Baked broccoli haloumi bowl

This lunch may look complex but as in keeping with all my yummy and nourishing meals, it’s actually really easy, not to mention a whole stack of delicious! I made it because both broccoli and haloumi were calling me from the fridge, they were also, somewhat conveniently about the only ingredients left in the fridge bar the olives, the soy beans from the freezer and the passata in the cupboard. Always amazing what you can do withe a few simple ingredients on hand.

Also, whilst I haven’t done so in this recipe, cutting the broccoli in advance and leaving it to sit, exposed to air for 40-90 minutes helps to activate and release higher levels of sulforaphane – the anti-cancer compound broccoli is so well known for. I discovered this recently whilst tuning into the Plant Proof podcast (an absolutely wonderful, insightful and evidence based podcast for plant based health and living) in both the podcasts with Dr Will Bulcewisz and the husband and wife neurologist team – the Sherzaia’s.

Dr Sherzaia speaks about it in this article here too, stating “Chopping and exposing broccoli to the air allows it to activate the enzyme to promote sulforaphanes. In this study, researchers advise letting the broccoli sit for 90 minutes after chopping and Sherzaia said others have recommended at least 40 minutes.

“Regardless, the longer the better,” she said. “The important message in this particular paper is that if you cut broccoli into small pieces the enzyme will come into contact with myrosinase and the smaller the pieces the better.”

Food for thought?

BAKED BROCCOLI AND HALOUMI BOWL

Serves 1

Gluten free  : Vegetarian

1/2 head broccoli, sliced into ‘steaks’ or you can cut as florets

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil + extra for frypan

1/4 cup tomato passata

1 teaspoon garlic olive oil

pinch chilli flakes

80g haloumi, sliced

small handful bitter leaves such as rocket and sorrel

small handful mint leaves, finely chopped

small handful parsley leaves

1/4 cup cooked soy beans / edamame

2 tablespoons olives of choice

1tablespoon walnuts, roughly chopped

sea salt and black pepper

Heat oven to 180C, line a baking tray, lay broccoli over tray, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, season with salt and pepper and place in oven to bake for 12 minutes. While the broccoli bakes warm the tomato passata and garlic oil on the stove, add chilli flakes to taste and when hot transfer to a bowl, cover and set aside. Clean the pan, drizzle with a bit of extra olive oil, then sear the haloumi a few minutes each side or until golden. This should be done just as the broccoli comes out of the oven. Layer the ingredients over the tomato passata in a serving bowl, sprinkle with extra chilli flakes if you like, season with sea salt and black pepper and enjoy!