By Stephen T. Sinatra, M.D., F.A.C.C., F.A.C.N., C.N.S., C.B.T.
Vegetables are the nutrient rich, fiber packed, foundation of a heart-healthy diet. I often nagged my patients to get on the vegetable bandwagon because they are packed with natural and essential vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidant compounds. I include cruciferous veggies like broccoli, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts in this recipe because they are full of cancer-protective plant compounds.
When preparing vegetables, I like to keep things simple and let the natural vegetable flavors shine through. My preferred preparation method is to gently steam the vegetables until al dente (cooked through but still crisp, not mushy), then top them off with a few tablespoons of heart-healthy olive oil or a dab of organic butter. It’s a healthy home run!
*Choose organic produce whenever possible*
- Brussels sprouts
- Peppers (red & yellow)
- Green Beans
To prepare vegetables, rinse them well in cold water. Cut broccoli and cauliflower into florets and peel skin off of the stems and slice tender parts of stems into bite-sized rounds. Slice the peppers in half, remove stem and seeds and slice into short strips. Trim off the end of the green beans and cut in half. Remove the ends of the zucchini and slice into ¼ inch thick rounds. To steam the vegetables, add one-inch of water to the bottom of a 3 to 4 quart saucepan, and then place the veggies into a steamer basket (don’t worry if you don’t have one, just place vegetables in the saucepan). If you are in the mood to add a little flavor to your vegetables, throw some fresh chopped rosemary, basil, garlic, or a few lemon wedges in with them. Put a lid on the pan and steam veggies on high heat for 5-10 minutes (so that they are still bright with color and al dente). Using a slotted spoon or thongs, transfer veggies to a plate, then drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, or add a pat or two of organic, grass fed butter. Enjoy!
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