we {finally} got a grill: a deliciously easy grilled (london briol) dinner

easy grilled london broil dinnersometimes all you (or i) really want for dinner is a nice piece of grilled meat. something about meat cooked on the outdoor grill that makes it just that much better. which brings me to the grill. i’m so happy to have one again! it’s opened up a world of new (culinary) options. we’d been planning to get one ever since our move a few months ago, but somehow it seemed complicated (as in we were being lazy)  and we basically procrastinated until the heat wave (it is literally in the 80’s and 90’s in san diego right now) hit-that’s when we had no choice but to get one-and fast. it would be a big shame not to take advantage of

rosemary marinated london broil

the unusually warm (even though san diego probably has the best climate, anywhere, the nights tend to be pretty cold year round) nights for grilling outdoors and dining al fresco. so we (or he, i should say) went out and finally got one, and there it was all shiny and new and ready to be put to good use-and we have been: we’ve had persian style chicken kabobs, grass fed new york strip steaks, tons of grilled tomatoes (because we all know how much i love those), and a spicy fire roasted eggplant salad. then this: rosemary grilled london broil, spaghetti aglio e olio with fresh tomatoes and basil, and a side of quick fired broccolini. tell me it doesn’t sound like an amazing dinner? all you need to make this meal a success  is really good  ingredients-quality organic (in this case local) grass fed beef, juicy ripe tomatoes, fresh vegetables & herbs. marinating the beef ahead of time helps. and you’re good to go:

sliced grilled london broil

 

for the marinade:

 

  • extra virgin olive oil
  • fresh rosemary
  • sea salt & freshly ground pepper
  • a touch of worcestershire sauce
  • red pepper flakes

make sure the grill is super hot before you start cooking. place the beef on the hot grill (on high heat) and sear one side (about 2-3 minutes) then the other. reduce the heat to medium and close the lid. allow beef to cook (cooking time depends on the size of meat and your serving preferences). ours was a smaller, thinner piece and cooked very quickly-it was served medium and slightly pink inside.

for quick fired broccolini:

  • wash and dry the broccolini, cut in half (optional)-spread on a baking dish
  • drizzle with 1-2 tbs extra virgin olive oil, move around to make sure oil is evenly distributed
  • sprinkle with sea salt and freshly ground pepper, give it a good shake
  • cook broccolini on the grill in a grill-friendly skillet (my new spiffy grill has a built in skillet option) while the beef cooks-it takes just a few minutes-you’ll have to use a wooden spoon or spatula to stir it a couple of times
  • sprinkle with freshly grated parmesan chess, add a dash of fresh squeezed lemon juice

spaghetti with fresh tomatoes & herbs

for the spaghetti aglio e oli with fresh tomatoes & herbs combine in a bowl (4 servings):

  • easy dinner ideas4-5 ripe tomatoes, cubed
  • a good bunch of fresh basil, leaves rolled carefully together, then thinly sliced (chiffonade)
  • a few sprigs of fresh oregano, leaves separated and roughly chopped
  • sea salt & freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3-4 garlic cloves

in a bowl combine tomatoes, herbs, sea salt & pepper and allow the mixture to rest for 15-20 minutes. in a small saucepan heat the oil and  garlic together (aglio-e-olio story and recipe here) until the garlic turns just golden before turning off the heat. remove garlic from the oil and pour the hot oil over the bowl of tomatoes & herbs. taste and adjust seasoning. add your just drained choice of pasta cooked al dente (per package instructions) to the sauce and toss. serve right away. don’t forget the freshly grated parmesan cheese! buon appetito!

easy dinner idea

my fragrant garden roses being recycled after wilting in the vase

my fragrant garden roses being recycled after wilting in the vase

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how to make a silky & delicious cream of broccoli soup in a matter of minutes

cooking minette's broccoli soupwhat do you do when you are feeling completely overwhelmed with the {cooking} work and preparation you have ahead of you (yes, thanksgiving, with all it’s glor{y}ous food, lovely visiting family and many gatherings is moving in fast and furious), but you still have to feed your family (and your hungry self) before you can tackle the beast? you make a quick, easy, creamy, and super comforting soup that not only gives you a good dose of nutrients and energy, but reminds you of how much fun you’ll be having preparing and enjoying the grand feast (rhymes with beast, but more appropriate) you look forward to every year! now that’s the attitude (change i was looking for)-thanks to the most satisfying bowl of soup i’ve had in a while. time to pull up my sleeves and prepare for giving thanks. what a beautiful thing. a happy thanksgiving to you and yours!

cream of broccoli & leek soup for 4-6:

easiest broccoli soup

  • 2 cups organic broccoli, rough chopped (stems peeled and cut in small pieces)
  • 1 large or 2 small organic leeks, cut in half lengthwise, then sliced and washed by soaking in water (in a colander within a larger bowl of cold water works well)
  • 1-2 tbs olive oil (or virgin unrefined coconut oil)
  • 3-4 cups good quality (preferably homemade) chicken broth (or vegetarian)
  • sea salt & freshly ground pepper to taste
  • juice of 1 lemon (adjust amount to your taste)
  • optional: 2 tbs cream or coconut milk
  1. heat the oil in a deep soup pot or dutch oven, then add the washed & drained leeks and broccoli with a touch of sea salt and sauté on medium heat allowing the vegetables to reduce while stirring for about 5-7 minutes.
  2. add chicken broth, bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes (up to 30 minutes)
  3. add freshly ground pepper and lemon juice. blend carefully with an immersion blender (or transfer to blender or food processor and blend, then return to pot and bring the heat back up before serving).
  4. serve with a touch of cream or coconut milk (thicker is better).

cooking minette soups

 

 

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and so it begins…a food blog, a ten day cleanse, and roasted vegetables!

i’m starting this blog at a curious time, to say the least…i’ve been (miserably) attempting a cleanse (strongly) suggested by a dear friend. it’s basically 10 loooooong days of eating (mostly drinking, really) fruits and vegetables (preferably raw). okay, now this might work for some, but i’ve been starting my mornings with a strong cup of coffee (most recently 2 shots of espresso delivered by my new best friend, the nespresso machine) for the past (fill in the blank) years. it took me two and a half days to realize that I can’t possibly get through this on liquids alone (the green smoothie only tasted slightly good when i was enthusiastically starting on day one). this thing grows on you, though, and other than adding some quinoa, brown rice, and lentils (ok, and some beans), and cooking (oh so slightly) my vegetables, i’ve been feeling pretty good so far…

and we are at day 7 (yes, there’s been some slight cheating-it was a social week end)! yesterday i decided to roast my cauliflower & broccoli (rather than dutifully blending them with orange juice for an oh so delicious smoothie). it was so good that i will continue using the recipe long after (in 3 days) this cleanse is over. i was in such a rush to eat the vegetables (you can imagine how hungry i am these days) that i forgot to take pictures of them cooked, but trust me, they looked good enough to eat! see the recipe below:
Oven Roasted Cauliflower & Brocolli:

take a whole head of (preferably organic) cauliflower and slice it from one end to the other, then cut theses slices in half. prepare your broccoli the same way(they need to lay flat), then line the vegetables up on a sheet pan. drizzle with a small amount of extra virgin olive oil (sesame oil also works well), sprinkle with sea salt (prefer maldon), red pepper flakes (cayenne), and cumin.
here i added some sweet small organic tomatoes, and they roasted beautifully. slow roast at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes. you can do this with almost any vegetable, and it’s super easy and delicious. next time i’ll make sure to take an after picture.

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