Tagged broccoli

Broccoli “Cream” Soup


Really easy soup for the cooler weather. 🙂

1 large onion or 2 leeks, chopped
2-3 small bunches broccoli or one large
3 large garlic cloves, crushed
2 tablespoons butter, or extra-virgin olive oil, or 1 tablespoon each
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth (I use the bone broth which is on 24/7 in the slow cooker)
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Optional enrichment:
1/2 cup Greek yogurt (or non-dairy yogurt if avoiding dairy)
juice of 1 lemon
handful chopped chives
1/4 cup grated Parmigiano, optional
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

If using leeks, soak in some cold water in a bowl, swish around several times to get rid of any dirt clinging to the leaves, let sit until the dirt settles to the bottom, then scoop out with your fingers or a slotted spoon.

Peel broccoli stem and chop into 1/2-inch pieces. Break apart head into florets.

Heat butter/oil in medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onion/leeks, and stir until soft, ~3 minutes. Add broccoli, garlic, and broth. Season with salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer until broccoli is tender 10-15 minutes.

While broccoli is cooking, prepare Greek yogurt mixture in a small bowl by combining ingredients with a whisk. Season with salt and pepper.

When broccoli is tender, transfer to blender and puree until smooth, in batches if necessary. If using yogurt mixture, blend in half and reserve half for use at the table. Ladle into bowls and serve.

Serves 4.

Note: Any leftover yogurt mixture can be used as marinade for chicken breasts or pork chops, OR used as a sauce for grilled chicken breasts or pork chops. 🙂

The Mighty Broccoli

We’re about halfway through Lent and I thought it would be a great time to feature some meatless recipes here. I probably should dedicate this post to my youngest brother who hates broccoli >:) . Broccoli’s one of my favorite vegetables though, and I’ve just grown to like it even more through the years, for two reasons: 1) it’s good for you and 2) the kids actually love and eat it.


IMG_1247 Thai-Flavored Stir Fry

broccoli Roast Broccoli with Lemon and Parmigiano (scroll halfway down the page)

broccoliviet Spicy Broccoli Braise

chopsuey"Chop Suey, a Repost

Ground Meat Recipes – more of a tutorial on how to cook ground meat with different things, including broccoli

Broccoli with Pasta and a Spicy Almond Butter Sauce

Bagna Cauda Dip – to be served with vegetables for dipping

Thai-Flavored Stir Fry

2 tablespoons canola oil
1 medium onion, sliced thinly
2 large cloves garlic, sliced thinly
1 tablespoon turmeric
2 Thai chilies or 1 Serrano chili, sliced thinly (deseed if you want less heat)
1 1/2 tablespoons grated gingerroot
1 12-oz package cremini mushrooms, or Baby Bellas, or 1 cup shiitakes, sliced thin (discard stems if using shiitake)
1 large bunch broccoli, cut into florets, stem peeled and sliced thin or reserved for another use
2 large carrots, sliced thinly
5 plum tomatoes, chopped
1 14-oz can regular or light coconut milk
1 pound extra-firm tofu, cut into 1-inch cubes (can also be deep-fried or pan-fried before adding to recipe)
1/2 cup water
3 tablespoons fish sauce
salt to taste
leaves from sprig of Thai basil, chopped
juice of half a lime

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic, ginger, and pepper. Stir-fry 2 minutes. Add turmeric, mushrooms, broccoli and carrot. Stir-fry 3 minutes. Add tomatoes, coconut milk, tofu, water, and fish sauce. Cook, stirring occasionally, 4 minutes. Adjust seasoning Add basil and lime juice. Stir one more time and serve. Yummy over brown rice.

I like this with some HEAT, however my kids don’t. When using the peppers I either add it to my dish, or have a small portion in another skillet to which I add it. Or, if you want some controlled heat, put the peppers in a tea bag and secure it to the side of the skillet. Take it out when the dish is as hot as you like it to be.

March 2009

found a Town and Country here (and same color as our van in the US!) — an Italian version, approx. the same size as the Fiat Ulysse we’re renting, thought that was pretty funny — this was taken at the apt. complex where our condo is – March 10

Nino’s smile – March 11

Yena and Nino – March 12

roast broccoli – March 13


Toss broccoli florets (as dry as possible)
and sliced-up stems
with olive oil,
salt and freshly ground black pepper,
a large pinch of red pepper flakes,
the zest and the juice from one lemon.

