Nutrition Spotlight: Cruciferous Vegetables

What are cruciferous vegetables you ask? They are the grouping of veggies from the cabbage family. The main veggies in this group are:
-cabbage (obviously)
-Brussels sprouts
-bok choy
-turnip & rutabaga
-collard and mustard greens
These vegetables tend to have a slightly bitter/spicy flavor. They are high in fiber and rich in vitamins and minerals, especially vitamin A, vitamin C and folate. However, they may be better known for their powerful phytochemicals. Phytochemicals like Glucosinolates (found primarily in cruciferous veggies) have anti-inflammatory properties, help protect our cells from damage and detoxify carcinogens. The glucosinolates have been widely studied and suggest that increased consumption of cruciferous vegetables may lead to lower risk of certain cancers.
It is important to consume a wide variety of vegetables in your diet. But be sure to include some of these regularly to cash in on the health benefits! Most of these delicious vegetables are currently in season! You can find them in your grocery store or your local farmers market.
Please enjoy this recipe which contains my favorite cruciferous veggie, Brussels sprouts!
Chicken with Brussels Sprouts and Mustard Sauce
Yield: Serves 4 (serving size: 1 chicken breast half, 2/3 cup Brussels sprouts, and 2 tablespoons sauce)
Total Time: 40 Minutes
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
· 4 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
· 3/8 teaspoon salt, divided
· 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
· 3/4 cup fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth, divided
· 1/4 cup unfiltered apple cider
· 2 tablespoons whole-grain Dijon mustard
· 2 tablespoons butter, divided
· 1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
· 12 ounces Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
1. 1. Preheat oven to 450°.
2. 2. Heat a large ovenproof skillet over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil. Sprinkle chicken with 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper; add to pan. Cook 3 minutes or until browned. Turn chicken; place pan in oven. Bake at 450° for 9 minutes or until done. Remove chicken from pan; keep warm. Heat pan over medium-high heat. Add 1/2 cup broth and cider; bring to a boil, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer 4 minutes or until thickened. Whisk in mustard, 1 tablespoon butter, and parsley.
3. 3. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil and 1 tablespoon butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add Brussels sprouts; sauté 2 minutes or until lightly browned. Add remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt and 1/4 cup broth to pan; cover and cook 4 minutes or until crisp-tender. Serve sprouts with chicken and sauce.
Recipe from Robin Bashinsky, Cooking Light

Allison Mitchell RD,LDN, is the Clinical Nutrition Manager at Noble Hospital.

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