August 14, 2014

Food Pairing w/ Watermelon Rind, Apple, Lemongrass Juice and Comfort Food

Comfort food offers a sentimental moment of nostalgia where happiness centers around the familiarity of food pairing experiences.  They say comfort food has a way of piquing happiness and serenity.  Well, I hope you enjoy this dish and may the casserole ignite a reminiscent moment of comfort as you enjoy the broccoli pasta cheese casserole with family and friends. The combination of broccoli, pasta and cheese is  tasty, and the dish is quick and easy to prepare. Hey, sometimes we just don't have the time to spend in the kitchen, this dish gets you in and out of the kitchen within minutes. 


As a foodie, I will at times alter a recipe to enhance my palate experience.  For this dish, I substituted the cheddar cheese for apple smoked cheddar cheese, yum.  Instead of three eggs, I elected to use two eggs and the parsley was substituted for the fragrant herb tarragon. Tarragon blends beautifully with the smoked cheese.   

For my juice pairing, I chose to go with the comfort of watermelon rind, apple, lemongrass juice. Now the reason for juicing watermelon rind is simple, we devour the watermelon earlier, and I never throw away the rind because much of the healing nutrients is within the rind of the watermelon.


Although this dish has a lot of broccoli, I wanted to add more nutrients to boost my nutritional intake to offset the carbs from pasta.  The rind should be combined with another juice or herb that reduces flatulence. Too much watermelon rind juice will cause gas. The lemongrass is known for eliminating flatulence. Again, most of the nutrition is inside the rind therefore you must juice the rind to receive an additional amount of antioxidants, minerals and chlorophyll content. I added apple for the sweetness and phytonutrients.  

Recipe Here

Broccoli and Cheese Penne Casserole

Serving 6


6 1/2 ounces penne pasta
1 pound broccoli, cut into small florets
3 eggs
1 cup cream
1/3 cup milk
2/3 cup coarsely grated cheddar cheese
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon rind
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Preheat oven to 425°F. Oil a deep 8-cup ovenproof dish.
Cook pasta in large saucepan of boiling water until tender. Add broccoli for last 5 minutes of pasta cooking time; drain. Rinse pasta and broccoli under cold water; drain, cool.
Combine pasta, broccoli, eggs, cream, milk and cheddar in large bowl; season.
Spoon mixture into dish; sprinkle with combined breadcrumbs, parmesan, garlic, rind and parsley.
Bake, uncovered, about 40 minutes or until browned lightly and set.
Stand 10 minutes before serving.