I have always loved cooked broccoli, even as a kid. I never understood why someone wouldn’t like steamed broccoli. I don’t love it raw, but when cooked, I love the look, texture, and mild flavor. it is one of the few veggies I really enjoy just steamed and plain. However, it’s also a great addition to recipes, and I’ll share a few below.
Besides if you happen to like the flavor, why include broccoli into your diet? Well it has a pretty great nutrition profile. It has a little more protein than other veggies (not like chicken, but still provides some) and is a great fiber source (hello happy belly).
Plus it has vitamins and minerals like vitamin C, K, Bs, potassium, calcium and iron. This is why some talk about eating broccoli instead of drinking milk, but to be clear, while it’s a good source of these minerals, it isn’t as high as a glass of milk. Again though, like the protein, it’s still A SOURCE and helpful to add to the diet.
Broccoli is also part of the cruciferous family (along with cabbage and Brussel sprouts) which have healthful phytonutrients, like sulforaphane. This particular nutrient has been studied for disease prevention, specifically cancer. It might also help your gut microbiome (which is linked to many other body processes). In mice, studies have found benefits for the gut microbiome balance. Now, we aren’t rats, but this is usually where research starts. It wouldn’t be too surprising in humans that broccoli would be good for our GI system considering the fiber and antioxidant content, but there may be other nutrients like glucosinolates contributing to a healthy gut when broccoli is part of the diet.
Okay that got a little technical, but basically broccoli is awesome, so let’s all enjoy some. Check out the recipes below.
Chicken Broccoli Pasta Casserole
- 12 ounces pasta
- 12 ounces shredded chicken canned is an easy option
- 4 Tablespoons butter
- 4 tablespoons whole wheat flour
- 3 cups milk
- 1 teaspoon garlic salt
- 1 pound broccoli, chopped
- 3/4 cup parmesan cheese, shredded
- salt and pepper to taste
- Cook the pasta according to directions.
- Steam your broccoli until just tender. You can use frozen or fresh broccoli, just make sure not to overcook it, since it will still be going into the oven.
- While the pasta and broccoli are cooking, melt the better in a large skillet. Add in the flour and form a paste. Add in milk and continue to stir while heating. The paste should break down into the milk and start to thicken into a sauce.
- Bring the sauce to a boil and add the garlic salt. Boil for 1 minute while continuously stirring. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Add drained pasta, chicken, broccoli, sauce, and 1/2 cup of cheese into a 9X13 casserole dish. Mix until everything is well dispersed.
- Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup of cheese on top and broil on low until the cheese is melted and starting to turn golden brown. Serve warm!
BBQ Tofu and Broccoli Sheet Pan
- 1 block extra firm tofu
- 6-8 cups broccoli florets
- 1/2 cup bbq sauce
- olive oil spray
- salt and peper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 375.
- Spray a baking sheet with olive oil spray.
- Wrap the tofu in a towel and press gently to remove excess water.
- Slice into 8 rectangular slices and place on a greased baking sheet. Top with about 1/2 tablespoon bbq sauce.
- Add broccoli florets to the sheet pan and spray the broccoli lightly with the olive oil spray. Then sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Bake for 15 minutes then remove from the oven, flip the tofu and spread remaining bbq sauce on the other side.
- Return to the oven and bake an additional 10-15 minutes. Eat alone or serve with a carb like bread, quinoa, rice, etc.
Broccoli Cheddar Frittata
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/4 cup red onion, diced
- 2 cups broccoli, diced
- 8 eggs
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 cup cheddar cheese more if you want to top it with cheese
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 400.
- Heat oil in a cast iron skillet. Saute onions and broccoli in olive oil until tender.
- While those are cooking mix together you eggs, milk, cheese, salt, and pepper.
- Pour over the onions and broccoli and give it a little stir.
- Place in the oven and cook for about 15-20 minutes until set. Top with additional cheese if desired.
Strawberry Broccoli Smoothie
- 1/2 cup frozen broccoli
- 1/2 cup yogurt of choice
- 1 cup strawberries, frozen or fresh more if you want it sweeter
- 1 teaspoon orange juice concentrate
- 8 ounces water
- Blend until smooth and enjoy!