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Calorie Count Blog

How to Make Tasty Broccoli


By +Janice D'Agostino on Sep 14, 2012 10:00 AM in Recipes

I do not like broccoli. And I haven't liked it since I was a little kid and my mother made me eat it. And I'm President of the United States and I'm not going to eat any more broccoli. - George H. W. Bush

Once I was old enough to know that broccoli is not just a forest of miniature trees awaiting the Tree Eating Giant, the test of wills with my parents began. I am rather stubborn, so Mom got used to covering all broccoli with a rivers of cheese sauce. I became resigned to eating my vegetables - if they tasted of cheese. As an adult, I continued ladling on the cheese out of habit. It was a very fat accumulating calorie heavy habit.

Unfortunately, I wasn't the President of the United States and could not use being the leader of the free world as an excuse to stop eating broccoli. But, at least I was not alone in my broccoli misery. Turns out that broccoli haters are reacting to bitter tasting compounds called glucosinolates. Sensitivity to bitter toxins was a life saving trait to have during the long-ago time of foraging and opportunist eating. I wonder if Mom would have believed that I was just a Super-taster trying to save the family from poisoned plants?

Broccoli is very low in calories and boasts a lengthy list of terrific nutrients such as iron, manganese, and potassium (an essential nutrient that is not often included on labeling). Broccoli freezes well, which means it's fine to buy frozen or fresh. If you have a recipe that calls for broccoli raab you should know that in spite of the resemblance, it’s not really broccoli. Broccoli raab is a member of the mustard family. Recipes call for broccoli raab if the flavors would be complimented with a decidedly bitter flavor.

How do you change a negative mindset about broccoli? With new recipes, of course.

Browned Onions and Broccoli is a fun way to make broccoli. Charring one side transforms the flavors and may win over your bitter sensitive family member.

It's always good to know a simple method to cook veggies. Don’t let the simplicity fool you though, steamed Broccoli with Parmesan is a very tasty way to serve broccoli and has become one of my favorites. 

You can still have your broccoli with cheese, but you may find you prefer this grown up version of Broccoli Soup with Blue Cheese.

If you are curious about the flavors of broccoli raab, this wonderful vegetarian dish from Herbivoracious, Fresh Fettucini with Broccoli Raab, is the perfect introduction.

For a little something different to sprinkle on your simply steamed broccoli, try Herbivoracious’s Gomashio – a delightful combination of toasted sesame seed and salt. 

Broccoli Slaw from The Refined Chef is so simple to do. It only takes 10 minutes from start to finish. Leave that expensive bag of precut broccoli slaw at the store, sharpen your cookery knives, and pick up a nice head of fresh broccoli.

Many vegetables take on a savory flavor when roasted, and may well tempt your broccoli hater. I found this wonderful recipe for Roasted Broccoli right here at Calorie Count using the recipe search bar! 

Your thoughts…

Are you a broccoli lover or hater? Have you tried different ways of cooking broccoli (like roasting) to see if preparation matters? Do you prefer it raw or cooked? Do you cover it with cheese? Share your favorite recipe with everyone here! If you would like your recipe considered for CC Palate collection, please send it to me via pm. Eat your broccoli!

 



Comments


Try:

- Broccoli steamed until tender, and sprinkle with a little crispy bacon crushed into crumbs.

- Chicken and veg pasta bake - use cornflour to thicken the white sauce, made with skimmed milk, and add steamed veggies to the sauce.

- Same sauce with a mashed potato topping.

- Home-made cheese and broccoli soup.

- Stirfried beef and broccoli pasta with oyster sauce.



Here's our favorite recipe... spread broccoli on cookie sheet covered with foil, add garlic gloves, black pepper, drizzle lightly with olive oil, roast in the oven for 30 minutes on 400 degrees.  Cover with lemon juice when done (reduces the need for salt).



steamed over brown rice with a sprinkling of walnutsSmile



Here's our favorite recipe... spread broccoli on cookie sheet covered with foil, add garlic gloves, black pepper, drizzle lightly with olive oil, roast in the oven for 30 minutes on 400 degrees.  Cover with lemon juice when done (reduces the need for salt).



