Jul 17, 2012

Broiled Frozen Vegetables

So I just recently found out my oven has a broiler. Do all ovens come with broilers? How do I not know this???

Maybe it's because I grew up in Africa (this is a great excuse for a lot of things, by the way), and a broiler was not a common feature on most ovens. That is, when we had ovens...One year we lived with only a stove top with two burners and I learned how to bake things over a tiny charcoal grill. I was volunteering at an orphanage and one of the thank-you gifts the orphanage director and his wife gave me was a makeshift tin oven. It sat over the coals and was about 2.5 feet in diameter and one foot high, with a removable lid. Here is a photo of a Liberian charcoal grill, or "coal pot" (with traditional Palm Butter sauce cooking on top), along with my skillful illustration of what my tin oven looked like. 

I quickly learned that baking with only a thin metal layer and a few inches between hot coals worked better with some things than others. For example; Casseroles = success! Cookies = fail. It was quite the adventure and kept me busy, to say the least.

So that's a bit of my culinary history. But I'm sure you are curious as to how I broil my frozen vegetables. Basically any vegetable can be broiled. Broiling, especially with a bit of onion, gives ordinary vegetables a real sophisticated taste. Like something you'd eat at a nice restaurant.  Many frozen vegetables are considerably cheaper than the fresh versions, so if you want to eat a lot of healthy veggies, but have a tight budget, frozen is the way to go with things like green beans, broccoli, and our favorite, the Normandy blend (broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots). The good news is most frozen veggies have the same nutrition value as their fresh counterparts. Also, according to Noursishing Traditions, cooking many veggies and eating them with a bit of butter, or a healthy oil like olive oil or coconut oil, actually makes their nutriants more accessible to our bodies. So it's really a win-win situation if you don't always want to eat raw veggies and you like to drown things in butter or olive oil, like me.

Broiled Frozen Vegetables

1 16 oz bag of frozen vegetables*
1 small to medium onion, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
4 to 6 teaspoons melted butter, coconut oil, or olive oil, divided

Arrange frozen vegetables (do not thaw) on a cookie sheet with an edge. Sprinkle onion, salt, and pepper over the top. Drizzle 3 teaspoons butter or oil evenly over everything. Broil on high, about 4 inches from the heat, for about 15 to 18 minutes, or until the onions and some of the vegetables start to develop some black edges. Place in a serving dish. Drizzle with remaining oil - up to 3 teaspoons. Toss to coat.

*Choose large frozen vegetables like green beans, broccoli, or mixes with broccoli, cauliflower and carrots, not tiny things like peas and cut up carrot blends.

Preparation time: 5 minutes. Cook time: 15-18 minutes. Servings: 2-4

Here we have broiled Normandy blend veggies to which I added some 
green beans, along with my Marinated Garlic Lime Chicken
This was my high protein/low carb dinner the other night.

It's that easy. The caramelized flavors are quite addictive and a whole bag of veggies will only feed me and my husband. If you are trying to eat a high protein/low carb diet, these vegetables and a serving of meat make a great meal.


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