Delicious VegetablesSeptember 27, 2010 Written by JP [Font too small?]
When I’m not writing content for this site, I’m frequently consulting with individual clients. One of the first things I tell them is that it’s imperative that they’re 100% honest with me. I need to know the unvarnished truth about how they really eat, exercise, manage stress and sleep. If they binge, I need to know. If they starve themselves, that too. Do they abuse caffeine or drugs to compensate for a lack of rest? Is exercise a daily activity or a monthly exception? It’s all pertinent information that I need to factor in when putting together a comprehensive wellness program. One of the most common admissions I hear is, “I don’t like healthy vegetables” or some variation on that theme. My Healthy Monday tip of the week is to transform healthy vegetables into something that you’ll actually crave.
What I’ve learned over time is that most people who dislike non-starchy vegetables are basing their opinion on bad experiences. A big plate of iceberg salad doused with store-bought dressing isn’t at all comparable to a gourmet Cobb salad or baby mixed greens topped with wild salmon and creamy dill dressing. Likewise, beautifully roasted broccoli and cauliflower are in a completely different league than their often over-boiled counterparts.
The great thing about roasting is that it doesn’t require much more effort than boiling or steaming vegetables. All it takes is a few basic steps: 1) Preheat oven to 350° F; 2) Toss organic broccoli and/or cauliflower (organic fresh or defrosted) in a large bowl with a generous amount of organic, extra virgin olive oil and season with freshly ground pepper and salt or salt substitute; 3) Spread veggies on a parchment lined baking sheet; 4) Roast the cruciferous veg in the oven for about 50 to 60 minutes until tender and nicely browned in spots. Serve hot, warm or at room temperature.
You can further enhance the flavor to your veggies by adding chopped shallots, onions, garlic and/or red chili flakes. Cauliflower can also be jazzed up by adding curry powder or smoked paprika. You are only limited by your imagination and palate. You can even add exotic cheeses. Goat feta, bleu cheese crumbles and shredded parmesan work especially well.
Brassica vegetables, which also include Brussels sprouts, kale, mustard greens and turnips are widely known for their anti-cancer properties. But a cursory review of the medical literature paints a much broader picture of their true health potential. In the field of holistic medicine, the term “detoxification” gets bandied around quite a lot. Cruciferous vegetables are the real deal when it comes to supporting the body’s ability to cleanse itself via a “greater induction of phase I and phase II detoxification enzymes in the liver and the lungs“. This class of low-glycemic veggies also shield the digestive system by antagonizing pathogenic bacteria such Helicobacter pylori – the leading cause of ulcers. I’ve even seen current evidence that suggests that cooked broccoli can protect the heart from the harm caused by inadequate blood flow and oxygen, a state known as ischaemic reperfusion. Very impressive indeed. (1,2,3)
Health benefits aside, I find roasted broccoli and cauliflower downright delicious. And let me just assure you that I was not a vegetable lover in my youth. Far from it. In addition, they’re a near perfect accompaniment to virtually any main coarse. Set them next to an omelet in place of hash browns. Serve them with along side a perfectly cooked fish fillet or grilled chicken. You might even adopt my favorite manner of eating them: I make a low-carb grilled cheese sandwich and set a pile of roasted vegetables on the same plate. I eat the crispy veggies just like French fries. Give this recipe a try and I’m sure you’ll soon discover your own preferred way of enjoying this health promoting side dish.
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Tags: Broccoli, Cancer, Ulcers
Posted in Food and Drink, Nutrition, Recipes