This Feb. 15, 2016 photo shows stovetop roasted broccoli with nutritional yeast in Concord, NH.  This recipe gives you both a new way to season and a speedy way to roast broccoli. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)

This Feb. 15, 2016 photo shows stovetop roasted broccoli with nutritional yeast in Concord, NH. This recipe gives you both a new way to season and a speedy way to roast broccoli. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)

Double-duty take on broccoli – new technique, new ingredient

  • Tuesday, February 23, 2016 4:03pm
  • LifeFood

Of all the trendy/healthy/unusual ingredients I use regularly in my cooking, the one I get questions about most is nutritional yeast (which tastes way better than it sounds).

Nutritional yeast — not the same as baking yeast — is a golden, flaky powder typically sold in natural foods stores (usually in the bulk section). It doesn’t look like much, but boy does it pack some flavor!

I love nutritional yeast because it has a cheesy, nutty, savory flavor and can be sprinkled liberally on just about any vegetable or savory/salty snack that I make. Freshly-popped popcorn or homemade baked kale chips with a bunch of this yeasty, cheesy goodness all over is, quite frankly, snacking perfection.

Nutritional yeast also is my weeknight dinner go-to seasoning for roasted vegetables or veggie purees (mashed potatoes are super tasty!). And in the mornings, it gets sprinkled on just about every egg white I cook. Plus — bonus! — it’s vegan, so if you are cooking for a crowd, it’s a safe bet that everyone can enjoy it.

Did I mention it’s incredibly healthy, too? Every 2 tablespoons of this stuff adds 9 grams of protein and 4 grams of fiber to whatever you’re making, and only 1 gram of fat and 60 calories. Most nutritional yeasts are fortified with B vitamins, making it even better. Plus, nutritional yeast is a naturally good source of iron and selenium.

Please ignore the unfortunate name and try nutritional yeast next time you roast some veggies. And just for fun, in today’s recipe I’m sharing a quick stovetop method for making one of my all-time favorites — roasted broccoli. I love roasted broccoli, but sometimes I need dinner on the table in minutes. This recipe makes that happen. So enjoy this double-duty recipe — a new ingredient, and a new technique.

Stovetop-Roasted Broccoli With Nutritional Yeast

Start to finish: 10 minutes

Servings: 4

3/4 pound broccoli florets

2 teaspoons olive oil

1 clove garlic, minced or pressed

Pinch red pepper flakes

1/4 cup low-sodium chicken or vegetable stock or broth (or water)

1/4 cup nutritional yeast

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Heat a large, heavy saute pan or Dutch oven over high until very hot.

While the pan heats, in a medium bowl, toss the broccoli with the olive oil until well coated. Place the florets in the hot pan, in a single layer, lightly pressing with a spatula to maximize contact with the hot surface (you should hear sizzling). Cover and cook for 1 1/2 minutes, or until the bottoms of the broccoli have some browning and char.

Uncover and flip the broccoli with the spatula, then press gently again. Cover and cook for another 1 1/2 minutes. Uncover and stir in the garlic and red pepper flakes. Once fragrant (about 1 minute), add the stock and cover, allowing the broccoli to steam for 1 minute. Uncover and sprinkle on the nutritional yeast and vinegar, then stir. Let cook until all the liquid evaporates. Season with salt.

Nutrition information per serving: 80 calories; 25 calories from fat (31 percent of total calories); 3 g fat (0 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 0 mg cholesterol; 160 mg sodium; 10 g carbohydrate; 4 g fiber; 3 g sugar; 7 g protein.

Food Network star Melissa d’Arabian is an expert on healthy eating on a budget. She is the author of the cookbook, “Supermarket Healthy.”

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