Tuesday, April 2, 2013

NomNomPaleo Roasted Broccoli & Bacon

Shortly after posting my last roasted broccoli review, someone named Lisa, submitted a suggestion through my nifty recipe request widget that I review NomNomPaleo's Roasted Broccoli & Bacon recipe.  Sara H. also commented on that post inquiring about the NomNomPaleo broccoli.  I knew then I had no choice but to try out NomNomPaleo's recipe.  I waited a few weeks to get my last less than stellar experience out of my mind and then I took to the kitchen.  

First I gathered my ingredients.  
NomNomPaleo didn't wash her broccoli, but I did.  As you can see there appears to have been a rush on broccoli the day I got the crowns I used, so I had to wash them.  After washing the broccoli and patting it dry, I cut the crowns into florets.  I turned the oven on to pre-heat to 400.  

As I cut up the broccoli, I added it to a 1 gallon resealable bag.  I splurged at the grocery store and got some pre-peeled garlic.  I added 5 cloves to the bag.  Sometimes its nice to not have garlic skin stuck to your fingers.  

Then I sliced the bacon into pieces and added it to the bag.  

The next instruction is to add a "few good glugs of macadamia nut oil, avocado oil, melted ghee or melted lard."  I had avocado oil in my pantry so that's what I used.  I'm not certain how much oil is in a glug.  Unfortunately, unweighed unmeasured paleo doesn't work for me yet, so I don't do much glugging around my house.  Using my last roasted broccoli experience as a guide, I used 3 tablespoons.  I wished I'd looked a little more on her site as I would have found this Roasted Broccoli with Crispy Prosciutto & Balsamic Vinegar to use as a guideline.  In that recipe, she says she uses 2 tablespoons of fat.  

She says to use a "generous amount of salt," so I also added 2 teaspoons to the bag.  I also ground some fresh pepper over the bag.  I didn't measure it.  Sorry.  I just stopped grinding when it looked right to me.  Pepper is a personal thing so what looks right to me may be way too much or too little for you.  I wouldn't say I added more than a teaspoon.  

Next, I sealed the bag and gave it a good shake until it looked like everything was coated with oil.  I spread the broccoli, bacon and garlic over a foil lined baking sheet.  

Here is my tray of broccoli before putting it in the oven.  
The instructions are to flip the broccoli in 10 minute increments, so that's what I did.  After 10 minutes in the oven, here is the tray.
After 10 minutes more, here is the tray again.  Each time I checked the broccoli, I used tongs to turn it.  I did not rotate the entire tray as dictated in the recipe.  Shame on me.  

After 10 minutes more, I decided the broccoli was done.  Here's my finished bowl of broccoli.

Yum sums this up.
Accessibility & Cost of Ingredients:  You should be able to find all of the ingredients for this recipe at your big box grocery store with maybe the exception of the avocado oil.  I don't think my big box carries it. This is the brand of olive oil I used and though I couldn't find the receipt, I think it cost about as much as Amazon is selling it for at Whole Foods.  I'll put it on my list things to check the next time I go to the store.  

Would another oil other than the ones listed work; say olive oil or coconut oil?  I'm going to be bold and say no.  In fact, I think that the use of olive oil in the failed roasted broccoli recipe I made likely is what made it fail.  I'm going to guess that Michelle chose the oils she listed because they have a high smoke point.  Avocado has the highest smoke point of all the fats she recommends and a much higher smoke point than than olive oil or coconut oil.  The next closest paleo friendly fat with a smoke point closer to avocado oil appears to be ghee.  Ghee and bacon might be overkill for me but maybe not for you.  I like to use Applegate Farms bacon which is a little more expensive ($4.99 a package) than the brands my big box grocery store carries, but I think the quality justifies it.  

Preparation & Cooking Time: It took me just over 14 minutes to prepare the broccoli to go into the oven.  I roasted the broccoli for 30 minutes.  

Clean Up:  Clean up is a breeze!  Throw away the resealable plastic bag: check.  Crumple up tin foil: check.  Put cutting board, knife and measuring spoons in the dishwasher: check.  

A clean baking sheet!
The Paleo Review:  Thumbs up!  This broccoli tastes fantastic.  This recipe makes me glad I did not let my last roasted broccoli experience put me off the concept all together.  This time, the broccoli had a little bit of char, but that was not the predominant flavor.  The broccoli was not dry either.  The next time I make it I will only use 1 teaspoon of salt as it seemed just a bit salty for my taste.  You might think I would say the best part of the flavor is the bacon, but actually, for me, it was the garlic.   Perhaps more accurately described as bacon grease covered roasted garlic.  I am adding more garlic the next time I make this.   

This recipe is so good, but it won't become a regular side dish for me.  Why?  I can eat the entire batch in one sitting by myself and this has way too much fat (even if I just used 2 tablespoons), albeit healthy fat, for me in one meal even if I pair it with a lean protein.  I think it may be impossible for a dish with 4 slices of bacon in it to not be scrumptious.

If you haven't tried this recipe yet, do it!       

Blog Note:  This past Thursday through Saturday was PaleoFX.  I'm drafting a post about my experience, but alas you will have to wait another day or two for it.  The conference was action packed and then I followed it with a one day road trip for Easter with my family.  When Monday arrived, I had no recipe posts prepared for the week (other than having my pictures and cooking notes) and a full day at my "real" job ahead.  I figure if you are at all interested in my PaleoFX thoughts, you'll read them whenever I get them up here, but at The Paleo Review, the food comes first!

As a preview though, I will say that Michelle Tam, the mastermind behind NomNomPaleo, is one of the nicest paleo food bloggers out there.  At the end of the day I'm a googly-eyed fan and she is extremely gracious in person.

If you haven't visited NomNomPaleo, why the heck not?  She has lots of great recipes up on the site and if you have an ipad, she has a recipe app that though I don't have it I have a hard time imagining its not full of good stuff.  One day.  One day.  

Also, have you noticed the power of the recipe request widget?  If you suggest a paleo recipe and I have access to it, it is almost certain that I will review it.  Do you have a paleo recipe you'd like someone else to try out first? Don't be shy! Suggest away!