Orange broccoli in a flash

One valuable tip I always recommend to clients who are looking to increase their (or their kids’) fruit and veggie intake is to cut up the produce into bite-sized pieces as soon as you bring it home. People are a lot more likely to devour a melon or pick at veggie sticks when they’re washed, cut, and available. Don’t think your kids will eat veggies? Try leaving some cut carrots, sugar snap peas and broccoli florets on the table with some salad dressing to dip and watch them disappear. Can’t fit fresh produce into your cooking because you don’t have time at dinnertime? Pre-wash and cut heads of lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower, etc. and store it in Tupperware so it’s ready to go.

That’s exactly what I did with the produce in our last Boston Organics box; cut up the head of broccoli, peeled and chopped the carrots, chopped and dried the head of lettuce and put it in the salad spinner. I’ve been picking at this fresh produce all week since its ready for snacking.

This produce preparation also made it much easier to whip up a cooked veggie side dish for a weekend lunch. I was ravenous after an exhausting swim and had broccoli on the brain. Still dripping from pool water, I heated some olive oil, garlic, and red pepper flakes in a pan. I then tossed in my pre-cut and washed broccoli and sautéed for a few minutes. Next I added in the juice and some zest from one orange, about 1 teaspoon of balsamic vinegar and a dash of salt to finish of the dish and sautéed a little more. In a few minutes, I had a sweet and tangy broccoli side dish that took no time to make, even though it tasted that way.

I like the orange juice sauce on the broccoli. It was fresher and more flavorful than a standard stir fry sauce and it even tasted like some of those orange-glazed dishes you find at a Chinese restaurant. Try this recipe on any of your veggies next time you stir fry. And when you do, have those veggies pre-cut and ready for cooking and you’ll see what a breeze it can be to whip up a healthy and fresh meal.

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