Meatless Monday: Get the buzz on broccoli
If you didn’t like your broccoli as a kid, you’re not alone. By now, you and your tastes have matured (we hope!) and you probably can’t get enough of the green goodness of broccoli. If you participate in Meatless Monday, you'll be thrilled to learn all the different ways you can add broccoli to your meals!
Forget about fantastic flavor, versatility and accessibility for a second. Broccoli is one of the best-of-the-best when it comes to nutritional value. Whether you're looking for a snack, side dish or salad, check out what you'll cash in on when you serve up these spears:
- Low in saturated fat, cholesterol and calories (3-1/2 ounces of broccoli contain only 28 calories)
- A good source of protein and many minerals, including calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, manganese and phosphorus
- A good source of fiber
- High in vitamins: Broccoli contains vitamin A, C, E and K, as well as the B vitamins riboflavin, vitamin B6 and folate
So what can you do with broccoli aside from the usual, like steaming it or eating it raw as a snack (maybe with a little low-fat dip)? You've got a bunch of options!
Make a pesto pasta sauce with it
Yum! So many green veggies can be used to make a pesto sauce and broccoli is no exception!
Makes about 1-1/2 cups of sauce
- 2 cups broccoli florets
- 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves, sliced
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
- 1/8 cup vegetable stock
- Juice of half a lemon
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the broccoli and cook until the water comes up to a boil again. Scoop out about one cup of the cooking water, and then drain the broccoli.
- Heat two tablespoons of the oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add one tablespoon of the garlic and cook the garlic until it begins to take on color, about three minutes. Add the broccoli and about 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid. Cook the florets until they are fork-tender, about 10 minutes.
- Transfer the broccoli and garlic to the food processor. Add the remaining four tablespoons of oil, the remaining garlic, lemon juice, Parmesan cheese and salt and pepper to taste. Puree the mixture into to a rough paste. Add the vegetable stock a few tablespoons at a time and pulse until the pesto is loose and saucy. Adjust the seasoning as you go. Serve over warm pasta.
Enjoy it as a smooth and creamy soup
Perfect when there's a chill in the air, this creamy broccoli soup recipe will warm you to your core!
Serve it up as a hearty salad
Forget about the wimpy salad from your lunchtime deli. With a few simple steps, you can enjoy a hearty, healthy salad for lunch (or dinner)! Try this cauliflower broccoli salad recipe or wing it and toss together cooled steamed broccoli with cooked brown rice, toasted almond slivers, crumbled Feta, chopped cherry tomatoes and a drizzle of olive oil over the top. Mix together and enjoy cold or warm.
Stir-fry it with other veggies or tofu
Forget takeout! With some good ingredients like garlic, nuts, soy sauce, more veggies and terrific seasonings, stir fried broccoli made at home and served over steamed rice is worth a night in! Try this almond broccoli stir-fry recipe courtesy of All Recipes.
Almond broccoli stir-fry
Serves 6-8 people
- 10 cups broccoli florets
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 2 cloves garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 1/2 cup chopped almonds, toasted
- In a nonstick skillet or wok, stir-fry broccoli in oil for two minutes or until crisp-tender.
- Add garlic; stir-fry for one minute. Stir in the soy sauce, sugar and ginger; cook for one to two minutes or until sugar is dissolved. Sprinkle with lemon juice and almonds.
There's more to meals with broccoli than you can imagine! Get creative! Do some experimenting and you'll discover more ways to include broccoli in your diet.