It’s that won-derful time of the year — the time where everything is jingly and bright and lit up. Okay, maybe I don’t have Christmas decorations in my house due to my cultural background, but I still love the red and green ornamentation of the holiday season. And I like it even better in my food.
Pomegranate, a fruit extremely high in vitamin C, vitamin B, and high in antioxidants, is also great for sprucing up all sorts of meals, and not just salads. It’s also very decorative and adds a great acidic “punch” to dishes that are heavily protein and vegetable oriented — the kind of stuff that I am eating a lot of now.
Want to know what to do with the jewel of fruit? Click on the “Read the rest of this entry” link below for more.
Here’s a totally vegan mushroom chili (sans the small amount of cheddar cheese we used as a garnish) that makes a great spicy lunch and hearty winter meal. The the mildly sweet, tannic and acidic pomegranate kernels add a nice contrast to the spiciness of the chili.
Spicy Portobello Mushroom Chili with Pomegranate
adapted from Jim Creehan’s recipe from the Joslin Diabetes Great Chefs Cook Healthy Cookbook
5C Chopped Portobello Mushroom Caps
1C Diced Yellow Onion
4 cloves minced garlic
1 14.5oz Can of Diced Tomatoes with Chili (Whole Foods 365 Brand recommended)
1/2-1 Can of Canned Beans (Pinto, Black, Red Kidney, etc)
1/2 Cup of Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP — you can find this in Whole Foods in the bulk food aisle)
2 tsp Ground Cumin
2 tbsp High Quality Ground Chili Powder (Chipotle, Guajillo, etc)
1/2 Cup of Shredded Cheddar Cheese or Vegan Cheese Substitute
1/2 Cup of Diced Red or Green Onion
In a large pot, using 1 tsp of Olive Oil, saute chopped yellow onions until browned. Add all ingredients, bring to a boil, simmer and cook to desired thickness for about 20-25 minutes. Serve over brown rice or a baked potato, garnish with Cilantro, Green Onion and Pomegranate Seeds.
Fajita Chicken with Southwestern Vegetables, Pomegranate Salsa and Two Bean and Rice Salad
Adapted from Joslin Diabetes Gourmet Cookbook (Out of Print)
1 Pomegrante’s worth of kernels
1/2 cup for chopped fresh orange or grapefruit sections
2T finely minced red onion
1T chopped fresh mint
1/2 tsp oregano
1/8 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp freshly minced serrano or jalapeno chili
1T fresh lime juice.
Combine all ingredients. Chill until ready to serve.
Chicken breast was seasoned and grilled with Penzey’s Fajita Spice, and then sliced up and garnished with Pomegranate Salsa. Vegetarians can sub with TVP “Soy Chicken”, Tofurky. Works great with Shrimp and Fish too.
Bean and Rice Salad
1c Cooked Brown Rice (we like long grain brown rice)
5oz Canned Black Beans
5oz Canned Pinto Beans
1oz canned Diced Green Chiles
3T minced red onion
1T White Wine Vinegar
1T Canola Oil
1 pinch of salt
Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl. Whisk together vinegar, oil salt. Pour over dry ingredients and mix gently. Serve at room temperature.
1T Vegetable Oil
3 Scallions, white part only, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tomatoes, peeled seeded and chopped
3 Small Asian Eggplants, cut into 1-inch cubes
3 cups of cauliflower florets
1 fresh jalapeno or serrano chili, seeded and minced
1tsp ground cumin
1T chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
Salt to taste
Heat oil in a heavy nonstick skillet over low heat. Saute scallions until wilted, approximately 4 minutes. Combine all other ingredients. Cook over low heat until vegetables are tender but still crisp, about 20 minutes.