Creamy Brussels Sprouts Casserole

Creamy Brussels Sprouts Casserole

Brussels sprouts look like mini-cabbages more than anything are packed with vitamins and minerals that support a healthy immune system. Their highly nutritious, and extremely versatile in preparation with a number of different recipes.

With a variety of options for how to add them to your diet, you won’t ever get bored with these perfectly crafted vegetables made by nature for you.

brussels sproutsWhat Are Brussels Sprouts?

These little cabbages are grown for their edible buds and may have gotten their name from Brussels, Belgium, where they are believed to have originated and are highly popular. Ancestors of the modern Brussels sprout were most likely cultivated in ancient Rome, but the sprouts we know and love today were likely grown as early as the 13th century in Belgium (Wikipedia).

Nutrition of Brussels Sprouts

They are a small round leafy vegetable, and are packed with phytonutrients, including protein, vitamins, minerals, and fiber.

brussels sprouts in the gardenThe vitamins include, vitamin C and K , some B-complex vitamins, like B-6, and folate. The minerals include, trace amounts of selenium, copper, zinc and manganese, iron, calcium, potassium and phosphorus.

Brussels sprouts are also a great source of vitamin A, which is an antioxidant required for maintaining healthy mucus membranes, skin, and promoting optimal eye health, reducing the risk of macular degeneration.

They can also cause gas and bloating if eaten raw, as they have an enzyme that is difficult to digest. Cooking them breaks this enzyme down and the nutrition of the vegetable becomes more bio-available to the body.

Brussels Spouts and Cancer

Vegetables rich with vitamins A and C have shown to offer protection against some cancers such as oral cavity, and lung cancer. The extent of cancer-protection in Brussels sprouts is still widely researched, but findings hint that this vegetable among others, can help fight cancer causing agents, as well cleansing the body of toxins.

Preparing Brussels Sprouts

Brussels sprouts can be roasted in the oven, used in stir-fry’s, shredded and used in salads, added to soups, casseroles, pasta dishes, and used as garnish around poultry and fish.

There is really no right or wrong way to prepare them!

Now that we have your taste buds going, let’s present our featured recipe: Creamy Brussels Sprouts Casserole, and here is what you will need.

Creamy Brussels Sprouts Casserole

1 – 8 ounce package, cream cheese, room temperature

1 cup sour cream

1/2 pound sliced fresh mushrooms (optional)

1 medium onion, chopped

2 tablespoons butter (or coconut butter)

1 ½ pounds fresh Brussels sprouts, ends cut off

Optional to use 2 packages – 10 ounces each of frozen Brussels sprouts, thawed and drained

3/4 cup shredded cheese, your choice, cheddar, Monterey, Mozzarella, goat cheese, or any hard cheese

Heat Oven to 350 degrees

In a small bowl, beat cream cheese and sour cream until smooth. Set aside.

In a large skillet, sauté mushrooms and onion in butter until tender. Stir in Brussels sprouts. Remove from the heat and stir in cream cheese mixture.

Grease a 2 quart baking dish, and spoon mixture in spreading out evenly.

Cover dish and bake for 25-30 minutes or until bubbly. Uncover and sprinkle with cheese. Bake 5 minutes longer or until cheese is melted. Make 6-8 servings

Enjoy as a stand alone dish, or as a side dish with your favorite meat recipe.

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More Brussels sprouts recipes here at Splendid Recipes and More…

Roasted Root Vegetables with Brussels sprouts and Bacon

Warm Brussels sprouts and Dilled Potato Salad

Brown Butter and Brussels Sprout with Fennel

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Melon Berry Fruit Salad with a Mint-Lime Dressing

Melon Berry Fruit Salad

Orgainc WatermelonYou know summer has officially started when you can make yourself a fruit salad with in season fresh fruits.

Thanks to our friends to the south (Mexico) and their sub-tropical weather, we can have watermelon before it is even harvests here in the U.S.A.

Watermelon is  a perfect summer fruit to grow, harvest, and eat as it is a wonderful and juicy hydrating fruit.

Sliced cross section of a seedless organic watermelonAs you sweat on a hot summer day, while at the beach, working in the garden, or just taking an afternoon walk, you lose vital electrolytes, which includes sodium, potassium, calcium, and magnesium, and watermelon is a better chose to re-hydrate, than Gatorade.

Watermelon is all natural, and has the right balance of the electrolytes needed to keep your heart beating, and to replace the water needed to keep you cool.

Our feature fruit salad includes watermelon and here is what you will need to prepare the Melon Berry Fruit Salad with a Mint-Lime Dressing.

