Some Sweet Sprouts

Brussels Sprouts with Walnuts and Pomegranate Arils

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In case you couldn’t tell, I’m on a cruciferous veggie kick. I try to eat seasonally when possible and cruciferous vegetables can grow throughout the cool, winter months. Also, cruciferous veggies offer a ton of health benefits and some studies suggest that increased intake of these veggies may be associated with a reduced risk of developing certain cancers.This sweet side dish is like wellness in a bowl –  walnuts are rich in omega 3 fatty acids, which reduce inflammation, and pomegranate arils are rich in antioxidants. Make sure you make extra – you’ll want the leftovers the next day!

Ingredients (serves 2)

2 C raw Brussels sprouts (I like to use Brussels sprouts that are on the smaller side)

1/4 C chopped walnuts, unsalted

1/2 C pomegranate arils

1 Tbsp olive oil

Dash salt

Dash ground black pepper

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

ready to go in the oven!

ready to go in the oven!

2. Wash Brussels sprouts and dry thoroughly with paper towel. Cut the Brussels sprouts in halves or quarters, depending on the size of the Brussels sprouts.

3. Place Brussels sprouts on baking pan or in casserole dish. Drizzle olive oil over Brussels sprouts and season with salt and pepper.

4. Bake Brussels sprouts in oven for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. After 10 minutes, remove Brussels sprouts from oven and add walnuts. Stir Brussels sprouts and walnuts together and place back in oven. Bake another 10 minutes-15 minutes, until Brussels sprouts are slightly crispy on the outside. Stir occasionally.

5. Remove Brussels sprouts from oven and add pomegranate arils. Mix all ingredients together and place back in oven. Bake another 5 minutes. Remove from oven and enjoy!

The Goods: What’s Inside?

Nutritional Analysis Per Serving:

Calories 239 calories, Total Fat 18 g, Saturated Fat 2 g, Cholesterol 0 mg, Carbohydrates 18 g, Fiber 7 g, Protein 6 g, Sodium 101 mg, Calcium 52 mg

yum!

yum!

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Cauliflower Power

cauliflower200-73fa7e31835d86c2f092faa660cc370112350a0f-s6-c30Why Eat Cauliflower?

Cauliflower is a member of the cruciferous vegetable family and  therefore joins the likes of Brussels sprouts, cabbage, broccoli, bok choy and other veggie powerhouses. Even though these veggies are personal favorites of mine, many people seem to dislike this veggie family, even though they have powerful antioxidant properties. So, I have made it my mission to create tasty recipes that incorporate these vegetable superheroes in an effort to spread the love – and the deliciousness. Cauliflower can grow in cool temperatures and therefore can be a staple throughout the fall and winter months at farmer’s markets and seasonal markets. So, next time you’re at your local market, give cauliflower a chance!

What Do I Do With Cauliflower?

Cauliflower is an easy vegetable to begin your cruciferous vegetable tasting, since it can actually be prepared to taste just like an all-time favorite: potatoes! Lower in calories and carbohydrates, but similar in consistency, this alternative can be swapped into many potato recipes! The two recipes below are kid-friendly ways to introduce your family (or anyone) to cauliflower – I promise you won’t even have leftovers!

Recipe #1: Cauliflower Breadsticks

yum!

yum!

I adapted this recipe that was given to me by a friend and slimmed down traditional cheese sticks. All of the flavor for less than 50 calories per “bread”stick? That is true cauliflower power!

Ingredients (serves 12):

1 large head cauliflower (approximately 6” diameter)

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

3 oz low-fat shredded mozzarella cheese

½ tsp onion powder

Dash salt

¼ tsp ground black pepper

Non-fat vegetable oil cooking spray

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Wash and dry cauliflower and chop into florets. Steam (either in microwave or over boiling water) until soft (approximately 10-15 minutes).
  3. Place cauliflower in food processor and blend until pureed. The cauliflower should have the consistency of mashed potatoes.
  4. In a large bowl, mix eggs, 2 oz cheese (2/3 of the cheese), spices (garlic, onion powder, salt and pepper) and pureed cauliflower.
  5. Spray a 9×13 inch casserole dish with non-stick vegetable oil cooking spray. Transfer cauliflower mix into casserole dish and spread into a thin, even layer with spatula.
  6. Bake in oven for approximately 20-25 minutes, or until the top is slightly brown. Remove from oven, add remaining cheese on top and bake until cheese is melted (another 5 minutes).
  7. Cut into squares (3×4) to yield 12 cauliflower breadstick squares. Enjoy!

The Goods: What’s Inside?

Nutritional Analysis Per Serving:

*1 serving is 1 square

Calories 43, Total Fat 2 g, Saturated Fat 1 g, Cholesterol 36 mg, Carbohydrates 3 g, Fiber 1 g, Protein 4 g, Calcium 72 mg, Sodium 86 mg

Recipe #2: Cauliflower Mashed “Potatoes”

just like mashed potatoes!

just like mashed potatoes!

This recipe is a true favorite of mine – so easy to prepare and tastes just like your favorite comfort food – only take even more comfort in the fact that it contains less saturated fat, less carbohydrates and fewer calories than the traditional potato version with cream.

Ingredients (serves 4):

1 large head cauliflower (approximately 6” in diameter)

1 clove garlic, minced

1 Tbsp butter or margarine

¼ tsp ground black pepper

¼ tsp salt

Directions:

  1. Bring a medium-sized pot of water to a boil.
  2. Wash and dry cauliflower. Cut cauliflower into florets and transfer into pot of boiling water. Boil until soft (approximately 5-7 minutes).
  3. Strain water from cauliflower and transfer cauliflower into food processor. Blend until pureed (it should be the consistency of mashed potatoes).
  4. Transfer cauliflower into serving bowl. Add butter and spices and stir until well combined. Enjoy!

The Goods: What’s Inside?

Nutritional Analysis Per Serving:

Calories 63, Total Fat 12 g, Saturated Fat 2g, Cholesterol 8 mg, Carbohydrates 8 g, Fiber 4 g, Protein 3 g, Calcium 35 mg, Sodium 210 mg

*raw cauliflower photo courtesy of: http://media.npr.org/kitchen/2008/04/cauliflower/cauliflower200-73fa7e31835d86c2f092faa660cc370112350a0f-s6-c30.jpg