Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Check this out!



Just click, please:


supertracker

Crock Pot Recipe 5



Chicken & Vegetable Noodle Soup


*This recipe provides 6 servings.*


Ingredients:

3 carrots, sliced
2 medium onions, chopped
3 ribs celery, sliced
3 lb. whole fryer chicken, cleaned
1 cup wide egg noodles, cooked al dente' and drained
2 Tbs. dried parsley
1 tsp. salt
1/3 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 Tbs. fresh Italian parsley, minced
2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice



Directions:


1) Combine all ingredients, except the Italian parsley and lemon juice, in the crock pot. Cover; cook on low 6 to 8 hours. Remove chicken from crock pot and let cool slightly.

2) Remove the chicken meat from the skin and bones and return the chicken to the crock pot. Discard the skin and bones. Cover; cook on high for 30 mins. Skim away any fat from the top of the soup. Prior to serving, add the Italian parsley and fresh lemon juice.






Nutritional value per serving:


Calories: 228
Carbs: 17 grams
Protein: 24 grams
Fat: 6 grams

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Recipe of the Day

Penne with smoked mozzarella and tomato pesto




*This recipe provides 4 servings.*




Ingredients:


1) 1/4 cup almonds
2) 2 1/2 cups loosely packed fresh parsley
3) 14 sun-dried tomato halves
4) 2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
5) 2 tbsp olive oil
6) 1/4 lb smoked mozzarella, diced
7) 1/2 lb whole-wheat penne




Directions:




1) In a small pan over medium heat, toast almonds until golden brown, approx. 5 mins. In a food processor, pulse almonds, parsley, tomatoes, garlic and oil until slightly chunky. Pour into a bowl; season with salt and fresh ground pepper. Add mozzarella, toss to combine. Cook pasta as instructed on package; drain and toss immediately with pesto.






Nutritional info per serving:

Calories: 401
Fat: 18 grams
Carbs: 49 grams
Fiber : 8 grams
Protein: 16 grams

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Crock Pot Recipe 4



Vegetarian Chili                                  *This recipe provides 6 servings.*

Ingredients:

1) 3 garlic cloves, minced
2) 1 large onion, chopped
3) 1 cup textured vegetable protein
4) 1 lb. can of beans of your choice, drained
5) 1 green bell pepper, chopped
6) 1 jalapeno pepper, seeds removed, chopped
7) 28 oz can diced Italian tomatoes
8) 1 bay leaf
9) 1 Tbsp. dried oregano
10) 1 teaspoon salt
11) 1 teaspoon pepper



Directions:

1) Combine all ingredients in crock pot

2) Cover. Cook on low 6-8 hours.

Friday, October 26, 2012

6 Ingredient Substitution Ideas


1) For 1 garlic clove: use 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt



2) For 1 Tbsp. fresh herbs- use 1 tsp. dried herbs



3) For 1/2 lb. fresh mushrooms-use one 6 oz. can mushrooms, drained



4) For one cup canned tomatoes-use 1 1/3 cups diced fresh tomatoes, cooked gently for approx. 10 mins.


5) For 1Tbsp. tomato paste-use 1 Tbsp. ketchup



6) For 1 Tbsp. vinegar-use 1 Tbsp. lemon juice

Monday, October 22, 2012

Crock Pot Recipe 3

Berrilious Oatmeal


Ingredients:

1) 3 cups old fashioned, steel cut oats
2) 2.5 cups of water
3) 3 cups apple juice
4) 2 tablespoons brown sugar
5) 1 cup frozen mixed berries, such as blueberries, blackberries, and strawberries
6) 1/4 teaspoon salt
7) cooking spray



Directions:


Lightly coat the crock pot with cooking spray. Place all of the ingredients in the crock pot and mix to combine well. Cover; cook on low 8 to 10 hours (or on high 4 to 5 hours).



*This recipe provides 6 servings*



Nutritional value per serving:

Calories: 238
Fat: 3 grams
Carbs: 50 grams
Fiber: 5 grams
Protein: 6 grams
Sodium: 102 mg


Words of Wisdom!




