Sweet and Spicy Shaved Brussels Sprouts

sweet and spicy brussels sprouts

In my quick dash in and out of Trader Joe’s over the weekend, I picked up a 10 ounce bag of Shaved Brussels Sprouts. I’m a big fan of veggies that are already chopped and washed for me. I’ll admit I often wash them AGAIN but when in a hurry I just keep it moving.  I usually prepare whole Brussels Sprouts but use shaved in my salad mix. I thought I would sauté the shaved sprouts some way but wasn’t sure how.

When I arrived home I saw the simple recipe on the back of the package and the main ingredient for flavor was balsamic vinegar which I always use. I really didn’t have anything crazy imaginative in mind beyond what they described, I needed simple and fast.  Truth be told, I needed my dinner done before the US Open Men’s Final started at 4 pm.  Little did I know there would be a 3 hour rain delay!

sweet and spicy brussels sprouts 2.jpgI ended up using a dash of salt, onion powder, garlic powder, balsamic vinegar and the addition of Trader Joe’s sweet chili sauce. It’s a great condiment, and I use it on veggie hotdogs, hamburgers, vegetables and have also used it as a substitute for duck sauce.

So if you’re looking for a quick and easy side dish that is also low in calories, and very high in Vitamins C and K, give this a try.  This recipe also works well with green beans. Stop in your local  Trader Joe’s if you want no chopping and washing, pick up the few ingredients needed and this will be done in less than 15 minutes!

Sweet and Spicy Shaved Brussels Sprouts

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 10 minutes

Yield: 4


  • 1 pkg of 10 oz shaved Brussels Sprouts (I use the Trader Joe's brand and they always have it)
  • 2 tbl extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbl garlic powder
  • 1 tbl onion powder
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/8 cup sweet chili sauce


  1. Sautee the Brussels sprouts in olive oil on a medium heat for 2 minutes until it starts to wilt.
  2. Add garlic powder, onion powder and balsamic vinegar and stir for another 3 minutes.
  3. Turn to low heat for 5 minutes then add the sweet chili sauce.
  4. Remove from heat and let sit for 5 minutes before serving.

Quinoa Tabbouleh


Quinoa Tabboulleh

I got an email from my children’s school advising where to find their school supply list online along with other back to school information.  As much as I tried to deny it, the summer break is coming to an end. How is this possible? Where did the time go? I still have summer heavy on my mind. What’s great about DC is that it can reach the 80 degree mark in October and some pools are still open. One local pool that I go to has a fabulous brunch with several vegetarian options. One of the options is usually a traditional tabbouleh with bulgur but this past weekend they did it with quinoa. I liked the substitute.  Ironically they lessened the parsley which I don’t know if that technically makes it an entirely different dish because how can tabbouleh not have parsley?  With many more weeks of summer and the desire to eat nice cool salads,  I thought I should make tabbouleh and post a recipe.

There’s so many things that are great about tabbouleh.  I love the smell of fresh parsley and the lovely taste of the lemon and mint combined.  I was excited about trying it with quinoa.  Both bulgur and quinoa are great grains but quinoa has 50% more protein which I always need to seek extra of on a vegetarian diet.  Another thing I like about this dish is that it is easy to prepare.  Besides cooking the quinoa, everything else just gets chopped and when the quinoa is cooled just put all the ingredients together and mix well.  That’s it!

Traditional tabbouleh has way more parsley than it does grain.  Parsley is an amazing herb with almost every vitamin, lots of minerals and fiber.  Keep tabbouleh in mind at the salad bar  as an add-on ingredient to your salad.  It’s one of those items that adds great texture and flavor to salad, eliminating the need for dressing.

I hope you enjoy my take on tabbouleh.  I kept the spices light yet interesting, and used a higher ratio of lemon juice to olive oil.

Feed the wellness in you!


Quinoa Tabbouleh

Prep Time: 4 hours, 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 4 hours, 30 minutes

It is recommended to let the tabbouleh sit for 4 hours before serving hence the long total preparation time.


  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed well
  • 1 tsp Sea Salt
  • 1/2 c fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbl garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cucumber (if you you can find one, use a whole Persian cucumber), chopped
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 bunch chopped italian parsley (1.5 cups) washed and dried thoroughly
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh mint washed and dried thoroughly
  • 2 chopped scallions washed and dried thoroughly
  • 1/4 tsp Allspice
  • 1/4 tsp Powdered Ginger
  • 1/4 tsp Ground Cloves


  1. Cook a cup of quinoa according to the package directions. Let cool then put in a large bowl.
  2. Add all remaining ingredients and mix well.
  3. Let sit for 4 -6 hours or ideally overnight before serving.


