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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Thai Chicken Stir-Fry with Holy Basil

Thai Chicken Stir fry with Holy Basil

Illness and conditions Holy Basil helps withHoly basil or Tulsi has medicinal properties. The leaves are used in Thailand for sharpen memory.

The leaves of holy basil are used during the rainy season, when malaria and dengue fever are widely prevalent.

The tender leaves are boiled with black tea, to use as a preventive against theses diseases.

A tea is also made from the leaves, and raw honey is added with fresh ginger as an effective remedy for bronchitis, asthma, influenza, cough and cold.

These little green leaves can also reduce blood cholesterol. Holy basil is also used as an anti-stress remedy.

Recent studies have shown that chewing 12 leaves of holy basil basil, twice a day, can help to fight stress.

Now for our featured recipe: Thai Chicken Stir-Fry with Holy Basil

avocado oil for Asian cooking - Thai Chicken with Holy Basil

Healthy Cooking to 500 Degrees

Cook 1 cup of your favorite rice according to package instructions (use chicken broth in place of water, provides more flavor for the dish).

2 tbsp. avocado oil

2 garlic cloves, crushed

8 ounces chicken breast, boneless and shredded into medium pieces

1 tbsp. red chili flakes

Red chili is a great source of beta-carotene, which is converted to vitamin-A to sponge cell damaging free radicals. The chili also helps reduce Red Chili Flakesinflammation and reduces blood clotting.

2 handfuls of holy basil

2 tbsp. fish sauce

1 tbsp. raw sugar

2 tbsp. chicken stock

Heat a wok (or similar pan) over medium heat. Add oil and garlic, stir-fry for a few seconds or until you smell the aroma of the garlic.

Turn up the heat to medium-high. Next add the chicken, chilli flakes, half of the basil, and stir-fry for 1 minute. Now add the fish sauce, raw sugar, and stock. Mix in well. Stir-fry until chicken is oblique.

Turn the heat to low, and add the rest of the basil. Stir-fry the contents of the wok or pan 30 seconds to 1 minute.

Plate some rice and spoon on top some Stir-Fried Chicken with Holy Basil and enjoy.

 

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Coconut and Butternut Squash Soup

Coconut-and-Butternut-Squash-SoupButternut squash is a summer and winter squash, and has an orange flesh that is sweet and  tastes a little like sweet potatoes. Like all squash, butternut squash is a warm weather crop and needs a long, hot summer.

There are several varieties of butternut squash. The first ones to harvest are the Early Butternut, Ponca and Supreme. The Ultra bears fruit with the most weight, between 6 and 10 pounds. The Zenith variety has attractive fruit and high yields.

There are several different ways to make soup with butternut squash, including the variety of spices and herbs used. Such as garlic, parsley, sage, cinnamon, nutmeg, thyme, chives, including kale leaves, leeks, and jalapeno chilies.

Storing Butternut Squash

Butternut squash can store for longer periods of time than their summer squash counter parts. Why? Because their skin is hard and thick. After purchasing it, you can store it at least a month in a dry, cool place. If the squash has been cut into pieces, place into a glass or food grade ceramic bowl, place lid and refrigerate up to 5 days.

The Benefits of Butternut Squash

One cup of mashed squash contains 80 calories, 2 grams of protein, 1 gram of fat, 18 grams of carbohydrates, with the B-complex group of vitamins folate, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine), thiamin, and pantothenic acid. It also contains vitamins A and C and the minerals iron, zinc, copper, calcium, potassium, and phosphorus.

There is a correlation between eating foods high in the carotenoid beta-cryptoxanthin like butternut squash, and a reduced rick of lung cancer.

Folate can protect against birth defects, and also helps to prevent a heart attack by working against elements that break down blood vessel structures in the body. Folate intake has shown to reduce the risk of colon cancer.

Options To Prepare Butternut Squash

There are several ways to prepare butternut squash. Our favorite ways to prepare it, and still contain the highest nutritional value are:

  1. Stir-Fry: tender when pierced
  2. Bake: 400 degrees, uncovered 30 – 40 minutes
  3. Steam: Cube and steam for 6 – 8 minutes
  4. Roast: 400 degrees for 30 – 45 minutes

We advise against boiling the squash or microwaving it. With both methods, you will lose its nutritional value.

