Of all the cruciferous vegetables, broccoli may be the most famous for its cancer-preventive compounds. Its cruciferous relatives cauliflower and cabbage (green, red, Chinese, Savoy, Napa, etc.) share those protective compounds – as do Brussels sprouts, collard greens and kale.
You may not know, however, that lighter summer garden vegetables – radishes, watercress, arugula and mustard greens – are also cruciferous. What they all have in common are cross-shaped (cruciferae in Latin) flowers with four petals and powerful phytochemical compounds that research studies have associated with cancer prevention.
Radishes and mustard greens are healthy additions to your garden and your salads this summer. Watercress is too, although it needs to grow in a brook or stream – but it’s easy to find in most grocery stores. Add some shredded cabbage, steamed and chilled cauliflower florets for even more cruciferous variety.
Enjoy plenty of other non-cruciferous veggies as well to round out your cancer-preventing salads of delicious plant foods with more phytochemicals that all contribute to good health.
Arugula Salad with Watercress, Radishes and Red Bell Peppers
- 4 cups baby or regular arugula
- 4 cups watercress
- 4 radishes, trimmed and sliced thin
- 1/2 red bell pepper, sliced into strips
- 1/2 yellow pepper, sliced into strips
- 1/4 red onion, sliced into rings
- 6 grape tomatoes, sliced in half
- 1/2 cucumber, sliced thin
- 1/2 avocado, sliced into thin wedges
Prepare mustard vinaigrette recipe, below, and set aside. To make salad, arrange vegetables in large salad bowl. Just before serving, drizzle with dressing and garnish with avocado.
Makes 6 servings.
Per serving (including dressing): 105 calories, 9 g total fat (1 g saturated fat), 5 g carbohydrate,
2 g protein, 2 g dietary fiber, 28 mg sodium.
- 2 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
- 1 tsp. Dijon mustard or honey mustard
- 1/4 tsp. dehydrated onion (or 1 tsp. finely minced onion or shallot)
- 3 Tbsp. olive oil or walnut oil
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
In medium bowl, whisk vinegar, mustard and onion together. Add oil, whisking to completely blend. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside and let flavors blend until ready to serve with Arugula Salad.
Makes 6 servings.
Per serving: 61 calories, 7 g total fat (1 g saturated fat), < 1 g carbohydrates, 0 g dietary fiber, 11 mg sodium