Simple Vegetable Side Dishes

I wanted to put this post together to help find recipes for simple veggies. I often find that I wish I had another vegetable option on the table and I want it to be simple because I’m busy making the main course magic happen. So if you’re like me, you might find this post useful.


Asparagus – Elise from Simply Recipes gives us some good tips on roasting that stubborn asparagus to perfection.

Broccoli – This is Simply Recipes again, great website by the way, explaining all about steaming broccoli.

Green Beans – Jamie from Love Bakes Good Cakes gives us these delicious beans.

Balsamic Glazed Brussel Sprouts – Sonia from The Healthy provides us with this green gem.

Glazed Carrots – A classic, sweet and mild side dish, made of carrots.

Oven Roasted Butternut Squash – this is maybe more wintery than summery recipe but still delicious.

Spiced Sweet Potato and Carrot Puree – Kimberly from Poor Girl Eats Well has a couple of tips on sweet potatoes.

Roasted Peppers – David Lebovitz gives us these amazing roasted peppers.

Easy Creamed Corn with Parmesan – Samantha from Five Heart Home tells us about this yummy corn.

Mashed Turnip and Rutabaga – this awesome recipe comes from Keep It Up David, great blog with lots of good resources.


How To Jam Just About Any Fruit

I organised this list by colours of the fruit so that we are starting with the almost white gooseberries and ending the list with blackberries. Looking for these recipes around the web was fun and I can’t recommend these recipes enough. Two of the recipes are mine. One green and one yellow. 🙂


  1.  Gooseberry Jam – This excellent recipe comes from a website called Carla Nayland Historical Fiction. Not strictly a recipe website but the ones that are there are certainly worth investigating further.
  2. Kiwi Jam – This one is from me and it is an awesome, crunchy treat. You just have to try this!
  3. Lemon Curd – I know, lemon curd is not exactly a jam. It is however a way to jar some lemons (with egg yolks) and enjoy them. This recipe comes from the online version of CHEFS® jam
  4. Apricot Jam – A gem of a recipe coming from David Lebovitz. I will link to one more recipe from there since they are just great. David Lebovitz is a professional chef who after having significant success in restaurant business decided to leave the industry and pursue writing cookbooks while living in beautiful Paris. He obviously knows both jams and how to be happy, which is great!
  5. Peach Freezer Jam – This delicious recipe is from Recipe Girl. The author of this blog is a former elementary school teacher who is now a food writer full time. There is an amazing amount of her own and adapted recipes over there so do go ahead and check out that delicious website.
  6. Persimon Jam – This one is mine, get the Tattoo My Broccoli realness here.persimon jam
  7. Orange Marmalade – This preserve comes from Sarah’s Joys, a blog written by a California native who now resides in Utah and puts her delicious, amazing recipes on her blog.
  8. Red Currant Jam – This is another sweet treat from David Lebovitz, from Paris. If currants are new to you, do investigate them. They are a treasury to have in winter months, full of vitamin C and simply delicious.
  9. Raspberry Jam – This website is called Neo-Homesteading and comes to you straight from Pocono Mountains, Pennsylvania. Great blog as well as a great recipe.
  10. Cranberry Jam – Jamie from Love Bakes Good Cakes provides us with this gem. Cranberries are not only for Thanksgiving, after all.
  11. Cherry Jam – These three cherry jam recipes come from Chickens In The Road .com. I’ll take three recipes over one, it’s a good variety.
  12. Strawberry Jam –  This staple comes from Karrie and her very useful website Happy Money Saver. com. There is a lot more resources there. Be sure to check them leather
  13. Blueberry Jam – Or even 7 separate ways of making it. These come from Julie, whose website is a lot about self-reliance and living independently from the system, which I really love and appreciate.
  14. Blackberry Jam – his beautiful treasure comes from Rita Joy, who also has a lot of interior design projects on her website. This is definitely one to check out.
  15. Blackcurrant Jam – This recipe comes from




© Julia M Wlodarczyk and Tattoo My Broccoli, 2014-2024. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, recipes and images without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Julia M Wlodarczyk and Tattoo My Broccoli with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

5 Reasons To Start Having a Green Salad with Every Dinner

So here’s the deal. If you think you don’t like salads, give this a try. Make salads and serve with dinner every day for 10 days, or even for a week and then see if you like salads or not. I did it and it worked for me. Now salads are in our home so often I just can’t believe we used to eat without them!

aa onion

The Reasons:

1. You will get lots of health benefits.

Seriously the amount of research done on eating fresh, leafy greens is enormous. There is also a lot of research on people who consume uncooked extra virgin olive oil and again that has been found beneficial to their health. So get chopping!

