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Chicken & Broccoli in an Acorn Bowl

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Broccoli, one of the healthiest of all veggies with a texture that DISPLEASES my tongue. Therefore, I’m always looking for new ways to eat broccoli raw to avoid cooking out the nutrition.

This is one of our favorite dinners.

 

INGREDIENTS:

8 oz chopped, cooked chicken (approx. 48 grams of protein)
½ cup celery, chopped
¼ cup red onion, chopped (Lots of health benefits http://www.healwithfood.org/health-benefits/eating-red-onions.php )
1 head of broccoli, raw and chopped extra small (see notes at bottom, including thyroid warning)
½ cup carrot, diced or grated
Acorn squash, halved, baked (sprinkle w/virgin olive oil and favorite seasoning)

DRESSING:
½ cup Oikos Greek yogurt, plain**
1.5 Tbsp. juice from a fresh lemon (avoid the bottled version)
½ tsp. Sea Salt
3 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley (or 1 tbsp. dried)
½ tsp. basil
(Serves 2*)

Mix top ingredients. Mix dressing ingredients. Blend together and chill.
Serve inside ½ acorn squash

[Mid-day alternative: Substitute 6-7 Triscuit crackers for squash.]

*Calories and ingred. AMOUNTS are based on an even 5-6 meal-per-day diet

**Why Greek yogurt? article 

 

 

BENEFITS OF BROCCOLI:

HEALTHY EYES- Broccoli and other leafy green vegetables contain powerful phytochemical antioxidants in the carotenoid family called lutein and zeaxanthin, both of which are concentrated in large quantities in the lens of the eye.

IMPROVED IMMUNE SYSTEM- Not only does a cup of broccoli contain the RDA for vitamin C, it also fortifies your immune system with a hefty 1359 mcg of beta-carotene, and small but useful amounts of zinc and selenium, two trace minerals that act as cofactors in numerous immune defensive actions.

BIRTH DEFECT FIGHTER- Pregnant? You really must eat broccoli. A cup of broccoli supplies 94 mcg of folic acid, a B-vitamin essential for proper cellular division because it is necessary in DNA synthesis. Without folic acid, the fetus’ nervous system cells do not divide properly.

Deficiency of folic acid during pregnancy has been linked to several birth defects, such as spina bifido. Despite folic acid’s wide occurence in food (it’s name comes from the Latin word folium, meaning “foliage,” because it’s found in green leafy vegetables), amazing and little known fact time… folic acid deficiency is the most common vitamin deficiency in the world.

PREVENT COLDS- Helps to get relief from cold symptoms, since it contains Vitamin C, which is an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory.

STRONG BONES- Studies have shown that broccoli contains more calcium than most dairy products therefore helping to build bone mass. Great news for lactose intolerant people (and there are a lot of us out there) as obtaining sufficient calcium can be difficult for those not consuming dairy products.

REAL MEN GO GREEN!- This and other cruciferous veg like sprouts and cabbage reduce your levels of the female hormone oestrogen, thereby increasing your testosterone.

DIABETES- Due to it’s high fibre content and low sugar, broccoli helps fight the war on diabetes. The fibre helps keep blood sugar low and as a result insulin can be kept to a minimum.

NOTICE: Thyroid problems?…beware. Broccoli contains goitrogens, naturally-occurring substances in certain foods that can interfere with the functioning of the thyroid gland. Individuals with already existing and untreated thyroid problems may want to avoid broccoli for this reason. As always consult your doctor if unsure.

(full article http://organicjar.com/2009/2001/)

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