1/2 a seedless watermelon

1 cantaloupe

6 ounces raspberries

6 ounces blueberries

6 ounces blackberries

zest and juice of one lime

2 tablespoons raw honey

1 tablespoon water or watermelon juice

1 tablespoon mint leaves, minced

6-10 mint leaves, for garnishing, optional

Mint-Lime Dressing

watermelon juiceUse a melon ball scoop to create bite size pieces of both melons. A the melon to a large bowl. Next add the berries to the melon. Toss gently, so as not to crush the berries.

In a small bowl , combine the zest and lime juice, honey, water, and minced mint leaves. We used the juice of the watermelon in place of water.

Drizzle dressing over mixed fruit salad to coat.

Use the remaining mint leaves to garnish the salad.

Melon Berry Fruit Salad with a Mint-Lime Dressing

 

 

Cover and chill for 1 to 2 hours before serving.

Before serving gently mix the fruit again to coat with any juice and dressing that may have gathered at the bottom of the bowl.

 

 

 

 

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Chicken Avocado and Watercress Salad

Chicken Avocado and Watercress SaladUpland cress is high in phytonutrients, such as iodine, iron and phosphorus, as well as antioxidant vitamin A and C. It also has 14.76 mg of lutein per four (4) ounces, which is great for eye sight.

Upland cress has a peppery flavor much like arugula, and will add zing to your favorite sandwich or salad recipes. It is also reported that Cress soup can cleanse the blood in the Spring after a long cold winter. Cress is often recommended in cholesterol lowering and weight reduction programs, making it an alternative medicine.

Collage of Chicken Avocado and Watercress SaladOur featured recipe has a wonderful vinaigrette, Sweet Onion and Apple Vinaigrette.

To start you will need the following:

Sweet Onion and Apple Vinaigrette

½ cup rice vinegar

1 tbsp. grated sweet onion

¼ cup peeled and finely Gala apple

4 tsp. soy sauce

1 tsp. sugar

3 tbsp. avocado oil

When grating the onions and apples use the small holes of the grater.

Mix all ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.

Next wash 4 cups of Upland cress and set aside.

Dice up 1 mango into 1-inch chunks, or optional to use packaged thawed mango chunks, about 1 cup. Next peel and pit one firm, but ripe avocado, and slice.

Shred 1 1/2 cups of chicken meat or cut off in chunks from a fresh made rotisserie chicken.

Arrange cress onto plate, and top with mango chunks, meat, and avocado slices. Next pour or spoon on the vinaigrette.

Chicken Avocado and Watercress Salad - close-upServe and enjoy this dense nutrient salad.

Take Note

According to Power Your Diet, cress contains under 1/2 mgs of oxalic acid per 100 grams of leaves. Oxalic acid occurs naturally in some vegetables, which can crystallize as oxalate stones in the urinary tract in some people. If you know that you have oxalate urinary tract stones it is advisable to avoid eating vegetables belong to the Brassica family.

Being a Brassica family vegetable, cress may also contain goitrogens, which may interfere with thyroid hormone production and can cause thyroxin hormone deficiency in individuals with thyroid dysfunction.

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Homemade Guacamole and Mexican Salsa

Homemade Guacamole and Mexican Salsa

Norma has joined us again here at Splendid Recipes and More (SRandM) to share more with us about the Tastes of Mexico (link here for previous post with Norma: Mexican vs. Tex-Mex: What is the Difference? ).

SRandM: So Norma, welcome again to Splendid Recipes and More.

Norma: Thank you. I am glad to be here again.

SRandM: I am really excited to get started, so tell us what you have for us today from Mexico.

Norma: I will be sharing a recipe on how to make Homemade Guacamole and Mexican Salsa.

First I would like to tell you a little about the avocado, if I can?

SRandM: Sure Norma, I would like to know and I am sure our readers would too.

Norma: The avocado tree is native to Mexico. The avocado is a tree native to Mexico and Central America. The avocados that are sold in the markets are from California, but also from Mexico. The name of the fruit is Persea Americana, and yes the avocado is a fruit, not a vegetable.

Also the avocado oil that is now being sold at the markets in the U.S. is from Mexico as well.

OK, so let’s get with the recipe. Here is what you will need.

2 ripe Haas Avocados or Avocados from Mexico

1 medium ripe fresh tomato, seeded and diced

1 large garlic clove, finely minced

Juice from a fresh Lime

1 tablespoon (+ extra for garnish) fresh cilantro leaves only, and stems removed and finely chopped

Salt and pepper, to taste

So with a sharp knife, slice the avocado from top to bottom, cutting all the way around the fruit.  Place the avocado in the palm of your non-dominant hand and gently starting at the top slice down to the bottom of the fruit and up the other side until it easily separates into two pieces.

SRandM: If you don’t mind Norma here is an image I got from theamazingavocado.com.

Norma: No, please share it. Yes, as the image is illustrating remove the seed with a fork or spoon. Or as I do just whack the seed with the sharp knife your using so the blade sticks into it. Then gently turn the knife until the seed pops out.

