I do remember that at some point in recent past, I promised you an onslaught of easy weeknight meals. I still intend to stand by that promise, but January has been an absolute shocker thus far, and so I’m afraid a recently acquired side dish is going to have to do for the time being.
As you all know, food waste is one of the things that I’m most passionate about. The food waste figures in this country are shameful, and I think we all need to talk more about it, as frequently as possible, so that it’s at the forefront of our minds when we’re in the kitchen.
To that end, whenever I pick up a new trick to combat food waste, I pass it on to you ASAP. Which brings me to today’s guest of honour: broccoli stalks. Did you know they were edible? Up until these past few months, I really had no idea.
I’ve been throwing them in the bin this whole time.
Upon reading a book about food waste (I’m afraid I can no longer remember the title – useless blogger, I know) I stumbled across a few recipes for stalks and the penny dropped. Because of course you can eat the stalks. Why would you not be able to eat the stalks?
Not only are they completely fine to eat, they also open up this completely magical new world of broccoli possibilities. The flavour of the stalk is different. Sweeter, I’d say.
You’ve got lots of options. I sometimes cut them up and chuck them in with pasta bakes, that always goes down well. However, my recent discovery (frying them in coconut oil with lots of garlic and some leftover rice and a bit of soy sauce) is my favourite.
You’ll notice that I use a lot of garlic in this recipe (so much so, in fact, that I’ve named the recipe after it). Personally, I’m obsessed with garlic and think one can never have too much of the stuff. However, if you’re not quite on the same page, do feel free to tone it down to just a clove or two.
I serve this rice with the head of the broccoli and crispy tofu in a lovely, sticky sauce. Just cook tofu until almost crispy, add broccoli until cooked and then squeeze over a rubbish packet sauce (the squeezy 30-odd-p ones in ALDI are a personal favourite) and continue frying til piping hot. You can sub tofu for cashews, if they’re more your bag.
1 cup rice (dry weight), cooked
1 broccoli stalk
5-6 cloves garlic, finely grated
2 tbsps dark soy sauce
1 tbsp coconut oil
- Cut your broccoli stalks into half centimetre rounds. Stack the rounds and slice them into thin matchsticks. See images above for example.
- In a wok or large frying pan, heat the coconut oil and add the broccoli stalks. Cook the broccoli stalks, moving them about all the time, until they’re beginning to brown.
- Add the garlic until cooked. You’ve grated it so that it’s super small and the flavours infuse really quickly and really well, so keep a very close eye on it as it’ll burn easily. Wait for it to be gently browning, that’s when it’s done.
- Add the rice and continue to fry for a few minutes ’til it’s warmed through.
- Add the soy sauce and stir to coat. Serve