I hope you all had a wonderful day!
As you all know, I whipped up a HECK of a BRUSSELS SPROUTS RECIPE this morning & then, low & behold, I had to think up a way to put ‘em to good use, A.K.A. a way for me to DEVOUR THEM IN A BEAUTIFULLY GREEN PROTEIN-PACKED SALAD (P.S. when I say “a way to put ‘em to good use”, I totally mean a way to put WHATEVER WAS LEFT AFTER I DEVOURED THE BAKING SHEET IMMEDIATELY AFTER THEY WERE FRESH OUT ‘DA OVEN).
And this, my loves, is the result!!!! Not bad, right?
OKAY, so, of course, knowing me, I am sure you could assume that the salad did not simply contain GREENS & THE BRUSSELS. Like come on.
Number one, I am obsessed with massive salads packed with rainbows of veggies, proteins & dried fruit and/or nuts AND therefore, GREENS AND BRUSSELS ALONE SIMPLY WOULD NOT CUT IT FOR ME!
MORE IMPORTANTLY, number two, I AM IN RECOVERY FROM ANOREXIA! A girl in recovery’s gotta eat
A BIT MORE (A LOT MORE) than just greens & Brussels, and so, without further ado, LET ME TEASE THE EFF OUTTA YOU WITH THE INGREDIENTS!
Maple Balsamic Roasted Brussels Sprouts!
White Flaked Tuna!
Organic Unsweetened Dried Cranberries!
FRESH PARSLEY FOR DAYS!
OHHHHH & OF COURSE, MY ORANGE-Y CITRUS-Y HOMEMADE DRESSING! Yep, the one I whisked up yesterday.
That’s it. That’s all.
THERE YOU HAVE IT – A GORGEOUS-AF TUNA & BRUSSELS SALAD PACKING A WHOLE FREAKING 28 GRAMS OF PROTEIN & 23 GRAMS OF FIBRE. I think it’s safe to say I killed it, you?
Ladies & gents, this is my Spinach, Arugula & Maple Balsamic Roasted Brussels Sprouts Tuna Salad Tossed in an Orange-y Citrus-y Dressing a.k.a. That-Beautifully-Green-Protein-Packed-Salad-With-Just-The-Right-Amount-Of-Tartiness-That-Will-Have-You-Begging-For-More!
AND NOW, before we get to the nitty-gritty of this baby, I just want to talk to you munchkins about MAPLE SYRUP for a sec, or two, or three. OR LIKE TEN MINUTES. WHATEVER!
So lately, I’ve been using maple syrup in a lot of my recipes & people have been asking me why I incorporate it so often if it’s FULL OF SUGAR. Of course, most people already consume PLENTY OF SUGAR – likely even way more than they actually need & should be consuming. THAT BEING SAID, MAPLE SYRUP IS ACTUALLY ONE OF THE SWEETENERS WE SHOULD BE USING (Of course, in small amounts) & is a good alternative to cane sugar when used in moderation.
Similar to the difference between whole & refined grains, UNREFINED NATURAL SWEETENERS, LIKE MAPLE SYRUP, contain higher levels of beneficial nutrients, antioxidants & phytochemicals than white table sugar or high fructose corn syrup! THIS IS WHY, WHEN USED IN APPROPRIATE AMOUNTS (a.k.a. DO NOT POUR THE BOTTLE INTO YOUR RECIPE), maple syrup can actually offer tons of nutritional benefits, all while BEING FREAKING DELISH!
What benefits, you ask?
Compared to refined cane sugar that offers ZERO, YEP, ZILCH, NUTRIENTS, maple syrup actually contains some essential antioxidants & minerals, such as zinc, potassium, calcium & manganese! And research has shown that pure maple syrup actually contains up to 24 different antioxidants, which as you all know, are beneficial for reducing free radical damage that can cause inflammation & lead to cancer & other diseases. (P.S. It’s always best to go for the darker grade maple syrups whenever possible because they will contain more antioxidants than lighter syrups!).
Maple syrup is derived from the sap of maple trees, unlike REFINED SUGAR, which undergoes a long, complex process in order to be condensed into a crystallized sugar. THEREFORE, MAPLE SYRUP IS MORE NATURAL & UNREFINED.
ALSO, because maple syrup supplies inflammation-reducing polyphenol antioxidants, it can help fight inflammatory diseases!
