Sauteed Brussels Sprouts with Quinoa and Pine Nuts (gluten free)

Brussels sprouts never get old to me, and I can’t remember a time when I didn’t like them…even when my grandma used to boil them to death. Still loved them. I started cooking with them regularly about ten years ago and have almost always made them roasted with coconut oil and a little sea salt. But recently I’ve been I’ve been enjoying a Brussels sprout salad at a restaurant in Chicago called Crosby’s Kitchen. The sprouts are shaved, which makes a big difference in the texture. That recipe inspired me to make this one.

Other than the spouts being shaved, there are no other real similarities. In fact, this recipe is a sauté, not a salad. I promised a group of amazing people who I keep in touch with in my Belly Burn Plan Facebook group that I would create three new quinoa-based recipes this week. Why not a quinoa and Brussels sprout combo? I thought. This is the first of three of those recipes.

Even if I wasn’t super fan of Brussels sprouts, I could (and should) probably be talked into eating them more often. The health benefits of this cruciferous vegetable are pretty spectacular. They happen to be higher in a phytonutrient called glucosinolate than any other cruciferous veggie (including broccoli!).

So what’s the big deal with glucosinolates, you wonder? A rather large body of research has shown that regular consumption of glucosinolates offer protection from many forms of cancer and has the potential to protect against cardiovascular disease.

Another reason to eat more Brussels sprouts, or any cruciferous vegetable (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale), is that they help support phase 2 detoxification. This is a very big deal if you’re thinking of detoxifying, and probably the least understood. If you want a better understanding of phase 1 vs phase 2 detoxification, read my article here.

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brussels-sprouts-and-quinoa

Moving on, here’s the recipe. I hope you enjoy it.

Sauteed Brussels Sprouts and Quinoa with Pine Nuts
Serves 6

4 cups Brussels sprouts, shaved (16 to 20 Brussels sprouts)
1 cup quinoa, cooked
3/4 cup yellow onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/4 cup pine nuts
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons marjoram
3/4 teaspoon sea salt

1. Prepare your quinoa, yielding 1 cup.
2. Clean, stem and shave Brussels sprouts. I simply used a sharp knife and sliced thin. I tried to use a cheese grater, but the results weren’t what I wanted. It will take a few extra minutes, but it’s worth it. Of course, you could always hit the easy button and buy pre-shredded sprouts, but that would degrade some of the benefits of the glucosinolates (cancer fighters).
3. Add olive oil to a heated sauté over medium heat. Allow to warm for a minute.
4. Add onions and garlic to the heated olive oil and sauté for about 3 minutes.
5. Add the Brussels sprouts to the onions and garlic, continue to sauté for five minutes.
6. Toss in the pine nuts and allow them to sauté with the rest of the mixture for about two minutes.
7. Sprinkle in the sea salt and marjoram.
8. Finally, add in the cup of quinoa. It will make a popping sound, which is normal. I like my quinoa to be a bit on the crunchy side, so I let it sauté for about 5 minutes. If you don’t want crunchy quinoa, then toss in, ensuring the combination is well mixed. Remove from heat and serve.

New Year Detox Salad

Happy New Year, everyone! It’s that time of year when many of us have the motivation to truly kick in a few healthy changes into our lives. I know we all know that most resolutions don’t last very long, but it is very possible (and not always difficult) to keep a good thing going 365 days of the year and beyond. Don’t get overwhelmed by the things you should do. No one is perfect. Rather than biting off more than you can chew, choose two or three things that you can commit to for at least two weeks, then add on another layer of change.

If eating more vegetables is on your list, and perhaps the word “detox” has come up as something that might be good for you, then this salad will be a home run. A couple things before you jump on the detox bandwagon.

First of all, I wrote a book involving the subject and believe most, if not all of us, could use a healthy detox every now as then. Recently I’ve come across a bunch of articles that suggest detoxifying diets are a bunch of bunk. After all, our bodies should be able to manage the job of detoxification just fine. I beg to differ. If our organs were in perfect condition, then yes, we should be able to detox no problem. But add in a refined diet, alcohol, smoking, stress, medications and unhealthy air…well, things don’t run so smoothly anymore.

One caveat to detoxification that I believe is important to remember is for those who are very ill. If you’re already sick with a chronic condition, like cancer, don’t detox until your body is healthy enough to get rid of all the toxins that could start looking for a way out. If you’ve even done a detox, like my 3-Day Cleanse, you may have had headaches, breakouts or fatigue.

Regardless, this salad is good for nearly anyone. Kale is very high in vitamin K, so if you’re taking a blood thinner, this is not a salad for you. The dressing is also incredible creamy and delicious. If you like lime and avocado, double up the recipe and divide the dressing to keep for a vegetable dip.

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new-year-detox-salad

 

New Year Detox Salad

Serves 6

Salad Ingredients
6 cups kale, stemmed, then cut or torn in small pieces
1 cup cilantro, chopped
1 cup red onion, diced
1 red pepper, seeded and diced
1 yellow pepper, seeded and diced
1 can black beans, rinsed
1 avocado, chopped (save until ready to serve)

Dressing Ingredients
1 avocado
1/4 cup olive oil
1/3 cup water
2 limes, juiced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp salt

Preparation
1. Combine all salad ingredients, except the avocado, in a large bowl.
2. Combine all dressing ingredients, and blend at high speed with a blender or an immersion blender for one minute.
3. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss.
4. Finally, sprinkle the chopped avocado over the top of the salad and serve.

Clean and Green Smoothie

Just because a smoothie isn’t fruity doesn’t mean it isn’t good. This smoothie is light, refreshing and a reprieve from the world of fruit-flavored drinks. It’s also a perfect fit for The Belly Burn Plan’s 3-Day Cleanse, and will make a nice home as an alternative smoothie to the book’s original suggestions.

You’ll always find a bag or two of frozen spinach in my freezer. The half cup of frozen spinach found in the recipe is the equivalent of three to four cups of the fresh variety. I’m not saying I don’t enjoy fresh spinach. I do! But if I’m blending something, or if I want to make a soup with some added greens, I add in spinach.

Spinach is a great source of vitamin K, vitamin C and folic acid. You can also find a plentiful amount of iron, B2 and magnesium in spinach, too!

Avocado is one of my favorite fruits. Like olive oil, Avocado is an excellent source of monounsaturated fats. In fact, the oleic and linoleic acid found in avocados have been shown to lower LDL cholesterol levels.

Serves 1

Ingredients
1 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk (coconut, almond, hemp)
½ cup spinach, frozen
¼ avocado
¼ cucumber, peeled
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp honey
¼ tsp cinnamon

Preparation
Add all ingredients to a blender and blend for 60 seconds, or until mixture is smooth.