9 Minute Broccoli

9 Minute Broccoli

I was invited to a women’s empowerment event a few years ago to discuss the nexus between mental health and what we eat. Johns Hopkins psychiatrist Dr. Milena Smith began the day with a useful acronym for managing the stressors in our lives – NEST. Nutrition, Exercise, Sleep and Therapy she said, all contribute to balance and general wellness. I have a hard time getting all four of the areas right on a daily basis. My 9 Minute Broccoli recipe can help us achieve in one area at least.

When it comes to our diets studies at NIH and Harvard University indicate Omega-3 fatty acids are an effective therapy for mood disorders ranging from major depression and postpartum depression, to bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. Good sources are flax seeds, wild-caught salmon, catfish, tuna, walnuts, basil, oregano, spinach, and Tulsi Tea. Chinese broccoli contains Omega-3’s as well, so the 9 Minute Broccoli technique is an ideal way to prepare it.

A beautiful presence ran an organic acai bowl food truck near where I live called the Purple Tree Truck. I planned to feature Andre here on Collards. Now I am forced to feature him posthumously due to mental illness. I cannot over express the beauty of his essence. My first memory of him is when he helped me remove a heavy table from the trunk of my car. My most vivid last memory of him is us sharing a piece of his veggie burger from the back of his solar powered truck; he too was powered by the Sun, gentle and generous. Rest well.

If you think you may benefit from talking to someone here are some online resources. Stress levels are at an all time high. Please remember you are not alone. If you would prefer, reach out to your primary care physician but reach out.

Zucchini, broccoli and mushrooms can be mouth watering in just 8 minutes in the oven.

12 Minute Vegetables

A quick, healthy method for making delicious vegetables.
Prep Time 4 mins
Cook Time 8 mins
Total Time 12 mins
Course Appetizer, Main Course, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine African American


  • Large Baking Pan or Cookie Sheet
  • Paring Knife
  • Foil


  • 1 Medium Head of Organic Broccoli
  • 1 Large Organic Zucchini Cut into ¼ inch slices
  • 2 Organic Yellow Squash Cut into ¼ inch slices
  • 10 Organic Mushrooms, halved
  • Organic Olive Oil Butter or Earth Balance (Vegan Butter) work nicely as well but will add salt so adjust accordingly.
  • Jane's Krazy Mixed-Up Salt To taste. You can also substitute plain salt.
  • ½ Lemon, juiced Optional


  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Wash vegetables. Take broccoli and cut off the bottom ¼ inch of each stem, and then cut stem in half. Cut off the the stems on zucchini and squash, then slice.
  • Cover cookie sheet with foil. Arrange vegetables onto cookie sheet allowing space for each.
  • Drizzle olive oil ensuring vegetables are thoroughly coated. Squeeze lemon half over vegetables if desired making sure no seeds are expelled.
  • Sprinkle liberally with Jane's Krazy Mixed Up Salt or plain salt.
  • Place pan into oven for 4 minutes.
  • Turn pan around 180 degrees and cook for 4 additional minutes.
  • Remove from pan from oven and serve.
Keyword African American Cuisine, African Heritage Diet, Plant Based, Vegan, Vegetarian

Let me know how the recipes come out!