"Strive for excellence, not perfection!"

 

 “Excellence is attainable and sustainable”

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Crock Pot Recipe 2



Herbed Potatoes and Carrots


Ingredients:


1) 2 carrots, cut into 1/2-inch slices
2) 2 medium potatoes, cut into 1/2 -inch cubes
3) 4 large scallions, white part only, cut into 1/2-inch slices
4) 1/4 cup (60 ml) vegetable broth
5) 1/3 tablespoon black pepper
6) Sprig of lemon thyme or 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme leaves



Directions:

Place the carrots, potatoes, and scallions in a crock pot. Add the broth, pepper, and thyme. Cover and cook on high until veggies are tender, 4-6 hours. If you use lemon thyme, discard.


*Recipe provides 4 servings.*

Recipe of the Day


Bow Tie  Pasta with Rosemary-Mushroom Sauce



This recipe is very healthy and delicious!


Ingredients:


1) 1/2 lb whole wheat bow-tie pasta
2) 1 tbsp olive oil
3) 2 anchovies, chopped
4) 1 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
5) 10 oz (approx. 2 cups) sliced baby portobello mushrooms
6) 6 scallions, chopped
7) 1 can (5 oz) chunk light tuna in oil, drained
8) 1/2 cup dry white whine
9) 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley


Directions:


Cook pasta as instructed on package, drain and set aside. In a large saute' pan, heat oil over medium-high heat. Cook anchovies with rosemary, stirring, until anchovies dissolve, approx. 2 mins. Add mushrooms and scallions; cook, stirring frequently, until mushrooms brown, approx. 5 mins. Stir in wine; cook until liquid is syrupy, approx. 2 mins. Stir tuna in and break up, approx. 1 min. Add pasta and stir to combine, cook until just heated through, approx. 1 1/2 mins. Stir in parsley; serve immediately.



*This recipe provides 4 servings.*


Nutritional value per serving:

Calories: 350
Fat: 8 grams
Carbs: 48 grams
Fiber: 6 grams
Protein: 21 grams

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Tasty Crock Pot Recipe



Rustic Style Chicken Stew




This stew is very flavorful, seasoned with thyme.


Ingredients:

1) 2 lbs (910 grams) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes
2) 2 carrots, cut into 1 inch-thick slices
3) 3 medium onions, quartered
4) 2 potatoes, cut into 1 inch cubes
5) 2 cans (14 ounces each), fat free broth
6) 1 teaspoon celery seed
7) 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
8) 3/4 teaspoon black pepper
9) 8 ounces mushrooms, halved
10) 1 cup frozen peas
11) 1 cup frozen corn




Directions:


Combine the chicken, carrots, onions, potatoes, and broth in the crock pot. Stir in the celery seed, pepper, thyme, mushrooms, and corn. Cover and cook on low until the chicken is done and the vegetables are tender, 7-9 hours or on high 4 to 6 hours. Stir in peas and cook until they are done, approx. 20 mins.


*This recipe provides 4 servings.*


Tip: Baby carrots can provide a quick substitute for the 1-inch-thick carrot slices.




Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Recipe of the Day



Rigatoni with chickpeas and roasted broccoli



Ingredients:


1) 1 can (2 oz) anchovies packed in oil, chopped, oil reserved
2) 4 garlic cloves, chopped
3) 1 can (15.5 oz) chickpeas (liquid reserved), rinse and drained
4) 1 chicken bouillon cube
5) 1 pound of broccoli, cut into small florets
6) 1/2 cup grated Romano
7) 1/2 lb whole-wheat rigatoni





Directions:


Heat oven to 450 degrees. In a small saucepan over medium high heat, saute' anchovies with oil and garlic until anchovies dissolve and garlic browns. Add chickpea liquid and bouillon to anchovies; cook, stirring, until bouillons dissolves. Pour anchovy mixture into roasting pan; add chickpeas and broccoli; stir to coat. Roast 20 mins. Cook rigatoni as instructed on package. Drain rigatoni, reserving 1 cup cooking liquid. Add pasta to chickpea-broccoli mixture, roast until pasta is completely cooked, adding reserved cooking liquid a little at a time, stirring to reach desired consistency, approx. 5 to 10 mins. Remove from oven, let stand approx. 5 mins., serve topped with Romano cheese

*Recipe provides 4 servings.*


Nutritional value per serving:

Calories:  450
Fat: 7 grams
Carbs:  77 grams
Fiber:   13 grams
Protein:25 grams

Did you know?




