Brassicas by Laura B. Russell
I was so excited to find Brassicas: Cooking the World’s Healthiest Vegetables: Kale, Cauliflower, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts and More while looking for Nutritional Balancing cruciferous vegetable recipes. It has more NB friendly recipes than any other cookbook I’ve read so far…at least 10 recipes perfectly written for NB and over 35 more that can be easily adapted.
The eighty inventive, flavorful recipes presented in Brassicas play to each vegetable’s strengths, favoring techniques that celebrate their intrinsic flavors instead of masking them by blanketing under layers of cheese or boiling.
Before diving into the recipes, Russell, the author, covers practical topics such as flavor profiles where she categorizes brassicas from mild to pungent based on their general flavor intensity; selection, storage, and prep tips; washing greens; cooking techniques; and more.
The descriptive chapters made me want to search out new varieties and give them a try, expanding the assortment in my family’s diet. They are divided by type of brassica and each include an introduction with more details that are very helpful in understanding both known and not-so-well-known veggies.
Brassicas also known as Cruciferous Vegetables
Dr. Lawrence Wilson breaks the classification down differently and suggests eating 2 root vegetables, 2 cruciferous vegetables, and 1 or 2 greens a day. Brassicas include some in all of these categories so you’ll be able to find plenty of recipes to enjoy every day.
The wide spectrum of recipes includes the following brassicas that I’ve broken down by NB category:
- kohlrabi (although technically not a root)
- broccoli rabe
- brussels sprouts
- chinese broccoli (gai lan)
- romanesco cauliflower
- bok choy
- collard greens
- kale (recommended to avoid kale for now – some is high in thallium, a toxic metal)
- mustard greens
- napa cabbage
Recipe: Collard Greens & Sweet Potato Saute + 2 Bonus Variations
Collard greens and sweet potatoes go great together. Add in Mexican seasonings, the ease of adapting to many other dishes, NB friendly, and you’ve got a near perfect dish! Serve it alongside roasted chicken or on top of brown rice. Make it again as a breakfast hash with an egg on top. Then come back again for tostadas on blue corn tortillas with tasty toppings!
What inventive ideas do you have for this versatile recipe? We’d love to hear!