Lets Go Veg! Even if its just for one week!

Hello Healthy Ones!

Please join us April 21 - 27 and take the VegPledge with US VegNews!

Want to save the planet? GO VEG!!! Even if its just for one day a week, one week a month or more, switching to a whole foods, plant-based diet will help cut back on greenhouse gasses, water usage, AND your mother will love you for it! Mother Earth that is! Watch this compelling testimonial from Award-winning filmmaker James Cameron:
[http://youtu.be/IzMuriQTPk4]

Here's how you can join in and do your part and take the pledge for at least one week with US VegWeek and FEAST on a meatless diet during Earth Week: [TAKE THE PLEDGE](http://usvegweek.com/pledge/)

I will be sending out a post updating everyone on all the Leafy (and MiMi) news that's fit to print very soon. Here is a sneak peak at one of the new Leafy Cafe Logo designs from Ed Hose! She's a little fuzzy right now because we are still tweaking her veggie-ness. What do you think?


Until then... 

  1. Sláinte!
!

Oatmeal Steve

Steve enjoys his food. This image could be considered the "before" photo! Photos courtesy Bangor Daily News

This post is a bit of a departure from my usual ramblings. After teaching people the benefits of a whole foods, plant-based diet up and down the eastern seaboard and showing them how to actually cook it themselves, I have accumulated a few testimonials that the diet does indeed work which I would like to share with y'all. 

This month's featured guest (but not the first success story) is Rabbi Steve Shaw. I first met Steve after a screening of Forks Over Knives a few years back. I was doing a Q & A after the film and Steve was a bit curious of the diet and how to get started, would it work for him, etc. He is not really a lover of cooking as much as he is a lover of food, so he was unsure how to proceed when I invited him to attend a series of my Food for Life Cooking classes. Needless to say, he eventually did attend, last October. Here is a note a received from Steve shortly after the class series ended:


Mimi
I find it remarkable that I've lost over eight pounds in less than four weeks--without really dieting or obsessing over portion sizes.  You've taught me to consider both the GI and the kinds of carbs I eat--and that's made all the difference.   My primary care physician--Dr. Minda Gold--someone I really like,  arranged for me become part of a diabetes nutrition program at Miles Hospital--just around the time I decided to take your class.  The contrast in approaches is dramatic and except for measuring my blood glucose levels on a regular basis, I've concluded that your approach is far superior to theirs when it comes to how and what I eat.  However, I'd like to reserve my final judgment for another two months--after I've taken an A1c test and had my cholesterol levels measured.   In the meantime, I want to thank you again for what you've taught me.  Frankly, as you saw, I was skeptical of taking what I thought was a cooking class and almost didn't register.  However, after eating the delicious food you prepared each week, watching the really well done videos explaining Dr. Barnard's methodology and then reading his book on reversing diabetes, I think I'm becoming a "true believer".  I've spent much of my life thinking that vegans were strange people who'd joined a crazy cult.  Now, I'm embarrassed to say that I'm almost one of them!

Thanks again for all you've taught me,

Steve

And a month later...

Mimi

I'm sending you a link to the article about broccoli which was the cover story in the Sunday NY Times Magazine on November 3.   It begins by saying that "broccoli is about to get a serious makeover--and maybe, just maybe, be a model of how to persuade Americans to eat better..."

         http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/03/magazine/broccolis-extreme-makeover.html?_r=0 

Had I not taken your class, I probably would have ignored it.  Now I want to share it with all my friends--since it's so full of vitamins, fiber and other miracle-like substances....

Thanks again for helping to change my life (hopefully...)

Warm regards

Steve


And again in January:

Mimi

I just wanted to let you know about the results of the blood test I took recently.  My A1c number is 5.8 (6 or below is no longer considered diabetic).  Previously my number was somewhere around 6.2--not bad according to my doctor, but she was really impressed with the most recent results and I told her something about the diet that you'd recommended.

