When I think of the Mediterranean, my first thoughts are of the deep blue crystal clear waters and the fresh approach of the cuisine. Located between Africa and Europe, the Mediterranean has always been a way for people from these two continents to exchange their rich heritage. So take a deep breath and dive into the scents and flavors of these Mediterranean Brussel Sprouts.
Ingredient Selection Tips
Ideally, try to find locally grown, organic brussel sprouts, red bell pepper, garlic, and onions. The red bell pepper is especially important to buy organic, as it is on the Dirty Dozen list. Brussel sprouts and onions have less harmful pesticides, so you can consider buying them conventional.
Olive Oil and Feta Cheese
Cold-pressed olive oil, extra virgin, unrefined is always a better solution. Feta with less fat is also a good choice. Try to find the original one from Greece (here’s why)!
Noteworthy Health Benefits
As a member of the Brassicaceae family, Brussel sprouts resemble small cabbages, and are related to cauliflower and kale. They are an excellent source of protein, many nutrients, and antioxidants. Providing a significant amount of vitamin K, sprouts improves bone health. Containing plenty of vitamin C, which maintains vision, and skin health.
Red Bell Pepper
Bell peppers come in various colors, red, yellow, green, and are very low in calories, very rich in vitamin C, and other antioxidants. This powerful vegetable prevents anemia, inflammation, and promotes eye health. They also contain vitamin A, B6, E, which supports the central nervous system and metabolism.
Made with milk from sheep and goats, this white, soft cheese is an excellent source of calcium and is very nutritious. Incorporating cheese like feta into your diet could help you achieve the recommended daily intake of calcium. Containing Lactobacillus Plantarum, feta can promote immune system and gut health. However, cheese contains high amounts of sodium, and one simple way to reduce salt content is to rinse the cheese before eating it.
Balanced Plate for Performance Goals
While any food can fit into your menu for performance goals, some recipes can contribute to a better strategized menu than others. Below you can see how this recipe can fit into your goal. If this recipe has unique benefits, it is best cut out for the goal(s) with a star next to it.
The chart below changes dynamically based off the goal you have selected.
|LEAN PROTEIN||HEALTHY FAT||HEALTHY CARBS||VEGGIES|
|1-2 palms||1-2 thumbs||1-2 cupped handfuls||1-2 fists|
However, everyone is different! Use the Precision nutrition calculator I use with my clients to calculate suggested macros custom for you. For more information on using this hand estimation system, click here.
For more info on types of foods for proteins, fats, carbs, and veggies, read my article Formula for the Perfect Healthy Meal. This article will also help you figure out what foods to eat more and less of.
Protein: Need to Supplement
In this recipe vegetables contains a negligible amount of protein. Feta has about 4g per serving of protein, but has more calories from fat, so it is considered a fat for the balanced plate. You will need to supplement with a protein to complete this meal. How about pairing this recipe with my Balsamic Asparagus and Mushrooms with Lemon & Thyme or Savory Neatloaf with Lentils, Chickpeas, Mushrooms, and Veggies?
Fat: Feta Cheese & Olive Oil
Extra virgin oil is a healthy fat found in this recipe containing beneficially fatty acids. Feta contains fat too, though more of the saturated fats that you should aim to consume in smaller amounts.
Carbs: Need to Supplement
While there are some carbs in the vegetables and cheese, there isn’t a predominant source of carbs in this recipe. You will need to supplement. This would be great to pair with my Bruschetta. Note: the bread in this Bruschetta recipe is refined, so you’ll want to find a whole wheat crostini or just reduce your intake of other refined carbs for the day. Another great suggestion, would be to make light mashed potatoes with my Magical Mushroom Gravy.
Veggies: Brussel Sprouts, Red Bell Peppers, Onions
There is an ample amount of vegetables in this recipe, as it is predominantly vegetables. YAY!
Additional Meal Tips for Weight Loss
The oil and feta in this recipe are calorically dense. I suggest reducing these ingredients per serving to the suggested amount for you, based on the balanced plate above.
Additional Meal Tips for Endurance
You’re going to need a heck of a lot more carbs! See suggestions for carbs you can add to your plate above.
Additional Meal Tips for Building Muscle
This recipe is lacking the protein that you need. See above for protein suggestions.
Additional Meal Tips for Improving Health
This is an amazing recipe for improving your health. Brussel sprouts are loaded with nutrients. For more info on their benefits, see Noteworthy Health Benefits above.
Diet Preference Tweaks
Vegan / Fully Plant-Based
This recipe is easy to adapt for vegan or fully plant-based diets. Just swap out the feta for a vegan feta cheese.
Omit the cheese altogether, or swap for nutritional yeast flakes for a “cheesy” flavor.
Mediterranean Brussel SproutsYum
- 1 lb Brussel sprouts stems removed and halved
- 1/2 Red bell pepper diced
- 1/4 Onion diced
- 3 Garlic cloves minced
- 3 tbsp Olive oil
- 1/2 cup Feta crumbled (vegan version would be great too!)
- 1/2 Lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp Red pepper flakes
- 1/4 tsp Thyme
- 1 tsp Oregano
- 1 tsp Basil
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Combine all prepped ingredients except feta in a shallow roasting pan. Stir to combine and coat everything with the olive oil.
- Place on center rack and cook until brussel sprouts are easy to pierce with a fork – about 25 minutes.