Got a head of pre-washed broccoli and some leftover rice or ferro in your fridge? You can slap this eye-catching, palate-pleasing broccoli skillet meal on the table in fifteen minutes. Even if you need to prep your broccoli and cook the grain, you can sit down to this nutritious, scrump-dilly-icious meal in thirty minutes. Who knew a low-fat, vegan dish could be so fast and taste so good?
It’s quick, colorful and full of vibrant vegetables and goodies that leave us here at Chez Grace satisfied and, well, a little proud of ourselves for treating our bodies to such healthy fare and our palates to the simple pleasures of fresh vegetables cooked just enough to let their flavors shine.
You don’t necessarily have to start with broccoli, of course. Use your imagination to come up with a veggie skillet that works for you, but this dish, with its vibrant green florets, its slightly caramelized onion and garlic, and its freshly toasted almonds is always a hit at my table.
Here’s the recipe.
Quick broccoli skillet supper with toasted almonds
We like to serve this dish over Bulgar wheat, which practically makes itself, but leftover long-grain brown rice, ferro or other cooked whole grains taste just as good. This recipe includes instructions for making a plain Bulgar pilaf.
Quick broccoli skillet supper
Toasted almonds, vibrant vegetables, and just the tiniest bit of garlic- and onion-infused oil make every bite pop with flavor, color and texture, and all ready in mere minutes.
- 1 C Bulgar wheat
- 3/4 C filtered water, heated to near boiling
- 3/4 C whole raw (or what passes for raw these days) almonds (can substitute 1/2 C slivered almonds)
- 1-2 t extra virgin olive oil
- 1 small to medium yellow or red onion, or a little of both, divided
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 large or two medium heads broccoli, washed and drained
- 3/4 t salt, divided
- 1 C per person cherry tomatoes, carrots or red and orange bell pepper for balance and color
- Juice of one small lime
- Freshly ground pepper
- In shatter-proof container, pour hot water over the Bulgar wheat and set aside to soak.
- Meanwhile, pulse the almonds in a food processor 3-4 times, to chop coarsely. Toast over medium high heat, in a heavy skillet such as cast iron, turning frequently. Watch closely. Once the nut meats begin to toast, they can scorch easily. Drop the hot almonds into a stainless steel container and set aside to cool. Use the same skillet to cook the veggies.
- Slice the onion into thin crescents, about 1/4 inch wide, or if in a hurry, chop coarsely, and drop all but 2-3 tablespoons into a skillet with 1-2 teaspoons olive oil heated just enough to sizzle the onions around the edges. Saute until slightly caramelized while peeling and mincing the garlic. Add the garlic, stir, and reduce heat to medium. Saute till just sweated.
- While the onion and garlic cook, peel, if needed, and chop the broccoli stems into bite-size pieces. Add the chopped stems immediately to the onions, along with 1/2 teaspoon salt, and stir. If sticking a bit, and to avoid adding excess oil, add a tablespoon or two of filtered water and continue sauteing. Once you have infused the oil with the flavor of the onions and garlic, small amounts of water de-glaze the pan and help to prevent sticking without adding fatty calories.
- Cook the broccoli stems until crunchy-tender, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, break the broccoli florets into bite-sized pieces and prepare the red/orange vegetables. Slice cherry tomatoes in half, if using; or slice carrots thinly on the diagonal for quick steaming or eating raw; or slice bell peppers into fat finger wedges. Set aside.
- When the broccoli stems are crunchy-tender, add the florets to the skillet, sprinkle the lime juice over all and stir to mix. Cook just enough to soften the florets and bring up that bright green color we love so much.
- Meanwhile, in a separate skillet, pour the now-softened and expanded Bulgar wheat, sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt, stir and heat through, about 2-3 minutes, cooking off any excess moisture. If cooking carrots, add thinly sliced wedges or medallions to a second hot skillet and saute in a tablespoon or so of water till crunchy tender, 2-3 minutes.
Plate, spooning the broccoli mixture over a nest of steaming Bulgar wheat. Grind fresh pepper over all and garnish with the toasted almonds. Add your red/orange vegetables in a pretty crescent or mound on the edge of the plate and serve immediately. Voilà! Supper’s ready.
This is a YayYay’s Kitchen original recipe. Please link back to this page if you base a recipe of your own on this one.
Why Bulgar wheat? Because it’s totally no fuss and super easy
As I mentioned above, you can use left over rice, ferro or another grain as the foundation for this dish. If you don’t have leftovers, Bulgar wheat makes for quick suppers, because it comes already parboiled. All you need do is soak it in hot water for 20 minutes or so. Quite often, here at Chez Grace, we’ll dish the soaked Bulgar up without heating and let the vegetables warm it through, but if I have a couple of extra minutes, I’ll warm it too, as I did with this recipe.
Love broccoli? Or hate it?
Of course, as I write this, I’m reminded of one of our past presidents who said his mother made him eat broccoli and, now that he was president he could do what he wanted and that meant he wasn’t going to eat it any more because, by golly, he was the president! Not me, Man! We love the bright green stuff when it’s in season and fresh. Do you? Weigh in with this little poll, then share your thoughts about this vibrant cruciferous vegetable, this recipe or one of your own favorite quick night suppers.
Coming soon! For novice cooks, who think a fast home cooked meal means microwaving a frozen dinner, watch for a photo tutorial in the next few days that will show you just how easy it is to pull together a quick, delicious, and vitamin-powered supper like this in thirty minutes or less.
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