MY LDL cholesteral was an amazing 44--less than 70 is considered safe, but some cardiologists believe that a score close to 40 is ideal.  Perhaps this is due in part, at least, to the bowl of oatmeal which I religiously eat almost every morning (along with rye toast) and other aspects of the diet and exercise that I've been following.  In any case, as an experiment, my doctor has permitted me to reduce my Lipitor dosage by half (from 80 mg to 40) and reduce my metformin from 850 to 500.  I'll know within a month about the LDL numbers, but it will take another three months to know about the A1c.

Again, thanks for all you've done to help me look at food differently--now what I have to do is continue on the road you've laid out for me--something that;s not always easy.

I hope you're well.

Steve


courtesy Bangor Daily News

Steve is a graduate of the University of Michigan where he studied both philosophy and forestry.  He spent five years at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America where he completed a masters and a rabbinical degree.  He later served for many years as the director of the Seminary's Department of Community Education.  Most recently, he spent much of the last six years before coming to Maine three years ago, working with Bedouin Arabs in Israel's Negev desert.  Steve also has extensive experience as a consultant  to small non-profit organizations.  He currently is on the faculty of the Coastal Senior College and lives in Warren, Maine. Steve was lovingly  dubbed "Oatmeal Steve" by my fantastic assistant Karen Quinn, probably because Steve's journey into cooking his own plant-based food started with a shift to oatmeal daily, which may have been partially responsible for lowering his cholesterol. Beans soon came along and so did broccoli, salads, etc. but we liked the sound of Oatmeal Steve! (We hope you don't mind Steve!)

Here's to you Steve! Best success in the future - keep us posted!!

Sláinte! 
(slahn-chə) is a word literally translating as "health" in Gaelic

Eat to Live Cookbook Giveaway!


Recently, I was a finalist in a recipe contest over on www.drfuhrman.com. The winning prize was a Vitamix 5200 blender. Well, as I already have TWO Vitamix blenders, I planned to give away the prize should I win. Well, there is a lucky winner out there and it was not me BUT the folks at Dr. Furhman decided to give all of the finalists a signed copy of Eat to Live the Cookbook. I am pretty familiar with how the Doc likes all Nutritarians to eat after working with him for a couple of years on a few different projects so I have decided to have a Cookbook Giveaway!!
Thats right! And everyone is a winner with the recipe for G-Bombs Burgers! (below)
This is the first time I'm having an official BLOG giveaway and I have enlisted the folks at Rafflecopter. Let's hope it works! You have from Midnight tonight (Feb 7, 2014) until Midnight on Sunday (Feb 9, 2014) Here is the link:

http://tinyurl.com/mz4loh2


Fingers crossed all of the details, agreements, and questions are there!

Good luck everyone!


  1. Sláinte!
  2. G-Bombs Burger
    MiMi McGee
     15
     30 minutes
    2 1/2 cups rolled oats
    2 cups cooked brown rice
    3 pounds chopped frozen spinach (thawed & lightly drained)
    5 tablespoons ground flax seed
    10 tablespoons water (mix water with flax meal to make flax eggs)
    2 cups chopped mushrooms
    10 ounces (2 medium) cooked sweet potatoes
    1 cup mashed cooked beans (we use kidney - either white or red)
    1 cup sunflower seeds (soaked and sprouted if you desire)
    1 cup or 1 large red onion, diced small
    3 tablespoons a blend of onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, sage, oregano to taste OR
    3 tablespoons of your favorite NO SALT spice mixture such as Dr. Fuhrman's Vegizest or Matozest. We use different Frontier blends to flavor the patties different ways.

    Mix ingredients together and allow to sit, preferable overnight. Pulsing part of mixture in a food processor blends the ingredients nicely and can make the patties easier to form.

    Form into patties. I make mine with a 3 ounce scoop and a canning jar lid for uniformity however you can use a burger mold or just use your hands!

    Place on baking sheet lined with silpat or parchment paper. Bake in 400 degree (non-convection) oven for 18 – 20 minutes per side.

