Mother’s day is right around the corner! Celebrate this year with these healthy, easy and time saving recipes so you can enjoy the company of family and friends. On the list for lunch is a Lemon and Mint Brussel Sprout Leaf Salad, Zucchini Noodles with Shrimp and Pesto, and a Strawberry Coconut Macaroon Tart.
Healthy Nutrition on Brussel Sprouts, Coconut and Zucchini
Brussel Sprouts are members of the Brassica family (cabbage and mustard plants). They grow in bunches of 20 to 40 on the stem of a plant that grows as high as three feet tall. They have an amazing ability to provide detox support. This is because there are compounds made from glucosinolates that can activate the enzyme systems in our cells that are required for detoxification of cancer-causing substances. They are a great source of plant protein, and are high in vitamin C and minerals. Be sure to chew them well as they are very fibrous. Coconut is a drupe, which is a fruit with a hard-stony covering that encloses the seed. Some of the key nutrients contained in coconut are lauric acid, iron, potassium, magnesium, and calcium. The potassium is an electrolyte that helps to facilitate cellular cleansing and is about twice as concentrated in coconut water then a banana.
The coconut meat is known for its moisturizing and nutrient-rich qualities that some cultures believe it has healing, youth-promoting qualities. They are a great source of dietary fiber, which can help regulate digestion. The medium chain fatty acids found in coconut are efficient in creating energy and boosting one’s metabolism. The fiber also has been found to slow down the conversion of carbohydrates into sugar, lowering blood sugar levels. Zucchini is also in the fruit family! It is extremely high in water and fiber, vitamins and minerals and is very low in calories. Most of the vitamins and minerals in zucchini are found in the skin. It also contains fiber which aids in digestive health and lowering cholesterol. They are a good source of vitamin A which is necessary for growth and development and for proper immune system function. It’s also a great source of vitamin C which functions as an antioxidant. It contains a great amount of potassium which is essential for the function of all organs, tissues, and cells in the body.
Lemon and Mint Brussel Sprout Leaf Salad (4 servings)
- 5 cups Brussel Sprouts leaves
- ¼ cup fresh mint leaves, chopped
- ½ cup peas, thawed
- Zest of 1 large lemon
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice, from 1 large lemon
- Salt and pepper
In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil and lemon juice until combined. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Using a small paring knife, remove the outer leaves from the Brussel Sprouts. Combine Brussel sprout leaves, mint, peas and zest in a large salad bowl. Leave the dressing on the side. Enjoy!
Zucchini Noodles with Shrimp and Pesto (4 servings)
- 1 pound of Zucchini, cut into long strands with a spiralizer
- ½-1 pound of shrimp
- 1 Tbsp coconut oil
- 2 Tbsp sun dried tomatoes
- 1 garlic clove, peeled
- 2 cups of fresh basil leaves
- ¼ cup pine nuts, walnuts or pecans
- Salt and pepper
- ½-3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice, freshly squeezed
Cook shrimp on medium low heat in a large skillet with coconut oil 3 minutes on each side. Add Zucchini noodles cook for an additional 1 to 2 minutes. Turn off heat off. Combine basil pesto ingredients in a food processor. Add just enough pesto to zucchini noodles and shrimp to coat completely. Garnish with the sun dried tomatoes. Serve and enjoy!
Strawberry Coconut Macaroon Tart [8 servings]
- Coconut oil, for greasing
- 2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
- ½ cup unbleached sugar
- 2 large egg whites
- 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
- ¼ tsp salt
- Parchment paper
- 1 package of the 365 Whole Foods instant vanilla pudding
- 2 cups almond milk
- 1-2 cups strawberries cut length-wise
- 2 Tbsp raspberry jam
- 1 tsp water
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9-inch tart pan with coconut oil then place a round piece of parchment paper to cover the bottom and sides. Add more coconut oil on top of parchment paper. Combine all the crust ingredients. Press into bottom and up sides of pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until sides of crust are lightly golden. Place on rack to cool. Once cooled remove parchment paper from tart and place on platter. While the tart is baking, add 2 cups of almond milk to the package of instant vanilla pudding. Whisk until thick. Cover and put in refrigerator until tart is done and cooled. Whisk again and add pudding to the crust and arrange strawberries around the tart. Place 2 Tbsp jam in a saucepan on low heat. Add the water and mix until liquid. Use a pastry brush to brush the jam on top of the strawberries. Serve and enjoy!