Are you still hanging with me? So far, you’ve been with my friend, Elisa, and here’s her last blog – to me, the BEST because she shares her secret recipes! And her long list of cruciferous veggies is keen. Go ahead…….
Elisa says: Earlier this month I shared why I would rather thrive than merely survive – despite having lupus. Then I discussed how someone with an autoimmune disease CAN blossom with a very specific set of nutrition guidelines followed by a post unraveling some of the science behind those suggestions. Today, I want to provide you with ten high cruciferous recipes and one easy formula to put into practice to improve your overall health while preventing cancer and a slippery slew of other health concerns.
First, a little background knowledge in case you don’t have time to read these posts in their entirety.
- Plant-Based Options for Autoimmune (AI) Diseases
- How to Defy an Autoimmune (AI) Disease – Nutrition Guidelines to Thrive!
- To Thrive or Survive – Which Would YOU Rather Do?
Cruciferous vegetables contain phytochemicals that have unique abilities to modify human hormones, detoxify compounds and prevent toxic compounds from binding to human DNA. Studies have even shown that genetic defects that may lead to cancer are suppressed by eating green cruciferous vegetables. Therefore, they are a crucial part of a therapeutic diet used to treat and prevent cancer, to reduce inflammation in the body and to maintain excellent health.
Cruciferous vegetables contain cells called glucosinolates. These cells are broken apart by chewing, cutting, blending, and pulverizing. These actions activate an enzyme called myrosinase, which yields the byproduct: isothiocyanates (ITC’s). These phytochemcials offer those tremendous benefits previously mentioned.
Myrosinase is a heat-sensitive enzyme, so the heat deactivates its ability to function. Therefore, it’s essential to blend or chop the cruciferous vegetables prior to gentle heating. Otherwise, the myrosinase may be deactivated and essentially rendered useless prior to initiating the beneficial ITC’s.
Try to include cruciferous vegetables at each meal. For example, have a blended or juiced beverage at breakfast with kale, a blended soup at lunch with broccoli or a large green salad, and a steamed green vegetable at dinner such as collards.
I do not recommend blending arugula, mustard greens or any of the really spicy crucifers. If you do, you may be sorry!
• bok choy
• broccoli rabe
• brussels sprouts
• mustard greens
• red cabbage
• turnip greens
Include these vegetables in both raw and cooked forms and eat a variety of them.
Remember, benefits obtained from the beautiful package of whole fruits and vegetables can not be duplicated by taking any one pre-formed compound or supplement.
These high cruciferous recipes will help to get you started…
1. High Cruciferous Juice
Serves: 4, Preparation Time: 20 minutes
6 medium carrots
6 cauliflower florets
2 apples, cut in fourths
1 bunch kale
1/2 bunch watercress
1/2 head broccoli with stems
Run all ingredients through a juicer. If you don’t have a juicer, use a fraction of the ingredients and blend.
2. Awesome Kale Juice
Elijah Lynn, Serves: 2
Preparation Time: 10 -20 minutes
Ingredients: 1/2 pound Kale, 1 Apple, 3 Limes
Instructions: Juice, chill and serve!
3. Berry Kale Smoothie
Elisa Rodriguez, RD, LDN
3 large kale leaves, deveined
1/2 cup frozen berries (blueberry, raspberry, blackberry, strawberry)
water, as desired
Blend well in a Vita-mix until smooth. Thin as desired with additional water.
4. Nutrient-dense Green Salad w/ Dijon Pistachio Dressing
6 ounces mixed salad greens or 1 bag spring greens
1 6-ounce bag organic baby spinach
2 cups watercress sprigs
1 cup curly endive
1/2 cup broccoli sprouts or other sprouts
1/2 small head romaine lettuce, washed, dried & torn into bite-sized pieces
2/3 cup water
1/2 cup pistachio nuts, preferably unsalted and raw (or blanched almonds)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon ground flax seeds
2 teaspoons Dr. Fuhrman’s VegiZest
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon Bragg Liquid Aminos
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
2 deglet noor dates or 1 medjool date (optional)
Place all dressing ingredients in blender and blend until smooth and creamy. Toss salad with dressing.
5. Kale with Cashew Cream Sauce
Adapted from: www.DrFuhrman.com
Serves: 4, Preparation Time: 15 minutes
2 large bunches of kale
1 cup raw cashews
1 cup soy milk
1 tablespoon Dr. Fuhrman’s VegiZest (optional)
4 tablespoons onion flakes
Chop kale finely, then steam by water sauteing on the stove top until just barely bright green and tender. Drain excess water.
While kale is steaming make sauce by blending cashews, soy milk, VegiZest and onion flakes until smooth and creamy.