    Baste patties with optional miso-glaze if desired while flipping. Make glaze from 1 tablespoon of your favorite low sodium miso mixed with 1/2 cup hot (not boiling) water. Leave off miso if lower sodium is desired.

    Makes 30 (3 ounce) patties. I figured a serving was 2 patties per person. I use at least 3 tablespoons of herbs, seasonings but it varies depending on the flavor I'm going for. This is why I recommend the Frontier (or Dr. Fuhrman's own)
    CALORIES 213; PROTEIN 10g; CARBOHYDRATES 30g; TOTAL FAT 7.7g; SATURATED FAT 0.9g; SODIUM 102mg; FIBER 8.4g; BETA-CAROTENE 8174ug; VITAMIN C 4mg; CALCIUM 165mg; IRON 3.7mg; FOLATE 160ug; MAGNESIUM 154mg; ZINC 1.9mg; SELENIUM 9.6ug





Tofu and Tempeh and Beans, Oh My!

For 2014, many of us have taken heed the advice of physicians, celebs and athletes from all over the world to shift our plates to plants. There are many benefits to a plant-based diet. Eating less meat and more veggies is not only a prescription for good health, loading your plate with kale and lentils can help you recover faster between work-outs and put you in smaller-sized jeans. As a chef and certified Food for Life Cooking and Nutrition Instructor, I teach people how to make this change. The first questions from many of my students are: Where's the Beef? Where will we get our protein? What do I put on the plate in place of chicken or fish?? Well the obvious (to me) choices for animal protein replacements are much lower in fat, cholesterol and calories than their meaty contenders, but fill the gap quite nicely, although they seem to be mysterious and difficult to understand to the average newcomer. SO, in an attempt to demystify and make sense of these versatile and nutritious foods...Here we go; plant-based protein 101!
Lets Talk Tofu: (Toe-Foo) Tofu originated in China about 2,000 years ago and has been a staple of Asian cuisine for centuries. There are two types of tofu; Soft/Silken and Regular/Firm. Each type comes in a variety of textures and can be made from raw, sprouted or organic (which also means non-GMO) soybeans. Long story short, the beans are mashed with water, strained into a milky liquid and mixed with a coagulant to form curds, then shaped, usually into a block form. In the Midcoast we are fortunate to have a delicious, locally made tofu. Heiwa Tofu is made from 100 percent Organic (and MOFGA) soybeans and the resulting curds are Miss Muffet worthy!
Tofu gets an undeserved bad rap. Why you ask? Well, it could be the way it looks, sort of bland and pasty, but those qualities are actually the real beauty of tofu. It's the chameleon of the vegetarian world and is as easily at-home in a smooth and creamy chocolate mousse of a dessert as it is on the barbecue or in stuffed shells in place of ricotta. Tofu co-exists comfortably in many variations and takes on the flavors of its surroundings. Tofu can easily be Italian in lasagna, from the south when grilled with barbecue sauce and served alongside black-eyed peas and collard greens, or yummie as an eggless salad or breakfast scramble.
Why Eat It? Nutritionally speaking, tofu is low in fat, cholesterol free and protein rich. It contains isoflavones and other phytochemicals that studies have proven to be beneficial. It is inexpensive and available pretty much anywhere. One half-cup serving contains about 10 grams of protein.
CAUTION: watch out for tofu made from genetically modified soybeans. Tofu is not to be confused with Soy Protein Isolate, the ingredient found in many fake meats. Tofu made from sprouted, organic or at least non-GMO beans would be the best choice. If you are taking certain medications, or you have had an estrogen-receptive breast cancer, you might be best to keep your consumption of soy products to no more than two servings per day. Soybeans and their products contain phyto-estrogens, which mimic estrogen and research is still underway on this effect. Thus far, these plant chemicals have been shown to be both protective and not.
IMPORTANT TIP: Be sure to press and drain all of the liquid from the tofu block before using (unless for some reason the recipe calls for otherwise). You can do this with kitchen towels and a cast iron pan or a fancy gadget known as a tofu press. Keep in mind, some of the healthiest populations on the planet consume soybeans in the form of tofu, soy milk, tempeh, natto and just the beans. In fact, some of the healthiest populations on the planet consume beans and legumes of many types, not just soybeans.
Want to read the rest of this post? Go to Pen Bay Pilot article HERE!

