Thursday, September 5, 2013

Waste Not And Save A Few Bucks

With millions of people around the world on the brink of starvation, including many here in America, it pains me greatly to waste food. I am ever on the lookout for ways to use all of the food stuff that we buy for the SOG City kitchen.

The Belle of Ballast Point even bought a NutriBullet that comes in handy for whizzing up vegetable and fruit scraps into a super healthy beverage. Admittedly, some are more tasty than others, but most of the ingredients are packed with anti-oxidants which are supposed to be really good for us.

Just because you can't use all of a fruit or vegetable in a recipe doesn't mean it has to go in the "thanks for coming" bowl. Although, we do empty that bowl's contents in the compost bin.

Anyway, to get to the point, and I do have a point, in preparation for the Labor Day feast we had planned for the Tampa family my bride and I headed for the local Publix where shopping is an adventure. We stocked up on a bunch of stuff needed for our recipes.

I am clueless to understand what possessed her, but the Belle felt compelled to buy a bag of broccoli florets. Please know that I have nothing what-so-ever against broccoli, it's just that it wasn't needed in any of our planned dishes. We got it anyway. It didn't get included in our very successful food fest.

Oh woe is me, what the hell am I to do with that bag of broccoli languishing in the fridge? Eureka! It came upon me in a flash, like a bolt of lighting out of the a...never mind, you get the picture.

I had most of the ingredients on hand. All I needed to round out this dish was a deli chicken from Publix, where know. So, here is my lo-cal, super delicious:

Roasted Mediterranean Salad

12            ounces  broccoli florets -- bite size
  1            cup  grape tomatoes
  3            tablespoons  extra virgin olive oil
  2            cloves  garlic -- minced
  1/2         teaspoon  salt -- or to taste
  1/2         teaspoon  lemon zest -- freshly grated
  1            tablespoon  lemon juice
12            each  kalamata olives -- pitted and sliced
  1            teaspoon  dried oregano
  2            teaspoons  capers
  8            ounces  cooked chicken -- shredded

Preheat oven to 450°F.

Toss broccoli, tomatoes, oil, garlic and salt in a large bowl until evenly coated.

Spread in an even layer on a foil lined baking sheet. Bake until the broccoli begins to brown - maybe 15 minutes depending on the oven.

Meanwhile, combine lemon zest and juice, olives, oregano and capers in the now empty large bowl.

Add the roasted vegetables and shredded chicken; stir to combine.

Serve warm or at room temperature.

This recipe can serve four and takes about an half hour from start to table.

I keep my recipes in MasterCook and while I can't vouch for the accuracy, here are their numbers per serving:  250 Calories; 16g Fat (55.3% calories from fat); 20g Protein; 8g Carbohydrate; 3g Dietary Fiber; 48mg Cholesterol; 499mg Sodium.  Exchanges: 0 Grain(Starch); 2 1/2 Lean Meat; 1 1/2 Vegetable; 0 Fruit; 2 1/2 Fat; 0 Other Carbohydrates.

CHEF'S NOTES : The local foodie mega-mart has 12 ounce bagged broccoli florets, and a deli chicken stripped from the carcass are two time and energy savers. Use half of the chicken now and save the rest for another quick and easy recipe.

Bon appétit, y'all.

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