Braised Broccoli Rabe - Anti-Cancer Veggies
The secret to bright green broccoli rabe, without a hint of bitterness, is pre-cooking it in boiling water and cooling for up to 1/2 hour in an ice-water bath.

Did you know that cruciferous vegetables, such as Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli, are associated with a decreased risk of several types of cancers?

Why not start the NEW YEAR out on a healthy note by pledging to eat some of Mother Nature’s potent anti-cancer veggies on most days of the week?

Cruciferous or the cabbage family of vegetables is a true class of superfoods that have it all when it comes to vitamins (especially vitamin C), minerals, fiber and disease-fighting phytochemicals. Cruciferous vegetables are actually members of the Brassica family, widely cultivated with many genera and species.

The alternate name, Cruciferae, is Latin for “cross bearing,” named for the shape of their flowers—which resemble a cross!

What really makes the Brassica family of vegetables superbly medicinal are two sharp-tasting phytochemical compounds buried within them, called sulphoraphane and diindolylmethane. These plant chemicals have demonstrated the ability to activate enzymes in the body that act to detoxify carcinogens before they can do cellular damage.

Sulphoraphane has also been shown to cut off the circulation of nutrients to the tumor hence helping to treat existing cancer.

According to the American Institute of Cancer Research, cruciferous vegetables have been shown to stop the growth of cancer cells for tumors in the breast, uterine lining, cervix, lung, colon and liver.

Here is a list of cancer-fighting cruciferous vegetables, try to eat some every day: horseradish, kale, collard greens, broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, kohlrabi, cauliflower, bok choy, Rapini (broccoli rabe), turnip root greens, rutabaga, mustard seeds, arugula (rocket), watercress, radish, daikon, and wasabi.


Braised Broccoli Rabe

 The secret to bright green broccoli rabe, without a hint of bitterness, is pre-cooking it in boiling water and cooling for up to 1/2 hour in an ice-water bath.


  • 2 bunches broccoli rabe
  • 4 quarts water
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes



  • Trim and chop broccoli rabe into 2-inch pieces.
  • In a large pot bring water and salt to a boil.
  • Drop broccoli rabe in boiling water and cook for 3 minutes.
  • Drain and cool in ice water for 1/2 to 1 hour.
  • Drain well.
  • In a large skillet heat the olive oil over medium-high heat.
  • Add garlic and red pepper flakes and cook until the garlic is golden brown.
  • Add broccoli rabe, cover, and lower heat to medium-low.
  • Let cook for 4 minutes to heat broccoli rabe.
  • Toss with salt to taste just before serving.

Serves 4


Per 1/2 bunch serving:

  • Calories: 92
  • Fat: 8 g (0 g EPA, 0 g DHA, <1 g ALA)
  • Saturated Fat: 1 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg
  • Sodium: 112 mg
  • Carbohydrate: 5 g
  • Dietary Fiber: 3 g
  • Sugars: < 1 g
  • Protein: 4 g

Recipe from: Prevent a Second Heart Attack

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