Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Cranberries & Pecans

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I showed these brussels sprouts a little extra love by adding in the dried cranberries and pecans.  If you want to dress it up even more, a balsamic glaze would be delish!  A simple, perfect fall veggie side dish.  It makes a perfect vegetarian and vegan side dish for Thanksgiving!

 

Serves 4

Ingredients

1 16oz bag of brussels sprouts

Olive oil

Salt + Pepper

1/2 cup dried cranberries

1/2 cup chopped roasted pecans

Method

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.

In a bowl toss brussels sprouts with olive oil, salt and pepper.  Transfer to a baking dish and bake for 30-35 minutes.

Turn oven off and take brussels sprouts out.  Add in cranberries and pecans and toss everything together.  Return to oven for 5 minutes or until cranberries are soft, then serve.

burrsel

Cauliflower Tabbouleh

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I had a cauliflower tabbouleh at tapas restaurant and knew I had to remake it!  The only difference here from the traditional tabbouleh is that grated cauliflower is replacing bulgur wheat.  This gives you an extra dose of veggie goodness and nutrients plus makes it gluten free for anyone who can’t have wheat.

Tips: cut your cucumber inhalf lengthwise, use a spoon to scrape the seeds from center.

Serves 4 as a side

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Ingredients

1/4 cup olive oil

Juice of 1 lemon

1 garlic clove, grated or minced

salt and pepper to taste

1/2 head cauliflower,  grated

1/2 cucumber, seeded and diced small

1 medium tomato, cored and seeded

1/2 small onion, peeled and diced small

1 cup packed chopped fresh parsley, about 1 bunch

1 cup packed chopped mint, about 1 bunch

 

Method

Make the dressing by whisking olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper in a small bowl.  Set aside.

Mix the rest of the ingredients in a large bowl.  Stir in dressing and toss.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Easy Mexican Rice

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Because sometimes it’s all about the sides. And even better when it’s easy and quick.  I think I made this is less than 15 minutes.  One super important note – use GOOD salsa!  By good Everyone’s idea of “good salsa” can be different but just make sure it’s one you love.  I used fresh pico de gallo from the refrigerated section (I’m not a fan of jarred salsa). I used the frozen Trader Joe’s packet of brown rice which I love!!  This makes a great side or filling in tacos or burritos, or even a base for a burrito bowl.

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Serves 4

Ingredients

Olive oil

1/2 medium onion, peeled and diced

1/2 bell pepper, diced

2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped

1 Tbsp ground cumin

4 cups of cooked rice

1/2 cup salsa

juice of 1 lime

Fresh cilantro chopped

Salt & pepper to taste

Method

Add enough oil to coat a large skillet and heat on medium.  Add onion and bell pepper, sprinkle with salt, and saute around 5 minutes or until softened and onions are translucent.

Add garlic and cumin and saute 1-2 minutes.

Stir salsa, lime juice, then rice.  Simmer a couple of minutes until desired consistency is reached (you might want to let some of the excess liquid cook off ).

Stir in cilantro – how ever much you want!  And season with salt and pepper.

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Southwest Black Bean, Corn, and Rice Salad

So many great things about this dish – it’s an easy mix some stuff together kind of recipe, it’s vegan and healthy, it’s delicious, and it doesn’t really require cooking if you get the kind of rice you can just microwave.  Oh and it’s versatile too.  You can switch up the grains (I used a combination or brown rice and barley), add avocado if you like, use it as a side or a main dish, in tacos or burritos, whatever you want.  The recipe makes 2-3 side dish servings but it can easily be doubled for a 4-5 person dinner or for a party.

You can also find this recipe featured on this Washingtonian.com article as a healthy Cinco de Mayo recipe back when I had my original blog The Single Bite.

 

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Serves 2-3 as a side dish

Ingredients

1 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp chili powder

1/4 tsp chipotle powder or cayenne (optional)

1 Tbsp canola oil

1/4 cup vegetable broth

2 Tbsp red wine vinegar

2 cups cooked brown rice, barley or another grain

3/4 cup cooked black beans (about half a can drained)

3/4 cup frozen corn, thawed

1/4 cup chopped green onion

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Salt and pepper to taste

Method

Mix spices, oil, broth and vinegar in a large bowl.  Add remaining ingredients and stir until everything is combined and mixed with the dressing.  This is best if left to chill in the refridgerator 1-2 hours before serving.

Spiced Quinoa with Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) is actually not grain but rather a seed. What makes it so wonderful is that it’s a plant-based, complete protein meaning it contains all nine essential amino acids (the ones your body can’t produce).  Yea, that’s pretty cool.  One cup cooked gives you 8 grams of protein with just over 200 calories and about 3.5g fat.  For long time I wanted so badly to love this little protein-packed wonder seed, but everytime I cooked it I found it tastless and mushy.  Yuck.  So, I decided to try using less liquid and swapped broth for water, threw in spices, garlic, etc. and voila, I was converted.

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Makes about 3 cups

Ingredients

Olive oil or cooking spray

1/2 medium onion, finely diced

3 cloves garlic, minced or finely chopped

2 tsp red wine vinegar

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp smoked paprika

1 cup quinoa

2 cups vegetable broth (water can be substituted)

Salt and pepper to taste

Pepitas (already roasted pumpkin seeds) or regular raw pumpkin seeds

Chopped cilantro

Method

Heat oil in a skillet.  Add onion and garlic with a pinch of salt and cook over medium low heat for 5 minutes or until onions are translucent.  Add vinegar, cumin, smoked paprika, quinoa; stir o combine everything and cook just a minute.  Add in broth and stir.  Turn heat up and bring to boil, then reduce to low and simmer covered 15-20 minutes or until liquid is absorbed.  If there’s still too much liquid, you can removed cover and cook a few minutes longer.  Garnish with pumpkin seeds and cilantro. Serve as a side dish, add beans to make it a main dish, or add to a wrap with veggies.

*To roast pumpkin seeds just lay on a baking sheet, spray with cooking oil, and bake at 350 for a few minutes until they start to turn golden.  I’ve never actually timed it but they always turn out ok.