Herbed Winter Vegetables

Herbed Winter Vegetables

The snow has melted, the sun is shining, we have temperatures above 50 degrees, and Spring arrives tomorrow!  Restaurant menus will change and provider lighter, vibrant, seasonal fare.  This is my last featured winter dish that provides warmth, comfort, and is savory on the taste buds.

A few weeks ago I went to a restaurant that featured Kohlrabi in an appetizer as I mentioned in my post about Kohlrabi being in season.  I wasn’t enthralled with the kohlrabi in the dish that I had – it didn’t have a distinct flavor of it’s own.  Nonetheless, I was intrigued by this purple creature so I rolled my sleeves up and got to work.

Let me be clear, the Kohlrabi is not the star of this dish.  I paired Kohlrabi with its sibling from the Brassica family, Brussels Sprouts, and it is the standout.  Both very dense vegetables, I started out sautéing the kohlrabi first because I was unfamiliar with its cooking preparation and wanted to make sure they were tender by the time I completed the dish.

 Kohlrabi sauteeing

I kept the seasoning flavors very light with using mild onions and mild herbs to contrast with my wet ingredient, balsamic vinegar.

Kohlrabi soaked up the flavors very well and it turned out as  a lovely side dish with wonderful flavors but in my opinion, the kohlrabi could never stand alone.  The Brassica family of vegetables is just great all around and I reminded myself that this combination was giving me lots of Vitamin C, phytochemicals that help protect you from cancer, and many other vitamins and minerals.

I bid farewell to the winter vegetables and look forward to spring fare!

Feed the wellness in you!


Winter Vegetables With Shallots

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Serving Size: 2-4


  • 1-12 oz bag Brussels sprouts
  • 2 Kohlrabi
  • 2 tbl olive oil
  • 1 large shallot
  • 1/8 c red pepper
  • 1/8 c parsley
  • 1/8 c scallion
  • 1/8 c celery
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tbl dill weed
  • 1/4 c balsamic vinegar


  1. Peel, wash and cut up your kohlrabi into small chunks.
  2. In a pan saute your shallots, celery and red peppers for 4-5 minutes on medium heat.
  3. Add the kohlrabi and saute for 5 minutes on medium heat then turn to low and cover for 10 minutes.
  4. Wash and chop your Brussels sprouts in halves.
  5. Add to the pan with Kohlrabi.
  6. Add the remaining ingredients and cook for 20 minutes on a medium heat. Do not cover.
  7. Stir periodically so it does not stick to the pan and all the ingredients are blended well.

In Season Wellness – Guava

Guava with a half isolated on whiteThe Guava fruit brings back many childhood memories for me,  spending time on the lovely island of St. Vincent.  With rich volcanic soil, fruits and vegetables are grown in abundance on that small agricultural island.  Guava is everywhere, literally falling off the trees. It is made into several things –  jelly,  cheese,  stew, pudding, juice, ice cream.  Low in calories, high in vitamin C and potassium, they can also be eaten plain.  What a joy it was to just walk along the beach and see Guavas in the sand that dropped from Guava trees.  We would just pick them up, go to the sea, wash it off and eat it.  That is organic food at its best!  You can eat the entire Guava from the outer skin, to the flesh and the seeds.

Guava has a higher concentration of lycopene—an antioxidant that fights prostate cancer and prevents skin damage from UV rays —than any other plant food, including tomatoes and watermelon. It contains more potassium than other fruits like banana weight per weight. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps controlling heart rate and blood pressure. Guava also contains vitamins like Vitamin E, K, niacin, folate, pantothenic acid, Vitamin B6 and minerals like copper, manganese and magnesium which are important for blood formation. Also due to high content of Vitamin C, guava increases body’s capacity to absorb iron. Lastly, Guava may also be the ultimate high-fiber food: There’s almost 9 grams of fiber in every cup.

Find Guava near you and dive in.

Feed the wellness in you!

In Season Wellness – Kohlrabi

Purple kohlrabies

Have you ever had Kohlrabi? Have you ever even HEARD of Kohlrabi?  A few weeks ago I encountered this curious vegetable.  I was presented with a lunch menu that had an appetizer of winter root vegetables, and Kohlrabi was one of the vegetables. I ordered it and although I wasn’t blown away with the chosen preparation, it didn’t deter me from learning more about Kohlrabi.

