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.

brussels-sprouts-and-quinoa

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.

Ginger Berry Smoothie

When I think about foods that really work for the health of my body, blueberries and ginger usually come somewhere in the top 10. They’re both have a lot to offer, including detoxifying properties, and taste really good – especially when paired together.

Blueberries contain a potent flavonoid called anthocyanins. Research has shown that consumption of blueberries is associated with protection against cardiovascular disease, diminished vision, diabetes, high LDL cholesterol and varicose veins.

With few exceptions, when you cook, process or allow a food to be exposed to the elements for too long, nutrients dwindle. The reason why I like to use, and recommend, frozen blueberries for this smoothie and my the 3-Day Cleanse of The Belly Burn Plan is because the nutrients stay intact, or at least aren’t as affected if you were to let them sit in the refrigerator for a few days. If you decide to go the fresh route, I highly recommend buying them organic.

Ginger contains the strong anti-inflammatory compound, gingerol. Found in fresh ginger specifically, this compound has shown promise with anti-cancer and anti-rheumatoid properties.

This recipe calls for freshly grated ginger. Grating ginger doesn’t need to be tricky. Simply use the fine side of a regular cheese grater and work away.

Serves 1

Ingredients
1 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk (coconut, almond, hemp)
½ cup blueberries, frozen
1” fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp honey

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

 

Detox Dill Dressing

If you have a copy of The Belly Burn Plan (with the New Year coming, I hope you do), then you’ve had the
Cleanse Dressing. I love it, but the Detox Dill Dressing is quite different. It’s a little smoother and doesn’t have quite the same amount of tang as the Cleanse dressing.

The next book I write will be sure to include plenty of recipes with dill. Dill comes from the same family of vegetables as carrots, fennel, celery, parsnips and parsley. Dill has antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

Paired with the power of apple cider vinegar, EVOO* and garlic, this is truly a powerhouse of a dressing – and so much better than anything you could every buy in a store.

Apple cider vinegar helps to improve digestion and balance blood sugar levels. EVOO is an incredible source of monounsaturated fat, and has been shown to provide protection against heart disease and chronic inflammation related to arthritis. Garlic has been shown to lower bad cholesterol, kill harmful bacteria and detox heavy metals, to name a few.

I hope you love this dressing as much as me. If you’re a salad eater, or enjoy dipping your veggies in something, then double up on this recipe so you won’t run out as fast.

*This is NOT a sponsored mention:  Because there are so many brands of phony olive oils clogging up grocery store shelves, I want to recommend California Olive Ranch or the Kirkland brand of olive oil. You may have to pay a couple bucks more, but olive oil goes a long way and it’s so much healthier to know you’re getting the real deal, and not a knock off of something with less-than-honest ingredients. If you know of a legit olive oil that’s been tested, please leave mention in the comments.

Serves 6

Serving Size: 2 Tbsp

Ingredients
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
3 tbsp fresh dill (or 1 tbsp dried)
2 cloves garlic, crushed
¼ cup sea salt

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