Dipping broccoli in a spicy condiment, like mustard or wasabi, can as much as double the broccoli's anticancer properties. An enzyme called myrosinase in some spicy foods assist broccoli release sulforaphane which is a proven cancer fighter.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Protein after Exercise


Reminder, it is important to consume 15 to 25 grams of protein witin 90 mins (preferably 60 mins.) after exercise by doing so you are promoting optimal  lean muscle growth and quicker recovery from your workout.


Suggestion:

6 oz. nonfat plan Greek yogurt : 18 grams of protein

Link of Interest

Just click, please:

http://www.oroweat.com/

Recipe of the Day



Whole Wheat Spaghetti Turkey Meatballs


This recipe provides 4 servings


Ingredients:


1) 1 large egg, beaten
2) 3 tablespoons nonfat milk
3) 1/4 cup Italian bread crumbs
4) 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
5) 1 pound lean ground turkey
6) 3 cups prepared marinara sauce
7) 1/2 pound whole-wheat spaghetti
8) 1/3 teaspoon salt
9) 1/3 teaspoon black pepper
10) Basil, chopped for garnish (optional)





Directions:


1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.


2) In a medium mixing bowl, combine the egg with the milk, bread crumbs and Parmesan; mix until well combined. Add the turkey and mix gently to avoid overworking the meat. Season with salt and pepper. Shape into golf ball sized spheres and place about 1 inch apart on baking sheet.


3) Bake for 15 mins. Flip and bake until beginning to brown, approx. 5 mins.


4) In the meantime, bring marinara sauce to a simmer in a large saucepan over medium heat. Once meatballs are done, carefully transfer to marinara and toss to coat; simmer approx. 5 mins.* Reserve 4 meatballs and 1/2 cup sauce for the sliders recipe below.


5) Prepare the pasta according to package directions. Drain and add to sauce, tossing to coat. Garnish with basil, if desired.


Nutritional value per serving:


Calories: 478
Protein:  35 grams
Carbs:    69 grams
Fat:        8 grams
Fiber:     9 grams




Second recipe derived from the above tasty dish:


Turkey Meatball Sliders


Directions:


Split 4 small whole wheat rolls. Place a few arugula leaves on the bottom of each, top 1 meatball and drizzle with marinara sauce. Over with tops. Provides 2 servings

Nutritional value per serving:

Calories: 302
Protein:   22 grams
Carbs:     41 grams
Fat:         6 grams
Fiber:     6 grams





Monday, October 15, 2012

Recipe of the Day



Asian Salmon with Lime Drizzle


Ingredients:

1 cup jasmine rice
2 tsp unsalted butter
1 large clove garlic, finely chopped
1/3 teaspoon red pepper flakes
3 tbsp pure maple syrup
3 tbsp fresh lime juice
3 tbsp reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 tsp cornstarch
4 salmon fillets (4 oz each), skin removed
1 tsp canola oil
2 packages (5 oz each) baby spinach
2 tsp black sesame seeds




Directions:


Heat oven to 400 degrees. Cook rice as instructed on package. In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Saute' garlic and pepper flakes until garlic is lightly golden, approx. 1 min. Add syrup, juice and soy sauce; cook until bubbling, approx. 3 mins. In a bowl, combine corn starch and tsp water; stir into garlic glaze. Cook until slightly, approx. 1 min. Arrange fillets on a foil lined baking sheet. Spread 1 tsp glaze over each fillet. Roast approx. 12 mins, until just cooked thoroughly. In a medium skillet, warm oil over medium heat. Add 1 package of spinach; saute until wilted. Remove from pan; set aside. Repeat with 2nd package of spinach. Divide rice among 4 bowls; top each with 1/4 spinach and 1 salmon fillet, broken into large pieces. Drizzle with remaining sauce; sprinkle each with 1/2 tsp sesame seeds.