Power Plate Weighs Heavy in Best Diets for 2014!

The U.S. News and World Report announces for the healthiest diets for 2014 and guess what they all have in common? Source most of your calories from these four food groups:

The DASH Diet, designed for lowering Blood Pressure without medication came in at #1 overall. This low fat diet plan asks followers to feed mostly on whole grains, fruits, & vegetables, adding only small amounts of low or non-fat dairy and lean meats.

The #2 ranking plan, TLC Diet for lowering cholesterol, same, with emphasis on lower and healthier fats!

Weight Watchers is #3 and was considered the best commercial diet plan available for weight-loss. I have been calculating the WW Points for the Leafy Cafe Meals to Go-go service and note even Weight Watchers touts eating mostly from the whole foods groups in the form of grains, legumes, fruits and veggies!

The Vegan diet scored high in  many individual categories such as Diabetes, Heart Healthy and Weight-loss but ranks only # 18 overall, along with 4 other #18 diets including South Beach. Why so low if it is the core structure of many/most of the best and highest ranking diets? The panel of experts decided it was too restrictive. I only find the vegan diet to be restrictive when dining out because restaurateurs couldn't be bothered to offer meat and dairy-free options in most cases. Its certainly not more expensive. The experts rated the diet  "moderately pricey. Fruits, vegetables, and soy products—which should be filling your cart if you’re doing it right—are generally more expensive than heavily processed foods like white bread, sugary cereals, and sweets." But they do not mention this aspect in the other diets which also shun these types of foods and encourage fresh produce, and rightly so! Hmmm. 

My favorite diet is the Flexitarian Diet which ranks #6 overall. There doesn't seem to be a #4 or #5??? What's up with these numbers? Maybe I haven't thoroughly read the ranking system?? With the Flexitarian Diet, you eat WHOLE PLANT FOODS, mostly vegan/vegetarian but allow yourself those times, like when you are in an airport or at a fancy restaurant with no other options to consume something you might normally avoid without guilt. This is sort of like the 80/20 or VB6 diet. The danger with this diet is once you go off your mostly veg diet, you  might never go back! High fat, salt and sugar laden foods lure you in and its a slippery slope down to last-placed Paleo-ville from there!

All in all, keep in mind, the BEST diets include foods mostly or totally from the four food groups of the Power Plate with an emphasis on low fat, sugar salt, and limited or no refined or processed foods.
Another great consideration for the BEST diet is one that works for you! Keeps your weight and health in the place you would like it to be. For many of us, the low-fat, whole foods, plant-based VEGAN diet works best.
Sláinte!


New Year's Resolutions

Here's to a Happy, Healthy 2014!


Ever make New Year's Resolutions? In the past I have made a point to avoid them. This year is different. I have decided to commit to some changes in my life and business in 2014 and this newsletter is a start to what will be the first of a few Resolutions this greens-eater has made in forever.
What is a resolution? There are many uses for the term and you can read them all right here and here but no where in either of these locations, Wikipedia or Merriam-Webster, does the definition for a New Year's Resolution appear. When searching a bit further, searching for the entire term 'New Year's Resolution', Wiki comes up with some really great information dating this type of promise back to ancient time and linking it with religious tradition as far back as the Babylonians.
These days, most New Years' Resolutions are related to self improvement, health, kindness to others and respect/awareness of the environment. Eating a plant-based diet is a great start to addressing these concepts and for many, a shift to do just this is their 2014 goal. Here at the Leafy, we already eat a clean, green diet so what changes will we make? Here are my 2014 New Year's Resolutions:
1. Blog more regularly. Jog more regularly!
2. Create a Newsletter with recipes in support of FFL and Leafy Cafe Cooking School participants or those who just wish to stay in the loop.
3. Start a take-out meal service for anyone wishing to explore a plant-based diet and looking for convenient, healthy, delicious options. 4.Consume less sugar! :-) this will be the toughest!
4. COOKBOOK!!! Perhaps a recipe book would be a better description. This book will be for folks who know how to cook but just do not know WHAT to cook.
This list is long and growing! If you are reading this email, I have already started on Rez number 2! Are you in? I promise to keep the email newsletters brief, no more then monthly, and always include a recipe. Please opt-in and share with your friends! Our Just Eat Plants community is growing and you are a part of it!
Our first newsletter recipes are for Black-eyed 'Hoppin' John Pilaf and Yammy Stolen Collards -new versions of old favorites. It is absolute to eat Black-eyed Peas and Greens on New Year's Day. This tradition also dates back to Babylonian times! This originally Jewish "good luck" tradition was probably brought to the New World in the 1700's when the Sephardi Jews settled in the Southern United States! I hope you enjoy this healthy version.
Thank you for all of your support in the past years! Have a blessed and peaceful HEALTHY, HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! 
Remember, this is the first one :-) !

