Baked Potato with Oven-Roasted Broccoli

I’ve noticed something. Californians can be a LITTLE snobby about our weather. We’re all aware I do it (wahh it’s 70 and I’m cold wahh), it’s embedded in television shows (OC anyone? Californication? They’re in the pool all year!), and oh yeah, we can drive “to the snow,” just to visit. We’re ridiculous, and yet, I always get a kick out of telling my East Coasters about how I walked around town in a tank top in January (love you guys!).

Well, sometimes we get paid back for our holier-than-thou weather. When it rains here, we can’t deal. Traffic stops moving; crashes happen because what is this wet stuff falling from the sky?! And we get even more horrible things like floods and mudslides. Weather is dangerous, folks.

So you may have heard El Nino is in town, or so they say. Get ready for a week of humid, soggy, frizzy, business-busting weather. Please be careful out there on the roads, and if you can stay home and snug your pup, maybe roast up some delicious veggies to go along with it.

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Breadless Bruschetta

bruschetta

You might argue that bread is what makes bruschetta – actually, I wouldn’t dispute that. However, sometimes, when you’ve been baking many delicious treats…containing lots of delicious butter, sugar, and flour…you realize you might want to cut back or you’re going to end up with a belly.  I won’t name any names.

Technically, this should be called a tomato salad.  But who wants to get technical?

This recipe is a way to get all the flavor of bruschetta without any of the guilt or empty calories – just the healthy stuff!  Also, it’s a great way to use up the delicious tomatoes that are probably abundant in your garden right about now.  It only takes about five minutes to make!

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Linguine and Clams

linguine and clams

Of all my dad’s favorite foods (he was a chef back in his day), I think this meal is at the top of the list.  “It’s all from the earth,” he always says, “Clams from the sea, garlic and wheat from the ground, and olive oil from the trees.”  Whatever the philosophy behind it, this is a delicious plate of pasta.  Plain and simple: this recipe is worth it.

By the way, Central Coasters (especially north SLO county) – Pier 46 seafood market/restaurant in Templeton is THE PLACE to buy seafood.  High quality, fresh fish and wonderful prepared items.  Great food, and you’re supporting the local economy!  That’s where these littlenecks came from (click for pretty pictures!)

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Spicy Grilled Citrus Chicken

Spicy Grilled Citrus Chicken

Fun fact: my favorite food for most of my pre-vegetarian life was the rarest of rare prime rib…oh how things change!  I’m going on my ninth year of vegetarianism, but I can hold my own in the carnivore world.  My Dad was a chef, and I learned how to cook a steak when I was seven; I cook meat all the time for the kids I nanny for. I’m not a squeamish vegetarian; I’m okay if meat touches or is cooked with what I am eating, and although I’d rather not touch raw meat it’s not the end of the world if I have to.  That being said……here’s what I made my dad and brother for dinner this weekend.

Click through for the recipe, as well as a picture of my cute brother grilling!

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