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September 24, 2008

With the change in the weather, we’ve begun doing most of the cooking indoors.  And although we’re pretty good at jazzing up the regular old chicken/beef/pork/pasta into different entrees to avoid being bored, we’re really bad with matching sides to entrees.  All too often we fall into the old rut of “…and some rice and green beans/broccoli/asparagus”.

So for the past several days, we’ve been flipping the script and trying new things.

On Sunday we made a version of this I found in my go-to cookbook, wherein you chop the tomatoes and toss them with olive oil and salt before putting half of them in the bottom of a roasting pan, then rub the chicken with the spices and put them across the top, then sprinkling the rest of the tomatoes over that.  Really good, and pretty fast.  We had roasted potatoes with them, and they were in the oven the same amount of time as the rest, so Yay!

Since I was really feeling lousy on Monday, Larry was on dinner duty.  He made the pasta recipe I found over here, and it was great – even though he used penne instead of farfalle, bottled lemon juice instead of fresh, and fresh garlic instead of bottled.  Yay!

Then yesterday we had steak.  We’ve been pretty good about limiting ourselves to red meat once a week (Larry’s cholesterol has dropped 60+ points since we started that), so it’s always something of a treat – Larry is in charge on steak night, and he always picks a nice spice rub or marinade, and gives the meat a nice sear and a good crust, so a good time is always had by all.  Ordinarily we would have rice and veggies, or baked potatoes and veggies, but ever since I heard about roasted cauliflower on the Kitchen Window podcast, I’ve been dying to try it.  Because the only cauliflower I’ve ever had was raw and in a crudite platter, and I’ve never liked it.  But they say it’s an excellent source of fiber, among other nutritional benefits, so I was willing to take a flyer (and since I do the grocery shopping, that makes Larry willing to take a flyer, too).

IT WAS AWESOME!!  Definitely try this one at home!!

Roasted Cauliflower

1 medium to large head cauliflower, washed

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 to 4 tablespoons olive oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Trim any leaves and cut the cauliflower into quarter-inch slices. Toss with the olive oil and salt, spread in a single layer in a baking dish, and put into the oven.  Turn the pieces once or twice, and give the pan a good shake while you’re at it.  Roast until it begins to brown a bit and the oil is sizzling, about 25-30 minutes.

The next time I make it I think I might add some garlic powder to the mix, and perhaps a light sprinkle of parmesan as soon as it comes out of the oven, but it was really amazing with just the salt and oil.

Tonight we’re having baked pork chops with potatoes and pears.  The recipe calls for parsnips, but I don’t have any.  I do have carrots, though, so I might toss those in too.

Now, it’s a safe bet that next week we’ll be back in our side-dish rut, but it’s a relief to know that there are options out there.  Options we like, even!

One Comment leave one →
  1. September 25, 2008 9:16 am

    Yum – thanks for the ideas. I have that Bittman cookbook – you may have just determined Sunday dinner!

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