New Year's Day Hoppin' John

makes 4 servings
Ingredients: 
3 cups cooked long-grain brown rice 
2 15-ounce can black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed 
1 cup chopped red onions 
1 garlic clove, minced 
1 cup chopped celery 
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley 
1 teaspoon salt 
1/2 teaspoon black pepper 
1 dash hot sauce 
1 vegetable oil spray 
Method: 
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Combine rice, peas, onion, garlic, celery, parsley, salt, black pepper, and hot sauce in a casserole dish coated with vegetable oil spray. Bake uncovered for 20 minutes or until thoroughly heated. 
Based on a recipe from www.nutritionmd.org

My-Yammy Collards

My-Yammy (Stolen) Collards

I named this dish as such because I stole the collards from my sister’s garden while she was away visiting our baby sister (who is a Yoga/Pilates instructor in Bali) and I like the way yam and yo mammy sound so I had to work that into the title.
Ingredients:
½ diced onion 
2 -3 cloves minced fresh garlic 
1 T. minced fresh ginger 
½ - 1 c. water or veggie broth 
½ T. Rooster Sauce* or Red Pepper Flakes 
Some ( Stripped) Collards (with the stem removed and cut into ribbons) 
1 Lg. Sweet Tater cut into ½” dice 
½ t. smoked paprika 
Zest and Juice of 1 lemon 
½ T. toasted sesame seeds
*This is the Hard Part – I stole these Collards from my sister Donna’s Garden, I do not know how much I took, I snipped and snipped. Donna is an RN who inspired me to move my body and eat healthy. She is a cardiology specialist nurse, has her Masters in Exercise Physiology, and she is a Dean Ornish/Jane Brody-fan-from-way-on-back kind of a gal. I’ve been stealing stuff from D since I was born. I always thought: “she has so much, she won’t miss this stuffed toy, D won’t miss this dress or later when I was a teen: her driver’s license”!!! Well, I hope she does not miss these collards, they would have been yeller by the time she got home anyway! Rooster sauce is that chili sauce with the rooster on the jar, also known as Sriracha. To strip the collards, just hold the leaf by the stem, folded in half – length wise and pull the leafy bit off of the stem.
Method:
Oh do we really need to know to preheat the skillet? It all works anyway, preheat or not. So, here is how I do it: 
1. Steam sauté the garlic, onion, and ginger in a non-stick skillet or in a cast iron skillet with a small amount of veggie broth or water (1/4 c) ON LOW HEAT. Don’t let it burn! Until onions are translucent. 
2. Add the Sweet ‘Taters Rooster Sauce (or red pepper flakes), smoked paprika & lemon juice, cook on LOW, COVERED for about 10 min. 
3. Add the Collards, and steam/sauté for another 10 minutes until the collards are cooked down and sweet taters are cooked. 
4. Garnish with toasted sesame seeds and lemon zest and serve immediately – YUMBO
NOTE: I've lived most of my adult life in Southeast Georgia. I am very intimate with Collards, Turnips, Mustards, and many other greens which are southern favorites. I am also all too familiar with the heart attach and stroke rate in that area of the country. I have many friends who’s fathers never made it to 55 years old. I learned to cook Southern food with a healthy flair. This also was my first official job out of Culinary School. I was hired to be the consulting chef at The Lodge on Little St. Simon's Island for just this reason – making traditional Low Country Cuisine with a health, delicious slant. 
Traditionally, greens are cooked with pork fat and then once on the table they are doused with vinegar flavored with hot peppers. I have taken the fat out but kept the flavor & spice!
On New Years’ Day, serve these greens with Black-eyed Peas and Brown Rice (hoppin’ John) for a great, healthy start!
  • Drag