*This recipe provides 4 servings.*


Nutritional value per serving:


Calories: 505
Carbs:     52 grams
Protein:   29 grams
Fat: 19 grams (5 grams saturated)

Breakfast Idea to Think About...



Maple-Bacon Oatmeal


*Turkey bacon has less saturated fat and none of the dangerous nitrites found in most regular bacon, also maple syrup is antioxidant rich.



Directions:


Cook 2 slices of natural turkey bacon. Mix oatmeal with 2 tablespoons maple syrup, crumble bacon on top.


Healthy Lunch on the Go...

This sandwich is healthy, tasty, and easy to make!


Chicken Salad Wrap



Ingredients:

1 whole-wheat wrap
3 oz chicken breast, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
3/4 cup chopped apple
1 tsp Dijon Mustard
2 tsp olive oil
3/4 cup baby spinach leaves
2 slices of tomato




Total Calories: 385

Link of Interest...



Please click, you will find something of  interest!

Live Better America Healthy Recipes

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Link of Interest

Just click, please:

http://complianceandsafety.com/blog/workplace-health-infographic-work-is-murder/

Top 3 barrers to Exercise...



1) Lack of Time: The most often reason given for inactivity is a lack of time. Approx. 69% of those who do not exercise on a regular basis cite a lack of time as a major barrier to physical activity. However, a closer examination of schedules typically reveals that the so-called lack of time is more of a perception than a reality. The essential key to finding time for exercise lies in priorities, making physical activity a priority, enjoyable, satisfying, and convenient.


2) Lack of Energy: Many people keep very busy schedules that prompts fatigue to become an excuse for not exercising. Approx. 59% of non exercisers claim that lack of energy is a major barrier to physical activity. Fatigue is typically more mental than physical and often is linked to stress. If activities are made to be fun, people are more apt to look forward to doing them, on a regular basis.


3) Lack of Motivation: Approx. 52% of the people not exercising consistently report a lack of energy that establishes sufficient motivation to sustain physical activity over a long period of time. It takes commitment and dedication to maintain regular exercise when an individuals life is busy with work, family and social obligations. Keeping in mind the many benefits of exercise, finding strong motivators is very important in maintaining motivation.

Recipe of the Day



Lamb Shanks braised with Tomato



Ingredients:

1) 4 (12-ounce) lamb shanks, trimmed
2) 1/2 teaspoon of salt
3) 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
4) 4 garlic cloves, minced
5) 3/4 cup dry red wine
6) 2 (14.5-ounce) cans diced tomatoes with basil, garlic, and oregano
7) 1/4 cup chopped parsley

Cooking spray



Directions:


1) Heat a large Dutch oven over medium high-heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Sprinkle lamb with salt and pepper. Add lamb to pan, and cook approx. 4 mins on each side, until browned. Remove from pan.


2) Add garlic to pan; saute' 15 seconds. Add wine; cook 2 mins., scrapping pan to loosen browned bits. Stir in tomatoes; cook 2 mins. Return lamb to pan. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for one hour. Turn lamb over; simmer 1 hour, until meat is done and tender. Place lamb on a plate; cover loosely with foil.


3) Skim fat from surface of the sauce. Bring to a boil; cook 10 mins, until thickened. Return lamb to pan; cook approx. 4 mins, until lamb is thoroughly heated. Stir in parsley.



*This recipe provides 4 servings.*           (serving size: 1 shank and 3/4 cup sauce)






Nutritional value per serving:


Calories: 254
Fat: 11.4 grams
Protein: 25.9 grams
Carbs: 11.7 grams
Fiber: 3.5 grams
Cholesterol: 89 mg
Sodium: 439 mg
Calcium: 64 mg




Point to Ponder...



Something to consider....


Positive expectations for success have been shown to produce positive effects in many areas of life, especially in fitness.




