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Low Calorie Broccoli and Orzo

Trees.

That’s what we called the broccoli spears my mom served up for dinner. There was one way to prepare “trees.” Pull them from the freezer, boil them till they’re hot.

Boring.

Now they tell us to eat broccoli, every day if we can. And just why is that?

Broccoli is loaded with compounds that are great for your health. It is one of the best sources of sulforaphane, which acts to keep free radicals from damaging your cells, which is one of the processes that cause aging. This compound may help prevent heart disease, diseases of the joints, and diabetes.

But that’s not all broccoli can do for you. The lignans in broccoli help fight off cancer, enhance your immune system, and keep your brain healthy and functioning.

If that’s not enough, the Vitamin C in broccoli helps your body to synthesize collagen, which is what keeps your skin smooth and firm. In other words, eating broccoli can help you fight the wrinkles from the inside.

So I’m convinced. More broccoli is better. But eating a warmed-up frozen tree isn’t my idea of interesting or tasty eating. And so many broccoli recipes are loaded with high-fat cheese.

Adding broccoli to a salad or stir-fry opens up some options. Here’s another one to try:

Broccoli and Orzo 

Ingredients:

  • 4.5 oz uncooked orzo pasta
  • 2 cups of fresh broccoli florets only (no stems)
  • 4 cloves garlic, smashed and finely chopped
  • 3 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and fresh pepper to taste

Directions:

Trim stems off broccoli, cut into small pieces and season with salt. Steam covered with a little water until cooked, careful not to overcook. When broccoli is cooked, remove from pan and chop into smaller pieces.

Meanwhile, cook pasta in medium pot of salted water as directed for al dente. Reserve about 1/2 cup liquid before draining. Drain orzo in a colander and add the oil to the pot. Saute garlic a few minutes until golden, add broccoli, season with salt and mix well. Add orzo and stir to combine all. Add a little reserved liquid as needed so pasta isn’t dry. Serve with freshly grated cheese if desired (optional).

Makes 3 cups.

Read more at Skinny Taste

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