Pour sauce over the drained and steamed kale. Serve.
6. Steamed Collards and Salsa
Source: Kara Reeder
Serves: 2, Preparation Time: 10 minutes
1 bunch Collard Greens
1/2 Jar No/Low sodium Salsa
4 tablespoons Nutritional Yeast
Wash, Cut, and Steam Collards. Pour on Salsa. Sprinkle on Nutritional Yeast.
7. Broccoli Cheeze Soup
Adapted from: Jean Myers
3 medium potatoes, peeled & diced
3 large carrots, peeled & diced
1 bunch broccoli, cut into florets & stems, sliced
2 inches water (just to cover potatoes & carrots in pot)
1 cup plain soymilk
1/2 cup raw cashews
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon Mrs. Dash – original blend
1 teaspoon Spike
1/4 teaspoon celery salt (optional)
In large pot, cover diced potatoes and carrots with water and simmer until tender – 15 minutes or so.
Meanwhile blend the broccoli (prior to heating to preserve myrosinase activity) in a high-powered blender, adding a little water as needed. Set aside.
While veggies are cooking, puree cashews and all seasonings in a blender with the soymilk.
When potatoes and carrots are done, add them to the cashew mixture and re-blend, adding enough of the hot cooking liquid to make a creamy “cheese” soup consistency. You might need to do this in batches, depending on your blender.
Return pureed soup to pot and stir in the blended broccoli to combine.
8. Golden Austrian Cauliflower Cream Soup
Adapted from: www.DrFuhrman.com
Serves: 4, Preparation Time: 30 minutes
1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
3 carrots, coarsely chopped
1 cup organic celery, coarsely chopped
2 leeks, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons Dr. Fuhrman’s VegiZest or other no salt seasoning
2 cups carrot juice
4 cups water
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup raw cashews
5 cups kale leaves, chopped
Cover and simmer all ingredients, except cashews, cauliflower and kale, for 15 minutes or until just tender.
Meanwhile blend the cauliflower and kale in a little water (just enough to get things blending) in a high-powered blender. Set aside the cruciferous combo.
Blend 2/3 of soup vegetables and liquid with cashews until smooth and creamy. Add back to the remaining chunky
vegetables and stir in the blended kale and cauliflower.
Warm gently on low and serve.
9. Irma’s Persian Kale & Collard Stew
Serves: 2, Preparation Time: 30 minutes
1 cup green lentils
32 ounces water
1 bunch collards
1 bunch lacinato kale
1 bunch fresh dill
1/2 teaspoon dried fenugreek (from any Persian store)
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 cup walnuts
In a medium-sized pot, cook green lentils in water on medium-low heat until soft (about 20 minutes).
De-stem and finely chop kale & collards. Set aside.
Add dill, fenugreek and basil to the pot and cook for another 10-20 minutes.
Once done, add 1/2 of the soup vegetables and liquid to your high-powered blender with the walnuts, kale and collards and blend until smooth.
Place this into the bottom of your bowl and place unblended stew on top. Enjoy!
10. Kale and White Bean Stew
Serves: 6, Preparation Time: 45 minutes
2 Bunches of Kale, washed, pulled from stalk and finely chopped
1/4 cup Water
2 Cloves of Garlic, minced
1/2-1 tbs MatoZest
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper or to taste or optional
2 15 1/2 oz No salt added Canned Cannellini Beans or other white beans, drained
2 14 1/2 oz No salt added Canned Diced Tomatoes
2 cups Low sodium, or sodium-free Vegetable Broth
Put the chopped kale with the water in a soup pot, cover and cook over a low-medium heat for 10 minutes or until
kale is tender, stirring occasionally.
Add garlic, MatoZest, black pepper and red pepper, if using. Continue to cook, uncovered, for 5-7 more minutes.
Add beans, tomatoes and vegetable broth and bring to boil.
Reduce heat and simmer, covered for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
For a Quick Staple Meal:
- Saute a dark, leafy green crucifer (kale, collards, bok choy, mustard greens) in 1-2 Tbsp. water with a cup of sliced or diced onion and pepper.
- Make a sauce such as the Basic White Sauce or Asian Peanut Sauce.
- Top greens with sauce and you are set!
- To mix it up add beans, tofu, or tempeh to the saute and serve over a bed of quinoa. Pictured left: collards, tempeh and quinoa with a spicy vinegar sauce.
The more creative you are in the kitch – the better it’ll taste!
Don’t get discouraged if it doesn’t taste great the first time. There is a learning curve with the food prep and your tastes are still adjusting. Be patient and endure. Before long you’ll be craving kale and collards, no kidding!!
Remember, if you do one thing: EatUrVeggies – your body will thank you!