Transforming Food Waste: Broccoli Stems

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One of the first produce items we switched over to fresh when we began our kitchen transformation was broccoli. We had to spend a great deal of time thinking about each of the steps that were involved in preparing fresh broccoli from cleaning, cutting, boiling, draining, all the way to serving. Frozen broccoli is consistently packaged in even sized florets, but fresh broccoli can have much more variation in portion size. We serve our broccoli with a large portion of stem, but when we are preparing to cook it we still cut off a lot of stem. Instead of putting the broccoli stems in the compost we try to use them in other areas of our menus because it is such a nutritious vegetable. Adding stems to soup, shredding them into salads, and mixing them into vegetable lasagna are all common options. Check out some of the New York Times Recipes; especially try their variation on coleslaw with broccoli stems and red peppers.