It’s true, I have sort of been sliding on salad-making. Now I could say I’ve been busy, life is hectic, the toddler, yadda yadda…but what it comes down to is that in the deep of winter, I’m just not a big one for salads. I’m sure spring will find me once again joyfully tossing raw veggies with homemade dressings. But for now I am pursuing warmer ways to get my vegetables in.
Vegetables! Specifically, crucifers are great in the winter. And I think we all know how gloriously nourishing these little buggers are. They might as well be wearing anti-cancer superhero outfits.
So I don’t know if I mentioned this, but I like to do boatloads of research. Which means I know that ideally I’d steam these guys ever-so-lightly and enjoy them almost raw, so that I could get every last phytonutrient into my body.
However! My philosophy on nutrition can be summed up thusly: I do what I can. Which doesn’t mean I don’t try to keep learning and evolving and changing my tastebuds and my habits…I do. But I also don’t force myself to eat things I don’t like. That’s a non-negotiable. It’s not sustainable, and I’m not out to win any races, I’m in this one for life.
So part of doing what I can is that I very much believe the best vegetable for me is the one I eat.
Anyway, back to crucifers and this seriously awesome roasted broccoli!
Roasting may in fact reduce the nutrient profile when compared to steaming. However I still think these are pretty darn beneficial. And this broccoli just might make you want to eat broccoli every night all winter long. The first time I made it I ate the whole plate like I was licking cookie batter from a bowl, it’s that delicious…
- Broccoli (about 4 stalks)
- Nutritional yeast (a couple spoonfuls)*
- Hemp seeds (a couple spoonfuls)*
- Juice from half a lemon
- olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
(*) Ingredient note: This recipe was adapted (and simplified) from an Ina Garten non-vegan recipe, so if you’re not vegan just use grated parmesan instead of hemp seeds and nutritional yeast. I’m sure it’s just as awesome. Although I don’t know firsthand, Ina does seem to know what she’s doing!
If you are vegan (or thinking about going vegan), you should know about these nutritional powerhouses…
Hemp seeds: Hemp seeds, or hemp hearts, are a great source of essential fatty acids, vitamin E, and protein. 3 tablespoons of hemp seeds have 11 grams of protein. That’s a pretty big chunk of your daily protein requirement from something that can just be sprinkled on top of other foods (salads, oatmeal, etc…they have a wonderful soft nutty taste to them.)
Nutritional yeast: Nutritional yeast is also high in protein, as well as B vitamins, including B-12–making it another must-have in the vegan pantry. Another great thing about nutritional yeast is that it is a non-animal source of the savory umami flavor–usually associated with cheese. So you can sprinkle it on pasta, or use when “veganizing” dishes that normally include cheese.
Preheat oven to 450.
Chop broccoli roughly and make sure it is very dry. (Now I’m pointedly not going to suggest that if you buy organic maybe you can get away with not washing it, since it will be roasted at such a high temperature. Nope, not me, dee dee dee. Just make sure it is very dry or else it won’t brown.)
Toss broccoli with a very light coating of olive oil, salt and pepper.
Lay it out on a baking sheet lined with tinfoil (or a silpat.).
Bake for 25 minutes.
While it’s baking, grind a couple spoonfuls of hemp seeds and nutritional yeast in a coffee grinder (or something like this.)
Take the broccoli out of the oven and toss with another tablespoon of olive oil and juice from about half a lemon. Sprinkle a couple spoonfuls of the hemp-yeast mixture on top.
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