The Irresistible Veggie Formula: Broccoli with Toasted Garlic, Hazelnuts, and Lemon

When I started health coaching, I would bring my private clients little gifts in the form of a new healthy food I wanted them to try, like a fresh bunch of greens, along with a simple recipe or two.

At our next session I’d follow up to see what they thought, only to learn that the poor baby bok choy was rotting in their fridge.

The biggest reason my clients gave for not cooking more healthy food for themselves?

“I need more recipe ideas!”

You know what I discovered? They were all LIES!

I would stay up late writing 10 more different ways to enjoy the same food to help my clients take some action.

The more recipes I gave them, the LESS they would cook.

You see, we think we loooove options but studies have shown that the more choices we have to make, the more paralyzed we become.

If you’re familiar with the famous jam study by Sheena Iyengar, you already know this.

On Pinterest, I pin hundreds of recipes to “try later”. You know how many I’ve made? Two.

Let’s Ignore Recipes

That’s why in Go Feed Yourself, I reeeally urge my members to ignore “recipes” and focus on:

  1. preparing their food simply and
  2. making them exciting with easy, tasty toppings.

My goal is to get your buns in the kitchen to whip up a fast dish that makes you feel awesome.

So in today’s episode I’m showing you my Irresistible Veggies Formula with plain old broccoli:

The trick is to prepare it in a simple (aka boring) way, then add a bit of flavor, texture, and brightness in the form of toppings.

Once you get this, you can use the same formula with just about any veggie, whole grain, or protein dish and save the “trying new recipes” thing for when you have time to kill.

Recipe: Simple Broccoli with Roasted Garlic, Toasted Hazelnuts, and Lemon


2 heads of broccoli
1/2 cup hazelnuts
1/2 cup olive oil
3-6 garlic cloves, peeled
Juice from 1 lemon
sea salt


  1. Cut off broccoli florets into bite-sized pieces.
  2. Toast hazelnuts (good to do a big batch ahead of time!). Roughly chop.
  3. Steam broccoli: fill a saucepan with a few inches of water, fit with a steamer basket, bring to a simmer. Add broccoli florets, sprinkle with sea salt, and cover for about 5-7 minutes until bright green. You should be able to easily pick up with a fork.
  4. In another saucepan, heat up olive oil over medium heat, add garlic cloves and stir occasionally until garlic turns golden brown.
  5. Take off heat, add lemon juice, a sprinkle of salt, and chopped toasted hazelnuts. Stir to combine.
  6. Place broccoli in a serving bowl, pour oil and nut mixture over broccoli and enjoy!

Broccoli Garlic Hazelnuts

Good luck getting it to the table before everyone horses it down.

What’s your favorite way to sass up basic veggies? Share your tips in the comments below!


  • Jenni says:

    I’m with ya Heather! Spices are sassy magic! I love the nut addition. Walnuts and celtic sea salt are key in my salad 🙂

  • I agree! Keep it simple and use fresh ingredients like lemon, garlic, and herbs to change up the flavors. One of my favorite ways to deal with veggies is to roast them with a little olive oil, salt and whatever fresh herbs I have on hand.

    • Heather says:

      Agree! Roasting makes every veggie taste awesome – my husband requests roasted broccoli at least once a week! Been too hot to turn up my oven that high lately though… Thanks Fran!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *