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Thursday, December 16, 2010

Quick Vegetable Main Dish

This is a recipe I have been using for over a decade. It's great to make when time is short, using the microwave for the full preparation. The recipe makes two main dish servings, though it could be doubled easily (adding a little more time at each step in the microwave). I have liked it because it includes foods that I almost always have on hand--though the pepperoni might end up having some leftover ham or even bacon bits subbed in. You can make this without any of these meats, but the smoky flavor adds some welcome depth of flavor.

Start to finish this could be done in 15 minutes and will help pep up your daily vegetable intake if that is sometimes a problem. To complete the meal, and make things even healthier, as well as more brightly colored, put out some baby carrots or carrot sticks and serve some seasonal fresh fruit as a light dessert.

Zippy Broccoli Au Gratin

2 c frozen, chopped broccoli--don't thaw
1 small to medium onion, finely chopped
2 T to 1/4 c diced pepperoni or other smoked meat
2 oz American cheese (Velveeta), diced
1/4 to 1/2 c salsa of your choice

Place broccoli, onion, and pepperoni in microwave safe casserole, cover, and cook 4 to 5 minutes, depending on your microwave. The broccoli should be just tender and bright green.

(NOTE: If you prefer, you may cook the onion with the pepperoni and a teaspoon or so of water in the microwave for a minute or two before adding the broccoli.)

Stir the cheese into the broccoli and return to the microwave for a minute or two, just until the cheese melts.

Add the salsa and stir the mixture until the broccoli is evenly coated with the cheese sauce.

Serve over rice OR baked potato OR serve with chunks of fresh baguette for dipping.

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