Springtime is upon us, with the days getting longer and the temperature getting warmer, and what a time it is to be outside and enjoy a little sunshine with family and friends. Our BBQ has already begun to get some serious use! Finding some interesting ways to serve veg with a BBQ can ensure your meal is both balanced and delicious.

Each season brings about a new array of fresh fruit and vegetables, full of flavours and key nutrients for your health and eating. Eating seasonal produce is cheaper, tastes better and is better for you. If you buy fruit and veg in season you won’t be paying extra for imported goods that are often stored and transported for extended periods of times, thus losing their freshness, flavour, key nutrients such as vitamin C & folate, antioxidants, and phyto-chemicals.  Seasonal produce comes straight from the farms to our stores, thus being much more flavoursome, better quality, more nutritious & better for the environment (less food miles.)

Asian greens, broccoli, capsicum, cucumber, berries, bananas and citrus fruits are in season this springtime, so try adding some berries to your breakfast, some lemon in your salad dressing, or serve some roasted broccoli as an easy side to your favourite fish, or try chargrilling some broccoli on your BBQ.

The Sports Dietitians of Australia (SDA) have an excellent recipe for a chargrilled broccoli salad, for a different yet delicious way to serve that broccoli to your family. See recipe below, and as an alternative to a griddle pan, try using the bbq.

CHARGRILLED BROCCOLI WITH ALMONDS, CHILLI AND CHICKPEAS

Serves 4 as a side dish | Prep time 15 minutes | Cooking time 10 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1kg broccoli (2 heads), cut into florets
  • 120ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 80g salted capers, rinsed and drained
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 long red chilli, thinly sliced
  • 500g cooked chickpeas, (2 tins, drained and rinsed)
  • 1 cup baby spinach
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 cup parsley, finely chopped
  • 2/3 cup mint leaves
  • 80g parmesan, shaved
  • 50g flaked almonds, toasted

Method:

  1.      1. Place the broccoli florets in a perforated steam tray and steam at 100°C for 1 minute.
  2.      2. Pre-heat a griddle pan on high heat, Induction setting 8, until the pan is smoking hot.
  3.      3. Remove the broccoli from the steam oven, quickly toss in half of the olive oil and place on the griddle pan, in batches, until you have nice char marks on the broccoli. Keep aside in a large mixing bowl.
  4.      4. Add the remaining oil into a small saucepan, with the capers, garlic and chilli. Cook on medium heat, Induction setting 5, until the garlic starts to just turn slightly golden.
  5.     5. Remove from the heat immediately and pour directly over the broccoli.
  6.     6.  Add the chickpeas, spinach, lemon zest, salt and pepper and mix well.

 

To serve

  1. Just prior to serving, squeeze over the lemon juice and top with parsley, mint, parmesan and almonds.

(Source: Sports Dietitians of Australia: https://www.sportsdietitians.com.au/recipes/chargrilled-broccoli-almonds-chilli-chickpeas/ )

Additionally, the Good Food website provides a great recipe for Roasted Broccoli with chilli, garlic and parmesan.

If you want to ensure you are getting all the key nutrients and health benefits of eating seasonally, be sure to include some springtime fruit and vegetables in your next shop. Click on the link http://seasonalfoodguide.com/melbourne-victoria-seasonal-fresh-produce-guide-fruits-vegetables-in-season-availability-australia.html to see what other produce is in season each month, or ask your dietitian.