Tag Archive for Broccoli

Broccoli Bacon Salad

Our friend Kim brought one of the healthier dishes to Baconfest – The Sequel…Broccoli Bacon Salad! She started with the Broccoli Salad with Bacon Tomatoes recipe she found on www.aldi.com and then adjusted it more to her (and obviously everyone else at the party’s) liking. We thank her for sharing it with us!


1 bag frozen, shelled edamame

1 head broccoli, cut into florets

8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled

1/2 c. chopped red onion

1/2 c. dried cranberries

8 oz. feta cheese

1/2 c. halved cherry tomatoes

1/2 c. mayonaise

1/2 c. sour cream

1 lemon, zested and juiced

2 T. light agave nectar

Salt and pepper to taste

Preparing Broccoli Bacon Salad:

1. Bring 2 quarts of water to a boil. Meanwhile, fill a medium bowl with 5 cups of water and ice cubes. Set aside.
2. Blanch broccoli in boiling water for 1 minute. Remove broccoli (but save hot water) and immediately plunge into ice water to stop the cooking process. Drain thoroughly.
3. Return the water to a boil and add salt. Add the frozen edamame and boil for 4-5 minutes. Drain, then run under cold water. Drain thoroughly and pat dry. It’s important to make sure the broccoli and edamame are dry or you’ll end up with a runny sauce like I did at first.
4. In a medium bowl, combine broccoli, edamame, crumbled bacon, onion, raisins or cranberries, cheese, and cherry tomatoes.
5. In a small bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, sour cream, lemon juice, lemon zest and agave nectar. Add to broccoli mixture; toss until well coated. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

This was delicious and pretty! Thanks Kim! ~Melissa

Roasted Broccoli with Cheddar Cheese and Breadcrumbs

Roasted Broccoli with Cheddar Cheese and Breadcrumbs

My kids love broccoli with cheese sauce. You know the kind you get in the freezer section at the grocery store? Well, I’m always trying to find new ways to cook the foods that they like so they won’t get bored. I came up with this recipe for roasted broccoli with cheddar cheese and breadcrumbs below from several recipes that I have recently come across.

Level of Difficulty: Easy
Time Required: Prep Time – 5 min; Cook Time – 25 min


4-5 cups of broccoli flowers, washed

3 T. olive oil, divided

1/2 salt

1/2 c. Panko breadcrumbs

1 c. cheddar cheese

1/4 tsp. nutmeg

Preparing Roasted Broccoli with Cheddar Cheese and Breadcumbs:

Preheat oven to 425 Degrees. Place broccoli on a baking sheet and toss with 2 T. olive oil and salt. Roast for 15 minutes. In a small mixing bowl, mix together breadcrumbs, cheddar cheese, 1 T. olive oil and nutmeg. Sprinkle over the broccoli.

Roasted Broccoli with Cheddar Cheese and Breadcrumbs

Roast for an additional 10 minutes. Serve hot.

Roasted Broccoli with Cheddar Cheese and Breadcrumbs

Broccoli Casserole

broccoli casserole with cheez-its

I generally make this old-fashioned broccoli casserole only 2X a year – Thanksgiving and Christmas. But when one of my babies asked for it the other day, I thought, ‘Why not!”. So – here it is.

Level of Difficulty: Easy Time Required: Prep Time – 20min; Cook Time – 20 min

Ingredients for 8+ servings:

2 1/2 lbs broccoli (cut into equal size florets)

6 oz cheez-its

12 ozs freshly grated extra sharp cheddar cheese

1 can cream of mushroom or cream of chicken soup

1 t salt

Special Equipment and Other Items Needed:


Preparing Broccoli Casserole:

Steam the broccoli until VERY CRISP tender. This should take a short amount of time. When the broccoli turns bright green it is probably done. Remember it will cook for a bit in the oven too.

broccoli casserole with cheez-its

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

When the broccoli is just steamed add to the casserole dish. Stir in the can of cream of mushroom/chicken soup. Add the salt. Add the freshly grated cheese. Crumble the cheez-its and add to the top.

Cook at 450 degrees until hot through about 20 minutes.

broccoli casserole with cheez-its

Pasta Salad with Champagne Vinaigrette

Pasta Salad with Champagne Vinaigrette

Pasta Salad with Champagne Vinaigrette  is 1) easy 2) feeds a lot of people 3) kid friendly 4) can be made ahead and  5) cheap. It’s that time of year where people go to barbecues, concerts in the park, pool parties and just regular pot lucks. You should keep this on your list of things that you can whip up easily and quickly if you find yourself invited somewhere and you need to bring a dish. Since there is no mayonnaise, you don’t have to worry as much about it going bad quickly if it sits outside.