After a quick search I realized that I had seen Kohlrabi many times before and thought it was a turnip. It is also known as knol-khol or German turnip with its origins in Germany.  In the German language Kohlrabi means ‘cabbage turnip’, aptly named since it is in the cabbage family of Brassica.  The brassica family also includes broccoli, cauliflower, kale, collard greens and brussels sprouts. Vegetables in this family are very high in Vitamin C, phytochemicals that help protect you from cancer, and many other vitamins and minerals.

Very much like cabbage, Kohlrabi has two varietals – white and purple. The bulb has a thick outer layer and looks like a cabbage, but once you cut into it, it is dense like a turnip.

Kohlrabi chopped

You can eat the leafy greens on the stem as you would the fleshy part.  It can be eaten raw, grilled, stir-fried, in soup; apparently very versatile.

I will return with a recipe soon now that I have Kohlrabi washed and chopped – I plan to give Kohlrabi validation in my kitchen.

Feed the wellness in you!

Ackee and Bok Choy

Ackee and Bok Choy

It’s not scrambled eggs, tofu, nor potatoes – it is Ackee.

Although native to West Africa, Ackee is prominently known in Jamaican cuisine and is in their national dish, Ackee and Saltfish (Cod).  Prior to becoming a vegetarian I absolutely loved Ackee and Saltfish.  Whenever in Jamaica I made a point to have it for breakfast as much as I could and learned how to make it at home.  Despite my Caribbean heritage, this was not a dish made in my home growing up, but Codfish was and prepared several ways.  I grew up having it made into fritters simply known as Codfish fritters, as a hot dish known as Codfish Stew, and as a cold dish named Buljol.  All equally delicious to me.  I loved Codfish so much that when I became pregnant with my twins my first craving was for Codfish fritters and I had my mother make them and overnight them to me….regularly!

Now as a vegetarian and in my quest to prepare interesting dishes I have combined Ackee with vegetables.  Eating Ackee with vegetables is not foreign in Jamaica because Rastafarians eat ‘Ital’ which is organic, non-processed food from the earth.  This results in vegetarian and vegan meals, which includes Ackee as an ingredient.  “Ital is vital” summarizes the Rastafarian belief that pure food from the earth is the most physically and spiritually beneficial.

Ackee  is not easily available at standard grocery stores.  You may have to find a Caribbean store to purchase a can of it or if you live in a more diverse city you grocery store may have it or even Walmart .  Bok Choy is readily available and I love that this vegetable has some crunch to it when you add the stalk.  Both provide great nutritional benefits!  All the fat in Ackee is unsaturated fat which is a good  way to protect the health of your heart, according to MayoClinic.com  It also has fiber, Vitamin C, B, and Niacin.  Bok Choy is very low in calories and packed with Vitamins C, K, B, Fiber, Calcium and Iron.

Ackee and Bok Choy is delicious!  I had it with Rice and Beans, and plantain.

Ackee and Bok Choy1

You  can also have Ackee for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  How about that for versatility?

Feed the wellness in you!

Ackee and Bok Choy

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Serving Size: 4

Please find the nearest Caribbean market near you to find all of these items! Please note that if you're not familiar with the scotch bonnet pepper you may want to try half of one initially. It adds a good amount of heat but if you enjoy heat with slight sweetness, this pepper is for you.


  • 1 can of Ackee, drained
  • 2 bunches of Bok Choy
  • 1/2 cup green peppers, sliced
  • 1/2 cup red peppers, sliced
  • 1/4 cup scallions, chopped
  • 1/2 red onion, sliced
  • 1 tbl minced garlic
  • 1 scotch bonnet pepper, chopped
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbl All purpose seasoning with Adobo (No MSG)
  • 3-4 stems fresh thyme
  • 1 cup of grape tomatoes, chopped


  1. Wash the Bok Choy thoroughly, drain and chop.
  2. In a large pan, saute the green peppers, red peppers, scallions, onion, minced garlic, scotch bonnet pepper for 5 minutes.
  3. Add the bok choy and saute on low heat for 15 minutes.
  4. Add the scotch bonnet and onion powder and mix well.
  5. Add the Ackee, tomato paste, all purpose seasoning and fresh thyme.
  6. Cook on low heat for 10 minutes.
  7. Add your chopped tomatoes and turn off heat.
  8. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes then serve.

In Season Wellness – Papaya

In Season for your Wellness Papaya

Papaya is in season for your wellness from December through February. This is one of my favorite fruits eaten sliced with lots of lime.  They are very low in calories and is one of the fruits with the highest Vitamin C content.  It is also a wonderful source of Vitamins A, B, and potassium.

Try it ripe, use it in salsa or add to your smoothie.

Share your ideas.

For the wellness in you!