When a Pomegranate meets the Brussel Sprouts…..



Initially I wanted to talk only about Brussels sprouts in this post, those cute mini cabbages from the impressive list of Brassicacaea, which are all so very good for us.
My first exposure to these little, emerald spheres was at an early age, probably through a Green Giant commercial on television. Did you know Brussels sprouts are one of the most disliked vegetable amongst children? Our mother, Mary, did not care for them either. In fact, she so disliked two members of this family of veggies, Brussel sprouts & (surprise, surprise… )parsnips, as children we never had either of them on our table. Unlike other kids, I did not have to worry about finding places to stash mine in order to avoid eating them. While Mary disliked parsnips and Brussels, she loved their other relatives; cabbages, rutabagas, turnips, radishes, broccoli and cauliflower, yep, all relatives or cultivars of cruciferous vegetables. I don’t think she was aware that collards & kale are also related. Alternatively, she may not have even known that they existed, as we lived in New Jersey and her family was from Ireland, so there was no exposure to such “greens”.  It seems she instinctually knew for some reason these were healthy foods, but I’m just not sure why.
Brussels sprouts are available in time for our holiday tables and actually taste better if harvested after a good, hard frost. They are packed with the same powerful antioxidants which cruciferous veggies are known for. They are tiny globes of Vitamin A, C, K, folate and fiber, although they are most known for their bitterness, especially if overcooked. 
One question which comes up, is whether it is this bitterness which indicates the health benefits of such vegetables?  Cruciferous vegetables contain Glucosinolates and one in particular known as Sinigrin, present in Brussels sprouts and cauliflower, is thought to be the cause of the bitterness . Glucosinolates are the chemical starting points for certain cancer-protective phytonutrients.  Another question concerning these compounds is the possibility of interfering with thyroid function. This may be a concern for some when consuming vast quantities of (especially raw) cruciferous vegetables, however evidence suggests this is not a problem for Brussels sprouts in particular. Roasting the sprouts seems to help eliminate some of the bitterness, as does pairing with fruit.

I can’t remember when I developed my taste for Brussels sprouts, but regardless, I married a man who did not share my love for them, until I prepared them with walnuts and orange zest. We know that adding a little sweetness can counter act the bitter taste and the healthy fat from the walnuts aids in absorption of nutrients. Now I can’t stop his cravings for them! He seeks them out and prepares them himself which is how this post came to fruition. While contemplating the possibilities for a December submission, I was torn over several ideas until David brought home some Brussels sprouts after he had been away on a long business trip devoid of vegetables. He was having a craving. He was away over Thanksgiving when I prepared the (in)famous dish and could not wait until Christmas so he will be making some roasted sprouts with orange and walnuts tonight. But alas, I have a brand new and different idea for the Holiday sprouts! 
I believe they are talking to each other! Does anyone know of a story about a pomegranate and a frog????

In our kitchen we have a stained glass window, dated 1875, which features pomegranates (and a frog). I love pomegranates for their exotic appearance, the flavor, the color and the nutritional content. Originally from Persia, they have been used in culinary applications since ancient times. The source for Grenadine- a reduced concentration of pomegranate juice and the inspiration for the name of a weapon, the grenade! They are in season from September through February which overlaps with Brussels sprouts season. I like to keep a few in a bowl on the windowsill of the stained glass panel which is where David’s stash of Brussels had been placed.  We use the seeds from these “love apples” in salads, and smoothies, etc.