2. You will not have to worry about your vitamin intake

if you make a very meaty bolognese with white pasta. The green salad will always be there to pick up the nutritional slack.

3. You will start craving salads.

You might not believe this now but give it a try for 10 consecutive days and I promise you will be craving some zesty and zingy flavours with your dinner on the 11th day.

4. You will feel sophisticated and fabulous

handling ingredients like rocket salad, balsamic vinegar or extra virgin olive oil.

5. You will be able to get away with eating smaller portions

of the comfort foods that you crave but then feel guilty about eating.

peppers and courgette

Here’s some recipes I found very helpful in the beginning of my journey:


Easy Cucumber Salad by Kalyn’s Kitchen

Easy Green Bean Salad by Keep It Up David

Strawberry, Goat Cheese & Arugula (Rocket) Salad by Eating Made Easy

Simple Salad With Lettuce Leaves And Tomatoes by Melanie Cooks

Israeli Salad by David Lebovitz




5 Delicious Loaves To Make At Home

Check out these 5 easy ways to use your loaf baking tray and get amazing results.


1. Cinnamon Applesauce Loaf

applesauce loaf This cute loaf is soft, never dry because of all the applesauce and really popular with everybody.





2. Banana Bread

banana breadVery moist and well flavoured with bananas.





3. Poppyseed Loaf

poppyseed madnessThis is exactly what you want to do with a bag of poppy seed you have in the cupboard. Trust me, you won’t regret it!





4. Decadent Chocolate Loaf

decadent chocolate This loaf embodies chocolate deliciousness in all its glory. Very dark, very fully flavoured and sophisticated for that special chocolate lover in your life.





5. Dried Fruit Loaf

dried fruit loafNo fancy ingredients, just dried fruit in your pantry? Whip us this gem and enjoy the fruits of your labour!



© Julia M Wlodarczyk and Tattoo My Broccoli, 2014-2024. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, recipes and images without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Julia M Wlodarczyk and Tattoo My Broccoli with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

11 Ingredients to Fancy Up Your Cooking

If you have started cooking and are trying to make more and more new foods from scratch, you might notice that there are ingredients coming up in the recipes that you need to buy. This is a list of 11 ingredients that might come in handy once you start digging into more interesting recipes. None of these ingredients are really very fancy or expensive but they are a bit rarer than the everyday bread and butter. You might be from a part of the world where you eat some of these things every day. If that is the case, I am sorry, I can only speak for myself and where I live. I hope you enjoy this. If you notice that an ingredient is stuck in your fridge or pantry for a long time, just google what else you can use it for and I guarantee you that you’ll find a delicious recipe just waiting for you to cook.


spinach casserole

60% (or more) Cocoa Solids Chocolate – Dark chocolate is a delicious way to make real, true chocolate cakes, muffins or other bakes. Don’t fall for the ‘easy’ chocolate chips with many ingredients and unknown percentage of actual cocoa solids. Go with a good quality dark chocolate to achieve some very well rounded, complex chocolate flavours.

Adzuki Beans – There is a million dishes you can make with these, just type them in to Pinterest, and you’ll see. They can be made into a sweet paste and used in sweet bakes, they can be your meat substitute and they can also be the star of the dish, like in this delicious slow cooker recipe.

Balsamic Vinegar – this ingredient is amazing for sauces, salad dressings, risottos and pasta dishes. There are a lot of them out there, both real ones and fakes, so use this handy guide to choosing and then using your balsamic vinegar.

Cardamom – this is a spice with a very aromatic fragrance. A bit like cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg it is amazing to spice up cakes, bread rolls, gingerbread and other bakes. Many Middle-Eastern dishes also call for it in desserts and such. Give it a try and maybe you’ll fall in love with it like the Norwegians who use it to spice rolls sold here in every shop.

Chickpeas – or Garbanzo Beans. These are great in soups, salads and many other dishes calling for beans. They don’t have a very strong flavour so you can be sure that they won’t dominate whatever dish you use them in.

Cocoa Powder – A bit like the dark chocolate but it is a powder so it’s great when you want to make a homemade drinking chocolate or when making chocolate cakes, cookies etc. Simple, very dark and tastes phenomenal.