Its great with fat free sour cream on top!!



I <3 broccoli! The best is when you add a little bit of old bay while its cooking!



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Steamed broccoli with Chinese mushrooms and oyster sauce is a staple for my household! Pair it with some Brown rice, you got yourself a really wholesome meal!



I love dipping raw broccoli in low fat ranch as a snack. and broccoli is always my favorite part of stir fry. Tastes great as an addition to fajitas, too. :)



Thanks for the ideas, but broccoli is still broccoli, and it still tastes bad.  By the time I've added enough bacon, dressing, or cheese to get broccoli to taste "okay" my nutritional part of the diet has gone down the toilet.  Raw or cooked, I just don't like it.  I still eat it, but not will a smile, and if I don't make it a regular thing, then my intestines seem to grumble from it.  It probably will never be a satisfying food for me.  but thanks for all the ideas.



If you don't like broccoli try broccolette, it's slightly sweeter and pretty good on its own. I love broccoli in all forms, but broccolette is my favorite! :)


Love the above oven roasted recipe.  Will add lots and lots of garlic!!!  Garlic makes everything taste good!



Sprinkle nutritional yeast on steamed broccoli. Tastes just like cheese.

 



As a girl, my Dad called it (fondly) broccolio.

Like the idea of nutritional yeast, although I don't really think it tastes like cheese especially, but it is tasty.  I think I'll try that next time we have it, and I suspect it would be good on cauliflower too.

Broccoli lover here.  I'm perfectly happy eating it plain after a moderate session in the steamer.

This is a pasta recipe using broccoli and a sundried tomato pesto - it's not exactly low cal so portion control is a must (bwahahaha)

 



I can tolerate raw broccoli, but still can't eat it steamed.  Then my girlfriend made some for me and it was delicious.  She sautes it with a few tablespoons of water and a pinch of salt (and maybe a bit of olive oil?).  It is not overcooked and doesn't get that cooked broccoli flavor.



I actually like broccoli, I prefer adding 1/4 cup of alfredo sauce for only 60 cal



In the late forties, early fifties, in our family, from what I can recall, broccoli was served boiled until it had a deep gray hue.  And that’s the way it was….

Needless to say, after marriage, broccoli was absent from our table for decades until we found steamed broccoli.  While we have broccoli about 3 +- times a week, we find it adequate.  Over the years, I have tried at least 50+ recipes, many of which were passable, however, no matter what 5 star recipes used, we could never reproduce that absolutely delicious broccoli served in Asian restaurants. Some were close but without that distinctive taste they ended up being so-so.

Is there a recipe, which can duplicate that wonderful Asian restaurant broccoli?There could be a free coffee in this for someone.

 



When you steam Broccoli you must tip the lid on the steamer to let the steam out! When Broccoli is first cooked it releases an acid in the form of a gas that will bleach your broccoli and also adds the bitter flavor.

Tipping the steamer pan lid will give you dark green steamed broccoli that taste great!

 

Alaska Man



1.  Bake chopped broccoli into your favorite Mac & Cheese. 

2.  Shake cut florets in 2 tsp. olive oil.  Turn out onto a cookie sheet.  Sprinkle with sea salt, a little black pepper and finely cut lemon zest.  Roast for 20 to 30 minutes (depending on how tender you like it) at 450 degrees.  YUM!

3.  Toss steamed cut broccoli with diced cooked chicken into your fettucine Alfredo.  Sliced mushrooms are optional, but quite delicious.

 

I LOVE broccoli, and really appreciate all the suggested recipes here  :-)



Broccoli steamed al-dente, with butter and kosher salt tastes wonderful.  You just have to have a little self control with the butter (and possibly with the salt, for those sensitive).  Be careful not to over cook it, or it will become mushy and have bland taste.  It doesn't have to be complicated to be good.



