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Okay, I'm going to be totally real with you, I HATE wasting food. Not only do I feel horrible because I know that having access to good and healthy food is a luxury, but it hurts to throw away food for which I paid good money! Whenever I cook a meal, I always try to be innovative in using every part of the ingredients I'm cooking with. It's very important to try to be aware of how much you're wasting, and in an effort to combat that, I thought of giving you a couple of ways to use something we've all been guilty of throwing away: broccoli stalks.
It's easy to forget that broccoli stems are just as (if not more) important than florets. They're packed with calcium, iron, and vitamin A, so when you're throwing these babies out, you're also missing out on all those amazing nutrients. Let's fix that! I always feel much better when I can use every part of the ingredients I'm cooking with, and I bet you will, too.
Here are some of my favorite things to do with broccoli stems or stems:
Spiralize the broccoli stalks to make noodles:
You know I love any excuse to use my spiralizer, and that definitely includes making a batch of broccoli stem noodles. I've found that broccoli stem noodles are thicker than the typical zucchini noodles I'm used to, but I actually prefer the texture they add to a dish. If you want to try it for yourself, check out my broccoli noodle stir fry that uses broccoli stems and florets and has an additional protein boost from the shrimp!
Make rice with broccoli:
You have probably tried cauliflower rice before, but have you tried broccoli rice? It is so delicious and easy to make! Simply use a vegetable peeler (affiliate link) to remove the tough outer layer from the stems. Chop into even pieces, about 2 inches long. Place the slice in a food processor (affiliate link) and press for a few seconds, just until the pieces are the size of rice.
This is simple. Mix the stems into a thick and delicious broccoli stem hummus. . . perfect for dipping!
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Make vegetable broth:
Before tossing the broccoli stems, consider adding them with a few other vegetables to make a homemade vegetable broth. They are also the perfect complement to broccoli soup! Instead of just using the broccoli flowers, cut the broccoli stems and mix them with the rest of your ingredients.
Add the chopped stems to anything for additional texture:
I like to add broccoli stems to scrambled eggs, frittatas, or casserole dishes. The stems can be pulled into almost anything and will automatically give whatever you are cooking a stronger texture.
Add them to soup or stew:
Chopped broccoli stalks are a great addition to soups and stews. Extra vegetables! Try using broccoli stems instead of cauliflower in my Mexican sweet potato soup.
Make a salad
My love of salads has me obsessed with how beautiful and delicious this simple broccoli stem salad with black pepper crumbs looks. I can't wait to try it!
Grilling is by far the best way to cook vegetables, in my opinion. . . and broccoli stems are also tasty roasts. I've been staring at this crispy roasted broccoli with tahini sauce that incorporates most of the stem into the plate!
And if you want my easy-to-try recipe, try my broccoli noodle stir fry below.
- 1 pound raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 2 teaspoons of avocado, coconut or olive oil
- 2 medium broccoli stems (look for thick and large stems)
- 1 cup chopped bell pepper
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
- 4–5 tablespoons teriyaki sauce (store-bought or use recipe below)
- Optional: sriracha, to cover
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- 1⁄4 cup low-sodium tamari (or soy sauce)
- 1⁄2 tablespoon maple syrup
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated or chopped
- Prepare the teriyaki sauce: mix all the ingredients in a small bowl. Measure 4-5 tablespoons, set aside.
- Make broccoli stem noodles – cut the flowers off the stems leaving as much stem as possible. Spin the stem / stem (s) (affiliate link) and spiral into noodles. Set aside.
- Add shrimp to large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Sauté shrimp 4-5 minutes or until pink and no longer translucent. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
- Discard any excess liquid in the pan. Add 2 teaspoons of oil to the skillet over medium-high heat. Add bell pepper, garlic, ginger, and broccoli noodles to the pan. Sauté for 5-6 minutes. Season with salt and pepper while cooking. Add broccoli flowers to the pan and cook for another 4-5 minutes, until the broccoli begins to soften and turns bright green.
- Add shrimp back to skillet, along with teriyaki sauce and stir to coat. Top with sriracha before serving, if using.
- Portion size: 1/2 recipe
- Calories 335
- Sugar: 14g
- Fat: 4g
- Saturated fat: 1g
- Carbohydrates: 37g
- Fiber: 11g
- Protein: 41g
- Cholesterol: 330mg
Keywords: broccoli noodles, sauteed broccoli noodles