Ginger Sesame and Almond Broccoli
Well, I’ve officially started working out from home again. CrossFit is now a thing of the past for this foodie, at least for the time being.
I’m not exactly sure how I feel about all this yet. I mean, unquestionably, I am EXTREMELY excited about building my very own gym. I’ve been having a blast purchasing my new equipment and I just LOVE having all that stuff in my basement: Olympic bar, bumper plates, bench and rack, dumbbells, kettle bells, weighted balls, resistance bands, name it… I pretty much went all out and bought everything I would need if I ever decided to start doing WODs at home. Heck, I even got me one of those fancy-shmancy LED timers to put on the wall and I’m seriously considering installing gym flooring across the entire room.
What can I say? I LOVE nice things (yes, yes, gym gear IS nice, very nice!) and I love things to be done well, too.
For the time being, however, I’m not exactly doing WODs per se. As some of you may recall, I’d asked my coach to take me under his wing and design me a custom made program, one that would include strength training as well as some elements of CrossFit, while taking my annoying knee injury into consideration. And that he did, quite brilliantly I might add.
So far, I must say I’m having a real good time. I can blast my music all I want without having anyone complain about my [apparently] questionable tastes and sing along at the very top of my lungs if I want to. I can sweat all over the place without feeling one tiny bit self-conscious about it, and I can get as loud as I want when the weights start getting real heavy and require a little bit of “vocal coaxing” to get off the ground…
I miss my box, though. I miss the smell, the energy, the guidance, the cheering… I miss the people!
Ah! Guess I’ll have to go in and do a “spot WOD” from time to time.
But enough jabbering about my exercising habits, already. I’m pretty certain that it’s not the reason why you’re here… You’re here because you want some of that Ginger Sesame and Almond Broccoli are you not?
Well, then I shall let you have some…
And I shall even share the trick to getting beautiful, bright and vibrant green broccoli with you. Because really, who wants to eat stinky overcooked, khaki broccoli?
Keeping your broccoli green is quite simple, really. All you need to do is blanch it or steam it real quick, until that very moment when it get that beautiful, almost fluorescent color, then shock it and stop the cooking by placing it in icy cold water.
I chose to do mine in a steam basket which I placed over salted boiling water and steamed for about 2 or 3 minutes
Don’t wait until your broccoli is cooked all the way. As soon as it turns a beautiful shade of green, take it off the heat and immediately plunge it in icy cold water. Move it around delicately until it’s completely chilled.
Don’t skimp on the ice here, you really need to use LOTS of it: the faster your broccoli cools down, the crunchier and greener it will remain.
And it really needs to get cold, too. Warm or room temperature will not cut it. We’re looking for C.O.L.D.
When your broccoli is really good and cold, transfer it to a colander and let it drain until it’s pretty much dry.
At this point, you can also put the broccoli in the refrigerator to use later. For instance, you could very well do this over the week-end, that way when you want to eat broccoli on a weeknight, all you need to do is toss it in a pan and give it a few minutes to heat all the way through and soften up some.
Oh, and you can use that exact same technique with Brussels sprouts, too. Just sayin’…
When you are good and ready to eat your broccoli, heat the olive oil in a large skillet set over medium heat; add almonds and sesame seeds and cook until golden and fragrant, about 1 minute.
Lower the heat to medium-low, throw in the blanched broccoli, lemon zest, ginger, sesame oil, fish sauce, pepper flakes, salt and pepper and continue cooking until heated through, about 3-5 minutes.
And there you have it. It’s as simple as that. You will be surprised by the incredible amounts of flavors that emanate from such a simple little dish. It blew my mind with every single bite.
I think I even found me a new favorite broccoli dish!
Ginger, Sesame and Almond Broccoli
- Place the broccoli in a steam basket and steam it over salted boiling water until it turns vibrant green, about 2-3 minutes.
- Immediately plunge the broccoli in icy cold water and move it around delicately until it's completely chilled. Don't skimp on the ice here, the faster your broccoli gets cold, the crunchier and greener it will remain.
- Transfer the cold broccoli to a colander and let it drain until it's pretty dry. At this point, you can put the broccoli in the refrigerator until you are ready to eat it.
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet set over medium heat; add almonds and sesame seeds and cook until golden and fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Lower heat to medium-low, add broccoli, lemon zest, ginger, sesame oil, fish sauce, pepper flakes, salt and pepper and continue cooking until heated through, about 3-5 minutes.