I have found that blanching it iboiling water for no longer than a minute,along with the stalks and then making a dressing out of dijon mustars, white wine vinegar and a little olive oil makes a delicious dish! full recipe at sianwaller.wordpress.com

:-)



I steam broccoli in the microwave (I cook most of my veggies in there).

Cut the broccoli into florets and slice up the stalk after peeling off the tough outer part.

Put the broccoli into a microwave safe covered (Preferably  glass) dish.

Fill the dish with water to the brim and then pour off the water. The water that sticks to the broccoli is alll that is needed. Cook on high power for 2 minutes, stir and cook for another 2 minutes then test for doneness. If necessary cook a little longer being careful to not overdo it.

When the broccoli is cooked to the desired doneness drain off any remaining water and add a tablespoon or so of margarine or butter.  A little cheese spread can also be added.

For a twist on this try adding a couple of stalks of celery cut into pieces; a really interesting flavor combination and easy on the belt line.



I steam broccoli in the microwave (I cook most of my veggies in there).

Cut the broccoli into florets and slice up the stalk after peeling off the tough outer part.

Put the broccoli into a microwave safe covered (Preferably  glass) dish.

Fill the dish with water to the brim and then pour off the water. The water that sticks to the broccoli is alll that is needed. Cook on high power for 2 minutes, stir and cook for another 2 minutes then test for doneness. If necessary cook a little longer being careful to not overdo it.

When the broccoli is cooked to the desired doneness drain off any remaining water and add a tablespoon or so of margarine or butter.  A little cheese spread can also be added.

For a twist on this try adding a couple of stalks of celery cut into pieces; a really interesting flavor combination and easy on the belt line.



Original Post by: hcaham

In the late forties, early fifties, in our family, from what I can recall, broccoli was served boiled until it had a deep gray hue.  And that’s the way it was….

Needless to say, after marriage, broccoli was absent from our table for decades until we found steamed broccoli.  While we have broccoli about 3 +- times a week, we find it adequate.  Over the years, I have tried at least 50+ recipes, many of which were passable, however, no matter what 5 star recipes used, we could never reproduce that absolutely delicious broccoli served in Asian restaurants. Some were close but without that distinctive taste they ended up being so-so.

Is there a recipe, which can duplicate that wonderful Asian restaurant broccoli?There could be a free coffee in this for someone.

 


I'm Asian and I normally cook my broccoli in stir-fries. I add different vegetables like baby corn, carrots, snow peas to my broccoli and some meat (normally chicken or pork).

I fry the meat in some oil and garlic, then add carrots and the other vegetables. Last I add in some oyster sauce (about 1 or 2 tbsp) and the magic is some corn-starch dissolved in water to thicken the sauce. I think the flavor comes from the added meat (protein) and it's great eaten just like that or with some rice.

I use only a small amount of oil to keep this very low-cal but filling. Yum!

Other vegetables you can add in : Cauliflower, mushrooms (chinese/dried/button mushrooms), tofu, dried black fungus. All great!



Original Post by: hcaham

In the late forties, early fifties, in our family, from what I can recall, broccoli was served boiled until it had a deep gray hue.  And that’s the way it was….

Needless to say, after marriage, broccoli was absent from our table for decades until we found steamed broccoli.  While we have broccoli about 3 +- times a week, we find it adequate.  Over the years, I have tried at least 50+ recipes, many of which were passable, however, no matter what 5 star recipes used, we could never reproduce that absolutely delicious broccoli served in Asian restaurants. Some were close but without that distinctive taste they ended up being so-so.

Is there a recipe, which can duplicate that wonderful Asian restaurant broccoli?There could be a free coffee in this for someone.

 


I'm Asian and I normally cook my broccoli in stir-fries. I add different vegetables like baby corn, carrots, snow peas to my broccoli and some meat (normally chicken or pork).