Now for our featured recipe: Coconut and Butternut Squash Soup, and here is what you will need.

Ingredients for Coconut and Butternut Sqaush  soup

3 tbsp. olive oil

1/2 small onion, diced

1 garlic clove, minced

4 cups chicken broth, divided

1-15 oz. can unsweetened coconut milk

1 stalk celery, diced

1-15 oz. can pumpkin puree

½ butternut squash (about 2 ½ cups) peeled, discard seeds and sliced up

1 tsp. Fresh ginger, finely chopped

1 tsp. salt (optional)

roasting butternut sqaush while baking biscutsBake butternut squash, 30 minutes or until tender. Let cool.

pureeing butternut squash with chicken brothIn a food processor place 1 cup chicken broth and the baked butternut squash. Puree until creamy, and set aside.

sauteing onions and garlic in olive oilPlace a medium stock pot over medium heat, and add 2 cups of chicken stock. Do not bring to a boil, just allow to heat. In a large skillet over medium heat, when pan is heated add 3 tbsp. olive oil, and add chopped onions, minced garlic,  and sauté, but do not brown or carmelize. Just allow to cook and the two sock up or retain olive oil flavor.

adding diced celery to soupPour sauted onion mix with olive oil into stock pot that contains the warmed chicken broth. Take the last cup of chicken broth, and with one hand pour into frying pan while holding it by the handle with other hand, and swirl frying pan gently, and add to stock pot. Next add coconut milk to broth and stir until incorporated. Then add the diced celery to broth and stir.

spooning in butternut sqaush to soupSpoon in pumpkin and butternut squashes, mix till well incorporated. Next add ginger and stir in. If desired, add salt. Allow to simmer on low for about 15 to 20 minutes.

Coconut-and-Butternut-Squash-SoupServed garnish with a dollop of sour cream, chives and shredded coconut.

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Shrimp and Snap Pea Stir-Fry

Shrimp and Snap Pea Str-Fry

Prepare a meal in a snap with this super fresh stir-fry. Stir-frying is one of the fastest ways to prepare dinner. Small cuts of food or bite sized foods cook up in no time when tossed into a hot pan.

We even went a step further with this stir-fry, we topped it with lemon zest and shavings of fresh ginger root. Ginger is great for digestion, reduces pain and inflammation, and wards off some cancers.

If you are increasing your omega-3 in your diet, shrimp is a great choice with .29 grams per a 3 ounce serving.

Our featured recipe is – Shrimp and Snap Pea Stir-Fry – and here is what you will need.

2-4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 cups sugar snap peas, trimmed

1 can of sliced water chestnuts, drain

12-16 ounces large shrimp, cooked

1/4 cup garlic and green onion teriyaki sauce (your favorite brand; we use Kikkoman)

2 cups cooked wild rice and red barely

1 cup organic chicken broth

cooking rise

Pour 1 cup of water and 1 cup of organic chicken broth into a medium sauce pan, add rice and bring to a boil on high heat.

Once boiling lower heat to low to simmer for 45 minutes. What we do so the rise will not be soggy after cooking it, is place a dry clean towel over mouth of pot and place the lid over the towel. As the water evaporates and rises to the lid water forms again only to fall back over the cooking rice.

With the towel in place, it will hold the vapor not allowing it to fall back over the rice. The rice is always 100% guaranteed  to be fluffy.

When rice is done remove towel, fluff with a fork and set aside.

washing snap peas

 

Meantime, wash and trim the Snap Peas and set aside. Next, open the can of water chestnuts, drain off  liquid and set aside.

preparing and stir-frying Shrimp and Snap Pea Stir-Fry

Next place a large frying pan or a wok if you have one over high heat, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. When heated add 1/8 cup of the stir fry sauce. Place peas and chestnuts into pan and stir-fry until snap peas turn a bright green in color. Place into a medium bowel and set aside.

Using the same pan, add the shrimp and remaining 1/8 cup of stir-fry sauce. Stir-fry until shrimp is more oblique in color than orange. Add back the vegetables to shrimp and stir-fry 1 minute more. Remove from heat.

close up of Shrimp and Snap Pea Str-Fry

Spoon some rice on to a dinner plate, spoon some shrimp stir-fry over rice and serve. As we stated before hand, we topped the stir-fry with lemon zest and shavings of fresh ginger root. Enjoy the wonderful flavors of this splendid stir-fry.

