Broccoli is a cruciferous vegetable, meaning it is a member of the cabbage family, and is high in vitamins, minerals, fiber, and phytochemicals. Cruciferous vegetables have been shown to stop the growth of cancer cells, reduce the oxygenation of cells (anti-oxidant), and protect heart health.
Broccoli contains a phytonutrient called sulforaphane, which aids in the body’s detoxification process, clearing out potentially harmful carcinogenic substances more quickly. It is high in vitamin A, C, and K, and B vitamins, which are vital for energy and stamina.
Broccoli is a nutritional powerhouse and highly versatile. It is delicious raw, and is a popular member of salad bars and vegetable trays. It is also unique because, unlike many vegetables, it does not lose its health benefits by being gently boiled, sautéed, or steamed.
The recipe below is a broccoli and cheese frittata, a baked egg dish, similar to a quiche, but without the unhealthy crust. Frittatas can be filled with a number of vegetables but are especially delicious with broccoli. They are great for breakfast, brunch, lunch, or dinner, and reheat well. They can be eaten cold or hot, or even sandwiched between slices of whole wheat bread for a tasty egg sandwich.
The cheddar cheese on top is optional. It is a small amount that, when added to the top, adds plenty of flavor and not a lot of fat. The combination of egg whites and whole eggs ensures you’re getting all the nutrient and flavor of the yolk, while still maintaining low levels of fat. Serve with a leafy green salad, or a fresh fruit salad, for a well-rounded and delicious meal.
BROCCOLI & CHEESE FRITTATA
- 1 head of broccoli, about 1 cup, chopped small
- 1 small shallot, about ¼ cup, sliced thin
- 2 minced garlic
- ½ cup chopped tomatoes
- 5 whole eggs
- 5 egg whites
- 1 Tablespoon water
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- 1 ounce sharp cheddar, shredded, optional
1. Preheat broiler and place oven rack 4 inches from broiler element. Bring a small pot of salted water to boil over high heat. Add broccoli and blanch for 30 seconds. Drain and set aside.
2. Beat together whole eggs, egg whites, water, salt and pepper together in a medium bowl. Set aside.
3. Heat 1 teaspoon olive oil in an 8” nonstick, oven-proof sauté pan over medium heat. Add shallot and garlic and cook until beginning to soften, about 1 minute. Add tomatoes, broccoli and sauté a few minutes longer, then add egg mixture.
4. With a spatula, gently push the eggs from the outside of the pan to the center of the pan, creating large curds. Move the spatula around the perimeter of the pan and continue to move the eggs around. After 3-5 minutes, the eggs will begin to set up.
5. Sprinkle optional cheddar cheese evenly over the top and place the whole pan in the oven. Broil 2-3 minutes, until the frittata is puffed and golden. Remove from oven and allow to rest for 5 minutes. Slide frittata onto cutting board and slice into pieces.
By Jessie Monds