Getting seeded the old way - in a water bath!!

The pomegranate has long been identified as a symbol of health, fertility and eternal life however recent studies show the phytonutrients found only in pomegranates called punicalagins benefit our hearts and blood vessels. Punicalagins are responsible for the pomegranate's antioxidant and health benefits, plus may make them responsible for lowering cholesterol and protecting arteries. After falling asleep with all these thoughts bouncing around in my head, I woke in the middle of the night with this tremendous drive to pair the Brussels and Pomegranate together! It was as though the two conspired on the counter and spoke to me subliminally, encouraging me to connect them! WOW! Two super-foods in a never-before seen (at least in my kitchen) combination! SO here we have it; two powerful ‘superfoods’  together in a delicious Holiday dish.

BTW, I now prefer my sprouts RAW after having a shaved-sprout-slaw salad at two of our area’s great restaurants. Both The Gothic in Belfast and Comida Latin Kitchen in Camden have served fabulous shaved Brussels sprout salads! It had never occurred to me to eat these guys uncooked and boy are they delicious this way!  Feel free to try pairing the sprouts and pomegranate seeds uncooked in a salad! Just slice the sprouts very thinly and toss with a honey-vinaigrette or just lemon juice, rice vinegar and pomegranate molasses (another of my must have condiments!)
Be careful not to confuse drinking vast quantities of pomegranate juice with eating the healthy seeds, especially paired with the sprouts in this dish. Pomegranate juice has a high sugar content and the health risks could outweigh benefits when it comes to the sugar without the fiber!  Sláinte!

Brussels Sprouts with Pomegranate and Pumpkin Seeds
Serves 4 as a side dish. We had it with roasted multi colored potatoes as our main course for 2.
Oven 425 degrees
Ingredients:
1 lb. Brussels Sprouts – cleaned and halved
2 Shallots – 1/4 inch dice (sub ¼ c. diced red onion)
1 c. Pomegranate Seeds (you can buy them already out of the skin) or seeds from about ½ pom*
½ c. pumpkin seeds (feel free to substitute walnuts or any other chopped nut you may enjoy)
Juice and zest of one orange (citrus zests are a great way to trick the palate away from SOS – salt, oil and sugar! Feel free to try lemon and lime zests too! Try to purchase organic citrus if you will be using the peel or wash in a vinegar/water solution)
Pan spray (I use a Misto filled with organic Canola oil which is more stable at high temps. You then also do not have to worry about all those other nasty ingredients sometimes found in pan sprays).
Salt and pepper (optional)

Sprouts on a silpat!

Method:
1.       Place shallots and sprouts cut side down onto a Silpat or parchment paper lined baking sheet. Lightly spray with pan spray and place in hot oven. Roast for 15 – 20 minutes.
2.       While sprouts are roasting, toast pumpkin seeds or nuts be careful not to burn. Zest orange and juice after zesting.
3.       When sprouts and shallots begin to brown, remove from oven and toss with ½ of the orange juice, most of the pomegranate seeds and optional salt/pepper. Return to oven for another 5 -10 minutes. Ovens vary so keep an eye on the sprouts. You do not want them to brown too much.
4.       When sprouts are nicely browned, remove from oven. Toss with orange zest, pumpkin seeds and remaining pom seeds. If you are serving this on your holiday table, be sure to reserve some of all seeds and zest for garnishing the final dish after you have placed in the serving bowl.
 
Zest is Best!

*Seeding a Pomegranate you will need a bowl, wooden spoon and a paring knife
Gently score the pomegranate skin around the circumference.
Separate the two halves of the fruit to expose the seeds inside.
Hold ½ of fruit in the palm of your hand, cut half down, over the bowl
Using the other hand, beat the outside of the pomegranate with the back of the wooden spoon several times and allow the seeds to drop into the bowl.
Discard skin and membranes. There you have it!
Watch the video demonstration of this right HERE!