• 2 heads of broccoli crowns
  • 3 tablespoons seeded and chopped red bell pepper
  • Sesame seeds for garnish
  • 1 tablespoon flax seed oil
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili garlic sauce
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest

My son Alexander was still being homeschooled when the first “Cooking with Elise” cooking TV segments aired on the My Carolina Today show on NBC-17 in 2010.

As you can imagine I was so excited to have my family experience this amazing opportunity with me. Alexander was also incredibly helpful. Seeing my family so excited for me always warmed my heart. Back then Alex was always able to join me. Each of my boys and hubby cooked with me on occasion, too. Alex helped me make Chicken Tikka Masala once. Nathaniel and I shared our family’s recipes for Chinese egg rolls and steamed dumplings and Mike helped celebrate Mother’s day with our recipe of wholegrain Belgian waffles.

As a chef spokesperson for BJ’s Wholesale Club, I often visit television stations on my own. That is why I am especially excited that my son Alexander will be joining me in Virginia this week!

We’re on our way to share with WRIC 8 News anchor Aimee McLain and her viewers two of my favorite recipes for kale and broccoli with their viewers.

There’s a few things you should know about broccoli:

  • Broccoli is in the cabbage family and is very good for your eyes and your immune system.
  • It contains both water-soluble vitamins and fat-soluble vitamins.
  • One cup of broccoli contains the same amount of Vitamin C as one orange.
  • Two cups of broccoli provides you with enough calcium for the entire day.
  • Nutrition starts in the roots of plants so I have included the stem in each of these recipes.

So, how many ways you can change up your hum-drum broccoli recipes? Well, it’s just as simple as 1, 2, 3.

  1. Try cutting a vegetable in different way.
  2. Serve your veggies with a couple of different dressings.
  3. Apply two different healthy cooking techniques like steaming and roasting

Today we will be steaming broccoli for this delicious Asian broccoli salad made with sesame oil, flax seed oil, ginger, garlic chili and soy sauces and little orange zest.

Cutting your broccoli

Cut the broccoli florets off of your stem. The stem contains a large amount of nutrients. I use a vegetable peeler to remove the outer part of the stem which can be tough and bumpy. Cut the stem in half and carefully cut into slices. To cut the florets, place each floret green side down on your cutting board. Carefully cut into thirds starting from the bottom. Do not cut all the way or you will lose much of the green part. Cut two thirds of the way through and then simple tear apart. This will keep all of the green tops on. You will end up with pretty flat pieces of broccoli ready to be steamed.


Boil 1/4-inch of water in a 3-quart saucepan. Place both the florets and the stems into the pan and cover. Steam for 3 minutes or until almost tender. I like a  little bite — no mushy veggies for this girl’s family.

Remove from the pan and immediately place in an ice water bath. This will stop the cooking process and help to retain the broccoli’s lovely green color. Place into a serving dish. In a small bowl, combine one of the three combinations listed above. Remember, not too much oil.

TIP: If you do not own a steamer insert, simply use a metal or heatproof colander large enough to sit on top of a saucepan. You can also steam your vegetables in the microwave by placing your vegetables in a microwavable-safe bowl. Put a little water into the bowl and cover with another bowl.

Make your Asian dressing in a small bowl. Combine all ingredients and whisk. Drizzle over your steamed broccoli and red bell pepper. Sprinkle over a little sesame seeds for crunch and flavor!


Other Dressing Options

Try using one of the following dressing ideas:

  • A bit of olive oil infused with garlic, fresh lemon zest, a pinch of salt
  • Balsamic vinegar, a wee bit of fresh lemon juice and a little nutty flax seed oil or olive oil

TIP: I never use too much oil in my dressings. I prefer making a vinaigrette or dressing with more acid (vinegar or citrus juice).