Shredded Sweet Sprouts! Brussels Sprouts for the whole family

A simple side dish of Brussels Sprouts makes any meal healthier – but what if your kid won’t eat them?

Add a hint of sweetness with sautéed apples and a touch of maple syrup – they’ll be begging for more!

*A touch of maple syrup won’t degrade the overall healthy benefits of these powerful cancer-fighting sprouts, and 1 serving has 8-12 grams of fiber, which is more than many Americans get in a day! (You should aim for at least 30 grams a day, BTW)

Shredded & Sweet Brussels Sprouts Salad

Shredded & Sweet Brussels Sprouts Salad

Shredded & Sweet Brussels Sprouts

Ingredients

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 pound Brussels sprouts, washed, dried and sliced into thin strips

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 large tart apple, cubed and unpeeled

1 clove garlic, thinly sliced

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

2 teaspoons real maple syrup

1/3 cup pecans, toasted and chopped

Freshly ground black pepper

Directions

1. Heat the oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the Brussels sprouts and salt and sauté for 8 minutes.

2. When the sprouts begin to brighten and turn a nice light green, add the apple, garlic, red pepper flakes, and maple syrup. Stir well and cook for another 5 minutes.

3. Once everything is heated through, but not too soft or mushy, remove the pan from the heat and stir in the pecans, and pepper.

Serves 2-4 people

Inspired by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau’s recipe in Color Me Vegan

Veggies & Whole Grains That Kids Will Love

Even though I stock my house with natural food, keep fresh fruit on the table at all times, and offer healthy snacks at every turn, my son sometimes turns his nose up to my offerings.

I’ve noticed that Laken refuses beans in almost every state lately. He’ll eat lentil soup, but when presented with home cooked chickpeas, sauteed pintos or black bean soup, I invariably hear “I don’t like beans, Mama!” This is a little upsetting because I think he needs beans on a regular basis for protein and minerals. Eating a variety of beans provides iron, potassium and zinc, and I don’t like to feed him soy every day. Yes, he eats some tofu and organic, unsweetened soy yogurt, but I would rather not go overboard on the soy products.

I’m going to assume it’s just a phase – just like the four month stretch when he decided he didn’t like avocados anymore. Funny, he happily devoured avocados daily for 2.5 years, then one day decided they were no longer acceptable. It was probably my insistence that he “liked them before” that made him refuse.

Knowing that marketing to kids works (see Super Size Me!) when it comes to junk food, I thought “why can’t marketing healthy food work too?”

A few weeks ago I started making mixtures of veggies, beans and whole grains and pressing them into kid-friendly shapes using these awesome Japanese sushi molds and nori paper punches. If anyone knows how to make food cute, it’s the Japanese!

The recipe is really easy, and my son happily ate several pieces for dinner. Here’s how it works:

Ingredients:

1 teaspoon olive oil

1 clove garlic, minced

1/4 cup shiitake mushrooms

1/2 cup cooked chickpeas (any beans would work)

1 cup cooked whole grain (brown rice, quinoa, etc)

Directions:

- Saute the olive oil, garlic, mushrooms, and beans with a pinch of salt for 5 minutes over medium heat. I like to use a cast iron skillet which lends some iron content to the final dish.

- Combine the cooked veggies, beans and grain in a food processor and pulse 10 times.

- Press the veggie and grain mixture into the molds and hand pack them. Place molded animals on a plate and use the nori paper punch to create mineral rich nori eyes and a mouth.

These healthy, yummy grain animals are a perfect snack or side dish with some steamed veggies.

You can order sets like this here:

Avoiding Eggs, Little Chicks? Here’s How To Cook & Eat Without Them

The massive egg recall has prompted many families to avoid eating eggs altogether. With new brands being added to the “don’t eat” list daily (see here for updated list), it’s probably best to avoid these cholesterol-filled foods for at least a while, if not entirely.

If you have relied on eggs in the past for protein, and don’t know how to cook without them, here is a list of easy replacement options, taken from my book Living Vegan For Dummies:

For baking:

1/4 cup blended silken tofu = 1 egg

1 Tablespoon ground flax seeds plus 3 Tablespoons water = 1 egg

1 1/2 Tablespoons Ener-G Egg Replacer + 2 Tablespoons water mixed well = 1 egg

1/2 cup mashed or blended banana = 1 egg

1/4 cup soy yogurt = 1 egg