A Tale of Shrek and the Broccoli Stalks

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Me, The Kid and Puss in BootsThe Kid and I went to see Ice at the Gaylord Texan on our last day of vacation. This is a huge exhibit carved in thousands of pounds of ice by Chinese artists that fly over every year for the occasion. It’s really quite spectacular how detailed the sculputures are.

This year’s theme was Shrek so they had Donkey, Fiona, and all the characters in ice. It’s is 12 – 17 degress in the exhibit so my hands and cell phone were freezing while I was trying to take pictures of us, but here is one to document the event. It looks like Puss in Boots is peeking over The Kid’s shoulder. 🙂

As a follow up to yesterday’s veggie post, I have a confession. I love steamed broccoli specifically the little tree-shaped parts on the top. Oh, they are so good with a little lemon pepper and olive oil. I don’t like the tough crunchy stems. When I buy my fresh broccoli, I’ve been known to use herculean strength to separate the crowns and leave the yucky tough stems in the broccoli bone pile. I’m not paying for parts I’m not eating!

I recently found a recipe in Rachel Ray’s magazine that was for a broccoli stalk salad. I usually don’t use many of her recipes because it’s far from competitor style eating but this one caught my eye. I decided to give it a try but I changed it up a bit from her version which included crushed red pepper and sesame oil.

Instead I changed the proportions a bit, used olive oil and sriracha pepper sauce, and added in lime juice. I also let the salad sit for a bit to marinate in the dressing instead of eating it right away. It was quite tasty believe it or not! Now all the broccoli buyers can rest easy that they won’t run across abandoned stalks at the grocery store.

Broccoli Stalk SaladBroccoli Stalk Salad

  • Stalks from 4 heads of broccoli (approximately 8 – 9 oz)
  • Salt
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 Tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp lime juice
  • 1/2 tsp sriracha pepper sauce

Slice the broccoli stalks into thin amoeba-shaped discs and place in a collander. Sprinkle with salt and let sit for about 5 minutes or so. Rinse and drain. In a bowl, mix the remaining ingredients. Add in the broccoli stalks and toss to coat with dressing. I used a bowl with a tight fitting cover and just shook it to mix instead of trying to toss it. Let the stalks sit in the dressing for 10 minutes to marinate. Serves 1 – 2 people.

The dressing adds very few calories since most of it remains in the bottom of the bowl. I got creative and tossed my chilled steamed shrimp in the remaining dressing for the other half of my lunch. That was great too and I plan to keep the recipe on hand to use just for shrimp or salmon.

Do you like broccoli stems? Have you tried Rachel Ray’s recipes? I love them but most are bad and oh so good at the same time.

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