Rocket Salad – or Arugla with some proven cancer-preventing powers, this salad has an amazing, peppery flavour. It’s a great addition to salads and raw on top of pizza, once the pizza is baked. I dare you to try this, I have never known a better pizza topping.

Soy Sauce – very salty but in small quantities it makes a lot of things better. Try it in marinades, sauces and even salad dressings.

Sun-dried Tomatoes – these have a strong, salty and kind of sour flavour. A little goes a long way and they are delicious in pasta dishes and I especially like to cut them into tiny pieces and use them in breads and dinner rolls.

Sweet Potatoes – if you’re not familiar with them, you just have to check them out and maybe soon you will prefer them over the regular potatoes when making dinner. I certainly do. They are something very special and can be eaten as part of a serious dish, as a sweet or even as breakfast.

Tahini – this is a paste made of sesame seeds. Popular in the Middle East it is used for making dips, homemade hummus and a sweet halva. Research those and you won’t be disappointed. I use tahini also in sauces and as part of marinades, especially when marinating vegetables for baking.

decadent chocolate


Shopping list:

  1. 60% (or more) Cocoa Solids Chocolate
  2. Adzuki Beans
  3. Balsamic Vinegar
  4. Cardamom
  5. Chickpeas
  6. Cocoa Powder
  7. Rocket Salad
  8. Soy Sauce
  9. Sun-dried Tomatoes
  10. Sweet Potatoes
  11. Tahini

28 Ingredients To Start Cooking From Scratch

Do you find yourself eating a lot of processed foods that come from a box and poison you one meal at a time? Are you looking to change it, stop eating junk food and start on your way to cooking fresh, healthy meals from scratch? This shopping list is going to give you a solid base so that you’ll be able to just shop for fresh meat, fish, vegetables and fruit in the next 3 weeks or more. It’s not the answer to all your problems and you certainly need to look into a recipe or two but it will help you.

Take this list to the store with you and you’ll be all set to go! Find the list at the end of this post.


a stripeDSC_2525

Produce Section

Onion – this vegetable will keep for a very long time whether you keep it in the bottom of the fridge or on the countertop. It adds a good flavour to everything you cook. In my kitchen almost no savoury meal ever goes without onion.

Garlic – very similar to the first one. Also amazing in sauces, dips or butters.

Potatoes – they will keep for a long time if kept in the dark and they are an amazing part of many meals, very often the lazy ones, one-pot ones etc.

Fresh cucumber – it will not keep for long but that is okay because you will use at least half of it  it to make a simple salad to go with dinner today or tomorrow.

Lettuce – goes great in that salad I mentioned.

Bell peppers – they will keep slightly longer than the lettuce and they can go into a great one pot meal, so you’ll never be stuck with them. Consider this one-pot recipe.

Broccoli – it will keep a while but it’s the tastiest when you eat it earlier rather than later. It can be baked with cheese or steamed and added to almost any meal.

A seasonal fruit. Look at whatever is cheap and locally produced. Don’t buy a lot, just a couple, so you can eat it as a snack.

As you go on with your new lifestyle, you will buy many more things from the produce section but for now, this should do the trick.

hot milk & peaches


Milk – I cannot live without milk so I use it for coffee, desserts, cereal etc.

Cream – get just a small container so it doesn’t go off before you figure out if you want to use it for a sauce, soup, cheesecake, or a fruit dessert.

Eggs – I  prefer eggs to be from free-range hens just because it means that their living conditions are better than the caged ones and their stress levels are much lower.

Cream Cheese – it keeps quite a while in the fridge and there are a thousand things you can do with it, from desserts, to sauces, bakes like this tuna bake etc.

Parmesan Cheese – everybody says that it’s an expensive cheese but it features some amazing levels of the umami flavour which will make just about any meal delicious without using a lot. Treat this more as a condiment as a little really goes a long way. Buy a chunk though, as pre-grated Parmesan loses its aroma.

spinach casserole

Dry Goods & Condiments

All purpose flour – even if you’re not planning to bake any cakes yet, flour is great for thickening soups or sauces and will keep well for a long time.

Sugar – I know everybody says that sugar is unhealthy but they mostly mean sugar in carbonated drinks and other sources, adding a little sugar to a sauce or a salad dressing will balance off the flavours.

Salt – You probably have salt at home but I’m putting it here just in case.

Black pepper with a mill – freshly ground pepper is so much more delicious than the already ground one. Try it!

