Charred Broccoli & Pesto Pasta Recipe
by Alicia Ying
Sometimes I get really bored of salads and want some other kind of veggies. I was talking to my girl friend on the phone while walking through Ralph’s whining about how I needed to switch my greens up. As I was perusing the produce section, I noticed that the broccoli was on sale. “Broccoli is on sale for 99 cents,” I tell my friend.
“Ooh!” she exclaims. “Make some charred broccoli!”
“Huh? How do you do that?”
She described how she just threw it in the oven on high heat and that it was super simple to make. She told me how the tops get really crunchy and how delicious the almost burnt pieces tasted. I said, “Why not?” and threw some broccoli into my basket.
I went home, cut up the pieces, tossed them in some EVOO (extra virgin olive oil), garlic salt and popped them into the oven. Several minutes later, I took them out, and DAMN-- they were delicious! The charred parts added this smokey flavor that I immediately fell in love with. It did need some acidity, so I scrounged through my fridge and found a lime. I squeezed the juice on top of my broccoli and WOW-- perfection! I was obsessed. This was my new favorite side dish!
Broccoli packs 11.2 grams of protein per 100 calories so this is a total winner for vegans and vegetarians! For a little easier math, 1 cup of broccoli has 31 calories and 4.2 grams of protein. I ended up chomping down on 2 cups of my charred broccoli giving me 8.4 grams of protein for lunch, keeping my energy levels up for the rest of the day.
Now, what to fix for my main dish? I had some organic brown rice pasta and decided to make a pesto garnished with sun-dried tomatoes. These two dishes together made the most satisfying lunch! Not only was this a healthy meal, but it was incredibly affordable too. And took me minutes to make.
Try it out and let me know what you think by commenting below!
What creative ways do you cook your vegetables? I’d love to hear about your tasty treats as well!
Thank you for reading and come back next week for more tips on how to make tasty food that is healthy and affordable!
Charred Broccoli Recipe
1 whole head of broccoli
3 tbsp EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
2 tbsp garlic salt
1 tsp black pepper
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Line a baking tray with aluminum foil.
Chop the broccoli head into small pieces of florets. Put into a bowl.
Toss the broccoli in the EVOO, garlic salt, and black pepper.
Lay the broccoli evenly on the pan.
Pop into the oven and bake for 15 minutes. **If you want it extra charred, leave in for an additional 5 minutes.
Take out and place onto your plate.
Squeeze ½ a lime on top of your broccoli.
Pesto Pasta with Sun-Dried Tomatoes
8 oz. organic brown rice pasta
3 tbsp pesto
2 tbsp sun-dried tomatoes
salt and pepper to taste
Boil some water in a pot. Add a sprinkle of salt.
Pour in pasta and cook for 7 minutes.
Take out and drain.
Add to a bowl and toss in your pesto. Mix well.
Add the sun-dried tomatoes on top. Mix well.
Serve and enjoy!
Alicia Ying is a professional baker, born and bred in sweet, southern Georgia. A world traveler, Alicia enjoys eating delicious global cuisine and savoring a good cup of coffee. Also a blooming actress and producer, she has been seen on "Days of Our Lives," "Young & The Restless," independent films, and multiple web series.