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Braised Broads

    Well, my husband has gone and done it.  High cholesterol.  The nerve.  While it isn't astronomical, at 235 he needs a low cholesterol diet nonetheless.  Ah, crap.  This pronouncement only succeeded in sending me into a panic.  What kind of life did I have now?  Stuck on the fringes of culinary society with nothing but skim milk and oatmeal to keep me company.  I can feel the abyss clawing at me, stripping away my bacon and butter.
    Oatmeal can at least be doctored (I still won't eat it, a textural thing), but skim milk is down right raunchy.  And not the yee-haw-leather-chaps-party kind of raunchy either(don't judge me); but that nasty kind that looks like watered down milk and tastes like it's been on the counter too long.  My horror cannot fully be expressed here.  Before you start; yes I have tried it.  Several times.  Same gagging response, sorry.  No, chocolate can't even fix it.  Yes, I have tried that.  Geez.
    Anyway, I figured a good place to start is olive oil and vegetables.  Healthy, right?  But how would it taste?  
    As I have explained before, I don't follow recipes to a T.  Generally, I don't even have one.  If I do start with a recipe it usually ends up changed to the point of not being anything like the original thing anyway.  These, I just sort of made up.

    The first thing I tried was roasted potatoes(I love potatoes, in any form).
*red potatoes-quartered
*mushrooms- I removed the stems, but it isn't necessary
*olive oil-generous amount
*seasonings- I used thyme, basil, paprika, garlic and onion powder, pepper and a wee dash of kosher salt.
    I tossed all this together in a bowl and spread it on a non-stick foil lined pan.  I had some grated parmesan cheese so I sprinkled a bit of that on top, too.  I popped that into a 450 degree oven for 20 to 30 minutes(depending on potato size).  Stir about half way through, and voila!  It was so so so so good!  The great thing is you can adjust your seasonings to whatever you like, and however much you like.  You can use whatever potatoes and shrooms you have on hand as well. 
    The next one I tried, was again potatoes.  This time I used baking potatoes.  
*large potatoes-cut into spears
*1 packet of Hidden Valley Ranch dressing mix
*olive oil
    I tossed this together in a bowl, and then arranged it onto a non-stick foil lined baking pan.  Flip about half way through.  450 degrees, about 25-35 minutes.  Again, it depends on the thickness of the potatoes.  Yummy!!

    My third roasting was a full meal.  Chop it, toss it, bake it, done.
*2-3 chicken breasts-cut into bite size pieces
*(red skin) potatoes-quartered
*mushrooms-can half or quarter for smaller pieces if you like
*1-2 onions-copped in big pieces or strips
*1-2 peppers-chopped into bite size pieces(I used red peppers)
*4-5 garlic cloves-whole
*1 head cauliflower-cut into pieces
*seasonings-I used the same basic seasonings from the first recipe. 
*olive oil
    Guess what I do now.  Go ahead, guess.  That's right, I tossed it!  I find it's easier to do the olive oiling and seasoning in a bowl, rather than on the pan.  Same temp, same times, same reasons.   C'est si bon.

    These have all tasted so good.  I actually didn't miss the butter.  The greatest thing about them is the versatility.  Add what ever seasonings you like.  Maybe for the chicken dish, use simply some lemon pepper.  Or add some pepper flakes for heat.  Try adding/using different veggies as well.  Sweet potatoes and red beets would be fab.  Add asparagus or artichoke; carrots or celery.  Different kinds of mushrooms, the lists go on and on.  The bottom line here is don't be afraid to make something up, and take some chances.
    These "recipes" work well for me because my whole family loves veggies.  Not just the adults.  In fact, there aren't many veggies my kids won't eat.  Sometimes they are picky about how they come though.  Most stuff in cans is gross.  Fine for soup, but not much else.  Aria loves raw cauliflower, but cooked--not so much.  If your kids balk at eating their veggies, try fresh.  Either eaten raw or cook it yourself, the flavor is so much better. 
    I hope I have given you some great ideas and inspired you to eat, even a little, healthier.  Now I'm off to the grocery....I seem to have run out of potatoes.  Weird.


  1. Do you use fresh thyme/basil etc? Those are not always available in Bangalore, and sometimes I end up using a dried version though doesn't seem to always work for me.

    An old follower dropping by, Dee from e-Volving Books

  2. Hi Dee, thanks for stopping by! For these, I did use dried which 9 times out of 10 is what I have on hand. I will use fresh if I have it. When I do,I usually forget I have it because the kids have buried it in the fridge. If you like the fresh, it grows fairly easily in pots. The great thing is not being limited, I use whatever I have on hand at the time! Have a great day!
    ~Mina ☺

  3. Love these ideas, Mina! Roasting veggies is my new favorite way to fix them. - Moíra ♣


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