Rosemary roasted Brussels sprouts with apples

I am sure you have been hard at work on those 5 Simple Steps to Launch Your Weight Loss I gave you last week. Here’s what I love about the list. It gives you 5 calls to action, 5 positive ways to move forward, and it does not tell you what not to do. Who the heck wants to be told what not to do? If you spend this year focusing on positive action there won’t be any room for those things you aren’t supposed to be doing.

I’ve brainstormed a few positive catch phrases you can keep handy. “In 2013 I am…

• becoming a more active person.

• discovering new foods all the time.

• learning how to be a creative cook.

• making progress toward my health goals.

• saying “no thank you” to impulsive treats because I plan better ones for later.

Look at all those awesome things you are already accomplishing! Next pick something specific to put all those phrases into action. This recipe for instance…

Walk to the grocery store (or park in the far corner of the parking lot) and pick out a heap of Brussels sprouts, a couple of apples, and anything else you may not already have on hand to make this recipe. Now you can roll up your sleeves and get busy creatively cooking your way to your health goals.

Before we get into the recipe, I want to introduce you to what may be a new ingredient, Hemp Seeds. They were new for me. With the help of my nutritionist I have been seeking more ways to add protein to my diet. I already enjoy egg whites, and lean animal protein but they don’t always fit into a recipe. I often think of sprinkling a few nuts into a recipe as a way to add vegetarian protein. They taste great but the calorie to protein ratio is a bit steep. My nutritionist recommended giving hemp seeds a try.

Look for hulled hemp seeds. These are the kernels of the seeds without the tough outer shell. They have a flavor reminiscent of mild pine nuts and a texture akin to sesame seeds. At 9 grams of protein per ounce, they bring a big punch of sustaining energy to any recipe. Hulled hemp seeds can be found in natural food stores, the health food section of your supermarket, or ordered from on-line retailers like nuts.com. If you can’t find hulled hemp seeds try this dish without, it will still be delish.

If you would like to see a full nutritional comparison of nuts and seeds, I made a chart: Printable Nutritional Comparison of Common Nuts &Seeds. You can also find this handy sheet in the Resources section.

Rosemary Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Apples

Brussels sprouts are funny little vegetables that for some reason have picked up a bad reputation. They are really just adorable tiny cabbages that can be eaten raw or cooked. Roasting them turns their layers into very satisfying, almost starchy feeling mouthfuls. The edges get nice and caramelized, and the insides are tender and oh-so-comforting when eaten warm. Paired with pungent rosemary and garlic, and sweet apple and orange these little morsels are a delight for the senses.

Yield: 4 – 6 servings

Ingredients

• 2 lbs Brussels sprouts

• 2 unpeeled fuji apples (approximately 3/4 lbs), chopped into 1 inch pieces

• 1 teaspoon minced rosemary

• 1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic cloves

• 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt

• 1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper

• 1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil

• 1 1/2 teaspoon orange zest

• 3 tablespoons hulled hemp seeds

Method

1. Trim brussels sprouts by removing the end of the stem and peeling away any discolored outer leaves.

2. Preheat oven to 425 F degrees

3. In a large bowl add brussels sprouts, chopped apples, rosemary, garlic, salt, pepper, and oil. Toss or stir well so the brussels sprouts and apples are well coated by the other ingredients.

4. Turn out onto a rimmed baking sheet and roast in the preheated oven for 10 minutes.

5. While the sprouts are roasting, combine the hemp seeds and orange zest in a small dish.

6. After 10 minutes, remove the sprouts and apples from the oven. Sprinkle the hemp and orange mixture over the sprouts and apples. Stir well to coat the sprouts and make sure to scrape up any caramelized bits. Replace in the oven and bake an additional 5 to 10 minutes. The sprouts are cooked when a fork slides in and out of the largest ones with little or no resistance.

Bonus: Make this a meal by topping each serving of sprouts and apples with 1 or 2 poached eggs!

Per 1/6 serving: calories 162, fat 6.4 g, carbohydrates 23 g, fiber 6.5 g., protein 6.7 g., PP 4

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