 

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Simple and Easy Beef Stir-Fry with Coconut Milk

Easy-and-Simple-Beef-Stir-Fry-with-Coconut-Milk

This stir fry really is simple and easy. This is another Asian meal right out of our kitchen here at Splendid Recipes and More.

When it comes to food there are always health benefits, that is if you are eating the food in a healthy way. This recipe includes red pepper flacks, and if you have a problem with your appetite, that is wanting to eat to much and possibly putting on a few extra pounds, red pepper flakes can help.

Adding 1/2 teaspoons of red pepper flakes three times a day to what you eat, you can cut down your appetite by 30%. Of course if you cut out simple carbohydrates (refined carbs) from your diet as well, and add complex carbs (100% whole grains, including the fiber), you can also suppress your appetite another 30 to 40 percent. Complex carbohydrates digest slower, leveling your blood glucose not spiking it, and giving you energy for longer periods as well as a full feeling for 3 to 4 hours.

A great snack between meals is a piece of fruit. But don’t add the red pepper flakes to your fruit, just to your breakfast, lunch and dinner. Speaking of dinner here is our featured recipe and what you will need:

ingredients-for-Simple-and-Easy-Beef-Stir-Fry-with-Coconut-Milk

1 lb. beef, cut into thin strips for stir fry cut

1 tbsp. Ginger, minced

1 tbsp. Garlic, minced

1 Large Onion, sliced lengthwise

1 Green Pepper, sliced lengthwise

1 tbsp. Red chili flakes

1 tbsp. Curry powder

1 14 oz. can Coconut Milk

 

Heat some avocado oil in a wok or large pan, and fry the beef on both sides. Add the following 6 ingredients and stir-fry some more till the beef is thoroughly cooked.

Add coconut milk; simmer on low heat for 10 -15 minutes more. Plate and serve with a side of rice.

Easy-and-Simple-Beef-Stir-Fry-with-Coconut-Milk

 

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Pad Thai Noodles with Chicken

Pad-Thai-Noodles-with-ChickenAll Asian food is cooked with the intention of increasing the health benefits, such as its healing powers and medicinal value, as well as longevity.

Here’s an article we publish this year last March 2014, Amazing Ways Food is Used in Thai Cooking .

Of course every country that is part of the Asian world has their own way of cooking the food, but with the same outcome, its health benefits.

Today we present Pad Thai Noodles with Chicken. Of all the Asian foods, Thai is our favorite.

Here is what you will need:

ingredients-for-Pad-Thai-Noodles-with-Chicken8 oz. rice noodles, fresh or dried

2 tbsp. peanut oil

scallions, coarsely chopped

2 garlic gloves, minced fine

2 fresh red chilies, seeded and sliced

8 oz. chicken breast, trimmed and thinly sliced

Juice of 1 lime

2 tbsp. Thai fish sauce

2 eggs, beaten

1/3 cup fresh bean sprouts

¼ cup fresh chopped cilantro

1/3 cup chopped unsalted peanuts

Soak the noodles in a large pot of boiling water, covered for 10 minutes or cooked according to package instructions. When the noodles are done and tender, rinse noodles under cold running water. Set aside.place-rice-noodles-into-boiling-water-for-10-minutes.jpgAdd peanut oil to a wok (large frying pan, if you have no wok )over high heat. Once the peanut oil is heated add scallions, garlic and red chilies. Stir-fry for 1 to 2 minutes.heat-peanut-oil-and-add-vegetables-and-stir-fry-1-2-minutesNext add the chicken, lime juice, fish sauce and eggs. Stir-fry over medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes, or until eggs have set and pink is no longer in chicken or heated through.add-chicken-lime-juice-fish-sauce-and-eggs...stir-fry-2-3-minutesNext add the bean sprouts, most of the cilantro and the noodles and stir-fry for 30 seconds or until heated through and beans and cilantro are mixed in thoroughly.adding-bean-sprouts-and-cilantroTransfer to a serving platter and sprinkle with peanuts and remaining cilantro and serve right away with lime wedges if you wish.Pad-Thai-Noodles-with-Chicken

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