Think Positive...


Expect Positive...

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Healthy Dessert


Chocolate Pudding                 Total Time: 10 mins.


Ingredients:

1) 2 ripe avocados, halved, seeded, peeled, and cut up
2) 3/4 cup plain soy milk
3) 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
4) 2 teaspoons vanilla
5) 1/2 cup light agave nectar




Directions:

1) In a blender combine avocados, coca powder, soy milk, agave nectar, and vanilla. Cover and blend until smooth. Pour or spoon into 4 individual serving bowls. Serve immediately.

Provides 4 servings                          *serving size: 1/2 cup*


Nutritional value per serving:

Calories: 277
Fat: 12 grams
Sodium: 25 mg
Fiber: 8 grams
Protein: 4 grams

Friday, October 12, 2012

Recipe of the Day

Ricotta-Tomato Spaghetti


*This recipe provides 4 servings (serving size 1 1/4 cups)*




Ingredients:

1) 2 pints cherry tomatoes, halved (approx 4 cups)
2) 5 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
3) 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
4) 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
5) 8 ounces uncooked spaghetti
6) 1/3 cup chopped basil
7) 1/2 cup (2ounces) ricotta (saltata if available) cheese, crumbled



Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Place tomatoes on a foil lined baking sheet. Drizzle with 1 teaspoon oil; sprinkle with 1/8 teaspoon salt. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes, until tomatoes collapse.


Cook pasta in accordance to package directions, omitting salt. Drain pasta in a colander over a bowl, reserve 1/3 cup cooking liquid. Return pasta and reserved liquid to pan; stir in tomatoes, remaining 4 teaspoons oil, remaining 3/8 teaspoon of salt, pepper, basil and cheese. Toss thoroughly and serve.




Nutritional value per serving:


Calories: 314
Protein: 10.5 grams
Fat: 8.4 grams
Carbohydrates: 50.3 grams
Sodium: 331 mg
Calcium: 66 mg

Corn Syrup vs High -Fructose Corn Syrup

Corn syrup is a sweetener used primarily in baking and is mostly made up of glucose which can be found in the baking aisle at your local grocery store. When some of the glucose in corn syrup is converted to fructose, it becomes high-fructose corn syrup. Chemically high-fructose corn syrup is closer to sucrose (table sugar) but is cheaper, and offers a sweeter taste- because of this combination fructose has become irresistible to manufactures of processed foods and sodas.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

6 Fruits and Veggies...

6 Fruit and Veggies to have on your grocery list!


1) Apples

2) Sweet potatoes

3) Green Beans

4) Peaches

5) Sweet peas

6) Grapes

Book Recommedation



The Hunger Fix: The Three-Stage Detox and Recovery Plan for Overeating and Food Addiction

By Pamela Peeke and Mariska van Aalst


Recipe of the Day


Black Beans and Rice

 

Ingredients:

 

 

1-tablespoon canola oil or extra virgin olive oil

1/2 medium onion, thinly sliced across the grain

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 cups cooked medium- or long-grain white rice, or brown basmati rice

1 1/2 cups cooked black beans with approx. 1/2 cup of their cooking liquid

1/3 teaspoon salt
 
 
Directions:
 
 

 

       Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat, and add the onion. Cook approx. five minutes. Stir in the garlic. Cook 30 seconds to a minute. Add the rice, beans and about 1/2 cup broth from the beans. Stir gently for approx. five minutes until the mixture is heated through, and serve. The mixture should be moist.

 

This recipe provides 6 servings

 

Nutritional information per serving (based on six servings): 151 calories; 3 grams fat; 26 grams carbohydrates; 4 grams dietary fiber; 5 grams protein

4 Steps to reaching your goals...

1) Vision: Having a clear vision, clarifying your ultimate ambitions  





2) Strategy: Having a specific plan of action, turning lofty ambitions into consistent actions





3) Belief: Having the ability to minimize uncertainty and doubt, replacing it with optimism





4) Persistence: Having the drive and determination to accomplish goals

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Recipe of the Day

Healthy and Delicious!



