I'm a picky eater and I'm a meat-and-potatoes eater. I live for pot roast and steak and pulled pork and my momma's prime rib. But I can't eat like that all the time, for every dinner for the rest of my life. Ask me how I know.
So a few years ago I decided to learn to cook. I was in my late twenties. I have a particular palate and an intimidating example to follow. I mastered some of my favorite comfort foods, but I really needed some weekday staples. I waded into fish (I have a killer salmon recipe for people who don't usually like it), I experimented with a few foreign foods.
But vegetables are my nemesis. And since I don't really like to eat them, I'm not gung ho to cook them. But one must eat vegetables, sayeth the world!
So, grudgingly, I've found a few that I not only like, I crave. They're simple.
- Toss a bunch of broccoli (and in this case, I mixed in cauliflower) on a cookie sheet.
- Drizzle with olive oil.
- Sprinkle with coarse salt if you have it, minced garlic if you have it (in a pinch, use garlic salt!), the teensiest bit of pepper, or whatever else floats your boat.
- Bake in a 425 degree oven for 20-ish minutes.
At our house, we like it burned. If I don't have enough time to really bake it, I turn on the broiler for the last minute or two.
Have you ever heard of anything simpler? And people love it. It's crunchy.
I've used several different kinds of green beans for this, but the best are the haricot verts (the french skinnies).
- Heat two tablespoons of olive oil and some chopped or minced garlic in a medium-sized skillet.
- Toss in the grean beans. I don't cut the ends or anything.
- Mix it all around so the oil has coated the beans. When it's sizzling just a little, this is when I add coarse sea salt or any other spices I'm in the mood for. If I'm not cooking for the kids, I like to dash in some crushed red pepper flakes. For some dishes, I like to use sesame oil instead of olive oil for a change in flavor.
- Cook and stir until your desired done-ness. Like the broccoli, we like our beans burned. Since I'm all about the cast iron lately, it's easy to get a little crispy on the under sides, even with moving around the beans often.
I make both of these dishes about once a week. We all like them, they're super easy, and they're probably more healthy than french fries.