Pomegranate: The Festive Fruit

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)

3c Water

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)

1tsp Salt

Optional Garnishes:

1/2 Cup of Shredded Cheddar Cheese or Vegan Cheese Substitute

1/2 Cup of Diced Red or Green Onion

Chopped Cilantro

Pomegranate Seeds

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)

Pomegranate Salsa

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.

Fajita Chicken

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 Cilantro

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.

Southwestern Vegetables

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.

5 Responses to Pomegranate: The Festive Fruit

  1. Melissa says:

    I own the Joslin cookbook and only skimmed it quickly .. now I will pick it up and attend to the contents seriously! Thanks for the zetz, Jason!

  2. Grace says:

    Great recipes. The pomegranate is rich is cultural and spiritual meaning as well as being such a healthfilled fruit.

  3. Sumedh says:

    it all looks delicious.

  4. Christine says:

    Miss you, man. Happy Holidays. Eat well, and live well, and keep up the good work. CN

  5. tami says:

    i just saw this post on tastespotting – delicious! i would love it if you entered it in my Chili Cook-off! The most recent post on my blog – http://www.runningwithtweezers.com – has a link to the blog event info. :)

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