Broccoli is one of those vegetables that you either loved or hated as a child. Some people drench the green plant in cheese just so they can eat it without grimacing. But it seems that as a person ages, so do their tastes, and what was once a chore to eat is now a favored side dish. However, you might be getting tired of only using broccoli as a side to large dishes. Check out the recipes below for ideas about how to get add broccoli to your pasta night favorites.
Broccoli is a surprisingly good source of vitamin C. One serving of the vegetable has half of the daily recommended value. It and other roughage are also good sources of a nutrient called glucosinolate, which might help protect the lungs against cancer, according to the Institute of Food Research in Norwich, U.K. Broccoli also contains choline, which may benefit your brain's ability to remember things, reported Colorado Christian University. However, not every cooking method will yield the same amount of nutrients.
Of course, eating broccoli raw is one sure way to get every bit of the plant's health benefits, but steaming and microwaving are also good ways to maintain the vegetable's nutrient levels, reported Harvard Medical School. Boiling broccoli causes it to lose much of its glucosinolate. Microwaving, on the other hand, requires less heating time, and thus the nutrients do not break down as much.
Check out these two great pasta and broccoli recipes:
1. Garlic Broccoli Pasta
Here's a great dish that also has garlic, which quite full of nutrients as well. This meal is perfect for any senior nutrition plan. This meal is easy double if you're expecting company. If anyone is sensitive to spices, you can remove the red pepper flakes from the ingredient list.
- 2 cups penne pasta
- 2 cloves garlic, mashed
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1/2 cup broccoli, chopped
- 2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
- Salt and pepper to taste
Cook the pasta according to the directions on the box. The recipe tastes best when the penne has an al dente bite. Then, in a saute pan, add the garlic, olive oil, pepper flakes. Cook on medium heat for about 2 minutes. Place the broccoli in a dish and microwave until hot. Then add the cooked broccoli to the saute pan and cook for 2 minutes longer. Add the red wine vinegar and salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat. Drain the pasta and toss with garlic and broccoli mix.
2. Broccoli Herb Pasta
This is another great recipe that's slightly indulgent, but mostly nutritious. If you're still on the fence about broccoli, this dish might change your mind. This dish goes well with Italian bread, on which you can use the butter mixture described below.
- Dash of salt
- 2 tsp. olive oil
- 8 oz. angel hair pasta
- 2 cups broccoli, chopped small
- cup unsalted butter
- 2 Tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
- 2 Tbsp. fresh basil, chopped
Bring a pot of water to a boil, then add a dash of salt and the olive oil. Carefully drop the pasta into the water allow it to cook for about 3 minutes. Meanwhile, cook the broccoli in the microwave, cover it with a damp cloth or paper towel to retain the moisture. Drain the pasta and toss together with the broccoli. In a small bowl combine the garlic, butter, parsley and basil until the ingredients form a sauce that feels consistent throughout.
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