Saturday, March 12, 2016

Broccoli Bites

Eat food.
Not too much.
Mostly plants.
~Michael Pollan

Bright and early this morning, I picked up my Bountiful Baskets co-op order, the first in a very long time. I forgot how much I love getting all these vegetables. Plus getting up early starts my day off well because I feel so productive.

I've been trying to make a concerted effort to eat more healthfully, to eat REAL food. Real food doesn't have labels. Therefore, eating real food requires spending more time (not necessarily more money) preparing food. More time reading recipes. More time planning the week's meals. But I've noticed that as I make a focused effort to eat well, all of that time becomes much more meaningful and therapeutic.

Food is medicine. Food is fuel. And food is fun. Recently, I completed an online course with Stanford University, through CourseEra, called Stanford Introduction to Food and Health. I'd recommend it. As I went through the course, I was reminded of all the reasons cooking at home is generally best: it's healthier; it's tastier; you know what's in your food; it's therapeutic and rewarding to spend 15 minutes preparing your meal or a few hours once a week making meals that will last.

And so, I'm making an effort.

Today's Bountiful Baskets offering

With a table full of vegetables (and some fruit) this morning, I knew I had to be creative with my food preparation. All of this for $28 (regular basket plus a St. Patrick's Day add-on - everything in the plastic bags is the add-on) and I'm certain it will last me at least two weeks.

So far I've made a batch of vegetable soup with onions. leeks, garlic, broccoli, carrots, fresh thyme, dried herbs (Costco's blend is terrific), and some salt and pepper. I may add some chicken at a later time, but it was pretty tasty.

Because I not only had the two heads of broccoli you see in the picture, but an additional three heads already in the fridge, I decided to make some broccoli bites. I've read a few recipes in the past (probably on Pinterest) and decided to try a batch of these.

Broccoli Bites

For a first time shot, they turned out really yummy, but I'd still change a few things next time. Although, I didn't measure many of the ingredients, here is the recipe I came up with, with a few modifications I would make next time.
Broccoli Bites by Emery 
2 cups of broccoli, lightly steamed and chopped (do NOT over do it; the broccoli will cook a little more in the oven)
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3 eggs
1/4 onion, finely chopped and maybe sauteed
1 cup seasoned Italian bread crumbs
Any fresh or dried herbs, to taste (Costco's seasoning mix would be great)
Salt and pepper, to taste 
Mix it all together in a large bowl. With hands, form small patties and place on parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake at 375 for 25 minutes, depending on the size of your patties, allowing to brown a little. Turn over once after the first 15 minutes. Serve warm alone or with your favorite dipping sauce.
This recipe makes about a dozen 2.5 inch patties or 2 dozen 1.5 inch small patties.

Delicious! And I still have three broccoli heads left!

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