Broccoli, a member of the cruciferous family, and cousin to cabbage, kale, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts, is a “super veggie”! This means they are known for their beneficial health effects. Broccoli is high in many nutrients, including fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, iron and potassium, and it also contains more protein than most other vegetables. Enjoy your broccoli both raw and cooked, however research shows that gentle steaming provides the most health benefits. Here are some, creative, healthy, and totally delicious broccoli recipes you should try, from egg dishes to creamy soups to flavor-packed casseroles.

 

Healthier Homemade Broccoli Casserole

2 slices whole-wheat sandwich bread

2 pounds broccoli florets

3 tablespoons butter, divided

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 cups diced onion

4 cloves garlic, minced

⅓ cup all-purpose flour

3½ cups low-sodium chicken broth

6 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese

2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

¾ teaspoon ground pepper

½ teaspoon salt

2 cups shredded Colby Jack cheese, divided

Preheat oven to 300°F. Coat a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Tear bread into pieces and process in a food processor until coarse crumbs form. Spread the breadcrumbs on a baking sheet and bake until dry and crispy, about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, bring 1 to 2 inches of water to a boil in a large pot fitted with a steamer basket. Steam broccoli until just tender, 4 to 6 minutes. Chop coarsely and spread evenly in the prepared baking dish. Increase oven temperature to 350°F. Heat 1 tablespoon butter and the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic; cook, stirring frequently, until soft and translucent, 3 to 5 minutes. Sprinkle flour over the vegetables and cook for 1 minute. While stirring, slowly pour in chicken broth. Cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 3 minutes. Stir in cream cheese, Worcestershire, pepper and salt, cook, stirring, until smooth, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in 1½ cups cheese. Pour the cheese sauce over the broccoli. Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Combine the melted butter and the breadcrumbs in a medium bowl. Spread evenly over the broccoli mixture. Top with the remaining ½ cup cheese. Bake until the cheese is melted and the sauce is bubbling around the edges, 25 to 30 minutes. Serves 12, each serving contains; Calories 224, Fat 15g, Cholesterol 25mg, Sodium 331mg Protein 11g, Carbohydrate 13g, Sugar 2g, Fiber 3g

 

Broccoli and Blue Cheese Salad

1 bunch broccoli, cut into florets (6 cups)

1⁄4 cup buttermilk

2 tablespoons sour cream

2 ounces blue cheese, crumbled

1 scallion, sliced

1⁄2 teaspoon red wine vinegar

Kosher salt and black pepper

1⁄2 cup toasted walnuts

Fill a large saucepan with 1 inch of water and fit with a steamer basket. Bring the water to a boil. Place the broccoli in the basket, cover, and steam until tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Rinse with cold water to cool. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, stir together the buttermilk, sour cream, blue cheese, scallion, vinegar, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Drizzle the broccoli with the dressing and sprinkle with the walnuts. Serves 4, each serving contains; Calories 188, Fat 14g, Cholesterol 18mg, Sodium 485mg Protein 9g, Carbohydrate 9g, Sugar 1g, Fiber 4g

 

Broccoli and Tomatoes with Eggs for 1

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, halved

1 cup broccoli florets

1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 eggs

Salt and pepper, to taste

Salsa for topping, if desired

Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add tomatoes, broccoli, parsley and garlic. Cook for 3-5 minutes or until broccoli begins to soften and garlic becomes fragrant. Create space in the center of the pan and crack eggs into open space. Break yolks with a spatula and let cook for 2 minutes. Stir everything together using the edge of a spatula until eggs are cooked. Top with salt, pepper and salsa (optional) and serve immediately!

 

Greek Broccoli Gratin

⅔ cup mayonnaise

½ cup chopped red bell pepper

½ cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt

¼ cup crumbled feta cheese

2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill, divided

2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley

1 teaspoon lemon zest

6 pitted Kalamata olives, coarsely chopped

8 cups broccoli florets (2-inch pieces)

½ cup panko breadcrumbs, preferably whole-wheat

2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

Preheat oven to 375°F. Lightly coat an 11-by-7-inch baking dish with cooking spray.

Combine mayonnaise, bell pepper, yogurt, feta cheese, 1 tablespoon dill, parsley, lemon zest and olives in a large bowl. Bring 1 inch of water to a boil in a large pot fitted with a steamer basket. Add broccoli, cover and cook until tender-crisp, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the broccoli to the mayonnaise mixture, stirring to coat. Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish. Combine breadcrumbs, oil and the remaining 1 tablespoon dill in a small bowl. Sprinkle over the broccoli mixture. Bake until the topping is golden brown and crispy, about 20 minutes. Serve immediately. (Throw in some chopped chicken and this becomes a main dish) Serves 6, each serving contains; Calories 273, Fat 23g, Cholesterol 17mg, Sodium 314mg Protein 7g, Carbohydrate 12g, Sugar 0g, Fiber 3g

 

Quick and Healthy, Broccoli, Cheddar, Potato Soup

1 small onion, chopped

1 medium carrot, chopped

1 celery stalk, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tbsp. butter

2 tbsp. flour

2 1/2 cups less sodium chicken broth (or vegetable broth)

1 cup fat free milk

2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced small

1/4 tsp. kosher salt and fresh pepper

4 cups (about 2 heads) broccoli florets, chopped into small pieces

1-1/2 cups reduced fat shredded sharp cheddar

2 slices 2% American cheese

1 tbsp. Parmesan cheese

Chop onion, carrot, celery, garlic in a chopper or food processor.

In a large soup pot, melt butter. Add chopped vegetables and sauté on low heat until soft, about 5 minutes. Add flour, salt and pepper to the pot and stir until smooth. Add chicken broth, milk and potatoes and set heat to high until it comes to a boil, then cover and cook on low until potatoes are soft, about 10-15 minutes. Add broccoli florets, Parmesan cheese, and stir well. Adjust salt and pepper to taste. Cook uncovered until broccoli is cooked, about 5 minutes. Add cheddar and American cheese, stir well and remove from heat. Using an immersion blender, quickly blend part of the soup for a quick second or two. If you don’t have an immersion blender, remove about 1-2 cups of potatoes and broccoli, place it in your chopper, then add it back to the soup. This helps thicken it a bit. Serves 6, each serving contains; Calories 239, Fat 9.5g, Cholesterol 30mg, Sodium 603mg Protein 16g, Carbohydrate 25g, Sugar 0g, Fiber 4g