We all love scrummy broccoli, so when we were asked to take part in the Tenderstem Around the World in a Week challenge we were very excited. Having children who pick up a bag of carrots to munch as you go round the supermarket, rather than a bag of sweets, is great. And broccoli for dinner every night is their idea of bliss! But, like many families, we do tend to get into a rut of having the same, or at least very similar, things week after week. So this challenge to try some new ideas and get the girls to try new cuisines was just what we needed.
In season right now, and stocked on your local supermarket shelves, Tenderstem is quite different to the standard Calabrese which is now available all year round. With Tenderstem, the whole of the broccoli can be eaten, including the stalks and the florets. I think it has a more kale-y or dark cabbage flavour than standard broccoli, and benefits from the addition of flavours strong enough to match it.
Nutrient-rich Tenderstem broccoli is full of good things, including vitamin C, folate and potassium. It is also an excellent source of vitamin K, making it perfect for women in the late stages of pregnancy or breastfeeding post-birth, although it is of course great for all of us to keep bones healthy.
We were challenged to cook broccoli every night for a week, and sent some fun ideas to try out, including recipes from 5 different cuisines. With activity mats for the girls, featuring the 5 different countries/areas, and lots of yummy recipes for us, we were ready to give the Tenderstem Experience a whirl!
On the first night we went to southern Europe for our dinner, with a delicious Spanish Baked Paella with Prawns, Tenderstem® & Peppers. We swapped the prawns for chick peas, and added some extra veg, such as green beans, asparagus and a handful of pitted olives. Having some mushrooms that needed using, we also knocked up a tapas dish of garlic mushrooms to go with it. And procured a very nice bottle of white Rioja too!
Tatiana hasn't been eating for long, and she thought this dish was great! Lara and Sophia loved it too.
Day two saw us heading to Asia, with the recommended recipe being Asian Sticky Salmon with Tenderstem® Two Ways. Again, being veggie, we just swapped the salmon for tofu and added some extra vegetables to bulk it out. This created a luscious stir fry of Tenderstem broccoli, mange tout, pak choi, baby corn and tofu. Flavoured with lime, ginger, mirin and chilli, the broth was absolutely delicious, and one we will definitely be using again. This is real treating your body as a temple stuff, so vital and healthy.
In the middle of our week we went Moroccan with a delicately flavoured Moroccan Chicken & Tenderstem Tagine, again substution of cannellini beans for chicken made this both vegetarian and delicious! Lara particularly enjoyed this dish, and has asked for it again since. Result!
Then we went across the pond for a spicy treat of Mexican Beef & Tenderstem Fajitas. We eat Tex Mex type food quite often, and the girls both love red kidney beans, so we added those in place of the beef, and added some carrots and pitted olives. I hadn't tried adding broccoli to fajitas before, but the length of the Tenderstem stalks really worked, so I will be doing that again in the future. It was nice to take the time to make our own salsa and guacamole too.
Tatiana just had the vegetables, and loved them, spice and all!
Our final meal of the week was the One-pan Bake with Italian Style Lemony Pork Meatballs, Tenderstem® & Roast Squash. This time we swapped the meatballs for the girls' favourite vegetarian Lincolnshire sausages, and it went down a storm!
We really enjoyed our Tenderstem week, and have bookmarked all these recipes (and lots more!) from the Tenderstem website. Which of their fantastic recipes do you want to try?