How to cut an Avocado

Image Credit: Avocados from Mexico http://www.theamazingavocado.com

diced avocadoNow to dice the avocado, score the flesh while still in its skin but cutting equally sized slices from top to bottom. Then, rotate 90 degrees and do the same thing going side to side. This combination of horizontal and vertical cuts will give you equal sized chunks of diced avocado.

To remove the diced fruit from the skin, take yourself a spoon and gently scrape all on the bottom of the flesh where it meets the skin until all your diced chunks are removed. While you are removing the chunks place them in a medium bowl.

Next we will add the diced tomato, minced garlic, lime juice and fresh cilantro to the bowl and combine with a fork. If you want season with salt, pepper and additional lime juice to your liking.

Now you have Homemade Guacamole to serve with your favorite Mexican entrée or on its own with corn tortilla chips.Homemade Guacamole

SRandM: Wow this looks great Norma, now what about my favorite, Mexican Salsa. Yummy.

Norma: The traditional Mexican Salsa is made with an authentic Mexican Molcajete Mortar and Pestle.

SRandM: The molcajete is made from stone?

Norma: Yes, mostly from Granite. But I am sure most of your readers do not own one, so we will be using a food processor or blender to make our Mexican Salsa.

SRandM: If someone wanted to purchase one, where could they get a stone mortar?

Norma: Will at your local Latina Market or on-line at Ebay or Amazon. OK here is what you will need for the salsa. Oh, first I would like to say the best time to make this recipe is at the height of summer when there are plenty of fresh tomatoes available. If you have your own vegetable garden, that’s even better.

fresh ingredients for Mexican Salsa4 medium ripe tomatoes, cored and seeded

2 – 3 cloves garlic, peeled

Juice from 1 fresh lime (about ¼ cup)

1 – 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro stems removed and finely chopped

Salt and pepper, to taste

 

SRandM: Wow I can already taste it.

Norma: OK hold on we’re not done yet. Now cut the tomatoes into quarters and place them into a blender or food processor.  Next add the garlic cloves and half the lime juice. Pulse until the ingredients are thoroughly combined.

Dice the remaining tomato into evenly sized small pieces. Stir into the tomato mixture so it creates a chunkier texture. If that is something you don’t like, don’t add the extra tomato. Next stir in 1 to 2 tablespoons of fresh cilantro and you can adjust this according to your personal preference or taste.

Mexican SalsaAdd the remaining lime juice and season with salt and pepper, to your taste.

SRandM: What if you want a spicy or hot salsa?

Norma: You can add one to two Serrano chilies without the seeds and stem, along with the tomatoes before pulsing. Now serve with your favorite Mexican entrée or by itself with tortilla chips.

SRandM: Wow this was great Norma. What will you share with us next time?

Norma: How about Chicken Quesadillas to go with the Guacamole and Mexican Salsa?

SRandM: That sounds good, looking forward to it Norma. So to our readers we hope you enjoy the recipes Norma shared with us, Homemade Guacamole and Mexican Salsa. Return tomorrow for her Chicken Quesadillas.

 Link to: Chicken Quesadillas

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Baked Spinach Stuffed Tilapia

Baked Spinach Stuffed Tilapia

Tilapia are mainly freshwater fish found in shallow streams, ponds, rivers and lakes. Tilapia were one of the three main types of fish caught in Biblical times from the Sea of Galilee.

Tilapia have very low levels of mercury,as they are fast-growing, lean and short-lived, with a primarily vegetarian diet, so do not accumulate mercury found in prey. Tilapia are low in saturated fat, calories, carbohydrates and sodium, and are a good protein source. They also contain vitamin B-12 and trace minerals such as phosphorus, niacin, selenium, and potassium.

Black pepper adds more than just flavor, it is also good for digestion. Spinach is a cruciferous vegetable, and 4 servings a week of this class of vegetable helps ward off cancer causing cells.

As a side note, this recipe is great nutritional support for those who suffer with Schizophrenia (Read More Here: Nutritional Hope for Schizophrenic Patients).

Here is what you will need for our featured recipe:

8 oz. spinach leaves, trimmed

4 oz. Feta cheese

1 ½ lbs.Tilapia fillets, cut 6 ways

½ tsp. salt

½ tsp. black pepper

6 tbsp. butter, melted

Heat oven to 400 degrees

Cook spinach in large saucepan on low heat until just wilted. Drain and cool. Squeeze excess liquid from spinach; chop finely. Combine spinach and feta in medium bowl.

Cut lengthwise pocket down 1 side of each cut Tilapia, being careful not to cut through. Pack 1/3 cup spinach mixture into each pocket. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Baked Spinach Stuffed TilapiaBake in heated oven for 12 to 15 minutes or until done. Plate and serve with your favorite side dish, such as we have here with a Bacon Cornbread or Baked Parmesan Potato.

Source of information about Tilapia: Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia

 

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