10-minute Lunch: Broccoli, Egg and Couscous Bowl

by Ginnie Lin

 

Broccoli, Egg, and Couscous Bowl

This is a very flexible dish that comes together quickly and can be made with pantry staples. Its represents a balanced meal, combining a vegetable, starch, and protein.

Perfection is not the Point

A healthy, easy meal doesn’t have to be complicated! If you’re not a fan of broccoli, then switch it out with another veggie, like tomatoes or even a salad. If you need extra protein, then add in some lean meat. This dish is a great basic template for you to customize. You don’t have to prepare a perfect dish to enjoy the benefits of healthy eating.

Below is a breakdown of the components of the dish along with their health benefits:

Broccoli

bowl of sliced broccoli
Photo by Buenosia Carol on Pexels.com

Broccoli is a cruciferous “cross bearing” vegetable, named for its branching appearance.  It is also the foundation of a healthy diet.

Vitamin K – essential for the functioning of many proteins involved in blood clotting, cell growth and bone metabolism.

Vitamin C – necessary for collagen production, which forms body tissue and bone, and helps wounds to heal. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant and protects the body from damaging free radicals.

Fiber – diets high in fiber promote digestive health, support the microbiome, and may reduce the risk of colorectal cancer.

Potassium – an electrolyte that is essential for the function of the nervous system and heart contractility.

Folate (Vitamin B9) – is necessary for the production and maintenance of new cells in the body.

Eggs

Eggs are an excellent source for a variety of necessary vitamins as well as protein. They contain:

Vitamin A: which helps form and maintain healthy teeth, bones, soft tissue, mucous membranes, and skin

Folate: works with vitamin B12 to help form red blood cells. It is needed for the production of DNA, which controls tissue growth and cell function.

Vitamin B12: important for metabolism; also helps form red blood cells and maintain the central nervous system.

Vitamin B2 or Riboflavin: important for body growth and the production of red blood cells, working with other B vitamins

Selenium: a necessary mineral that aids in thyroid health, reduces bodily inflammation, and is an antioxidant.

Eggs also contain decent amounts of phosphorous, vitamin D, vitamin E, vitamin K, vitamin B6, calcium and zinc.

Couscous

Couscous, a North African “grain” that is made from semolina flour, is a great alternative to typical pastas and rice. It cooks quickly (10 minutes!) and contains:

Selenium: a necessary mineral that aids in thyroid health, reduces bodily inflammation, and is an antioxidant.

Protein: a cup of couscous contains 6 grams of protein, making it a good source of plant-based proteins for vegetarians/vegans.

If you prefer another grain than couscous, quinoa and brown rice are also great nutritious grains, if more time consuming.

Organic_couscous-01

Broccoli, Egg and Couscous Bowl Recipe

Note: this recipe is purposely written as a collection of general steps, adaptable to serving size and personal preference.

  1. Prepare the Broccoli.

As one of the more time-consuming steps, we will start with steaming the broccoli. Begin boiling water in a stove, making sure the water level is just below the bottom of the steamer basket (example below) yet not touching it.

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While water is boiling, rinse the crown of broccoli and cut it into smaller florets to your preference. Place these into the open steamer basket. Once the water is boiling, place the steamer basket with the broccoli into the stove. Steam for 5-7 minutes, any more will overcook the broccoli. Test for readiness by inserting a fork into the stalk of the broccoli to check its tenderness.

Season the steamed broccoli to your taste — options include simple salt and pepper, soy sauce and sesame oil, minced garlic or pepper flakes, etc.

PRO TIP: By steaming the broccoli, you can preserve most of its nutrients. You can also boil broccoli but avoid overcooking.  Not only does it ruin the texture and flavor, but it also reduces the available nutrients.

 

2. While the broccoli is cooking, prepare the couscous.

Heat one cup of water or chicken/vegetable stock in the microwave. Add one cup of dried couscous and a pinch of salt. Keep in mind, one cup of dry couscous makes almost four cups of cooked couscous. Stir the couscous and hot liquid together, cover with something impermeable like plastic wrap or another plate, and let stand 10 minutes.

 

3. Prepare the eggs.

You can enjoy the versatile protein however you like in your bowl – scrambled, hard boiled, sunny side up. For the sake of this recipe, a fried egg adds a lot of flavor and texture to the bowl.

Add oil to a hot pan while the broccoli is cooking and the couscous is on standby. Fry the eggs over medium high heat and season with salt and pepper to taste.

 

4. Assemble.

Fluff the prepared couscous with a fork. Add some steamed broccoli to the bowl. Place the fried eggs on top of everything. Enjoy.

P.S. If you want to add some more flavor, you could dress the bowl with your favorite hot sauce, soy sauce, roasted sesame seeds, green onion or parsley. As long as you keep in moderation, the sky is the limit!

 

 

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