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It seems that BROCCOLI is one of those vegetables many people have a love/hate relationship with. It’s possible you were forced to eat it as a young child, but have grown to love it as an adult. BROCCOLI is part of the cruciferous family of vegetables and has similar properties to things like cauliflower, cabbage and brussel sprouts. Cruciferous vegetables are very important for many health reasons, including lowering bad cholesterol, reducing inflammation in the body and reducing your risk for certain types of cancer.

Aside from helping to protect us from prostate, colon, breast, bladder and ovarian cancer, BROCCOLI has also been found to reduce our risk of coronary heart disease, help prevent cataracts and aids in the repair of sun-damaged skin. The high level of phytonutrients that BROCCOLI contains support the body by activating, neutralizing and eliminating unwanted contaminants that may enter our system. BROCCOLI is one of the richest sources of folate, soluble fiber, and vitamins C, K, and A.

Now how many of you eat BROCCOLI more than 3 times a week?

If you do, that’s great! If not, you should really consider adding more of this vibrant, green, nutrient dense “super food” into your meal plan. To get the most benefit from BROCCOLI you should aim to eat at least 3-5 servings (1 & 1/2 cups = a serving) every week. It’s hard to believe something so simple can provide us with so many benefits.

Like myself, many people I talk to have a difficult time digesting raw BROCCOLI since it is gas-forming and difficult for the body to breakdown. An alternative is adding BROCCOLI SPROUTS to fresh salads so you gain the health benefits without the pain. If you choose to eat BROCCOLI cooked, the most important thing to remember, as with most vegetables, is to steam it on low heat in a double boiler for five minutes or less. Timing and heat are both very important factors in maintaining BROCCOLI’s abundant vitamin content. There is nothing worse than mushy, bland BROCCOLI. Microwaving veggies is the worst cooking method because it kills many of the vitamins and nutrients as it cooks at such a high temperature. In addition to temperature, food cooked in a microwave is often done in plastic containers which allow Bisphenol-A, aka BPA, to leach into our food. BPA’s are basically cancer causing agents that are harmful to the human body and leech into our food from plastics such as cooking containers and water bottles.

If you have never really found a way to fully enjoy BROCCOLI, here’s your chance. I’ve included a healthy and delicious recipe for this week’s meal plan… bon appetit!

Lemon-Dill Chicken, BROCCOLI and Feta Bake

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Roasting Time: 20 minutes

Makes 4 Servings.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lemon
  • 1 Tbsp (15 mL) chopped fresh dill or 1/2 tsp (2 mL) dried dillweed
  • 4-oz (125-g) block of feta, preferably light
  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • Olive oil
  • 1 bunch broccoli
  • 1/4 cup (50 mL) whole skin-on almonds (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400F (200C). Line a large baking sheet with parchment or lightly oil. Finely grate peel from lemon into a bowl. Stir in dill and pinches of salt. Cut feta into thick wedges. Cut chicken breasts in half horizontally. Place feta and chicken on parchment. Lightly drizzle both with olive oil, then sprinkle with half the seasoning mix.
  2. Roast in center of preheated oven for 10 min. Meanwhile, cut broccoli into large florets. When chicken has roasted for 10 min, add broccoli and almonds. Sprinkle with remaining seasoning and stir. Continue roasting until chicken is cooked through, from 10 to 15 more min. Squeeze juice from lemon over top.
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