I remember a time when I thought that broccoli was a waste. Who could possibly enjoy it I wondered? Even up to a few years ago, I'd sift through a stir-fry dish ordered at a restaurant making sure to miss any and all broccoli floret offenders.
And then I realised what was going on.
Being the visual, textural and also practical eater that I am, enormous chunks of any one vegetable are simply unappealing. Well to me they are. Although some are larger offenders than others [see above broccoli comments], I know this to be true for the preparation of most vegetables.
Therein lies the problem and solution.
The problem being that I am a child. The solution being that I require my food to be fun and child-appropriate. Please insert all of your laughter right now.
In fact it's odd that I hadn't come to this realisation any sooner seeing as what made me love salad [yes: love salad!] was discovering how to prepare vegetables deliciously in the first place. Something as simple as considering a vegetable's uniqueness and how to best prepare it quite literally changed the whole nourishing food thing for me.
Think of those horrendous salads that you're served with giant pieces of carrot, broccoli and tomato. Thickly cut radish or cabbage. Goodness no. Just plain no.
Instead what I've discovered about broccoli in particular, is how much I love it when prepared in a few key ways: roasted (yum!), raw and cut into small florets (mega yum!), and also blitzed into rice as this recipe calls for.
Broccoli has been long-heralded as a mega house of nutrition and you can find out more about that and it's natural detox properties here.
What I love most about this recipe is that it complements almost anything, is ready in minutes and can be easily changed up for versatility. If you're already on the cauliflower rice wagon for instance, try a 50:50 ratio - it's delicious!
- 2 chicken breasts/thighs (100-200g)
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons preferred dry spice mix (I used this one with paprika, garlic and onion)
- 1 large head broccoli
- ¼ small red onion
- ¼ packed cup fresh parsley leaves
- ¼ packed cup fresh mint leaves
- 1-2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- In a mixing bowl coat chicken well with oil and spice mix
- Should you have the time, leave covered chicken to marinate in the fridge for 30 mins
- Bring a frypan to a medium-high heat
- Once hot, add chicken and cook through on both sides
- Whilst chicken cooks, roughly chop broccoli including stems
- Blitz in a food processor until a rice-like texture
- Finely dice onion
- Finely chop herbs
- Add oil and onion to a large frypan and bring to a medium-high heat
- Once onion becomes fragrant, add broccoli and fresh herbs
- Saute for a few minutes
- Remove from heat once starting to brown
- Divide between plates, seasoning to taste and topping with chicken once cooked through
The same goes for chicken selection - so feel free to use whatever you have whether it be roast chicken or even a takeaway BBQ option!
You can also use this broccoli rice recipe as a side or complement to any of your favourite proteins.