Food is fuel for our bodies, Plain and simple. So it makes sense that the quality of what you put into your body makes a big difference in how your body will run. So, make good choices when deciding what to eat, but don’t forget that it’s ok to allow yourself a little indulgence now and then!
In that vein, this week’s tip shares an easy, yummy and nutrient packed recipe.
Double Broccoli Quinoa (Taken from 101 cookbooks – an amazing food blog you should definitely check out for incredible vegetarian recipes!)
- 3 cups cooked quinoa*
- 5 cups raw broccoli, cut into small florets and stems
- 3 garlic cloves **
- 2/3 cups sliced/slivered almonds, toasted
- 1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan
- 2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- Sliced/diced avocado (optional, but highly recommended!)
- Feta/goat cheese (optional, but highly recommended!)
- Chili flake (optional, but highly recommended, the original recipe calls for chili oil)
- Bring a small amount of water to a simmer in a pot and add the broccoli. Cook for a minute just till the broccoli is no longer raw. Don’t overcook! Run under cold water and set aside.
- To make the broccoli pesto: in a food processor, blend 2 cups of the cooked broccoli, garlic, 1/2 cup of the almonds, parmesan, salt, chili flake and lemon juice. Drizzle in oil and cream and pulse till smooth.
- Just before serving, toss the cooked quinoa and remaining broccoli florets with about 1/2 of the pesto. taste and adjust as needed. Serve topped with sliced avocado, feta and more almonds.
*To cook the quinoa: bring 2 cups of water, a few pinches of salt and 1 cup of quinoa to a boil. reduce heat and simmer until water is absorbed and quinoa is fluffy. (about 15 minutes) You can tell it is done because the grains open up into a little curlique and are tender with just a little bite. This recipe didn’t call for it, but quinoa takes on an amazing nutty flavor if you dry toast the grains in a skillet before cooking. It’s simple and only takes about 5 minutes. Try it!
** The recipe calls for raw garlic, but I think that giving it just a few minutes in the broccoli water before, during and/or after the broccoli cooks takes the sharp bite out of the raw garlic flavor.
When it comes to nutrient rich and beneficial veggies, broccoli is a king! It has more vitamin C than an orange, as much calcium as a glass of milk, is one of the richest sources of vitamin A and has three times more fiber than a slice of wheat bran bread. Even better? Scientists are now finding that broccoli is rich in isothiocyanates, a chemical that stimulates the bodies production of cancer fighting agents. But be careful not to overcook it, overcooking broccoli (as is true with most all veggies) saps the nutrient power right out of it. Try lightly simmering, steaming or sauteing until just tender.
Why should you run for the garlic? Well, besides fending off vampires garlic has been shown to lower LDL cholesterol, lower blood pressure and even reduce the risks of some caners! Garlic is also a highly anti-microbial agent (thus, great for your immune system!) and is a natural detoxifier!
To make the above recipe a little more substantial or for dinner, try serving it with some baked tofu or tempeh or alongside some grilled chicken. Yummy!
My secret for cooking grains: I truly love grains and barley is one of my favorites! But since I am usually rushing to get dinner on the table the 30-50 minutes it takes to cook makes it a less desirable option compared to a much quicker-cooking rice. But now, I have a trick for perfectly prepared grains with minimal effort! In the morning bring your grains, water and a pinch of salt to a boil on the stove. Boil rapidly for 5 – 7 minutes while you go about your morning routine. Turn the heat off, cover the pot and leave it. By the time it is dinnertime the grains have absorbed the hot water and you are left with tender, perfectly cooked grains ready to use! This works equally well with quicker cooking grains as it does with long cooking grains. Try it with barley, brown rice, quinoa – anything!