks awesomely cool if you ask me!

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Taste wise, I find Romanesco to be a mix between broccoli and cauliflower.    It’s very mild, and the color stays when you cook it.   Sometimes, especially when roasted, it can take on a slightly nutty flavor.

Where do you find such a thing?
I was lucky enough to get mine in my Box of Good  from Klesick’s last week.   Because it is an heirloom vegetable, it’s most likely to be found in the organic produce section.   I’ve seen it in several of the better grocery stores in my area and it’s becoming wildly popular at farmers markets as well.     Look for it at farmers markets when other broccoli hits the stands.    What you find in stores now (and what I had) is coming from California.

How to pick one?
Look for bright vibrant color and lack of blemishes.   If the leaves are still present you want to make sure they are still crisp and not wilted.

How to cook it?
I simply steamed it this time.  You could add it raw to jazz up your crudité platter.   It also works well substituted it in my Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower Recipe.     Here are a couple recipes that are on my list to try:

Smoky Romanesco Cauliflower, Celery Root and Broccoli Soup
Pasta e Broccoli

So what do you think?   Will you give it a try?

Alicia Myers Leifheit and FoodisaJourney.com, 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Alicia Myers Leifheit and FoodisaJourney.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower

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It’s hard not to like this simple dish.    It’s even won over a few cauliflower “haters” I know.   It works just as well for a weeknight dinner as it will Thanksgiving and is easy to double or triple the recipe.   I can’t tell you how well it reheats, there’s never been any left to find out.

Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower

1 head cauliflower – chopped into 1 to 1.5 inch florets
Olive Oil (for coating – 1 or 2 tbsps)
Garlic Powder
Sea Salt
Fresh Ground Black Pepper
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan or Romano cheese

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.   In a 8×8 glass Pyrex dish toss the cauliflower and the olive oil.   Sprinkle with garlic powder, salt and pepper.    Roast for 20 – 30 minutes or until tender and starting to brown.    Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and roast for an additional 7-10 minutes until cheese is melted but not crunchy.   Serve warm.

© Alicia Myers Leifheit and FoodisaJourney.com, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Alicia Myers Leifheit and FoodisaJourney.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Let’s Veg Out on Thanksgiving

Oh, if only I wasn’t talking about food…  but alas, I am.

Earlier this week I talked about changing up your Thanksgiving menu.  Here are some of the yummy things I’ve been testing for my contribution of side dishes.

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This is the Wild Rice, Fruit & Pecan Stuffing that I had mentioned.   It’s not my recipe – I stumbled across it and OMG and I glad I did!   This stuff is WONDERFUL!    Crunchy, sweet,  nutty…. it’s a downright party in your mouth.    It’s SO good no one will even care that it’s healthy!

A couple of notes:
1.   This has the recipe wonderful benefit of never having to see the oven and can be partially prepped the day before.

2.   Wild Rice takes a long time to cook and different brands cook differently.    Make it ahead (it reheats great) and plan to babysit it a bit unless you already know how the brand you are using will cook.

3.   You may want to make a double batch(or second if you don’t have a big enough pan to double).   This stuff will go really fast.  And if not, aren’t leftovers the best part of thanksgiving?

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This is my yummy Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower.   Simple and easily multipliable.   It doesn’t look like much, I should have put it in a pretty bowl, but trust me it’s great.   Glenn would never eat cauliflower before and now even asks for seconds!

I’ll leave you with a few more delicious things that have hit my inbox this week.    Watch this weekend for Cranberry recipes yet to come.

Here are some other great recipes to try…

Vegetarian Thanksgiving  – Take Part

Brussels Sprout Salad with Red Onion and Pecorino  – Not With Out Salt
(Brussels Sprouts are still on my “Scary” list and this still looks good!   I’ll have to try it after we get back from Thanksgiving!

Sweet Potato Casserole (Grain Free / Paleo) –  Deliciously Organic

A Grain Free Thanksgiving – Against all Grain
I really want to go to her house for Thanksgiving!  Great recipes for every course!

Holiday Recipe Guide – Klesick’s Family Farm

And some resources:

EWG’s Healthy Thanksgiving Guide

10 Ways to Healthify  Your Thanksgiving, Stay Sane and Eat Like Royalty  – Fooducate

© Alicia Myers Leifheit and FoodisaJourney.com, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Alicia Myers Leifheit and FoodisaJourney.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.