Healthy Eating: Smart Recipes for a Healthier You-Barbecue Broccoli Sandwich

Here is a simple, healthy and delicious recipe with broccoli taking center stage. Enjoy!

By John La Puma, MD

Barbecue Broccoli Sandwich

Preparation Time: 15 minutes

Cooking Time: 10 minutes

Servings: 4

Calories: 224 per serving

Percent from Fat: 21%

Cuisine: Vegetarian, Vegan

Course: Lunch

Diet: Vegan, Vegetarian

Food as Medicine(SM) Ingredient: Broccoli

Food as Medicine(SM) Tip

An active compound in broccoli called sulforaphane not only helps the detoxifying efforts of your liver and skin cells, but also helps protect and repair sun-damaged skin.

Culinary Taste Tip

The barbecue sauce adds a zesty, smoky sweetness that complements the broccoli surprisingly well.

Culinary Technique Tip

Using a stainless steel pan for cooking vegetables allows them to retain all of their vitamins; nonstick cookware and glass cookware can actually cause vitamins to leech out.


  • ¾ cup (6 ounces) extra-firm light silken tofu 
  • (Such as Mori-Nu brand)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1-½ tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • ½ teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 3 cups chopped broccoli florets
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup barbecue sauce
  • 4 whole wheat or whole grain English muffins, split, toasted


Combine tofu, parsley, lemon juice, water, and ¼ teaspoon salt in a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth; set aside. In a skillet, over medium-high heat, add oil and onion. Cook for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add broccoli, remaining salt and pepper. Cook 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add barbecue sauce; continue cooking 2 minutes or until thickened. Spoon broccoli mixture evenly over bottom halves of muffins/ Top with tofu dressing and muffin tops.


Any sweet onion will work. Try Walla Wallas and Vidalias; both are specialty onions, and both are occasionally eaten out of hand! Seasoned rice wine vinegar can substitute for the lemon juice; it is a little milder and smoother than lemon juice, and good by itself as a dressing.

Nutritional Analysis

Total fat (g) 5.6; Sodium (mg) 902; Vitamin A (RE) 126; Fat Calories (g) 51; Calcium (mg) 116; Beta-carotene (RE) 754; Cholesterol (mg) 0; Magnesium (mg) 82; Vitamin C (mg) 70; Saturated fat (g) 0.9; Zinc (mg) 1.5; Vitamin E (mg) 1.1; Polyunsaturated fat (g) 1.4; Selenium (mcg) 24; Thiamin B1 (mg) 0.3; Monounsaturated fat (mg) 3.2; Potassium (mg) 500; Riboflavin B2 (mg) 0.2; Fiber (g) 10.1; Flavonoids (mg) 4.7; Niacin B3 (mg) 2.6; Carbohydrates (g) 37; Lycopene (oz) 0; Vitamin B6 (mg) 0.3; Sugar (g) 6.0; Fish (oz) 0; Folic Acid (mcg) 98; Protein (g) 9.0; Nuts (oz) 0; Vitamin B12 (mcg) 0;

More healthy eating on Healthin30.

Your turn

What’s your favorite smart healthy recipe?  Please share them with us in the comment section below. As always, thank you for your very valuable time.

About John La Puma, MD

John La Puma, MD

John La Puma, MD

John La Puma, MD is the leading physician voice for healthy eating as part of health, and a wellness, ethics and lifestyle expert. Both a board-certified practicing internist and professionally trained chef, he is a New York Times best-selling author, REFUEL and CHEF MD Big Book of Culinary Medicine, and co-author of Real Age Diet. He hosts PBS’ ChefMD® Shorts and PBS Specials on diet and fitness, and serves on the Board of the Food Bank of Santa Barbara. He is the first physician to teach a cooking and nutrition course in a U.S. medical school (SUNY-Syracuse), with Dr. Michael Roizen of the Cleveland Clinic. Dr. La Puma specializes in weight management in Santa Barbara’s Chef Clinic.

To learn more, please visit Dr. John La Puma, MD.

Twitter: @johnlapuma

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Thank you Dr. La Puma for sharing this great recipe!

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