Spread in one layer on a baking sheet, and roast at 425 degrees F for 20-25 minutes until just beginning to crisp on the edges.
Finish off with shavings of Parmigiano-Reggiano, Pecorino, or Grana Padano.

the family minus Aisa, hotel balcony before we moved to the condo – March 14

Aisa practicing her violin which she opted to bring instead of her guitar — view from her room and balcony – March 16

Pork belly, from locally raised “mountain pigs”, marinated in balsamic vinegar, garlic, salt and pepper — I would have grilled this had we a grill, had to pan-fry it… but no complaints! – March 16

Aisa and Nino, March 17

Look at that hair! Nino after his bath – March 17

Spicy Broccoli Braise


Heat canola oil in skillet, over high heat. Add minced garlic, minced ginger, sliced onions, and crushed red pepper flakes (or broken up dried Chinese hot pepper). Stir-fry 10 seconds. Add broccoli florets and 1/4 cup water. Cover for 3-5 minutes and cook over medium-high heat, just until broccoli is almost done. Add fish sauce (or soy sauce) and 2 pinches sugar. Stir to combine flavors and remove from heat. Serve immediately.

This is also delicious made with broccoli rabe.

Chop Suey, a repost

A recipe I originally posted in 2005 at b5media’s Noodles and Rice (now Blisstree).


Chop Suey has long been rumored to be an American creation rather than a Chinese one. A search around the ‘net will show you just how much this story has spread. From tales of an angry restaurateur trying to get back at some customers and serving them leftover veggies meant for the garbage, calling the dish “chopped sewage”, to a Chinese diplomat visiting the White House and not finding anything suitable to eat, prompting him to commandeer the kitchen and whip up a stir-fry for himself from whatever he found there. These stories can be found even in cookbooks written by Chinese-Americans, such as Calvin Lee’s. Giving credence to the legend is the absence of “chop suey” in the more traditional Chinese cookbooks, such as Irene Kuo’s and Eileen Yin Fei Lo’s books. However, when the book The Food of China came out in 1988, the question of chop suey’s origins finally had an answer. In it, Eugene Anderson reveals that in fact, Chop Suey is from Toisan, a district south of Canton, from which early immigrants to America came. The words chop suey come from tsap seui, meaning miscellaneous scraps. Mr. Anderson further reports that the dish usually has noodles and bean sprouts included.

This particular chop suey has neither. It is how chop suey is usually prepared in the Philippines — a little pork, a little shrimp, sometimes a little chicken, a whole bunch of veggies. Whether or not you use leftovers is up to you. (What intrigues me is how this dish got to the Philippines — was it brought over by the Chinese, or by the Americans?)

You start out with a basic Filipino saute of garlic and onions, then add the meats and seasoning, then the veggies, then a bit of thickening sauce at the end. It is fast, delicious, and lends itself to endless experimentation. The amounts given here are approximations. Vary according to what you have in the refrigerator or freezer.

This dish can be made without any meat, so it’s very adaptable for Lent and for vegetarians/vegans.

1 tablespoon canola oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 cup sliced onions
1/4 cup chopped shrimp
1/4 cup shredded pork (I like using lean pork, but you may use just about any cut of pork you like)
1/4 cup shredded chicken (you may also use cooked chicken)
salt or fish sauce to taste
freshly ground black pepper to taste
6-8 cups chopped vegetables (e.g., broccoli, sweet bell peppers, cauliflower, carrots, sliced cabbage or Napa cabbage, bok choy, frenched green beans, spinach, celery, etc. — it’s always nice to have a mix so your dish ends up colorful)
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/4 cup chicken stock or vegetable stock
1 teaspoon sugar

Mix oyster sauce, soy sauce, cornstarch, chicken stock and sugar together in a small bowl. Set aside until needed.

Heat oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add garlic and onions when hot but not smoking. Saute/stir-fry until onions are limp. Add shrimp, pork and chicken. Season with salt or fish sauce and black pepper to taste. Cover and let cook over medium heat for 5 minutes. Stir, then cover again and cook another 5 minutes, until pork is cooked through. (If using a lean cut such as tenderloin, reduce cooking time to the first 5 minutes only.) Add vegetables and stir-fry, adding first those that take longer to cook, such as carrots and green beans, cooking them for a few minutes, then adding those that take less time, such as cabbage and other leafy vegetables. When veggies are almost completely cooked, return to high heat. Give the oyster sauce mixture a final stir and pour into the pan. Quickly fold sauce into vegetables to coat and thicken. Remove from heat.

Serves 4-6.

A recipe I originally posted in 2005 at b5media’s Noodles and Rice (now Blisstree).

Open Letters and a Recipe

Dear Oxo,

Thank you so much for sending me a new basket for my salad spinner. This is my 3rd Oxo salad spinner, the first one having been thrown away after rusting, the second one rusting again after just a few months, and the third one you sent me free. I hope you’ve fixed the issues now on rusting, but even with it I’m still a happy customer. I’ve tried different kinds of salad spinners and yours is definitely the best. Not to mention I am more than just impressed with your exceptional customer service! Thank you!

Dear Wild Oats,

Are your frozen organic wild blueberries really ALL wild blueberries? Or is it a mix? The only wild blueberries I’ve eaten are the really small ones; your package says “wild blueberries” but they’re a mix of large and small. Just wondering. Because if they’re not, maybe you should call them 50% wild blueberries instead.

