Simply Broccoli: A Favorite Salad

Chicken, Mushroom, Broccoli & Rice Casserole: Steaming the Broccoli

Photo Credit: Julia Frost

Post by Contributing Writer, Nada

That’s the strongest of all factors in influencing children’s eating behavior. If father is saying, ‘No way I’ll eat that broccoli,’ then it’s very likely that kids won’t eat it either.– Mary Story

Growing up, no one liked broccoli. It isn’t sweet.  It doesn’t have a very good texture when you chew it.  It’s rather tough, in fact, unless you prepare it properly.  So why should you eat it?  Because it is one of the best foods you can possibly eat!

Broccoli is an excellent source of vitamin C.  It also is rich in antioxidants, which help to counter a build-up of free radicals from your body.  There is substantial research to suggest that an abundance of free radicals can be the cause of several cancers.  It’s also a good source of folate.

The other great thing about broccoli is that it is a very fibrous vegetable that both keeps you full and helps to clean out your system as it passes through your intestines.

Broccoli eten

Photo Credit: Tom & Katrien

Broccoli is grown in May and continues in season until November.  Purple broccoli goes a little longer, into April.  When it comes to green broccoli, keep your eyes on the color. The brighter the green, the more antioxidants it contains.  Look for firm stalks that don’t bend or seem rubbery.  Yellowing indicates it is getting old (though is still edible).

When you bring some broccoli home, you can store it in a clean crisper drawer in the refrigerator.  Store it in an open or perforated bag, so that it can breathe.  It can be kept for up to four days and still be fresh.

Don’t wash your broccoli until you’re ready to use it. This prevents it from getting moldy and rotten.  Keep it cold until you’re ready to use it.  After it’s reached room temperature, the sugars in the broccoli are converted into a woody fiber called lignin, which is not very digestible.

garden broccoli and cheese

Photo Credit: McAvoy

The trick to broccoli is to know how to use it. Just plain ol’ raw or steamed broccoli isn’t all that appetizing.  But the good thing about broccoli is that it is very easy to compliment.  And not only that, it can be enjoyed in all kinds of wonderful forms.  It is also easy to hide in other foods, dressed with other delicious flavors.

One of broccoli’s best friends is cheese. With a delectable cheese sauce, the biggest broccoli haters will concede to take a bite.  Or with a sprinkle of shredded cheese on a potato, it is a nutrient-rich side dish to dinner.

Alternatively, broccoli is great steamed and tossed with olive oil or butter and sprinkled with ground sea salt and pepper or a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.  It can be boiled and swirled with olive oil for a delicious broccoli soup.  Or scramble it in eggs, bake it in a calzone, toss it on a pizza, or saute it in a stir fry!

For a great Thanksgiving salad, however, you can’t beat a sweet and savory broccoli salad.  This one contains such a delicious array of flavours, you can’t help but enjoy it!

Broccoli Salad

Photo Credit: Rebekah Burder

Broccoli Salad

Ingredients:

1 large head Broccoli, chopped and peeled

1/2 cup chopped Red Onion

10 slices Bacon, cooked crispy, crumbled

1 cup Mayonnaise

1/4 cup Honey

2 tbsp Vinegar

1/2 cup Raisins (or craisins, halved grapes, etc.)

1/2-3/4 cup shredded Cheese

Steam or boil broccoli until tender.  Strain in a colander, rinse, and let cool.

Meanwhile, crumble bacon well.  Stir together mayonnaise, honey, and vinegar.  Add in bacon and raisins and combine well.  Finally, add broccoli.  Gently stir until broccoli is coated with dressing mix.  Sprinkle with cheese.  Serve chilled immediately.

One final broccoli tip: When cooking the broccoli stems, be sure to peel them well! The outer casings of the broccoli is the tough, unpleasant part.  But if you peel that off til you get to the white flesh inside, it is soft and sweet, and delicious!  No more tossing out your broccoli stems because no one eats them!

Nada is a first-time mom to a delightful little girl and the wife to a wise and wonderful man. With a background in fitness and nutrition, she enjoys healthy cooking, green cleaning and especially writing, and has acquired a vast knowledge of interesting little facts… about everything! She aspires to be a Godly woman that her daughter is proud to call “Mom” and through her blog, miniMOMist, she discusses how attachment parenting, minimalism, simplicity and frugal living help in her everyday mission.

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