Thursday, April 3, 2008

Broccoli - the super veggie

I love broccoli. It's filling; it's tasty; it's versatile. And it looks like little trees! Plus, it's one beautiful vegetable, look at the color! The red pepper was gorgeous as well and I couldn't resist getting some wonderful shots of these colorful vegetables.

I was intrigued by the following recipe when I read that the broccoli was to be browned and the red peppers barely blackened. I was anticipating that I would burn both, as I sometimes do in dishes, but I have learned that at our high altitude, it is better to cook items on medium when the recipe calls for medium-high, so they faired well!

There are many, many good things about this recipe, including the short amount of time that it took to cook it, but I wanted to put the spotlight on the green broccoli (as opposed to blue broccoli, you know? Note sarcasm). These little tree stalks are nutrient rich, loaded with Vitamin C (200 % of your daily value), Vitamin K (194% DV), and fiber. This tasty veggie has also been shown to help prevent cancer and detoxify your body with its plethora of phytonutrients. There is so much more to tell about broccoli, but I will leave that for another post about this crunchy veggie.

Rigatoni with Broccoli and Canadian Bacon
(from Cooking Light)

2 quarts water
4 ounces rigatoni pasta (I used bow tie)
1 Tablespoon olive oil, plus 1 teaspoon
3 cups broccoli spears
1 1/3 cups julienned red pepper (1 large red pepper)
4 ounces Canadian Bacon, cut into 1/4" strips
2 minced garlic cloves

Cook the pasta in boiling water for about 10 minutes, or until the pasta is "al dente". (I cooked it a little longer, I like my pasta softer.) Set aside in a medium sized bowl.
Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the broccoli and cook until browned, stirring often, about 8 minutes. Remove the broccoli from the skillet and set aside.
Add 1 teaspoon of olive oil to the skillet and add the red bell peppers. Cook until slightly blackened, about 5 minutes. Add the broccoli back into the skillet. Add in the Canadian bacon and garlic, cooking until warmed, about 2 minutes. Remove from skillet and stir in with the pasta and serve.

3 Servings (Adjusted, recipe states 5 servings - I say that's a bunch of baloney)

Nutritional Information
FAT 9.5g (Sat. 1.8g, Poly 1.2g, Mono 5.7g)
SODIUM 500.3 mg
POTASSIUM 535.9 mg
FIBER 3.7g

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