In my endless search for ways to get my daughter to eat broccoli, I turned to a universal favorite. BACON. Also, CANDY. Kids eat all kinds of sweet items, why not candied broccoli or cauliflower?
This recipe is adapted from Broccoli Fried Rice with Candied Bacon on hopeinthekitchen’s blog. It sounded great, so I changed it up a bit and present you with my edited version below. The key here was to chop the broccoli and cauliflower so tiny as to be nearly unrecognizable. In all fairness, I did tell my eldest ahead of time that I was making broccoli she would like and she agreed to try it. She obviously did not believe me and was rather grumpy. She was very excited about the bacon, though. Whatever gets ’em there, I say!
There is a fair amount of sugar in this dish, but also a pound and a half of broccoli and cauliflower – in my mind, the nutrition balances out unless you or your children are highly sensitive to glucose. I myself am hypoglycemic and it didn’t cause an issue for me. Good luck, and I hope you love it as much as we did!
The NUTS and BOLTS
- 1 tsp Veggie Oil
- 6 oz Bacon, Cut Into 1/4-inch Pieces
- 1 3/4 tsp Cane Sugar
- 1 1/4 tsp Tamari **
- 3 Cloves Garlic, Thinly Sliced Or 1 Tbsp Minced From Jar
- 12 oz Broccoli, Florets And Stalks Cut Into 1/4-inch Pieces
- 12 oz Cauliflower Florets And Stalks Cut Into 1/4-inch Pieces
- 2 Tbsp Pure Maple Syrup
**What is Tamari??
Tamari is made with more soybeans than ordinary soy sauce, resulting in a smoother, more balanced, and complex flavor. You can substitute Soy sauce, but you will be missing out on a bit of nuance. Who am I to ask you to run to the store, tho? Use whichever you have on hand but let me tell you, it is worth the trip. You’ll thank me!
WHAT TO DO WITH IT ALL
First, place a wok or large skillet over medium high heat. Add the vegetable oil and sliced bacon to the pan and stir-fry until golden and crisp, about 2 minutes. This will be a bit messy, you might want to use a splatter guard.
Sprinkle the sugar over the bacon and toss. Immediately and carefully add 1/4 teaspoon tamari (watch out-the oil will bubble up) and continue to stir-fry until the bacon is glazed, about 30 seconds. Transfer the bacon to a bowl with a slotted spoon. Something that happened to me was that the bacon stuck together with the candying, so try to break it back up before you need to add it back into the pan. I waited, and it was difficult to do in the skillet with all the other ingredients.
Add the garlic and a pinch of salt to the drippings in the pan and stir-fry until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Then, add the cauliflower and broccoli pieces and cook until tender and crisp on the edges, perhaps 2 to 3 minutes.
Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of sugar over the vegetables and toss to coat. Add 1 more tablespoon tamari and the candied bacon to the pot and stir thoroughly.
When the pan starts to look dry, reduce the heat to a simmer and finish off by stirring in the 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup. Cook for approximately 1 minute and serve the masses.
For the grown-ups we added crushed red pepper flake and it was just the touch this recipe needed.
I think this would make an excellent stuffing for lettuce wraps, egg rolls, wanton wrappers… be creative. Let me know how you used it and what your family thought!
The eldest complained about having to try it, but once we convinced (ok, bribed) her to put it in her mouth, she ate 2 servings! Maybe I shouldn’t have told her about the vegetables? 4 of 5
The Twinkies ate a couple bites, said it was yummy, but ditched it as soon as they saw the tilapia. Maybe the texture was weird with the bacon? 3.5 of 5
All the grown-ups loved it, even cold. Perhaps it was a touch greasy – next time we’ll add brown rice or drain off half of the bacon fat. 4.5 of 5