Dear MaraNatha,

Please don’t put too much adhesive on your labels. I’m talking about your (very expensive, but worth it especially for people with peanut allergies) almond butter. You see, I keep almost every kind of jar I get, for re-use. Right now I’m thinking of getting 10 jars or so out of storage to use them for organizing my kids’ art supplies. But by putting so much adhesive on your jars, it makes it difficult for moms like me to take the labels AND the adhesive off. Even an hour of soaking in hot water didn’t help. Unless, of course, you could tell me that the adhesive you use is more environment-friendly compared to other companies’, in which case adhere away.

Oh, and while I’m at it, we love your almond butter, especially in this super-easy pasta dish that I made (recipe below). But I was surprised at its grittiness. Years ago, I tried making almond butter using my trusty and powerful food processor, but I was disappointed with how gritty it was and never tried again. I looked at owning a Vita Mix, but even though it’s less expensive than the Olde Tyme Mill (only worth it if you’ll eat nut butters for breakfast, lunch and dinner ’til the day you die, or okay, if you’re starting a nut butter business), I still decided against it as I already have several machines and didn’t want to get another one JUST for nut butters…. anyway, getting back to the point. I’m not sure $16 is right for a jar of nut butter, especially since I can make gritty nut butter in my f.p. anyway. And I never would have thought that gritty = “creamy”. But enough complaints from me. My family loves the pasta dish, so I’m willing to look past those brown things that get stuck in our teeth.

Dear Tinkyada,

May I say your brown rice pasta idea is just BRILLIANT! We have now tried every Tinkyada version of our favorite pastas and ALL of them turn out perfectly. We don’t miss wheat pasta at all. AND, we are so pleased that you use whole grain! Right? I mean, it does say BROWN rice. I’m just wondering why the fiber content is just equal to most kids’ cereals — 2 grams. Maybe you could increase it to 4, or at least 3? PLEASE??? For some people, that may be what it would take to remove Metamucil from their lives (not that we already take it, but you know, we are getting old, and Metamucil may not be too far away in our future). {Shudder}

Dear Kettle Chips,

What happened to you? We used to LOVE your chips!! Especially the salt and vinegar one! That one was THE Best, even though we still think the salt-and-vinegar concept was started by Filipinos, we who dip everything in salt-and-vinegar-and-often-lots-of-garlic, but I digress… What happened to your chips? Yesterday I opened up the bag of Lightly Salted Chips that my hubby brought home from their out-of-town trip… no idea how a teen, an almost-teen and a 40+ year old guy could not have finished 2 potato chip bags in a 12-hr-total trip, but I digress again…. ANYHOO. I was shocked! It was greasy, and GREASY was a word I would not have used to describe your chips before. They were also way too salty to be called “Lightly Salted”. I should have kept the bag so I could look at the sodium content, but hubby has thrown it away. I don’t think my taste buds are that impaired yet, though. Oh, AND! AND! The chips! Some of them were more burned than golden, and too many teeny-tiny bits that remind me of the Jack and Jill Potato Chips of my childhood. I remember the pleasure of opening up my first ever bag of Kettle Chips several years ago — those chips were huge! And long, and evenly cut, and really really yummy. I was thinking up of giving up Kettles just a couple of weeks ago, because I saw some organic ones I wanted to try…. and now I guess this is goodbye.

Oh! I almost forgot: the ALLERGY-FREE (Wheatless, Eggless, Dairyless) Pasta Dish that my family loved:

1 1/2 pounds Tinkyada pasta (your choice, we used their spirals)
1 medium bunch broccoli, broken/cut up into florets
1/2 jar Maranatha almond butter (or make your own)
1/3 cup tamari (make sure it says “wheat free”!)
a couple of tablespoons chili oil (I used my homemade stash, for which you can find a lot of recipes for online — a favorite is China Moon Cookbook’s Ma La Oil)
a couple of tablespoons sugar, optional
a swirl or so of sesame oil, optional
toasted sesame seeds

Boil pasta according to package directions. I like using the energy-saving directions (boil 1-2 minutes, stir-stir-stir, cover for 10-20 minutes (depending on which variety of pasta), drain, rinse). Steam broccoli — if you have a steamer insert for your pasta pot — great, just use that while the pasta is cooking; otherwise, steam in a separate pot — to desired tenderness (I like 7-8 minutes). While pasta is cooking, whisk almond butter, tamari, chili oil, sugar, and sesame oil in a bowl large enough for all the pasta. Add enough pasta water to make a creamy sauce. When pasta is done, toss BROCCOLI first in the almond-butter-tamari sauce. This will coat the broccoli completely and make it irresistible to picky youngsters!! Then add the drained-and-rinsed pasta and toss, toss, toss gently until nice and creamy all over. Sprinkle the toasted sesame seeds over all (ooh! an idea! you can also use toasted BLACK sesame seeds for added panache!). Serve immediately.

If you are a first-time Tinkyada user, DO NOT forget to rinse the pasta. Though it does cool the pasta and you might not like that, it really is essential in keeping the texture nice and al dente and durum-pasta-like.