Bring the May! (and the Broccoli)
May 1, 2023
It’s May, and the air is alive with birdsong. Maybe the birds are saying, oy, what a lousy day. But they sound beautiful, joyful, and I’m going with that.
Happy May Day, the ancient pagan holiday of fertility. So bring the May!
Used to be we celebrated with flowers and greenery, now it’s school prom sequins and tuxes. Then and now, it’s all about bringing the May with some style and sparkle.
May is also Mediterranean Diet Month. Another centuries-old tradition, the Mediterranean Diet is still hot now. This way of eating ticks all the boxes. It’s healthy, sustainable, easy, affordable, and above all, delectable.
Oldways, the nonprofit promoting heritage diets for wellness, help you make the most of Mediterranean Diet Month with their free 28-day Mediterranean Diet plan. Taste why U.S. News & World Report ranks the Mediterranean Diet :
#1 Best Plant-Based Diet
#1 Best Heart-Healthy Diet
#1 Best Diabetes Diet
#1 Best Diet for Healthy Eating
#1Easiest Diet to Follow
The Mediterranean Diet — it’s a winner.
If you’re reading this, so are you. You’re already part of the mighty Broccoli Rising migration, with weekly plant-based recipes and posts delivered fresh, free and right to your inbox. Bask in your glory.
I’ll always be a soulful vegan and will keep all my plantbased recipes planted at soulfulvegan.com. But here at Broccoli Rising, you’ll get weekly tastes of new creations, like my new spin on classic calabacitas, plus heads-up on plant-based presentations, reels, events, cooking classes, collaborations and vegan fun in every flavor. Plus a little quirk, because hey, it’s me.
Wine workout? It’s not what you think. Check out my new Alcohol Professor article How Old School Grape Crushing by Foot Makes Better Wine.
I’m honored to chair Les Dames d’Escoffier International’s Awards Committee and pumped to have two titanic Dames serving with me — Grande Dame Bev Shaffer and and Food Tank phenom Joi Chevalier.
May 1 – May Day
Once an ancient pagan holiday of fertility and the transition of spring to summer , now it’s International Workers Day, a big salute to all us working class stiffs.
May 5 – Cinco de Mayo
It’s not just cinco de drinko. A little respect, people. Cinco de Mayo commemorates Mexico’s 1862 victory over the French at the Battle of Puebla. Celebrate with calabacitas. Keep scrolling to grab the recipe.
May 14 – Mother’s Day
Cheers to you, mom, and all the mothers out there.
May 16-22 SweetHeat Miami
It’s the 15th anniversary of SweetHeat Miami, Miami’s weeklong celebration of women. Why wage war on woke when you can party with Pride?
I’m honored to be invited to participate at Brahma Kumaris Call-of-the-Time Dialogue.
May 29 Memorial Day
More than a day off, it’s a day to honor those like my great uncle Benjamin, who gave their lives defending our country and us.
Calabacitas means little squash, but with big rewards. This recipe from Mexico lets zucchini have some fun with tomato, onion, chile and spices. Calabacitas is quick, easy, affordable, versatile and fun to say.
Calabacitas invites endless variations. I’ve made it dozens of times, dozens of ways. The first time I shared the recipe was — ugh — during Covid, when I made it as a traditional sauté.
My favorite way at the moment is to roast the vegetables all together in the oven. It takes only a few minutes longer than the classic sauté but requires no effort on your end. You can use that free time to bash some guacamole or, if you’re that way inclined, mix up a pitcher of margaritas.
1 large zucchini, chopped
1 large onion, sliced
1 cup tomato, chopped — 1 large tomato, half a pint of grape tomatoes or half a 15-ounce can diced tomatoes
1 cup sweet pepper — red, orange or yellow, sliced
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 poblano, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon paprika, sweet or smoked
1/4 teaspoon coriander
sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
juice of 1 lime (about 2 teaspoons)
1 handful cilantro, chopped, to finish
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Line rimmed baking sheet with a sheet of parchment or a Silpat.
Chop zucchini and pour it into a colander or sieve. Sprinkle zucchini generously with coarse salt and place over a bowl. Let it sit for for at least half an hour. This draws out the excess water, avoids mushiness, and makes for denser, more satisfying squash. Rinse well and blot dry.
Spread chopped zucchini, sliced onion, chopped tomatoes peppers and garlic out over the baking sheet. Sprinkle with cumin, paprika, coriander and sea salt.
Drizzle with olive oil and give a stir so vegetables get a light coating of spiced oil.
Make sure the vegetables are well spread out. They hate crowding.
Pop the baking sheet in the oven and roast for 20 minutes, giving everything a stir halfway through to prevent sticking. Vegetables are done when tender, fragrant and slightly darker at the edges.
Finish with a squeeze of lime and a handful of chopped cilantro.
Serve calabacitas with tortillas, rice, beans, guacamole, hot sauce, the works. Add those margaritas, and you’d have something my mother would love.
Looking for a printable version of this recipe? Grab it here.
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