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Posts Tagged ‘broccoli’

Here is an easy, healthy, low-fat, one-pot or pan meal.  Lentils are a vital source of iron for vegans. They are also virtually fat-free and have an infinite shelf life. Lentils are a good source of cholesterol-lowering fiber, both soluble and insoluble. They are rich in protein,  folic acid and vitamins B and C as well as 8 essential amino acids and trace minerals. Lentils have one of the highest sources of antioxidants found in winter growing legumes. lentils help manage and are good for diabetes, digestion, weight loss, cancer prevention and coronary heart disease. Sweet Potato that veritable tasty veggie is so loaded with vitamin A and antioxidants that it is one the best sources of bio-available beta-carotene in the vegetable world. Sweet potato skins, when eaten, reduce the potential risks posed by heavy metal residues like mercury, cadmium and arsenic and may help cleanse the body of the effects of cancer treatment drugs. To me, Broccoli is king of the vegetables and its health benefits are never ending. It has high amounts of Vitamin C which aid iron absorption, prevent the development of cataracts and ease the common cold. The potassium in broccoli lowers blood pressure and its large amounts of calcium ward off osteoporosis. Broccoli is also fiber-rich and as such enhances the gastrointestinal tract and aims to reduce cholesterol levels. Broccoli has also been noted to reduce hormonal related cancers such as breast, prostate, ovarian and much more. Bok Choy is a member of the cabbage family and because it has only 4 calories per serving and loads of fiber, it is great for weight control. Bok Choy has more calcium and beta-carotene than other members of the cabbage family and is also high in potassium, folate, vitamins A, C and K. Potassium is important for healthy muscle and nerve function. Bok Choy is an excellent source of phytonutrients along with the powerful antioxidant combination of vitamins A and C to keep your body cancer free. High levels of K and calcium promote strong, healthy bones. Bok Choy can prevent cancer, heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, cataracts and macular degeneration.  Garlic and onion have antibiotic properties to ward off common cold and flu. Herbs de Provence usually include lavender flowers, sweet basil, thyme, rosemary, bay leaf, mint, fennel and chervil. The combination of these herbs assist with stress,  sleep, bronchitis, sore throat,  upset stomach, fungal infection,  eyesight, cough, and skin. Further, these combined herbs have anti-biotic, anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties as well as containing iron, vitamin B-6 and calcium.

Ingredients:

2/3-3/4 C  black or French lentils (these are smaller than green/brown lentils)

1 med. size sweet potato cut into small chunks

1 medium size broccoli crown cut into pieces

1 small head of baby bok choy

1 medium size onion

2 cloves of  garlic minced

1 sprig each of fresh thyme, rosemary and oregano or 1 tspn. of herbs de Provence

For additional seasoning: garlic powder and fresh ground black pepper

Preparation:

In a deep skillet or soup pot, saute onion and garlic until softened

Add sweet potato and lentils and 2 C of either water, vegetable broth or chicken broth

Bring all above to a boil then simmer for 15 minutes.

Add broccoli and simmer for 5 more minutes – to speed cooking, you may want to partially cover your pot or skillet.

Add baby bok choy and cook until wilted.

Remove from heat and plate topped with some of the fresh herbs for garnish,

Serve and enjoy!

Alternatives:

If you like more broth you can just add more of the liquid you have chosen to use. Be sure to do this while still cooking.

I intended to use eggplant rather than broccoli but could not find any to meet my standards. So here is another option.

You may use spinach in place of bok choy if you like.

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MOMMA ALWAYS SAID EAT YOUR VEGETABLES AND ONE OF THE MOST NUTRITIOUS WAYS TO DO THAT IS TO ROAST THEM. THIS METHOD LOCKS IN THE NUTRIENTS THAT OFTEN DISAPPEAR INTO THE WATER WHEN STEAMING OR BOILING THEM. SHOULD YOU USE THESE LATTER METHODS, BE SURE TO SAVE THE VITAMIN RICH WATER AND USE IT. VEGETABLES ARE HIGHER IN ANTIOXIDANTS THAN MEAT OR DAIRY PRODUCTS. A DIET RICH IN FRESH VEGETABLES CAN REDUCE CHOLESTEROL AND TRIGLYCERIDE LEVELS THAT CAN LEAD TO CLOGGED ARTERIES. ROASTED VEGETABLES ARE SO DELICIOUS. THE ROASTING RELEASES THEIR NATURAL SUGARS RESULTING IN A CARAMELIZED SWEETNESS THAT NO OTHER METHOD PARALLELS. YOU WILL LOVE VEGGIES MADE THIS WAY.

