Casseroles were never a staple in our dinner rotation growing up – the only time we’d see them were at church potlucks and the two big holidays. There wasn’t a soul in our house that would touch broccoli if it wasn’t drowning in ranch dressing. But turn it into a casserole with cheese and rice? It’s almost always the first thing to go.
How popular is broccoli and cheese casserole in our house? My little brother called over two weeks ago after realizing that this was Foodie Groom’s year for Thanksgiving:
Foodie Brother: Hey, we got a problem for Thanksgiving.
Me: You mean, who’s gonna make the broccoli casserole?
Of all the things I make, I’m most loved for an artery-clogging blob of convenience foods
I’ve always considered Thanksgiving as “my Christmas” – I’m sure many cookers and bakers do. Who wouldn’t feel like a kid on Christmas morning when they had 12 items to cook in 6 hours – and that doesn’t count the 10 pies that were baked the night before! The chaos. The beautiful, beautiful chaos.
One thing that I noticed this year, in the golden era of my declining metabolism (aka, late 20′s), was my dread of the calorie-laden casserole. There usually isn’t a single “normal” vegetable offered on the table. Broccoli is transformed from a healthy and innocent vegetable to a deliciously evil side dish. Corn? My aunt’s recipe for corn casserole contains sauteed onions, cheddar cheese, cream cheese, and corn topped with corn flakes that have been tossed with melted butter. Sweet potatoes? Unless I get there early enough to reserve an uncooked one for myself, they’re coated in a dark brown sugar syrup and buried under a marshmallow crust.
To make sure that I have at least one regular vegetable to put on my plate that doesn’t come loaded with cream cheese, butter, and corn flakes, I decided to bring oven-roasted broccoli to dinner along with the array of breads that I’ll be baking today. Oven-roasted broccoli is as sexy as broccoli can get – until you bust out the Velveeta.
Oven-roasted broccoli has been a weekly staple for lunch and/or dinner since I found Nicole’s recipe over at Pinch My Salt early this year. I’ve probably eaten more broccoli this year than all my previous years combined because everything green tastes better oven-roasted. With garlic
Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving from The Foodie Bride household!