Green Breakfast Bowl
Today's recipe is yet another breakfast one, this time for those who love a more savoury start to their day. It's always a great idea to start the day off with a filling meal, and it's an extra bonus to eat one that includes a good serving of vegetables. Eating a protein-rich breakfast, with some healthy fats and greens is more likely to keep you going until lunch time than sugary boxed cereals.
On the note of vegetables, as a child I wouldn't touch most vegetables, with the exception of cucumber (I could eat soooooo much cucumber). It has taken me a while to get here, but now I absolutely love them :) YUM! This green breakfast bowl is quick and easy to whip up, and makes use of nutritious, but affordable greens - broccoli and spinach (read more about spinach here). Cumin is my spice of choice to use with this dish, for no other reason than I absolutely love it. Make this your own and use whatever herbs and spices you love. Turmeric is the most amazing spice, with so many health benefits. If you can include it at breakfast time, why not use it? If you're more into thyme, use that. Just do not be afraid to use herbs and spices. They add flavour to food without you needing to add copious amounts of salt.
If you know that your day is going to start off as a bit of a rush, make a big batch of these greens to eat with dinner and keep the leftovers for breakfast the next day. Pop 1-2 eggs on the stove the next day to boil as soon as you wake up and voila, there you have a nutrient-rich breakfast. Before I share the recipe, I need to tell you one more thing. This really is a simple, easy to make, and adaptable veggie dish that can be served with cooked chicken, beef, chickpeas, or pretty much any other protein-rich addition if you wish to convert it into lunch or dinner :) Including more greens in your diet is a great idea. Please leave a comment if you try this out, and share any recommendations or extras that you added to this green bowl of deliciousness to make it your own :)
Just like cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and cabbage, broccoli is part of the cruciferous family of vegetables, which have been shown to include a number of essential micronutrients and bioactive compounds . Broccoli is a great source of vitamin C, folate, iron, potassium, and beta-carotene (a compound that can be converted into usable vitamin A once it gets inside your body), flavonoids and glucosinolates [1,2]. During the preparation, chewing, and digestion of broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables, glucosinolates break down into a number of biologically active compounds that have been researched [3,4,5] for their beneficial health effects, which include:
Protection of cells from DNA damage
Inactivation of carcinogens
Antiviral and antibacterial properties
If you want to read up a bit more on the cruciferous vegetable family and how good they are for you check out this page and this page (they also have links to useful studies and scientific articles). One more interesting fact about broccoli - the phytochemicals that it contains generally retain their superpowers whether the vegetable is raw, cooked, frozen, or fresh. However, boiling this green hero results in losses of about 50% of its vitamin C content, so you're better off lightly steaming or stir-frying for a short amount of time when cooking it .
Total time: 20 minutes
2 organic, free range eggs
1/2 small onion, diced
1 Tbsp coconut oil
5 button mushrooms, sliced
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp ground cumin
1 cup broccoli, blitzed to a rice-like consistency in a food processor
1 large handful of baby spinach
Grated parmesan cheese (optional)
Prepare boiled eggs as desired. I use an egg boiler to do this (what an amazing invention).
Place a medium-sized pan with the coconut oil on a medium-high heat. Add the diced onion and sliced mushrooms, and sauté until soft. Add the cumin and salt.
Once the onion and mushrooms have cooked sufficiently, add the broccoli 'rice' and baby spinach. Cook for a further 8 minutes or so.
Serve immediately with freshly boiled eggs and grated parmesan cheese (optional).
The eggs in this recipe can be easily swopped out for cooked chicken or beef, or even extra veggies, for a lunch or dinner.
Play around with herbs and spices that you enjoy if cumin just isn't your thing :)
 Clasen L, Kramer P, McWhirter A, editors. Food's That Harm, Foods That Heal. 2nd ed. South Africa: Heritage Publishers (Pty) Limited, 2000. 400 p.
 Jeffery EH, Araya M. Physiological effects of broccoli consumption. Phytochem Rev. 2009;8:283-98.
 National Cancer Institute [Internet]. USA: NCI; 2016. Cruciferous Vegetables and Cancer Prevention; 2012 Jun 7 [cited 2016 Jun 18]. Available from: http://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/diet/cruciferous-vegetables-fact-sheet#r1.
 Hayes JD, Kelleher MO, Eggleston IM. The cancer chemoprotective actions of phytochemical derived from glucosinolates. Eur J Nutr. 2008 May;47(S2):73-88.
 Murillo G, Mehta RG. Cruciferous vegetables and cancer prevention. Nutr Cancer. 2001;41(1-2):17-28.