Maple syrup will impact the blood sugar less drastically than table sugars (This is because the glycemic index score of maple syrup is 54, while that of cane sugar is 65). This does not mean you can drink from the bottle of maple syrup – although it is unrefined, it is still sugar! SO PLEASE, EVERYTHING IN MODERATION. OKAY MY LOVES?
MAPLE SYRUP = FREE SKINCARE. No, just kidding! But, similar to raw honey, maple syrup can help reduce skin inflammation, redness, blemishes & dryness!!
As some of you may know, consuming high levels of REFINED SUGAR can actually contribute to candida, IBS, leaky gut syndrome & other digestive issues. Most artificial sweeteners will do the same & also cause issues such as indigestion, gas, bloating etc. (TMI!!!!!!). Using maple syrup as your primary sweetener will help keep your digestive tract healthy & free from chemicals.
MAPLE SYRUP IS A WAY HEALTHIER ALTERNATIVE TO ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS. Yes, I know, your packet of Stevia or Splenda or whatever other artificial sweetener is calorie-free, BUT, ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS HAVE BEEN TIED TO NUMEROUS HEALTH ISSUES, such as, weight gain, fatigue, anxiety, depression, short term memory loss & learning disabilities!!!! WHAT! DEFINITELY NOT WORTH THE ZERO CALORIES, AFTER ALL… NOW, IS IT? MAPLE SYRUP FTW!
AND SO THESE, my love, ARE THE REASONS WHY I LATHERED & SMOTHERED & DRENCHED MY ROASTED BRUSSELS IN MAPLE SYRUP THIS MORNING. & I AIN’T EVEN MAD BRO! All this to say, DO YOURSELVES A FAVOUR & A HALF & DON’T SWAP THE MAPLE SYRUP FOR ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS! The extra calories in the maple syrup won’t affect your weight, I promise & LOOK AT ALL THE BENEFITS YOU’LL BE REAPING!
Okay, now let’s get to the nitty-gritty!
My loves, YOU WILL NEED:
- 100g of arugula;
- 50g of spinach;
- 120g of my Maple Balsamic Brussels Sprouts (RECIPE HERE), CHOPPED;
- 60g of cherry tomatoes, HALVED OR QUARTERED;
- 100g of cauliflower florets, STEMS CHOPPED;
- 1 small white onion, CHOPPED;
- 1 can of white flaked tuna in water, DRAINED;
- ¼ cup of unsweetened organic dried cranberries;
- LOADS OF FRESH PARSLEY LEAVES!
- ¼ cup of my Orange Citrus Dressing (RECIPE HERE);
- OPTIONAL: Shredded mozzarella, cheddar, Parm or nutritional yeast for serving!
NOW, for that… HOW-TO?
EASY AS 1-2-3. No joke!
- OKAY, first & foremost, if you haven’t already whipped up them Brussels, do so first! This will allow you to prep all the other beautiful ingredients while these babes are roasting (Not to mention, while the delicious smell in your kitch is driving you all kinds of cray-cray!). MULTITASKING, FTW!!!!
- P.S. If you are whipping up the Brussels especially for this recipe, make sure you let the babes cool before adding them to the bowl of the rest of your veggies, UNLESS YOU WANT TO EAT A WILTED & SOGGY SALAD, but that doesn’t float my boat – don’t know about yours!
- IF YOUR BRUSSELS ARE ALREADY READY, YOUR LIFE JUST BECAME EVEN EASIER (& you just got EVEN LAZIER). Basically, what I mean is now all you have left to do is combine the arugula, spinach, Brussels, cherry tomatoes, cauliflower, onion, cranberries & parsley in a large mixing bowl!
- Once all your gorg veggies are beautifully assembled in your mixing bowl, pour, smother & lather them in the orange citrusy dressing & MIX THE EFF OUT OF THIS BEAUTIFUL MIXTURE until all the veggies, tuna & cranberries are EVENLY COATED (& NOBODY IS JELLY OF THE OTHER!).
- SERVE THE BABE STAT! Drizzle her with some freshly ground black pepper & some dried parsley flakes. OH & if you wish, TOP HER WITH SOME CHEEEEEESE &/or nutritional yeast!
OH & FOOD PORN!!!
ENJOY BABES! <3 xoxo!