Level of Difficulty: Easy

Time Required: Prep Time – 20 min; Chill Time – Minimum 3 hours


1 box of your other favorite pasta
10 oz. feta cheese
1 can black olives, slices
1 package broccoli florets, cut into bit sized pieces
2-3 roma tomatoes, diced
1 bottle of Girards Champagne Vinaigette Dressing (or if you’re Melissa, make your own)

Preparing Pasta Salad with Champagne Vinaigrette:

Prepare pasta as directed. Drain and let cool. Meanwhile, steam the broccoli about 3-5 minutes so that it is still crisp. Let cool. Place the pasta in a mixing bowl and add enough dressing to coat the pasta. Mix well. Add the broccoli, tomatoes and olives. Add salt and pepper to taste. Mix well. Cover and place in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours. When you are ready to serve, take the salad out of the refrigerator, add some more dressing and mix again. Add the feta cheese, mix, and serve.

Pasta Salad with Champagne Vinaigrette

Important Tips:

The key is to leave enough time for the flavors to mix well.


You can really add whatever vegetables you like. I chose broccoli, olives, feta cheese, and tomatoes because most people like them and they add great color. I have also added some grilled chicken for some protein!

Got Leftovers?:

This saves well in the refrigerator for several days. You just may need to add more dressing to keep it from drying out.

10 minute meal idea – Ham Steak, Broccoli and Orzo

Ok, so you’re busy, we get it! We are too and please don’t think we make crazy gourmet meals for our families every night. However, even if you only have the time to go through a drive thru, you have time for this quick 10 minute meal idea!

Ham Steak
Steamed Broccoli with lemon
Orzo with butter and parmesan

ham steak

Here’s how to do it.

  1. Run in the door after a long day, grab a pot, add about 3 cups of water, place on the stove on high.
  2.  Grab another pot, add about an inch of water and your steamer insert and then add some fresh broccoli and cover it. Place on the stove but don’t turn it on yet.
  3. Grab a skillet and a ham steak. I like the Smithfield ones you can find at most super markets. Remove from the packaging and add to the skillet without any of the juice. Again, don’t turn on yet.
  4. Set the table
  5. The water is probably boiling now, add salt and the orzo.
  6. Turn on the skillet with the ham on medium high heat. After about 3 minutes, turn the ham steak over.
  7.  Test the orzo. When it is done, turn on the eye for the broccoli and remove the orzo from the stove and drain. Put back into pot you cooked it in and add 2 T butter, 2T olive oil, salt, pepper and parmesan cheese. Stir and set aside.
  8.  Remove the ham from the stove, place the ham steak on a cutting board and cut into serving pieces.
  9. Plate the ham and the orzo.
  10. The broccoli is probably steamed enough now. Plate the broccoli, sprinkle with salt and drizzle with lemon juice on each plate.
  11. Serve

Ok, maybe it’s 12 minutes, but whatever! This is a quality and mostly healthy and extremely inexpensive meal for a family of 4!!

Pictured here with leftover macaroni and cheese instead of the orzo – even better and easier!!

Ham steak with broccoli

…and if you’ve had that really long day where you run in the door and immediately grab pots and pans, do yourself and your family a favor. Take 30 seconds to grab a glass of wine. Screw top will save you time!!! – Denise

One Dish Meal: Pearl Couscous with Chicken and Broccoli

One pot meal

Easy Menu IdeaA friend of mine introduced me to a Trader Joe’s product called Harvest Grains Blend which has a mix of pearl couscous, orzo, baby garbonza beans and quinoa. My kids love this but the other day I was just at my regular grocery store and not Trader Joes. I was not hungry, I was tired and I was not in the mood to cook! But, no rest for the weary when you’re a working mom! I remembered I had leftover roasted chicken in the fridge and decided an easy one pot meal was in order. So I bought a small container of Israeli style pearl couscous, a large head of fresh broccoli and went home.

I pulled some chicken broth out of the pantry and used that instead of water to cook the couscous (a must in my book when the grain is the star of the show). I measured enough broth to cook 2 cups of dry couscous. While waiting for it to boil, I washed and trimmed the broccoli and pulled all the leftover chicken off the bone, shredded and cut into bite size pieces. While in the fridge, I saw that I had a few ears of corn on the cob I had cooked the night before too so I cut it off the cob.

Once the broth was boiling, I added the pearl couscous. I let it cook for about 2 minutes and then added the broccoli and covered. When there was about 5 minutes left, I added the corn and chicken, stirred everything up and replaced the lid and let continue cooking until the couscous was done. I stirred one more time and added a touch more broth too. Stirring it added a creamy texture kind of like risotto.

Remove from heat, stir it up, sprinkle with parmesan cheese and serve. I got a lot of empty bowls back!

Just another thing to do with leftover shredded chicken


3 1/2 cups chicken broth
2 cups pearl couscous
1 head broccoli, washed and trimmed
1 ½ cup fresh cooked corn kernels
1 ½ cup shredded chicken
Parmesan cheese to top (optional)

To add to Melissa’s chicken broth comment, you would be amazed at the difference in the way your grain (especially rice) will taste if you cook it in chicken broth instead of water.  – Denise