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Spicy Chicken & Broccoli Casserole

Toronto Holistic Nutritionist Laurie McPhail Spicy Chicken & Broccoli Casserole

Broccoli is my husband’s favourite vegetable. He could happily munch on it nightly. So I try to cook up interesting ways to include it at mealtime because, let’s face it, steamed broccoli can get boring. And broccoli that has been over-steamed is beyond boring, it is blech. And also the reason why many people don’t like broccoli, because overcooking it turns it into unpalatable, sulfurous mush.

Roasting it is much tastier. Especially if you first toss it with paprika- and hot sauce-spiked avocado oil along with mini-potatoes, prosciutto and sautéed chicken breast, as in this Spicy Chicken & Broccoli Casserole. Try it and I think you will agree. Read on for more about the benefits of broccoli and a bonus recipe.

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Bravo for Broccoli

Broccoli has a lot of benefits …

  • One of broccoli’s main claims to fame is as a cancer-fighting food. It is a cruciferous vegetable and research has shown that this group of plants contains compounds linked to cancer prevention, given their ability to neutralize carcinogens and prevent cancer cells from growing and spreading. Cruciferous veggies also support apoptosis, the process by which the body kills off dysfunctional cells. One of these compounds, sulforaphane, acts against the formation of cancer at the molecular level by reducing oxidative stress. A shout out for sprouts: broccoli sprouts have anywhere from twenty to one hundred times more sulforaphane than the mature plant. So be on the lookout for sprouts!
  • You can eat the whole thing. Yes, stalk and all! Slice off that gnarly exterior and you’ll reveal a stalk that’s fresh, verdant and tender enough to eat raw. Slice it into batons to scoop up your favourite dip, grate it into slaw, “rice” it or slice it into coins and stir fry. The possibilities are endless. For more ideas on getting the most out of your food, check out my blog post on reducing food waste.
  • Broccoli is versatile and can add colour to all manner of courses and cuisines. You are limited only by your imagination. But here’s one dish that might convert even die-hard broccoli-bashers: Pizza Broccoli. Pizza-fication was a bit of a trend a few years ago and involved applying the key ingredients of pizza (such as cheese and tomatoes) to other foods. In this recipe for Pizza Broccoli, pizza-fication transforms broccoli from boring to bravissima and makes it sing…an aria by Verdi, perhaps?  😉

So bravo for broccoli, I say. I hope you enjoy this Mediterranean-inspired Spicy Chicken & Broccoli Casserole. Sign up here for the recipe and feel free to share it with your family and friends!

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