Broccoli was introduced to the Amercas from Italian immigrants,
who had grown this prized vegetable since the days of the Roman
Empire. However, it didn't become popular until the 1920s. It is
one of the so-called 'superfoods', named because of the extensive
health benefits it provides when consumed. High in Vitamin C and
dietary fiber, it is particularly useful in the prevention of stomach,
lung and prostate cancers, as well as coronary heart disease. To
receive the most health benefits, it is best eaten raw, but is particularly
delicious in a variety of recipes, such as those found below.
1 -2 head fresh broccoli
1/2 cup red onion, chopped
1/2 lb bacon
2 1/2 tablespoons vinegar
1 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups grated mozzarella cheese
Cook bacon (you can use pre-cooked bacon, if you are short on time) and crumble into pieces. Chop broccoli into bite size pieces. Mix broccoli, onions, bacon and mozzarella in large bowl. In separate bowl combine vinegar, sugar and mayo. Pour over broccoli mixture and toss to coat. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Best if made a day ahead.
Cheesy Broccoli Soup
2 tablespoons butter
1 onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
2 (14 1/2 ounce) cans chicken broth
4 cups broccoli
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
2 cups milk (or 1 1/2 cups milk and 1/2 cup evaporated milk)
pepper to taste
1/2 cup Velveeta cheese (or more)
Melt butter in medium sized stock pot, and sauté onion, garlic and celery until tender. Add broccoli and broth; cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Purée soup or mash with potato masher. Return to heat.
In small saucepan, over medium heat melt 3 tablespoons butter, stir in flour and add milk. Stir until thick and bubbly, add to soup. Add cheese; stir until melted. Season with pepper and serve.
Squash and Broccoli Casserole
2 acorn squash or 2 butternut squash, roasted
3 cups broccoli, chopped and cooked
1 cup onion, chopped
1 cup celery, chopped
1 roma tomato, sliced
2 tablespoons Mrs. Dash seasoning mix, Original Blend Seasoning
1 tablespoon fresh ground black pepper
Slice squash in half, remove seeds, fill seed wells with chopped celery, onions, bell peppers, sprinkle with water and black pepper, then roast for about 45 minutes until squash is tender.
Steam broccoli on stovetop in a saucepan with steaming insert. While broccoli is cooking, remove skin from squash and puree in food processor. Discard skin. Place pureed squash in a 9x12" rectangular glass baking dish.
Once broccoli is cooked, stir in with squash, chopped onions, chopped celery, and fresh ground black pepper. Slice 1 Roma tomato. Discard end slices. Place remaining slices across the top of squash mixture. Sprinkle with Mrs. Dash Seasoning Blend and pepper. If preferred, sprinkle some red pepper flakes across the top. Bake at 350°F for about 30 to 40 minutes.
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