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This large edible flower, cultivated centuries ago by Italian farmers has garnered its fair share of loyalists and haters over the years. A power food, broccoli packs a solid nutritional punch in the form of fibre, protein, iron, potassium, calcium, selenium, magnesium, as well as the vitamins A, B, C, E, and K.
So, be it building muscles or strengthening bones–broccoli is the undisputed champion. And yet, broccoli attracts the wrath of kids and adults alike thanks to its taste.
Though the earthy bitterness of broccoli may not be everyone’s cup of tea, we mustn’t limit our endeavours when it comes to finding ways to incorporate this power veggie in our diet through these delicious recipes, that will surely kindle our love for broccoli:
Mango broccoli salad (serves 4)
2 tbsp ranch dressing
1 tbsp orange juice
2 cups chopped broccoli
1/2 large mango peeled and cubed
1/4 cup cashews
1/2 small onion (cut into thin wedges)
1. Combine ranch dressing and orange juice in a bowl and set aside.
2. Toss together the chopped broccoli, cubed mango, cashews, and wedged onion in a salad bowl. Pour the dressing over the broccoli mixture; toss to coat.
3. Refrigerate at least 4 hours before serving.
Roasted garlic lemon broccoli (serves 4)
2 heads broccoli, separated into florets (small portions)
2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
8 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon lemon juice
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
2. In a large bowl, toss broccoli florets with the extra-virgin olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic. Spread the broccoli out in an even layer on a baking sheet.
3. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven until florets are tender enough to pierce the stems with a fork. Squeeze lemon juice generously over the broccoli before serving.
Cream of broccoli soup (serves 4)
200 gm broccoli, finely chopped
2 tbsp butter/oil
2 tbsp sifted flour
1/4 tsp black pepper powder
3/4 cup milk
4 cups of water
2 tsp salt
1. Heat the butter or oil in a saucepan.
2. Add half the broccoli in the saucepan just when the butter has melted or the oil is generating steam.
3. Sauté for about one minute. Add the flour and stir well so that the mixture leaves the sides of the pan.
4. Remove from heat, and add water gradually, stirring all the time so as to avoid lumps.
5. Cool the mixture for 15 minutes and then blend using a blender.
6. Place the pan back over the heat and add broccoli, milk, and black pepper and salt.
7. Use high heat to cook and stir every now and then, till a boil is reached and then let the ingredients simmer over low heat for at least 10 minutes.
8. Garnish with low-fat cream before serving.
Stir-fry broccoli and chicken (serves 4)
2 chicken breasts, cubed
3 onions, thinly sliced
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp dark sesame oil
1 tbsp dry sherry or wine
2 tbsp soya sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
1-inch piece ginger, minced)
1 tsp cornstarch
Salt and black pepper to taste
1/3 cup water
3 tbsp vegetable oil
5 to 6 cups broccoli florets
1. Toss the chicken with the onions, sugar, sesame oil, 1 tbsp sherry, half the soya sauce, half the garlic and ginger, 1 teaspoon of the cornstarch and 1 teaspoon salt in a bowl. Mix well. Marinate at room temperature for 15 minutes. Mix the cornstarch with the water in a small bowl and keep aside.
2. Heat a large frying pan over high heat. Add 1 tbsp of the vegetable oil and heat. Add broccoli florets and stir-fry for 30 seconds. After stir-frying, add the remaining garlic and ginger, 2 tbsp water, salt and black pepper. Stir-fry until the broccoli is bright green but still crisp (about 2 minutes). Transfer to a plate.
3. Heat the frying pan again and add 2 tbsp vegetable oil. Add the marinated chicken to the pan and stir-fry until the chicken gets slightly brown. Add the soya sauce and the stir-fried broccoli to the pan and toss. Stir the ingredients in cornstarch and bring them to a boil to thicken. Add more water if needed to thin the sauce. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
4. Garnish with sesame seeds before serving. Serve with rice of your liking.
Roasted broccoli and mushrooms with onion wedges
4 heads broccoli, cut into florets
500 grams mushrooms, quartered
8 onions, cut into wedges
12 tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Preheat the oven to 425°F.
2. Place the broccoli florets, mushrooms, and onion on a large baking sheet.
3. Drizzle with olive oil and toss to coat.
4. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.
5. Roast in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until lightly brown and tender.
6. Remove from the oven, drizzle balsamic vinegar and serve.