Quick Side: 5-Ingredient Roasted Broccoli and Tomatoes

We eat A LOT of broccoli. Of course it’s good for you and versatile and delicious, but I also know my kiddo will eat it almost any way it’s prepared, so it’s reliable. But because we eat so much, I don’t want to always eat the same old broccoli. This easy 5-ingredient side dish packs the healthy and the flavor into a single sheet pan, and it will pair well with basically any dinner. Here you go.

WHAT YOU NEED
* 1 1/2-2lbs broccoli, broken down into florets
* 1pt grape or cherry tomatoes
* 2-3T olive oil
* garlic salt
* lemon pepper

WHAT TO DO
Preheat the oven to 400F.

Add all of the ingredients to a bowl and toss well to coat. Pour the broccoli and tomatoes onto a baking sheet in a single layer.

Pop the baking sheet into the preheated oven and roast for 20-30 minutes while you prepare the rest of your meal. Transfer to a serving dish when you’re ready to eat and serve immediately while still hot.

Meatless Monday: 5 Ingredient Mini Eggplant Pizzas

Did you know Julia Child has a recipe for eggplant pizzas? Hers is glorious, obviously. This one’s just simple. But simple can still be perfect, and these perfectly meet all the needs for a healthy, easy, quick, and delicious meatless Monday dinner when paired with a big, fresh salad. It would also serve up as a great appetizer for a dinner party or potluck. Plus, Julia Child! Here you go.

WHAT YOU NEED
* 1 large eggplant
* marinara or pizza sauce
* fresh basil leaves
* shredded cheese blend
* grated Parmesan

* salt and pepper (these don’t count as ingredients!!)

WHAT TO DO

Preheat the oven to 350F.

Slice the eggplant into 1/4-inch-thick slices and lay them out on a baking sheet in a single layer. Spray the slices with olive oil nonstick spray, and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper.

Bake 8 minutes, then flip, spray and season lightly again, and bake another 8 minutes, or until the eggplant is fork-tender.

Top each slice of eggplant with sauce, a leaf of basil, shredded cheese, and a sprinkle of Parmesan.

Bake 5 minutes, then turn the broiler on high and cook another 2 minutes to brown the cheese and warm everything up.

Thanks, Julia!

5 Ingredients: Shortcut Veggie and Chicken Sausage Stir Fry

You do not need to create an original recipe from scratch to make a fresh meal on a busy night. I think it might look like I do that, but I really don’t. Some nights we’re lucky if I can warm up a hot dog, and “cereal for dinner” happens at least once or twice a month. But there are so many ways to prepare a warm, fresh meal without an hour of prep or even a planned and shopped-ahead-of-time ingredient list!

This was one of those nights. My meal plan game was pitiful this weekend, so I’m winging it all week. We had back-to-school/Open House at our kiddo’s new school this afternoon and I knew we’d get home a little later. So it had to be easy and straightforward. Stir fry is a perfect solution. And this shortcut/semi-homemade version makes an already super simple dish even easier. Most grocery stores have pre-packaged chopped stir fry veggies mixed and ready to go, either in the fresh produce aisle or in the freezer. Customize with any additional fresh veggies you love (or your kid will eat) and add a protein of your preference (or don’t). Done. A little oil or soy sauce or squeeze of lime and 15 minutes is all you need. Here’s my version. Note: I received no compensation by any brands or companies. Opinions and mentions are purely my own. Here you go.

WHAT YOU NEED
* Fresh, pre-chopped Asian veggie stir fry mix (I used Trader Joe’s)
* 1lb fresh Brussels sprouts, cleaned, trimmed, and quartered
* 1lb package precooked chicken sausage, sliced
* olive oil
* Soy-Vey teriyaki marinade (original)

WHAT TO DO

Heat a few glugs of olive oil in a large wok or high-sided skillet over medium heat. Add the Brussels sprouts and sauté a few minutes, stirring occasionally, until they begin to soften and brown.

Add the other veggies and chicken sausage and stir to combine. Add 1-2 tablespoons of the teriyaki marinade and mix through. Cook 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally (and inhaling frequently!), until the crunchy veggies soften and the sausage slices brown.

Serve over brown rice (I added a tablespoon of coconut oil to mine!) and enjoy, especially because you pulled off a hot fresh meal on a busy weeknight. Whoop!!

5 Ingredient Pineapple Salsa

pineappleDo you have a trick to choosing a ripe pineapple? My grandfather was a grocer and passed along some of his tricks of the trade. Picking a pineapple is one of them. First, look for one that’s a little more yellow and light green than dark green on the outside. Pull on a stem from the very center of the leafy top of the fruit. If it comes out easily – i.e., no effort – proceed. If you have to give it a hard tug or it truly resists, put it back and move onto another. Finally, flip the pineapple over and smell the “butt” end of it. If you can smell the sugar inside, that baby is ripe and ready to eat! I happen to really love pineapple – it’s my favorite fruit – and I also love that I think of my Zadie (and his heavy Boston accent on the word sugar — “shug-ah”) every single time I walk by those babies in the store.

We had fish tacos for dinner. I seasoned some fresh tilapia with cumin and smoked paprika and it came out amazing. But the real winner was this incredibly simple, 5-ingredient salsa with fresh pineapple as the centerpiece. It was so light and springy/summery – and offered the perfect amount of crunch and acidity, but also sugary sweetness, to balance out the seasoning and soft, silkiness of the fish. It would also be delicious as a salad on its own (My Tiny Sous Chef put it on her tacos AND on the side to scoop up in big spoonfuls), or with chips, or on top of grilled fish or shrimp… etc. Here you go.

WHAT YOU NEED
* a big handful of fresh cilantro, chopped
* 3 green onions, sliced thinly on the diagonal, dark and light green parts (but not whites)
* 1/2 an English seedless cucumber (or a couple of smaller Persian cukes), diced
* 1/4 of a ripe pineapple, cored and diced
* juice of 1/2 a lemon

WHAT TO DO
Prep the cilantro, green onions, cucumber, and pineapple and toss together in a bowl. Squeeze the lemon over the top and mix again. Taste and add more lemon if you think it needs it — and try not to just eat heaping spoonfuls before serving. Enjoy!

pinesalsa