Friday, October 18, 2013

Veggies! Part Two: Roasted Broccoli and Garlic with Sundried Tomatoes and Balsamic Reduction




Roasted Broccoli and Garlic with Sundried Tomatoes and Balscamic Reduction 


So, are you all ready for part two of the "Veggies!" series? I am, because I'm really excited to discuss todays veggie--garlic!

While garlic (allium sativum) is going to be a little upstaged by the broccoli in this recipe, I wanted it to be the nutritional focus. Since we often see garlic as simply a seasoning, we forget that garlic is in fact a vegetable, and a nutritionally beneficial one!

Food is art!
A vegetable native to central Asia, ancient Egyptians were actually the first to cultivate and use the small vegetable. They had their superstitions in regards to the vegetable, including believing it could help their slaves be more productive. The ancient egyptians weren't the only culture to have their folkloric beliefs about garlic. The ancient Greeks and Romans believed it could strengthen athletes, and of course there is the old wive's tale that garlic can ward off evil spirits and vampires.

While our ancient ancestors may have been slightly off-base with their superstitions, they were right about one thing--garlic is definitely a super food! Garlic contains unique sulfur-containing compounds. These are beneficial for a number of reasons. They can fight oxidative stress and unwanted inflammation that increases our risk of cardiovascular disease. They benefit both our musculoskeletal and respiratory systems, and can even fight obesity! Along with the benefits of these sulfur-containing compounds, the allicin in garlic can help lower blood pressure, and garlic has been shown to help fight and prevent certain types of infection.

If you'd like to read a more in-depth discussion of these benefits, along with more facts about garlic, check out this article.


In The Kitchen

So, we've established that garlic should be a prominent and regular part of our diet. To get the most benefits, we need to consume about 1-2 whole cloves a day (if cooked). That's really not hard to do. Most recipes call for garlic (or garlic powder). I recommend using fresh garlic as often as possible as it is the best way to consume it. But, if you're looking for a way to bump up your garlic game, this recipe will do just that!

While it's not difficult to find ways to incorporate garlic into our diets, in this recipe, garlic gets to take a well-deserved spot center-stage alongside some big-hitting vegetables. This recipe is easy to make, and will serve as a great side for many meals. It's also delicious served cold--add some chicken and you have a quick delicious salad!

Roasted Broccoli and Garlic with Sundried Tomatoes and Balsamic Reduction (4 servings)


Ingredients:


5 cups chopped broccoli (medium sized florets)
1/2 cup whole peeled garlic cloves
1/2 cup (before chopping) jarred sundried tomatoes
2 Tbs melted ghee or fat/oil of choice (I use OMghee's brand of ghee-- non-GMO, grass fed, organic)
1 tsp dried oregano (2 tsp fresh)
The process
1 tsp dried basil (2 tsp fresh)
Salt & pepper to taste
3/4 liquid cup balsamic vinegar

Directions:

*Note: Balsamic reductions can always be made in advance & reheated. Just be careful not to overcook it when reheating. It is also optional for this recipe as the vegetables are delicious and flavorful on their own!

Preheat oven to 375*F. Place broccoli florets and garlic on a cookie sheet that has sides, or in a roasting pan (do not add sundried tomatoes yet). Drizzle with melted fat and stir until vegetables are coated. Add herbs, salt and pepper. Stir again. Place in the oven. You will roast the veggies for approximately 30 minutes, stirring them every 10 minutes.

While vegetables are roasting, chop sundried tomatoes to desired size (mine came in whole slices that I chopped into quarters).

After you've done your first stirring of the vegetables (10 minutes into roasting), begin the balsamic reduction. This sounds fancier than it is. All you do is place a non-stick pan over medium-low heat. Pour balsamic vinegar into the pan and heat it up until it begins to thicken (this is called reducing--cooking off the liquid condensing the sugars). Once it has thickened a bit, remove it from the heat--BAM! You have a balsamic reduction (perhaps my favorite thing in the world). Keep in mind, it will thicken more as it cools.

When you remove the pan from the oven for your second stirring (after 20 minute of cooking), add the sundried tomatoes and stir into vegetable mixture. Return pan to the oven and cook for the final 10 minutes.

After the vegetables have cooked for a total of 30 minutes, remove from the oven.

Place onto the plate, drizzle with some of the balsamic reduction and ENJOY!





2 comments:

  1. Yumm. This is a great reason to eat your veggies. I would definitely have this for breakfast with poached eggs.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! Eggs go with everything! ;)

      Delete