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Thursday, January 16, 2014

Maple and Sesame Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Tofu

Because I need to start eating healthier!

The first of the year brings so many changes.  Back to school with a new schedule, juggling homework and work-work, those bothersome resolutions lingering in the back of my mind.  Now, to be honest, I didn't officially make any New Year's resolutions, but a new year encourages a new start.  For me, that's to get back into a regular exercise routine, and to eat more greens!!!

You would think that, as a vegetarian, I eat plenty of veggies.  And I do.  But sometimes it's in the form of a can of soup or a frozen dinner, because I've been too busy to prepare real food.  But I can do better than that!  And I'm getting a little fluffy around the middle, so the time has come to make a conscious effort to make food that heals, not just comforts (sorry, hot tempeh sandwiches, your time is over).

This week's edition of "Way Healthier Food" features Brussels sprouts.  I realize that not everyone loves B-sprouts, but they're just so good for you!  Cruciferous veggies have anti-cancer properties, among all the other amazing nutritional content.  And when you roast them, they sweeten a little, getting rid of that pesky bitter flavor they may have otherwise.  I used maple syrup in the sauce to add to the sweetness, sesame seed oil to enhance the umami flavor, and red pepper flakes for some pizazz.  And it was pretty fantastic.  Even the (supposed)  B-sprout hating roomie and the first-time B-sprout eating boyfriend were in love.  This is a keeper.

1 large sweet onion, diced
1 cup sliced carrots
6 cloves garlic, peeled and quartered
1 lb Brussels sprouts, ends trimmed and cut in half
 Salt and pepper
14 oz firm tofu, water pressed out, and cut into cubes
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1 Tbsp sesame seed oil
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp molasses
1/2 Tbsp brown sugar
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (less, if you don't want as much of a kick)

Pre-heat oven to 375.  Spray a 9x13 baking dish or casserole dish with cooking spray.  Toss in all of the chopped veggies.  Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper.  Throw in the tofu.  In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the syrup, sesame oil, vinegar, molasses, brown sugar, and red pepper flakes until well combined.  Pour the sauce over the veggies and stir until all veggies and tofu are covered.  Bake for 35 minutes, stirring every 10-15 minutes or so.  It's done when the B-sprouts and carrots are soft, but not mushy.

 We need more light in this apartment, you think?

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