Friday, January 7

Food Spotlight: Broccoli

I know what you’re thinking, broccoli, bleck! Yeah, I know. Even for a veggie lover like me, broccoli is a little tough to take. But there are couple of reasons why you should add it to your weekly diet.

First, it’s a superfood. And I mean SUPERFOOD. If you were stranded on a desert island with only broccoli as sustenance you’d be one lucky duck. (Minus the whole issue of getting yourself stranded on an island of course.)

Broccoli is loaded with vitamins A, B6, C, K, E, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin and folate. And it’s also a good source of minerals. Specifically, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper, manganese and selenium.

As if that wasn’t enough, it also has protein and fiber.

Crazy, right?

The second reason you should eat broccoli—consumption of cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, kale, cabbage, turnip greens, mustard greens, and collard greens) has been linked with prevention of cancers of the breast, endometrium, colon, prostate, lung and bladder.

Scientists believe compounds in broccoli called isothiocyanates may help prevent cancer by ridding the body of carcinogens. Stated more simply, these compounds help detox your body at a cellular level.

I don’t know about you, but after the holidays a little cleansing from the inside out sounds pretty good.

With all this goodness in a little green floret, why does broccoli get such a bad rap? It’s not cooked properly, or creatively.

Broccoli is often a soft and mushy mess. No wonder no one wants to eat it!

Properly steamed broccoli should be bright green and still retain a bit of its crunch. A head of broccoli steams in roughly 5 minutes.

If you’re tired of plain old steamed broccoli, try these preparations:

Spicy Roasted Broccoli

A head of broccoli
¼ cup olive oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp freshly ground pepper
2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (more if you like spicy foods)

1) Preheat the oven to 250 degrees

2) Wash the broccoli under cool water, cut off the stems and cut any large florets into quarters

3) Place the broccoli on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, season with salt, pepper and crushed red pepper flakes.

4) Bake for 20-25 minutes, until tender (but not mushy!)

5) If the broccoli looks a little dry, drizzle more olive oil over the top before serving.

Note: I made this Wednesday night and my meat-and-potato loving husband remarked, “Hey, this is pretty good.” 

I haven't tried the next two recipes but they sounded good too.



  1. I made the broccoli Marinara and it was fabulous. I added some cut up chicken breast prior to the tomatoes and broccoli to make it a one dish meal. It was very tasty and simple.

  2. I made the Broccoli Marinara on Wednesday night. It was good as a side dish as well. I thought it was really easy to make too, and a nice change from plain broccoli. The addition of chicken is a great idea. I'll have to try that next.