Popcorn Broccoli

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A little while ago, whilst surfing the bodybuilding.com forum (I love that website way too much), I saw someone raving about how they slathered their broccoli in butter, baked it, and that it ended up tasting like popcorn.

“Pffffft.. hah!” I told myself, “That’s impossible!” These starving fitness fanatics are probably just confusing one food for another in a haze of post-workout hunger.

Broccoli tasting like popcorn? Yeah right.

But then I got thinking. Well .. I need better ways to make vegetables. Ways that will make me actually eat them. So I tried to recreate the mythical popcorn broccoli. And boy did it work.

Now, don’t get me wrong, this broccoli is not popcorn. What it is though, is quite mythical in itself. The broccoli wilts slightly and caramelizes. It gets ever-so-slightly crispy on the edges of the crown. It has kind of a sweet, savoury, and buttery thing going on, all while retaining the natural ‘bite’ the broccoli has if you leave a bit of stalk on. If that’s not your thing, you can totally popcorn-ify just the crown if you’d like something that melts in your mouth. Because sometimes, chewing is for chumps (probably why I drink at least one smoothie a day, actually).

Broccoli used to be my second or third favourite vegetable (with salad and brussels sprouts being the winners). Now it is my favourite. And I hope this recipe can do the same for you!

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Popcorn Broccoli

  • 2 broccoli crowns, chopped into large, bite-size pieces (broccoli will shrink to about half its size after baking)
  • 2 tbsp butter or oil (I use 1 tbsp of each)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • dash of onion and garlic powder
  1. Preheat oven to 400*F.
  2. Mix oil and/or melted butter and spices in a bowl, and stir to combine. Add broccoli and toss until evenly coated.
  3. Place broccoli on non-stick pan and bake for 15 minutes.
  4. Flip broccoli, reduce heat to 375*, and bake for another 10 minutes.
  5. Enjoy!

Nutritional info per 1/2 recipe using salted butter: 147 calories, 12g fat (7g saturated), 30mg cholesterol, 319mg sodium, 9g carbohydrates, 3.5g fiber, 2g sugar, and 4g protein

Nutritional info per 1/2 recipe using oil: 167 calories, 14.5g fat (2g saturated), 0mg cholesterol, 238mg sodium, 9g carbohydrates, 3.5g fiber, 2g sugar, 4g protein

Nutritional info per 1/2 recipe using 1 tbsp of each: 157 calories, 13g fat (4.5g saturated), 15mg cholesterol, 280mg sodium, 9g carbohydrates, 3.5g fiber, 2g sugar, 4g protein

— By the way .. in the back of the photo is pork tenderloin dusted with cinnamon, nutmeg, and white pepper. If you’d like some of that, just cut a tenderloin into 3 pieces, moisten the meat with olive oil (I do this using my hands — just pouring oil on my hands and rubbing the meat, then I wash my hands later), and dust with cinnamon, nutmeg, and white pepper. Then you bake it uncovered at 400*F until it has an internal temperature of 145* (took mine about 20 mins). I like to cover this with a bit of mandarin orange salad dressing. The sweet spices go well with it. Consider this your reward for reading to the very end of my post 😉 you little trooper, you.

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