Brilliant Broccoli


It is wonderful to be able to successfully grow at least some of your own food but it is equally important to ensure that it is used and does not go to waste.

This is a 900g head of broccoli I picked recently.  It was as big as a dinner plate.

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I decided to turn it into a main meal with tuna and tomatoes.

Other ingredients.

Break the broccoli into florets and lightly cook.

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Saute the diced onion and capsicum.

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Add Tabasco to taste, flaked tuna and crushed tomatoes.  I blended one can of tomatoes to make the sauce smoother and thicker.  Simmer until reduced and thickened.

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Pour sauce over the broccoli.  Top with a mixture of flaxseed meal, grated cheese and seasoning.

Place under the grill until browned.

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This quantity made 6 generous serves.  I served it with a small portion of rice.


Bug-Free Brassicas – Part 2


Remember this post?

Well, here is the first result of my endeavours.

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One of the things I am passionate about is eating local, seasonal produce wherever possible so this freshly picked broccoli from our own garden was destined to become part of our evening meal.

A simple stir-fry of chicken and broccoli.

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1 chicken breast fillet, cut into strips
1 small onion, cut into wedges
1/2 head broccoli, broken into small florets
1 tablespoon toasted sunflower seeds


2 tablespoons tamari
2 tablespoons lime juice
1/4 cup water
1/4 teaspoon powdered ginger
1/4 teaspoon powdered chilli
2 teaspoons arrowroot

Heat the oil, saute the chicken until cooked then add the onion and broccoli.  Combine all of the ingredients for the sauce.  When the broccoli is lightly cooked add the sauce and stir until it has thickened and coated the chicken and vegetables.  Stir in the sunflower seeds.

Serve with rice.

Delicious and the money spent on netting the raised beds containing the brassicas has definitely been a worthwhile exercise.

I am looking forward to plenty more meals featuring our homegrown broccoli.


Who Needs Meat?


Although we are not vegetarian we do eat a range of non-meat meals and when we do have meat it is quite a small portion.

Why do we do this?  It is partly driven by cost because I would much rather have a small portion of locally-produced, grass-fed or free range meat occasionally than the cheapest I can find just to serve meat every day.  However, more and more it is because we have access to a range of home-grown vegetables.  These are grown without the use of pesticides or chemical fertiliser.  I know how they have been produced, there is no transport involved and they are picked at their peak.

Here is some of what I picked today.

2011-08-28 01I had already given 1 head of broccoli and half of the snow peas to a neighbour before I took the photo.  The broccoli weighed just over 3kg and that is only about half of the plants.  There will also be all of the side shoots for a couple more months at least.  I expect that based on today’s harvest that I will probably reap about 8kg in total.  That is not a bad return for a $2.50 punnet of seedlings.  I should be more accurate in my calculations of the value of what I plant.  Jennifer Lorenzetti from Fast, Cheap and Good has the right idea when it comes to calculating the value of what she grows and other things such as jam-making and preserving.  As well as the broccoli and snow peas there is another cabbage and some spinach.

With all of that fresh broccoli it had to be incorporated into the meal.  Tonight we had Mexican Bean Pie with broccoli, carrots and mushrooms.  The mushrooms are still growing prolifically from the bags of mushroom compost we got a couple of months ago.  The cool, damp weather of the past couple of days means that there is yet another crop that have popped up in the last 24 hours.

2011-08-28 02Mexican Bean Pie is a really fancy name for something I whipped up one night and it has now become a favourite of ours.  I use the Crockpot Refried Beans and mix about a cup of bean mixture with cooked rice until it is a fairly stiff consistency.  Spread into a pie plate, top with a little grated cheese and heat through until cheese is melted.  This can be done in microwave, oven or under the grill.