Do you benefit from cooking seasonal vegetables? Going for fruit and veg when in season is kind to your health and to your pocket.
From October through to April, broccoli are at their best. They’re not expensive to buy and you can use them in a variety of ways. Once harvested, the shelf-life of the broccoli is rather short and a yellowish hue is the first indication that the broccoli head is not fresh. When shopping, choose broccoli heads which are tight and heavy in weight.
If you buy your veg from a farmers market or similar, ask for broccoli heads with leaves intact. Ideally, you get organic vegetables but if it’s not possible, wash your broccoli head and leaves well, under running water to remove all traces of pesticide.
Why are Broccoli good for you?
Broccoli are a member of the cabbage family. Together with a number of other vegetables such as kale, collard greens, bok choy, brussels sprouts and a number of others, they’re known as cruciferous vegetables. Cruciferous vegetables are loaded with vitamins and promote weight loss.
Broccoli are often referred to as a superfood. The florets are a great source of vitamins K and C. They also provide folic acid, potassium and fiber. The leaves are also high in fibre and they are an very good source of vitamin A, thiamin, niacin, pantothenic acid, calcium, iron, selenium, vitamin C, riboflavin, folate, and potassium.
Baking your broccoli is one way of enjoying this super nutritious vegetable.
Quinoa with Roasted Broccoli and Almonds
Broccoli leaves are tender and nutritious. For maximum benefit, eat your broccoli florets and chopped leaves raw, by adding them to your salad. Broccoli leaves can also be sautéed or baked in the oven.
This warm salad provides you with protein from the quinoa, healthy fat from the almonds and plenty of vitamins from the broccoli head and its leaves. A cup of broccoli also provides you with 11 grams of carbohydrates and 3 grams of protein.
- 2 Fresh onions (you can use leeks)
- 1 Medium-sized broccoli head (leaves intact)
- 10 Baby plum tomatoes (halved)
- 2 tbsp Olive oil
- 50 grms Roasted almonds (chopped)
- 1 cup Quinoa (I used white, red and black quinoa)
- 1 3/4 cups Vegetable stock
- 2 tbsp Olive oil (extra virgin)
- 2 tbsp Apple cider vinegar (raw)
- 2 tbsp Lemon juice
- 1 tsp Maple syrup
- Salt and pepper (to taste)
Peel onions and rinse vegetables under running water
Break broccoli head into florets and tear leaves into pieces (do not tear them into tiny pieces).
Line a roasting dish with heavy duty foil, place the broccoli florets, onions and tomatoes. Add 2 tbsp olive oil.
Roast at 200o C for 10 minutes. Bring dish out of the oven and add the broccoli leaves. Turn with a spatula so that the leaves get a light covering of oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for a further 10 minute.
In the meantime, rinse the quinoa under running water and bring the vegetable stock to the boil. Tip in quinoa and stir well. Cover with tight fitting lid, bring back to the boil and lower heat to a simmer. Simmer for 12-13 minutes until stock is completely absorbed.
When stock is absorbed, turn off the heat and leave the quinoa to stand for 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork.
In a screw top jar mix the extra virgin olive oil, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice and maple syrup. Add salt and pepper to taste. Shake well.
Mix quinoa with roasted vegetables and plate. Serve with roasted almonds on top and 2 tbsp dressing.
My thanks go to:
Dr Axe and