For my job, I have been doing a lot of research on how parents should deal with children that have picky eating habits. Apparently it can take 10 - 15 exposures before a child is curious enough to try a new vegetable for the first time. The best practices are to be patient, engage children in new foods at times other than meals (like shopping at the market or food preparation), don't bribe them, and never force a child to finish their plate. Instead, ask them to try a bite and leave it at that. The more familiar a child becomes with a vegetable, the more likely they are to eat it and begin to love it. Any parents want to weigh in on this one?
Since I don't have children, I immediately thought of how to use this information on the only picky eater in my life: Ashley. Ashley hates broccoli (along with most vegetables), but I am patiently working on it. I figure this recipe will help.
I don't know about you, but I could live off of broccoli. Broccoli is my go-to vegetable and it's hard for me to grow tired of eating it. I understand that not many other people have this kind of love-affair with broccoli. In fact, I can easily name a handful of people in my life that have been creeped out by my weird broccoli habits... you know, just the usual raw broccoli for breakfast, sneaking broccoli into a Storm basketball game for dinner, and (ok, I will admit this was not very good) drinking a broccoli smoothie.
If you are a broccoli fan I'm sure that you will love it with this garlic chili sauce, which is just the right amount of sweet and spicy. If you are not a fan, just try a bite. I promise to be patient.
Adapted from this Sweet Garlic Sauce recipe
4 cups broccoli florets (and chopped stems, if desired)
2 cups vegetable broth
3 Tbs soy sauce
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp fresh ginger, minced
1/2 tsp red chili pepper flakes
1-2 Tbs agave syrup (depending on level of sweetness desired)
2 tsps cornstarch
Bring your vegetable broth to a boil. Add the garlic, ginger, soy sauce, red pepper and agave, stirring well. Add the cornstarch, a little at a time and mix well to avoid making clumps (I found this easiest to do by using a whisk). Cook for 6 - 8 minutes on low heat until sauce thickens.
Meanwhile, steam your broccoli florets (and chopped stems, if desired) for 3 minutes until tender.
Serve broccoli and garlic chili sauce with quinoa, brown rice, or some tempeh.