Ingredients:

Use any vegetables of your choosing. Here I was making a batch for Christmas eve. for about 22 people and I used:

Fennel, slice the bulb in 1/4 inch thickness

onion both yellow and red, sliced in 1/4 inch thickness

garlic bulbs, slice off the top of bulb and surround in tin foil leaving the sliced top exposed

sweet potato cut into cubes of 1/2 inch or so

new red potatoes quartered

red and yellow bell peppers sliced into small squares or lengthwise slices

broccoli, separate florettes

cauliflower,  separate florettes

eggplant cut into 1/2 to 1 inch cubes

Brussel sprouts quartered

Carrots sliced in 1/2 inch segments

Try to keep vegetables in similar sizes whichever you choose to use. Note that some vegetables will roast sooner than other so put similar types together or just remove those that roast sooner.

Preparation:

Toss vegetables with 1-1 1/2 tbs. of extra virgin olive oil

Sprinkle with garlic powder and freshly ground black pepper

Optional: add any fresh herb of your choice such as thyme for subtle flavor, rosemary for a stronger flavor (great with potatoes) or sage for moderate flavor. Cinnamon can be added to sweet potatoes or squash.

Roast vegetables on baking sheet at 400 degree for 20-25 minutes

You will be glad you did for the flavor and nutrition you will get.

Alternatives:

Try roasting root vegetables such as carrots, parsnips, turnip, rutabaga, beets (though roast separately because their color bleeds), and any other you can think of.

Aluminum containers were used at the request of the party host for ease of clean-up and this did work well. when possible, the presentation of food in pretty platters and ceramic type bowls is preferred.

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Pizza can be healthy folks!! Here is a delicious, healthy and nutritious pizza. Just use whole wheat dough, olive oil, vegetables and low fat cheese. You can lose weight eating this type of pizza. Start with 100% whole wheat pizza dough or make your own. Whole wheat dough is easy to find now and if you incorporate it slowly into your diet, I can assure you that you will never return to white flour products. Whole wheat flour products minimize glucose levels that white flour products spike leaving you tired and hungrier later. Whole wheat products keep you full longer. Whole wheat is delicious too. Broccoli is a member of the cabbage family and is a rich source of calcium. It is high in fiber, vitamins A, B6, C and K. The high content of Vitamin C prevents free radical damage. Broccoli also enhances the absorption of iron. When eaten abundantly, people have less risk of some cancers such as cervix, breast, colon, lung, prostate, esophagus, bladder and larynx. Portabella mushrooms surpass all produce with their high slenium content. Blood selenium levels decrease with age so we need to supplement our bodies with this cancer fighting  mineral.  Selenium is synergistic with Vit. E and helps keep our hearts healthy.  These mushrooms can lower the risk of prostate cancer. They are low in calorie and virtually fat free. Onions are loaded with bioflavonoids, proven to be a powerful antioxidant to fight free radicals. One such flavonoid is quercetin which lowers the risk of heart disease by keeping blood platelets from sticking together thus reducing harmful clots. Onions contain Vitamins A, B, C, and G as well as protein, potassium, magnesium, calcium, folic acid and fiber. Onion also has anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties. Cheese is known for it’s high calcium content which strengthens the density of bones and is vital in other physiological activities. Cheese is a good source of protein and protects against colon and breast cancers as well as osteoporosis, migraine headaches and PMS. Extra Virgin Olive Oil is a healthy and healing fat It prevents colon cancer and heart disease by controlling the LDL or bad cholesterol and raising the HDL or good cholesterol. No other oil has as high an antioxidant level. Extra virgin is the best because it comes from the first pressing of the oil. Oil becomes rancid easily. Light and heat are its enemy so store in a cool dark place. Now, let’s eat these beautiful and healthy ingredients in a scrumptious pizza.

Ingredients:

Whole wheat pizza dough

1/2 medium size yellow Onion, chopped

1-2 cloves garlic chopped

1 medium size Broccoli crown, cut into small pieces

3-4 large size Portabella Mushrooms sliced

8 oz. pkg. fresh mozzarella cheese or 1 pkg. of low fat/ low moisture  mozzarella cheese

1-2 T  Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Preparation:

Put some olive oil on your hands to prevent dough from sticking to them. Spread room temperature dough in a cookie sheet or pizza pan using the plam and heal of your hand and being careful not to tear the dough. If it should tear, put cold water on your fingers and work the dough back together. Set aside.

In a large saute pan, put the oil and when hot, add the onion and cook about 2 minutes.

Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.

Add the rest of the vegetables and cook until they are near-done or softened.

Put the cooked vegetables on the pizza dough.

Top with mozzarella cheese.

Bake @ 400 degrees for 12-15 mins. until cheese is hot and melted.

let the pizza rest for 4-5 mins. before cutting so toppings will adhere.

Mangia!!

Alternatives:

You can use a non-wheat dough such as rice crust or any gluten free type.

You can switch the cheese from dairy (cow) to goat,  sheep or vegan cheese.

Use any vegetables that you like.

After I made this pizza, I thought that it would look more appealing if I had added roasted red peppers which would add color and also blend with the other flavors.

As always you may substitute spray oil or vegetable or chicken broth when sauteing the vegetables.

If you do not like onion or garlic, you may eliminate them and still have a great tasting pizza.

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