Thursday, February 18, 2010



Alert the media... dieting is not fun.  Especially when you've reached the point where you stop losing after only dropping five-six pounds.  Drastic measures need to be taken.  Cutting more calories is a must.  Wanting to chuck it all and have a bacon cheeseburger becomes a very tempting option.  And then there's the yearning for a chilled glass of chardonnay or a very dry vodka martini (two olives) after a long, long day of eating lettuce and almonds.  But I'm determined - there's a closet full of designer clothes in my bedroom waiting to be worn (I won't even go into the 'jeans thing')... to come out of the dark and into the sunlight (not to mention that Richard's really tired of seeing me in faded and ripped sweats).

So what to do to free this wonderful waiting wardrobe?  Eat less, exercise more?  Duh!!!  This is where broccoli comes in.  It's green, it's healthful and, most important, it's no points if you doing Weight Watchers or 'free' calories if you're doing South Beach...  I'm doing a new schizophrenic diet I call South Beach Watchers...  I follow the So. Beach guidelines (which really aren't that much different from WW) and count points.  So it's fish, chicken, lean meats, tons of veggies, nuts, a low fat cheese stick now and again, NO alcohol, and little to no starch unless it's multi, multi, multi, multi, multi grain.

So back to my ode to this mini-tree vegetable...

Like President Bush '41, I'm not a fan.  Richard is.  We eat it once - twice a week, usually steamed w/ a dash of butter or margarine (less than a point) and a spritz of fresh lemon juice or balsamic vinegar, though sometimes we've been known to roast those little trees w/ a little EVOO.  But when that is often the only thing on the dinner plate complementing that piece of fish, chicken or lean meat that ole broccoli taste gets old.  Especially, as I've stated, one is not a fan.  Now, I can cheer for asparagus and do cartwheels for steamed spinach and kale, but it's barely a hoot, never mind a holler, coming out of my mouth for broccoli, and certainly no acrobatics.  I look at those little green trees on my plate and wonder why I'm being punished.  I yearn for something rich and creamy.  Well, I've found a satisfying solution.  Mashed broccoli.  I loved South Beach's mashed cauliflower recipe to satisfy a dieter's mashed potato craving... why not mashed broccoli to satisfy my 'rich and creamy' craving?   So I followed the So. Beach mashed cauliflower recipe w/ a little adjustment and improvisation here and there... and voila!  Rich and Creamy!  I might even learn to love broccoli.  Nah.

Rich and Creamy Mashed Broccoli
(serves 4)


4 cups broccoli trees (don't forget to include the 'trunks')
1 ounce of Brummel & Brown yogurt/veggie oil 'margarine' spread
1 ounce fat free half & half (sometimes I add a bit more if needed for 'creaminess')
2-3 tablespoons of grated parmesan cheese
pinch of salt
pinch of pepper


Steam the broccoli until soft.  Puree in food processor, adding the margarine spread, non-fat half and half, and parmesan cheese.  Season with the salt and pepper.


saucyredhead said...

Oh, I feel your pain. I really do. This, however, sounds like a good way to make it bearable. Plus, I love that "ode" photo, LOL.

saucyredhead said...

I feel your pain, I really do! Maybe this recipe will help! Plus I love the "ode" photo, LOL.

Richard said...

Let's hear it for the cruciferous vegetables! Oh, never mind, we just did.

Sandra Lewin said...

Ilona, Best I can say it either looks like guacamole spread or baby p--. Think I like it better whole and steamed! But you were brave to try!

ilona saari said...

LOL - it does look like guac, Sandra - but gotta say, it's really pretty delicious. And I'm glad you like the pic Ann -- how's your So. Beaching going (or whatever torture diet you chose )

Anonymous said...

I LOOOOOOOOOOVE broccoli. Love it. It's my veggie of choice almost every night. I prefer it steamed, but I grew up thinking it came out of the ground with cheese sauce on I never have cheese sauce, just plain, thank you very much.
Now, on the other hand, there is NOTHING you can do to make me like asparagus...except give mine to someone else, usually Richard. I abhor it THAT much.


ilona saari said...

And I'd have steamed asparagus, spinach or kale every night if I had my way. 'My' Richard loves broccoli and string beans... I like string beans pretty much - but I prefer them raw... Richard doesn't... but steamed w/ a bit of butter and lemon juice works for me. But broccoli I eat because I should (tho again, raw broccoli is better than steamed broccoli for me - and mashed broccoli is the best - simple - still tastes like broccoli, but not soooooooooo much )

Norrth said...

Can't get enough of the stuff! I grew up in a weird family where the green veggies, especially, were as beloved as sweets were to other children. Love the 'little trees' name for broccoli, and I'm definitely trying this recipe! Wish me luck.

ilona saari said...

Good luck, Norrth! Let me know how you liked the mashed version of those little trees ;o)

Lana said...

This sounds like an interesting recipe. I love broccoli, as long as it's cooked. I don't like it at all as a crudite. The only vegetable I really can't get down at all is peas. It's a mental thing, but I love Chinese snow peas. The peas just can't be out of their pod.