I fry the meat in some oil and garlic, then add carrots and the other vegetables. Last I add in some oyster sauce (about 1 or 2 tbsp) and the magic is some corn-starch dissolved in water to thicken the sauce. I think the flavor comes from the added meat (protein) and it's great eaten just like that or with some rice.

I use only a small amount of oil to keep this very low-cal but filling. Yum!

Other vegetables you can add in : Cauliflower, mushrooms (chinese/dried/button mushrooms), tofu, dried black fungus. All great!

*Note : I only add in the broccoli almost at the end cos I like mine crunchy, not wilted. 



The easiest way to keep it green and fresh tasting is to boil in LOTS of salted water for a brief time...for me, I prefer 'al dente', not totally hard, but not at all soft. I also prefer peeling the stalks first, this makes it all the same texture. The peel is tough unless way overcooked.



Definite broccoli fan here. Broccoli cheese rather than cauliflower cheese, even. Or fresh, steamed with tomato ketchup, boiled potatoes and ham, chicken or quorn-style meat substitute. Simple, yummy and good for you.



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i love broccoli (as long as not overcooked) can eat it with a squeeze of lemon and salt nothing else, or squeeze of lemon and red pepper flakes....if you really like cheese, sprinkle a handful of shredded cheddar or spicy jack...will not add as many calories and fat as a thick dense cheese sauce and you still get the cheese taste....never tried it roasted but sounds good and im going to try that next



Putting cheese on veggies is totally foreign to me.

Nice and simple - lightly boiled broccoli (or most other vege) with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and either balsamic or white vinegar with a crack of salt and pepper.

 



I have a broccoli addiction! LOL I eat it almost every day, in any way. I simply love it! Lucky me. Wink



I have a broccoli addiction! LOL I eat it almost every day, in any way. I simply love it! Lucky me. Wink



I hate undercooked broccoli that is also too large.  Cabbage family foods are too hard to digest and I also hate a big tree on a fork.  When I steam it, I cut it very small bite sized pieces.  It makes all the difference to me!



I steam broccoli (normally buy the steam in the bag kind), when it's done add a little I Can't Believe It's Not Butter Light & some garlic salt.  OMG it's wonderful!!!  I can eat the whole bag!!



Broccoli is one vegetable that I only like if it is fresh.  When it has been frozen, it takes away that natural sweetness.  I steam it for about 4-5 minutes so that it still has some crunch and don't put any seasonings on it because I love its natural sweet flavor.



I love broccoli!  Even as a child!  My favorite thing to do is lightly steam it (in the microwave, cuz I'm lazy like that) and sprinkle some feta over it, and a pinch of pepper... I think it's great :)

 



I love brocoli!!!! I often eat it steamed and dipped in vinegar (I am a vinegar freak!) When I am looking for something a bit more filling I love to make my own form of broccoli alfredo. I used one large bag of frozen broccoli that I defrost in the microwave while the other ingredients are cooking.  

Heat 2T olive oil in a pan with one pat butter and crushed red pepper flakes(to taste). Saute one large onion (chopped into fairly large pieces) with 3 cloves of chopped garlic. Once the onions are cooked through add the broccoli and mix well. Heat over medium heat until the broccoli is softened. Add 1/2 cup lowfat milk and 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese. Continue to cook until the cheese/milk mixture creates a sauce that coats the broccoli and serve.....YUMMMY!!!!   I like it plain but have also served it over quinoa. Either way it's wonderful.  



I'm a broccoli lover! Always have been, always will be Wink

A stir fry isn't a stir fry without a decent handful of broc. Tasty, ever so slightly crunchy and absolutely delicious with a tiny bit of salt or pepper!

I love almost all veg, and most (sweet) fruit, and yet still reached 300lbs. I guess no matter how healthy your food is, if you add too much of the "nice stuff" you're going to gain.



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