I am now working together with the Vegetable of the Month article so that you can make full use of the information each month. Broccoli is in full season now so what better reason to do a few recipes that include this green vegetable as it is a very good source of fibre and an excellent source of several vitamins as well as potassium.

In addition, Broccoli is one of the cruciferous vegetables, which have been shown to have anti-cancer properties. We can try to get the children to eat Broccoli by describing them as green trees and then we cover them in cheese sauce.
Buen Apetito

Spiced Cauliflower and Broccoli Salad

3/4 cup small broccoli florets
3/4 cup small cauliflower florets
1/2 cup (1/4-inch) diagonally sliced carrot
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon ground coriander
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
3 tablespoons fat-free sour cream
2 teaspoons cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon honey
2 tablespoons sliced green onions

Steam first 3 ingredients, covered for 2 minutes. Rinse broccoli mixture under cold water and drain well. Combine salt and next 5 ingredients in a frying pan. Cook over medium heat for 2 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring constantly. Combine spice mixture, sour cream, vinegar and honey in a bowl and stir well. Add broccoli mixture and toss well to coat. Stir in green onions just before serving.

Almond and Curry Broccoli Stir Fry

1½ cups water
2 cups instant brown rice
1 inch piece ginger root
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon low-sodium tamari (may substitute low-sodium soy sauce)
2 tsps toasted sesame oil
1/2 kg broccoli
1 medium red onion
2 tablespoons olive oil, poss more if needed
1/3 cup sliced skin-on almonds
1 tblsp store-bought green curry paste or curry powder, or to taste.

Heat the water in a medium saucepan over high heat. When it
boils, add the rice and stir to combine. Once it returns to a boil, cover and remove from the heat. Peel and grate the ginger root and place in a medium bowl along with the rice vinegar, tamari and sesame oil. Stir to combine.

Cut the broccoli into bite-size florets to yield 2 cups. If desired, cut some of the tender stalks into thin strips and add to the florets.
Cut the onion in half, then into very thin half-moon slices to yield about 1½ cups. Heat the olive oil in a wok or medium sauté pan over medium-high heat until the oil shimmers. Add the almonds and toast for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly, until they are very lightly browned. Add the green curry paste or curry powder and stir to combine. When it is fragrant, add the onion and stir-fry for 2-3 minutes, until softened. Add the broccoli and stir-fry for 2 minutes; it should still be barely crisp. Taste and add curry paste or powder as needed. If the mixture seems dry, add a teaspoon or two of olive oil. Add the tamari-ginger mixture and stir to coat evenly. Cook until heated through and just bubbling. Remove from the heat.

Uncover the rice and divide it among individual shallow bowls, then top with the stir-fry mixture. Serve immediately.

Bacon and Broccoli With Cheese

3 cups broccoli florets
8 ounces uncooked rigatoni
1 tablespoon butter
1½ tablespoons all-purpose flour
1¼ cups 2% reduced-fat milk
2 ounces reduced fat processed cheese, cut into pieces
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 slices center-cut bacon, cooked and diced
2 ounces extra-sharp cheddar cheese, grated

Steam broccoli for 5 minutes or until crisp but tender and drain. Pat dry and keep it warm. Cook pasta in boiling water in a large saucepan for 8 minutes or until al dente. Drain and keep warm. Wipe pan with paper towels and return to medium heat. Melt butter in pan. Sprinkle flour over melted butter and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly with a whisk. Gradually add milk to the flour mixture in pan and bring to a boil, stirring constantly with a whisk. Cook for 1 minute or until slightly thick, and remove from heat. Add chopped cheese and stir until smooth. Stir in sliced green onions and the remaining ingredients. Stir in broccoli and pasta. Add grated cheese to top and pop under hot grill for a few minutes. Serve immediately.

Baked Fish with Breadcrumbs and Broccoli

½ kg broccoli, trimmed and cut into florets
3 tblsps vegetable oil
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 lg roll, torn into large pieces
2 tsps chopped fresh thyme
2 tblsps butter, melted and cooled
4 fillets skinless, boneless, firm, white-fleshed fish such as haddock, cod, or halibut (1/2 inch thick)
Lemon wedges

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss broccoli, 2 tblsps oil, 1 tsp salt, and ¼ tsp pepper. Roast until broccoli is tender and lightly browned, 15-20 minutes, tossing halfway through. Meanwhile, in a food processor, chop bread, thyme, ¼ tsp salt and 1/8 tsp pepper until coarse crumbs form. Transfer breadcrumbs to a bowl and stir in butter with a fork.
Coat another rimmed baking sheet with 1 tblsp oil. Arrange fish on sheet and season with salt and pepper. Top each fillet with enough breadcrumbs to coat, pressing firmly to adhere. Bake until fish is opaque throughout and breadcrumbs are golden brown, about 8 minutes. Serve fish with broccoli and lemon wedges.

Broccoli and Cheddar Soup

6 tblsps unsalted butter
1 sm onion, chopped
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups semi-skimmed mild
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 bay leaves
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Salt and freshly ground pepper
4 x 7-inch sourdough bread rolls (round loaves)
4 cups broccoli florets (about 1 head)
1 large carrot, diced
2½ cups grated cheddar cheese (about 8 ounces)

Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Whisk in the flour and cook until golden, 3 to 4 minutes, then gradually whisk in the milk until smooth. Add the chicken broth, bay leaves and nutmeg, then season with salt and pepper and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, uncovered, until thickened, about 20 minutes.

Prepare the bread bowls:
Using a sharp knife, cut a circle into the top of each loaf, leaving a 1-inch border all around. Remove the bread top, then hollow out the middle with a fork or your fingers, leaving a thick bread shell.

Add the broccoli and carrot to the broth mixture and simmer until tender, about 20 minutes. Discard the bay leaves. Puree the soup in a blender until smooth; you’ll still have flecks of carrot and broccoli. Return to the pot. Add the cheese to the soup and whisk over medium heat until melted. Add up to ¾ cup water if the soup is too thick. Ladle into the bread bowls and garnish with more cheese.