Steamed broccoli. It ain’t sexy, or edgy, but it is one of my favorites!
At my house we eat this side dish just about once a week. Think of it as the food version of squats. A solid move, good to keep in the regular rotation, with lots of ways to make it more interesting.
My sweetie loves steamed broccoli. It’s quick and easy. And, any leftovers I can put with eggs the next day for a veggie heavy breakfast.
One of my girlfriends was complaining recently about how when she tries to steam broccoli, she ends up with an overcooked green mush, so I decided to offer this tutorial.
The trick is to not overcook it, and the secret to that is – do not walk away once you’ve turned on the heat.
Seriously, don’t leave the kitchen. Watch it like a toddler holding a bag of glitter, cuz the second you go check your phone, it’s all over but the crying.
My other tip is to play with your spices. Start with salt and pepper then add whatever you and your family like – red pepper flakes, garlic powder, fresh herbs, grated parmesan, a splash of citrus or vinegar. These toppings will really make this dish go from blah to WOW!
Also, please do not skimp on the fat or salt. If you are eating a whole foods diet, and you prepare most of your meals at home, you are typically not going to be overdoing it on the salt. Highly processed, pre packaged foods, and restaurant meals do tend to have higher salt, fat and sugar content.
One last note, as a nutrition coach I offer yummy recipes that I hope you will enjoy. I am not diagnosing your condition, or prescribing a dietary plan for you. Please see your medical professional for that.
Quick and Easy Steamed Broccoli
First, get out all your equipment. You will need:
- large bowl
- steamer basket
- pot with a lid (the pot should be big enough to fit the steamer basket inside)
- cutting board
- sharp knife
- one bunch of broccoli
- salt, pepper and your choice of spices (see below)
- Olive oil
- Chop it. Cut broccoli into bite sized pieces.
- Wash it. Put broccoli in a large bowl, fill the bowl with water, and swirl it around, washing off any dirt or debris.
- Strain it. Place colander in the sink. Strain broccoli into colander (leave colander in the sink, you will need it again in a minute).
- Fill pot with an inch or so of water. You want enough water that it won’t cook off, but not enough to come up over the bottom of the steamer basket (otherwise you’re boiling it, not steaming it).
- Place steamer basket in pot.
- Place broccoli in steamer basket. Sprinkle with salt and pepper (I add red pepper flakes here as well).
- Put lid on pot, turn the heat on to med/ high. Do not walk away. In fact, set a timer for 5 minutes if you think you may get distracted. The last time I made this, I timed it, and it took about 5 minutes for my water to come up to boiling, and 2 minutes for the broccoli to cook.
- Check for doneness. Once you hear or see the water boiling, keep an eye on the pot. After the broccoli has been boiling for a minute or two, take the lid off, poke broccoli with a fork to check for doneness. I like mine bright green and still a little crunchy. It will continue to cook after you take it off the heat.
- Strain broccoli. Once broccoli is cooked, carefully take the pot to the sink and dump the broccoli back into the colander.
- Zaz it up. Place strained broccoli back in pot, and give it a good douse of Olive oil (2-3 tablespoons) and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Stir to combine. (*You could also add shredded parmesan, a sprinkle of nutritional yeast, a splash of lemon juice, or vinegar if you like those flavors.)