Chicken & Butter Cassoulet                             *This recipe provides 4 servings*


Ingredients:


1) 2 tbsp olive oil
2) 4 6-oz skinless chicken legs
3) Pinch of paprika
4) 1/3 teaspoon black pepper
5) 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
6) 5 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth, divided
7) 3 1/2 cups crushed tomatoes, divided
8) 2 tbsp pure maple syrup
9) 2 large yellow onions, chopped
10) 2 cloves of garlic, minced
11) 2 sprig of thyme
12)  1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped
13) 1 bay leaf
14) 1/2 cup cooked butter beans



Directions:


1) Preheat oven to 325 degrees

2) In a large nonstick pan, heat oil on medium-high heat. Add chicken legs and sprinkle with paprika, pepper and salt. Sear for approx 3 mins per side, until lightly brown.

3) In a 4 -quart roasting pan, combine 4 cups of broth, 2 cups tomatoes, maple syrup, onions, garlic, thyme, parsley, bay leaf and beans. Add chicken legs, cover with foil and cook in oven on middle rack for 2 hours. Every 30 mins, add 1/2 cup of broth and 1/2 cup tomatoes to pan. Remove roasting pan from oven and serve.



Nutritional info per serving:


Calories: 452
Total Fat: 13 grams
Carbs: 40 grams
Fiber 6 grams
Sodium: 516 mg
Protein: 77
Cholesterol: 142 mg


Enjoy!


Monday, October 8, 2012

A little info about...

Recipes often call for minced garlic, however smaller or larger cuts are better suited for certain dishes/recipes/   *The more intact the garlic clove is, the less pungent.


whole garlic: suited best for roast and braises


thinly sliced garlic: suited best for stir fries and saute's


crushed garlic: suited best for oil fusions and marinades


garlic paste: suited best for meat rubs, dressings and marinades

Kid Friendly Recipe

Guacamole-Tuna Tacos

Ingredients:

1) 1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
2) 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
3) 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
4) 2 ripe peeled avocados, mashed
5) 2 (10-ounce) Yellowfin tuna steaks (approx. 1 inch thick)
6) (6-inch) corn tortillas
Cooking Spray




Directions

1) Combine the onion, lime juice, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and avocados.
2) Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat; coat pan with cooking spray. Sprinkle tuna with remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Add tuna to pan; cook approx 4 mins. on each side, until desired doneness. Cut tuna into 1/4 inch-thick slices. Warm tortillas according to the package directions. Divide avocado mixture evenly among tortillas. Divide tuna evenly among tortillas.

*Serving size: 2 tacos*        This recipe serves 4


Nutritional info per serving:


Calories:  402
Fat: 17.3
Protein: 37.3
Carbs: 28.2 grams
Fiber: 9 grams
Cholesterol: 64 mg
Iron:  16 mg
Sodium: 430 mg
Calcium : 59 mg

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Weight Training Health Benefits...

Numerous studies have demonstrated that gains in lean weight resulting from weight (resistance) training are associated with greater glucose tolerance in adults with type 2 diabetes, older adults with type 2 diabetes, men with type 2 diabetes, and women with type 2 diabetes





Studies indicate muscle mass loss/reduction of 3% to 8% each decade after age 30, and 5% to 10% each decade after age 50, averaging approx. one pound of muscle tissue each year following the 5th decade of life.





The primary outcome of weight training is muscle gain, which seems to have a positive affect on factors related to diabetes risk. A secondary result of weight training is fat loss which is also regarded as being advantageous in relationship to diabetes risk.


Saturday, October 6, 2012

Did you know?

Broccoli was not grown commercially in the U.S. until the 1920's, when the D'Arrigo Brothers, Italian immigrants, started planting it in San Jose, California, in 1922. The began a business called "Andy Boy," which to this day remains a significant supplier of the vegetable.









Tip:

When purchasing broccoli, look for tightly packed heads that are deep, dark green or slightly purple; the stalks should be smooth and firm. Avoid broccoli that has open or yellow buds on top, that is wilted or that feels soft or mushy.