A herb – let’s not start with a whole battery of a million things which you’ll throw out after a year or two. Pick oregano, basil or Herbes de Provence. Avoid ready mixes, they often have salt or sugar added and they will prevent you from learning about the flavours you like.

Brown Rice – it’s very healthy and I think it’s delicious. However, if you’ve never had it in your life and you’re afraid that you won’t be able to stomach it, get white rice as well, to have some kind of back up.

Pasta – it’s up to you what kind you’re going to buy. Wholemeal is healthier but it is a significantly different experience than white pasta, so take that into consideration. It’s better to ease yourself into cooking from scratch and stay with it than buy all the healthiest ingredients and fall off the wagon three days later. Good pasta shapes that go with many things are penne, spaghetti and macaroni.

Vinegar – white is good for the beginning, it will be handy for salad dressings.

Lemon juice – salad dressings and preserves when you get into that. 🙂

Canned corn – great for salads and many hot meals, amazing backup when you don’t have too many veggies.

Applesauce – if you can get it where you are, buy it. It’s the best thing ever. Read just about any recipe on my blog to find out why.

blackcurrant cake

Oils & Butters

Real Butter – I prefer unsalted but either way, real butter is the real flavour of homemade food. No margarine can ever replace this.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil – for salad dressings and dips. Anything you’re planning to serve cold is made delicious with a drop of olive oil.

Rapeseed oil – use this oil for cooking. It’s pretty flavourless unlike the olive oil.


Meat & Fish

Chicken – I would start with chicken breast as it is easy to cook and there are thousands of delicious recipes on the internet.

Have a look at the fresh fish, seafood, chicken and turkey. Don’t plan meat and fish for each day of the week. Remember, you just bought a truckload of vegetables, right? You don’t need meat every day at all. Actually, there is an amazing amount of research suggesting that eating meat everyday is unnecessary and probably unhealthy. Try to eat oily fish like salmon, mackerel, sardines and herring twice a week though.



The Shopping List:

  1. Onion
  2. Garlic
  3. Potatoes
  4. Fresh Cucumber
  5. Lettuce
  6. Bell Peppers
  7. Broccoli
  8. One Type Of Seasonal Fruit
  9. Milk
  10. Cream
  11. Eggs
  12. Cream Cheese
  13. Parmesan Cheese
  14. All Purpose Flour
  15. Sugar
  16. Salt
  17. Black Pepper With A Mill
  18. A Herb
  19. Brown Rice
  20. Pasta
  21. Vinegar
  22. Lemon Juice
  23. Canned Corn
  24. Applesauce
  25. Real Butter
  26. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  27. Rapeseed Oil
  28. Chicken Breast



vegetable feast pie




 Happy Cooking!





© Julia M Wlodarczyk and Tattoo My Broccoli, 2014-2024. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, recipes and images without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Julia M Wlodarczyk and Tattoo My Broccoli with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

5 Free Cooking Resources You Just Can’t Go Without

This is what I find important and useful. It could be something totally different for you but do have a look and maybe you’ll like these gems below.


1. A Free Online Course on Child Nutrition and Cooking

This course took me two weeks, including all of the recommended reading. It has 5 hours of videos and a couple of quizzes.

It is issued by Stanford University and that is enough for me to trust it completely. It is accessible at any time (you don’t have to wait for a start date etc.).

I learnt some good general information about nutrition and the recommended reading had some great articles about the food industry and food production.

There are also quite a few recipes in there, shown in video form.


2. The World’s Healthiest Foods

This is a website I use a lot to read about vegetables and fruit. There are also articles about meat and grains.

There is a lot of information here about any new research done on a particular vegetable or nutrient.

This one is a bit nerdy but that’s why I love it.


3. Cup to Gram Conversions

Prepared by this offers conversions on butter and dry goods.


4. Volume Conversions Chart

A handy chart showing you how many tablespoons in a cup etc. Might come in handy if you don’t have the right measuring tool on hand.


5. The Nutrition Source

This is a website ran by Harvard School of Public Health. It provides evidence-based information on diet and nutrition. This is a great tool for me, since I cook to stay healthy and as much as I have a lot of recipes for cake and muffins on this blog, I try to eat a healthy, balanced diet and this website helps me decide what to make for dinner.




© Julia M Wlodarczyk and Tattoo My Broccoli, 2014-2024. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, recipes and images without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Julia M Wlodarczyk and Tattoo My Broccoli with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.