Key Ingredients: Broccoli

In the September 2009 issue of Reader’s Digest, our culinary experts Bonnie Stern and Fran Berkoff bring you some great recipes and nutritional tips for healthy home cooking based on one key ingredient. September’s key ingredient: Broccoli!

Brown bagging it for school or work doesn’t have to mean high-sodium, high-fat prepackaged lunch foods or boring cold cuts between two slices of bread. Try cook­ing up some real food—such as the wonderful dishes described on the following pages—then storing lunch-size portions for quick-and-easy healthy lunches for the whole family.

Broccoli was grown mainly in Italy until the 16th century, when royal nuptials brought the floral-headed veggie to France. According to Foodland Ontario, we have the union of Catherine de’ Medici and Henry II to thank for introducing broccoli to French gardeners and cooks. Today, broccoli is enjoyed throughout much of the world, in a variety of cuisines.

Even before it was designated a “super food,” broccoli had a large following. People have long loved its great flavour, vibrant colour, crispy texture and versatility. Soups, salads, stir-fries, pastas and side dishes are just a few of the many dishes you can make with broccoli. And even when served simply steamed, boiled or roasted, broccoli is always a treat!

/Cookbook author Bonnie Stern has been teaching people to have fun in the kitchen, to eat more healthfully and to nourish their families since she started her Toronto cooking school in 1973.

/Fran Berkoff is a consulting dietitian/nutritionist in Toronto, a columnist for news­papers and magazines, and a co-author of several books.

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