Sometimes amazing meals happen when we have random leftovers in the refrigerator to use up — the situation forces me to use food combinations I would not normally think of. This recipe was one of those meals. My husband and 3 kids all loved it. My 3-year-old danced as she ate it… I only see her do this when she really likes her food :).
This is what I like to call an “eyeball” recipe. You can use as much broccoli, cauliflower, garlic and bacon to accommodate as many people as you need to. If you really like bacon, add more bacon! If you prefer broccoli over cauliflower, just use broccoli or vice versa. When coating with olive oil, pour enough so everything is very lightly coated. There was very little to clean up from making this dish. I had a cutting board and knife to clean. I lined the baking sheet with foil, thus did not have to wash it.
So why is this dish good for you? Broccoli and cauliflower are cruciferous vegetables — one of the big reasons to eat plenty of cruciferous vegetables is that they may help to lower your risk of getting cancer. Cruciferous vegetables have compounds called glucosinolates. Non-cruciferous vegetables do not not have glucosinolates. These compounds KILL carcinogens before they can damage our DNA and prevent healthy cells from turning into cancerous cells. They provide vitamin A, B6, C, K, folic acid, potassium, maganese and iron. Some other cruciferous vegetables are kale, bok choy and brussel sprouts.
Garlic is one of the oldest medicinal herbs (prescriptions for garlic are found on Sumerian tablets from 3000 B.C.). When Russian soldiers in World War II suffered a shortage of antibiotics, they used garlic to such an extent it was called “the Russian penicillin.” The sulfur compounds in garlic and onions promote apoptosis (cell death) in colon, breast, lung, and prostate cancer, as well as in leukemia. Epidemiological studies suggest a reduction in kidney and prostate cancer in people who consume the most garlic. Moreover, garlic and onions help to regulate blood sugar levels. This, in turn, reduces insulin secretion and IGF (insulin-like growth factors), and thus the growth of cancer cells.
I love adding bacon to recipes, but one thing to steer clear of is sodium nitrite and sodium nitrate, which is found in a lot of lunch meats, bacon, sausage, and hot dogs. It is a salt that helps to prevent bacterial cultivation of foods and makes them appear fresh. It can lead to formation of cancer-causing molecules that can result in tumor formation. Both sodium nitrite and sodium nitrate have been linked to significantly increasing the risk of colon and other forms of cancer, so be sure to choose only uncured meat products made without nitrates, and preferably from grass-fed sources (Source).
We ate this dish for lunch and paired it with watermelon, which is an excellent source of vitamin A (eye health), C (immune system support), B6 (helps brian function) and potassium (helps lower risk of high blood pressure). Watermelon also has more lycopene than any other fruit or vegetable which can help protect your skin from sun damage. Other good sources of lycopene include tomatoes, red and pink grapefruit, and guava.
Lycopene acts as a powerful antioxidant by scavenging reactive oxygen species, which are aggressive chemicals always ready to react with cell components, causing oxidative damage and loss of proper cell function. Scientists have found that lycopene in the diet correlates with reduced incidence of certain types of cancer. And lycopene levels in fat tissue—an indicator of lycopene consumption—have been linked with reduced risk of myocardial infarction (heart attack). (Source)
Lastly, watermelon is an excellent source of the amino acid citrulline; not only are watermelon’s citrulline stores abundant–they’re also readily usable. The human body uses citrulline to make another important amino acid—arginine—which plays a key role in cell division, wound healing and the removal of ammonia from the body. (Source)
Roasted Broccoli, Cauliflower & Garlic with Bacon
1 head cauliflower, cut into small florets
1 head broccoli, cut into small florets
8 cloves garlic, halved
8 strips bacon, cut into bite sized pieces
1 tbsp olive oil
1. Preheat oven to 375F.
2. Line a baking sheet with foil.
3. On a baking sheet, toss together the broccoli, cauliflower, garlic, bacon and olive oil.
4. Roast for 25 minutes until bacon is crisp.
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