Looking to boost your fiber and vitamin C in one bite? Forget dietary supplements — emerald green broccoli is the answer.

Cup for cup, broccoli has more vitamin C than oranges, and only half the calories. It’s also rich in folate and vitamin K, the minerals potassium and calcium, and many phytochemicals that may play a role in cancer prevention.

To pick the freshest broccoli, look at the stem — it shouldn’t be dried out. Then look at the color of the florets. They should be dark green. Avoid heads that have yellowed in spots.

While steaming broccoli is a snap, pan roasting adds great flavor without having to turn on your oven. The cheese sauce in the following recipe is bound to convert skeptics.

Cheesy Pan-Roasted Broccoli

For the broccoli:

  • 1 head broccoli, cut into florets
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

For the sauce:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 cup skim milk
  • 1 cup grated part-skim mozzarella
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add olive oil and broccoli. Sprinkle with salt. Toss and cover. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook four to five minutes until cooked through.

While the broccoli cooks, make the cheese sauce. Heat a small saucepan over medium heat and add the olive oil and flour. Cook 1 minute, stirring often, until a thick paste forms. Gradually whisk in the milk, grated cheese, mustard and garlic powder, and continue whisking until the cheese melts. Cook for one more minute until sauce thickens.

Pour sauce over cooked broccoli and serve immediately.

Yield: 4 servings

More information

The Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University has a detailed report on the benefits of broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables.

Source: HealthDay

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