It was a couple of years ago that I first heard about bagged broccoli slaw. I was paging through a new cookbook and came across a recipe that I wanted to make; it called for bagged broccoli slaw and I actually didn’t know what it even was. I had to Google it to learn it’s a package of grated broccoli stems, carrots, and sometimes cabbage. I found it up among the other pre-fab produce items I gloss over because I don’t usually buy them: stir-fry vegetable mixes, already cooked beets, peeled garlic cloves.
The recipe was a salad topped with chicken, and the author said the beauty of the broccoli slaw was that you can pull the whole thing together, dressing and all, the night before and the salad will still be crisp when you eat it the next day. I’d long struggled to make taking a salad to work for lunch truly convenient. Broccoli slaw was what finally did the trick. Even though I don’t need to pack lunch anymore because I work at home, I still buy it often.
Some people are surprised I buy a pre-cut produce product like this, because we really pride ourselves on from-scratch everything. Even more importantly, I like to buy foods that aren’t packaged to minimize waste. But this single product has helped cut more calories out of my diet than any other. It’s just so easy to add, no washing, no chopping, no fuss. There’s no more convenient way I’ve found to add a large volume of low calorie, healthy vegetables to almost anything I’m making.
7 Ways I Use Broccoli Slaw
Here are seven ways I use it in my kitchen:
- As a crunchy garnish for tacos.
- Instead of lettuce greens in a entrée salad.
- Pulsed in the food processor, it can stand in for rice or couscous.
- Sautéed with garlic, olive oil, and a meaty tomato sauce, it’s a good sub for pasta.
- With some thinly sliced protein, it’s all the vegetables you need for a stir-fry.
- Stuffed into a pita with a little cheese, it makes a good, filling sandwich.
- Tossed with spicy peanut sauce and sesame seeds, it’s like cold sesame noodles.
- Cooked into an omelet with soy sauce, it’s a cheater’s egg foo young.
Loving Food While Losing Weight
Is it possible to talk about the fraught space of food, body, and weight in a healthy, thoughtful way? We think so, and we're presenting a monthlong column exploring one food-lover and food writer's journey towards finding her own personal balance. Joy Manning is joining us this month with her own stories, practical tips, recipes, and perspective on the real-life struggle between loving food and loving your body.
→ Read the intro to Joy's column: Is There a Healthy Way to Love Food and Watch Your Weight? Introducing One Food-Lover's Story
(Image credits: Faith Durand)