We are harvesting so much broccoli from our fields at the moment! Expect lots in your set boxes or add some to the ‘build your own’ box for a special reduced price. Broccoli is brilliant! Broccoli is a good source of fibre and protein, and contains iron, potassium, calcium, selenium and magnesium as well as the vitamins A, C, E, K and a good array of B vitamins including folic acid. A real Irish super-food! I’ll be steaming some batches to put in boxes in the freezer to add to loads of different meals. Here’s one of our favourite family meals that uses a lot of broccoli.
Bang bang chicken is a traditional Sichuan dish of poached chicken which is then ‘banged’ to shred it and dressed in a spicy sauce. It’s a refreshing dish served with julienned cucumber. This is my plant-based nod to that classic. Definitely not authentic, but delicious none-the-less. It’s really simple. Nutritious broccoli and black beans are drenched in a spicy sauce, sprinkled with sesame seeds and then roasted. You can serve it with rice or noodles, or it’s delicious as a warm salad with spiralized courgette.
Ingredients (serves 4)
2 heads of broccoli
2 tins of black beans
4 tbsp maple syrup
4 tbsp lime juice (or vinegar)
4 tbsp vegetable or toasted sesame oil
4 tbsp soy sauce (or tamari if you need gluten free)
6 garlic cloves
a big thumb of ginger
fresh red chillies to taste
6 tbsp sesame seeds
scallions, fresh coriander and extra chillies to serve
rice or noodles to serve
Preheat your oven to 200C and find a large roasting tray, or two trays if you don’t have a very large one. You want to be able to spread the ingredients into a single layer.
Trim as little as possible off the stalks of the broccoli. Just a sliver off the end is usually enough – those bits can go in the compost bin. Then cut the whole stalk away from the florets, slice it in half lengthways and then slice each half into long, thin strips. Put them in the roasting dish. Then cut the heads of the broccoli into bites sized florets and add them to the roasting tray too.
Drain the tins of black beans and add them to the tray. Then make the dressing.
Mix the soy sauce, oil, lime juice/vinegar and maple syrup in a bowl. Finely dice the chilli, garlic and ginger and add them to the bowl. Mix well and then pour the dressing over the broccoli and black beans.
Use your hands to mix the sauce into the broccoli and beans, then spread the ingredients out into a single layer. Sprinkle with the sesame seeds and put the tray into the oven to roast for just 20 minutes or until the broccoli is tender.
Meanwhile cook your rice or noodles and prepare the toppings. Slice scallions, coriander and extra red chillies.
Serve in bowls and enjoy hot or cold. We like to make an extra batch of the dressing with toasted sesame oil but without the raw garlic and ginger to drizzle over the finished dish too to make it extra juicy and spicy.
We are obsessed with salsas! Scooping up salsa with tortilla crisps has got to be one of the best ways to get kids to eat a load of fresh, raw veggies too. Putting out a big bowl of salsa and tortillas while the BBQ is getting going keeps everyone happy. And of course, salsa is a key ingredient in a taco. There are countless variations, enjoy playing around and finding a fun combination that you love. The version below is a super simple one which I know my whole family will love, but I also love adding fruit like diced pineapple, cherries, mango or peaches and adding finely sliced fresh chillies or a spoon of smokey chipotle chilli paste. Grilled corn and diced avocado are also stunning additions. Share your favourite combination with us in the comments?
Ingredients (makes enough for a whole large bag of tortilla chips)
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 lime – juiced
1 clove of garlic – crushed
a pinch of salt
1 red pepper – diced
1/3rd of a large cucumber – diced
1/2 a punnet of honey drop cherry tomatoes – diced
Have you tried a purple sweet potato yet? They are absolutely stunning and oh so delicious! I can never resist a baked sweet potato with a smokey bean chilli so here’s my quick and easy recipe. I’ve served it with lots or gorgeous garlicky kale spiked with lime too. So yum! What will you make with your purple sweet potatoes? I’m thinking purple gnocchi next, or maybe a purple sweet potato pie! Liz x
Ingredients (serves 4)
4 purple sweet potatoes
1 tbsp oil
4 garlic cloves
1 tsp each cumin seeds, ground coriander, smoked paprika and chilli flakes
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1 tin kidney beans
1 tin black beans
another tbsp of oil
4 large handfuls of kale
4 more garlic cloves
salt and pepper to taste
Scrub the sweet potatoes, prick them with a fork, pop them in a roasting dish and get them in a 200C hot oven to roast – they should only take about 30 minutes.
Meanwhile make the smokey bean chilli. Dice and then sauté the onion and garlic in the oil until soft and taking on some colour.
Add the spices and sauté for a few minutes to toast them and bring our their flavours.
Add the tin of tomatoes. Half fill the tin with water then swirl out all the tomatoey juices into the pot.
Drain and rinse the two tins of beans and add them to the pot to simmer. Cook for 15 minutes or so then taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper.
Meanwhile make the garlic and lime kale. Rinse the kale and tear the leaves away from the stems. Put the leaves in a bowl and the stems on the chopping board.
Finely chop the kale stems and the extra 4 cloves of garlic. Sauté them together in the tbsp of oil until soft. Then add the kale leaves and the juice of a lime. Season with salt and pepper and sauté for about 3 minutes to wilt the kale. Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed.
Serve the baked potatoes with the bean chilli and kale. Add a drizzle of olive oil and a squeeze of lime to the middle of each baked potato. Enjoy!