BROCCOLI AU GRATIN

Broccoli is one of our favourite vegetables as it is loaded with vitamins, minerals and sulphur compounds. One cup of broccoli has as much vitamin C as an orange. Vitamin C is an antioxidant which protects our cells from damage and promotes healing throughout our body. Broccoli is also rich in Calcium, Iron, Phosphorous, Potassium, Zinc, B vitamins and vitamins A, D, E and K.

Over and above all the vitamins and minerals that it contains, broccoli is full of natural chemicals, like sulforaphane. This sulphur compound helps lower blood sugar levels, stops cancer cells from forming and slows osteoarthritis. Other natural plant compounds in broccoli called carotenoids have health benefits, too. They can help lower your chances of getting heart disease and boost your immune system.

Boiling will remove up to 90% of broccoli’s nutrients, so it is best to prepare it in a different way. It is a very versatile vegetable and it’s easy to roast, steam, stir-fry, or microwave. You can also eat broccoli raw with a side of hummus or salad dressing.

Today’s recipe is delicious Broccoli Au Gratin. This is a nutritionally balanced meal which can be served as a side dish or eaten as the main course.

Broccoli Au Gratin (serves 6 large portions)

Cost of ingredients in July 2020: Approximately R21.70 per person for vegans

and R15.85 per person for non-vegans

Ingredients

  • 120g Flora vegan margarine
  • 35g (1/4 cup) flour
  • 2 cups almond milk (or cow’s milk if you’re not a vegan)
  • 195g vegan cheddar, grated (or strong cheddar cheese if you’re not a vegan)
  • 1 tsp garlic and herb spice
  • 1 kg broccoli
  • 1 ½ cups bread crumbs (blitz a few slices of fresh bread in your Nutri Bullet)
  • 30g raw cashew nuts chopped

Method

Preheat oven to 180 degrees celcius.

To make the white sauce: Melt half the margarine in a glass jug in the microwave oven. It should take about 30 seconds (on high). Stir in the flour until it makes a smooth paste. Add the milk a little at a time, stirring with a whisk to ensure that it is smooth. Microwave on high for 2 minutes. Stir and then microwave for another 2 minutes. Add half the cheese and stir. Microwave for 1 minute. Stir and microwave for another minute. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Cut the broccoli into bite size pieces and place in boiling water in a microwavable dish. Parboil for 2 minutes on high in the microwave. Drain off the water.

To make the breadcrumb mixture: Melt the other half of the margarine in a microwavable bowl for approximately 30 seconds (on high). Add the breadcrumbs, chopped nuts, remaining cheese and spice to the melted margarine and mix.

Arrange the broccoli pieces in a greased 25cm x 15cm oven proof dish. Pour the white sauce over. Then spread the breadcrumb mixture on top. Bake for approximately 25 minutes or until brown on top.

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