When I think of the Mediterranean, my first thoughts are of the deep blue crystal clear waters and the fresh approach to 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 Brussels Sprouts.
Did you know that Brussels sprouts are packed full of vitamin C and calcium, as well as several anti-tumoral compounds? In addition, these veggies can naturally speed up the detoxification processes in our bodies! 🤩
Unfortunately, not everyone likes their strong flavor. But don’t worry! I’ve come up with a quick and delicious recipe for you: my Mediterranean Brussels Sprouts. 🥦. A scrumptious but wholesome side dish, made with very simple and easily available ingredients. Even your kids will love them! All you need are a couple of veggies (here I used red bell pepper and onion), some herbs and spices, and a block of good Greek feta cheese. (This can be swapped with some plant-based feta).
I love pairing them with a portion of complex carbohydrates, which help me feel energized and fuller for longer, such as some brown wild rice or quinoa. When I feel more ravenous, I also add a source of lean proteins. Among my favorites are tuna, tempeh, or tofu!
Head down below for more meal suggestions, and some useful information about the ingredients used in the preparation of these Mediterranean Brussels Sprouts!
Ingredient Selection Tips
Ideally, try to find locally grown, organic Brussels sprouts, red bell pepper, garlic, and onions. Red bell pepper is especially important to buy organic, as it is on the Dirty Dozen list. Brussels sprouts and onions have fewer harmful pesticides, so you can consider buying them conventionally.
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, Brussels 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, and sprouts improve bone health. Containing plenty of vitamin C, which maintains vision, and skin health. Finally, Brussels sprouts are rich in glucosinolates, sulfur, and antioxidants. Each of these components can help jumpstart your liver’s natural detoxification processes!
Red Bell Pepper
Bell peppers come in various colors, red, yellow, and green, and are very low in calories, and very rich in vitamin C, and other antioxidants. This powerful vegetable prevents anemia, and inflammation, and promotes eye health. They also contain vitamin A, B6, and 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 on 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 contain a negligible amount of protein. Feta has about 4g per serving of protein but has more calories from fat, so it is considered fat for the balanced plate. You will need to supplement with a protein source 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!
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 vegan feta cheese.
Omit the cheese altogether, or swap for nutritional yeast flakes for a “cheesy” flavor.
Mediterranean Brussels 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 whole Lemon juiced, or 2 tbsp juice
- 1/2 tsp Red pepper flakes
- 1/4 tsp Thyme
- 1 tsp Oregano
- 1 tsp Basil
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Combine all the prepped ingredients -except for the feta- in a shallow roasting pan. Stir to combine and coat everything with the olive oil.
- Place on the center rack and cook until the Brussels sprouts are easy to pierce with a fork – it should take about 25 minutes.
- Remove the Brussels sprout from the oven and top them with the crumbled feta (or plant-based cheese / nutritional yeast)
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