Graphic: Natalie Peeples, Photo: Saturated, Lawrence Manning (Getty Images)

Did you know that broccoli is considered a superfood? One doctor even suggested that it’s the only vegetable you need to eat. Unadorned broccoli (or, as we like to say around here, Sideshow Bob flowers) can be a hard sell though, without a nice cheese sauce, or some soy, or Stephanie Izard’s famous roasting process, topped with Rice Krispies.

When my kids were little, I tried anything I could think of to get them to eat their broccoli, which led me to this supremely easy peanut butter sauce. Somehow it turned their previously suspicious foods like vegetables, chicken, and rice into a family-favorite stir-fry. Yes, you can doctor it up with garlic and ginger and soy sauce, but it has two main ingredients: equal parts peanut butter and orange juice. It’s really hard to mess that up—so, perfect for me. It also works well on salmon, but I find that it can turn any stir-fry (tofu, green beans, noodles, carrots) into something that tastes like takeout. All those superfood benefits are just extra. And it really couldn’t be easier—you don’t even have to heat it up to make it! (Although it does taste better that way.)


Gwen’s Peanut Butter Better Sauce

This is a pretty mild version for those persnickety kid palates, so feel free to amp it up with some hot pepper flakes or Sriracha. Basically think of the peanut butter and orange juice as a base for you to season up however you like (less ginger, more garlic, maybe some lime juice, etc.)

  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 2 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. minced ginger
  • 1 clove minced garlic

Whisk ingredients together in a bowl until thoroughly combined. Sauce should be thick but not completely smooth.


Gwen’s E-Z Stir-Fry 

Photo: Gwen Ihnat
  • 1 lb. boneless chicken thighs, diced
  • 1 lb. broccoli crowns
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion or shallot
  • 1 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 tsp. toasted sesame oil
  • 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil

Heat vegetable oil in large fry pan or wok over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and sauté for a few minutes until aromatic. Add chicken, cooking for several minutes until cooked through, then add broccoli and continue stir-frying until done (bright green). Finish with sesame oil.

Top with warmed-up Peanut Butter Better Sauce and serve on rice.