March 25, 2023
Eating broccoli cooked to crisp-tender at age 32 was a revelation for Biz Velatini. Now, she eats vegetables all the time. Here are a few of her favorite broccoli recipes.

True story. I didn’t start eating cooked vegetables until I was 32 years old. My then 8-year-old daughter and I pretty much ate the same things each week: tacos, pizza, hamburgers — not a vegetable in sight other than raw cucumbers or carrots.

We went to lunch with my mom to a place called Hot Pot, and I thought my daughter wouldn’t find anything to eat (no chicken fingers on the menu!), and she blurted out, “I’ll have the vegetable fried rice.” What?!


Her dish came to the table, and there were chunks of zucchini, carrots and broccoli. But that didn’t look like the cooked broccoli I had seen my whole life, which was dark green and completely limp.

This broccoli was a striking bright green and crisp-tender. Once Hannah took a few bites and exclaimed how good it was, I asked if I could steal a piece of broccoli. I ate one piece and rejoiced, “I love broccoli!” It turns out I had just been used to overcooked vegetables, which is why I turned to raw cucumbers and carrots.

Broccoli is a great vegetable because it’s available year-round. Look for heads that are heavy with small buds tightly packed together. Yellowing is a sign that the broccoli is headed downhill.

Broccoli is high in many nutrients, including fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, iron and potassium. It also boasts more protein than most other vegetables.

I hope you enjoy these broccoli recipes as much as I do! And if you haven’t tried broccoli in a while because you’ve conditioned yourself that you don’t like it, I urge you to give it another try.

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• My Bizzy Kitchen runs once a month in Food. Follow Biz Velatini on her blog at, on Instagram at and Facebook at

This creamy broccoli salad gets its silky dressing from Marie's White Shallot Balsamic and not from mayonnaise.

This creamy broccoli salad gets its silky dressing from Marie’s White Shallot Balsamic and not from mayonnaise.
– Courtesy of Biz Velatini

Chopped Broccoli Salad

My late husband used to love this chopped broccoli salad at a local grocery store that is no longer open. He asked for it nearly every time I went grocery shopping, but the base of the salad was mayonnaise, and I don’t like mayo.

So, this is my adaptation of that recipe. The broccoli and carrots are slightly blanched before adding it to the salad, but the textures from the apple and sunflower seeds and the nuttiness of the Parmesan cheese make this salad amazingly delicious.

Best yet, the salad dressing is store bought — it’s Marie’s White Shallot Balsamic and a little goes a long way.

2 cups broccoli

3 large carrots



1 cup red cabbage, chopped

1 cup cooked quinoa

½ cup dried cranberries

1 apple, cored and diced

3 tablespoons sunflower seeds

3 tablespoons real bacon bits

¼ cup shredded Parmesan cheese

2 tablespoons Marie’s White Balsamic Shallot Dressing

Bring 3 cups of water to a boil. Add broccoli and carrots and blanch for 6 minutes. Drain and finely chop and add to a large bowl. Let cool for a few minutes.

Add remaining ingredients (cabbage through the Parmesan cheese). Add dressing and toss to coat.

This will keep for up to five days in your refrigerator. Note: If you plan to make ahead, the red cabbage “dyes” the other veggies — so plan on adding that right before serving for a fresh look.

Serves 6, serving size of 1 cup

Biz Velatini

Broccoli quiche is an excellent way to prep once and have breakfast ready for a week.

Broccoli quiche is an excellent way to prep once and have breakfast ready for a week.
– Courtesy of Biz Velatini

Broccoli Cheddar Quiche

Making quiche is one of my favorites to meal prep. Cook once and you have breakfast for four days. Just serve with fresh fruit and you have a healthy, filling and delicious breakfast.

6 ounces sliced potatoes (I used canned potatoes)

2 cups broccoli, steamed and chopped

2 eggs

½ cup egg whites

1 cup unsweetened almond milk

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon black pepper

½ teaspoon crushed red pepper

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 tablespoon everything but the bagel seasoning

1½ ounces good sharp cheddar cheese

½ ounce grated parmesan cheese

2 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled

Heat oven to 400 degrees.

Spray a pie pan with avocado oil spray. Layer the potatoes on the bottom of the pan. Top with the chopped broccoli.

In a separate bowl, mix the eggs, egg whites, almond milk, salt, pepper, crushed red pepper, garlic powder and everything but the bagel seasoning. Pour over broccoli/potato mixture. Top with the cheese and bacon and bake for 30 minutes.

Let the quiche cool 10 minutes before slicing.

Serves 4

Biz Velatini

Roasted Broccoli Soup

Did you know you can roast vegetables in an air fryer? That’s the secret to this recipe. If you don’t have an air fryer, you can roast the vegetables in an oven.

1 pound broccoli chopped

2 large carrots chopped

2 tablespoons avocado oil

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons flour

½ cup light creamer

3 cups chicken broth

1 tablespoon Italian seasoning

½ teaspoon pepper

3 tablespoons cheddar cheese

Heat the air fryer for 5 minutes. Add broccoli and carrots and spray with avocado oil and roast for 15 minutes at 360. They should be fork tender.

While that cooks, melt the butter and add the flour. Slowly add the creamer and broth, while continuing to stir. The soup should start to thicken. Add cooked veggies, Italian seasoning and pepper. Remove from heat.

Puree with a stick blender. Stir in cheese. Garnish with a bit more cheese, parsley and bacon bits.

Serves 4 (a serving is about 2 cups)

Biz Velatini

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