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Get your health boost with broccoli

If you're looking for delicious ways to bring more nutrition to the family table, it's hard to beat broccoli.

Broccoli is on most top 10 lists of superfoods and packs a lot of nutrients in each bite.

“Easily incorporated into a variety of dishes, broccoli offers a great way for busy families to eat healthy on a daily basis,” said Rachel Brandeis, a registered dietitian.

For an extra nutrient boost, try these recipes made with Eat Smart Beneforté broccoli.

“Beneforté broccoli provides more of the phytonutrient glucoraphanin, which naturally strengthens your antioxidant enzyme levels to help maintain the antioxidant activity of vitamins A, C and E in your body,” Brandeis said. “These vitamins protect your body from potentially damaging free radicals and environmental stresses.”

Broccoli Stir-Fry

Serves: 4
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
2 shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
4 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
1 cup assorted Asian mushrooms (maitake, white buna-shimeji, enoki, yellow foot, shiitake)
½ head Napa cabbage, shredded
1½ cups of broccoli florets
1½ cups snow peas
1 red bell pepper, chopped
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
Sprouts for garnish

Heat large sauté pan with oil over medium high heat.
Cook shallots until translucent, about 2 minutes, add garlic. Cook for 1 minute.
Add mushrooms and cook until liquid dissolves, about 5 minutes.
Add cabbage, broccoli, snow peas and bell pepper; cook for 3 minutes. Top with sprouts. Serve immediately.

Broccoli with Fusilli and Red Pepper

Serves: 6 to 8
1½ cups of broccoli florets
3 teaspoons salt, divided
½ pound fusilli pasta
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 red bell pepper, seeded and sliced into long, thin strips
½ teaspoon garlic powder
1 lemon zest
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2½ tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
Freshly grated Parmesan (optional)

Cook broccoli for 3 minutes in a large pot of boiling water with 1 teaspoon salt. Remove from water with slotted spoon. Place in large bowl and set aside.
In same water, cook pasta according to package directions, about 10 minutes. Drain well and add to broccoli.
While pasta is cooking, heat oil in small sauté pan and cook sliced red pepper, garlic and lemon zest over medium-low heat for 3 minutes.
Off heat, add 2 teaspoons salt, red pepper flakes, pepper and lemon juice. Mix and pour this over broccoli and pasta. Toss well.
Season to taste, sprinkle with cheese (if using), and serve.
For added protein, shred half of a cooked store-bought roasted chicken, then toss with pasta and serve.

Roasted Broccoli

Serves: 4
1½ cups of broccoli florets
3 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan
3 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
1 teaspoon chopped basil (optional)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
In large bowl, toss broccoli with garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper.
Place broccoli in a single layer on baking sheet. Roast for 15 to 20 minutes, turning once during cooking, until crisp-tender.
Remove broccoli immediately to serving bowl and toss with lemon juice and zest, Parmesan, pine nuts and basil. Adjust seasoning to taste and serve hot.

Broccoli and Tomato Pizza

Yield: 1 pizza (serves 6 to 8)
1 whole wheat 12-inch ready-to-bake pizza crust
4 tablespoons olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
2/3 cup shredded mozzarella-provolone cheese blend, or 1/3 cup shredded mozzarella and 1/3 cup shredded provolone
¼ cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup of broccoli florets (raw and quartered)
2 Roma tomatoes, chopped coarse

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place pizza crust on cookie sheet.
Pour olive oil into small pan; heat and add garlic. Stir for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and transfer to small cup to cool. Pour garlic olive oil mixture over crust, distributing evenly.
Sprinkle mozzarella-provolone blend evenly over crust. Sprinkle cheddar cheese evenly over top of mozzarella-provolone blend.
Place broccoli on top of cheese; distribute evenly. Place tomatoes on top of pizza; distribute evenly.
Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven; let sit for 2 minutes before slicing and serving.

Note: Cooking decreases the glucoraphanin content of broccoli. The best way to get the health benefits from broccoli is to eat it raw or lightly steamed.




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