If you were paying attention to American current affairs last week, you probably heard a few snippets from the Supreme Court hearings over the future of our healthcare law. I bring these hearings up not so I can get on my political soapbox but because they’re the inspiration behind this week’s Ingredient Spotlight on broccoli. Broccoli apparently is one reason that mandating Americans to buy healthcare is unconstitutional. After all, if the federal government can require you to purchase health insurance, what’s to stop them from forcing you to buy broccoli?
Hmm . . . I got a few (just a few) problems with this argument. First, aren’t parents all over America spending every evening trying to coax their 3 year old into eating broccoli? Don’t you think parents around the nation would rejoice if they could say to their picky kid, “Are you gonna eat that broccoli or am I gonna have to call the broccoli cops?” Second, why pick on broccoli? While these debates are about the constitutionality of mandated healthcare, shouldn’t it be possible to argue the case without making more Americans afraid of healthy food? Let’s not undermine the hard work that so many do to care for America’s health when the government can’t agree on how to do so. Lastly, I am having trouble wrapping my head around what’s so bad about being forced to buy broccoli? I’d like to think if every American family bought and ate broccoli every week, we’d be a lot healthier.
One of the reasons every parent wishes their kid would eat broccoli is because it is so good for you. Packed with fiber, vitamins A, C, K and B6, plus iron and protein, its nutritional value is not something even a Supreme Court justice could argue against. A relatively inexpensive vegetable, it is something I recommend you put in your grocery cart every week (mandate or not). Over the rest of the week, we will be offering 3 delicious cooking formulas for including broccoli in your diet.
- How to roast vegetables: Roasted broccoli, tofu, and jalapenos with an Asian marinade
- How to make a pureed soup: Broccoli and celery root soup
- How to frittata: Broccoli, potato, and caramelized onion frittata
After making any of these dishes, no one will have to force you to purchase broccoli. You’ll be more than happy to once you realize how it can care for your health and taste good for your taste buds at the same time.