Pan-Seared Brussels Sprouts with Cranberries & Pecans

Here in Wisconsin (and I suppose many other places too) fresh cranberries are hard to find anytime other than late fall.  I like this recipe.  It is best with fresh berries but it’s OK with Craisins.

The thing is…. I love pan-seared Brussels Sprouts.  And, barley has a glycemic index of 28 while white rice is way up to 89!  Similarly, a baguette (which I love) has a glycemic index of 95!  ARGH!  But, I like the flavor of barley!  So this is a win-win for me.   I do cut the maple syrup in 1/2, using 1/2 T instead of an entire Tablespoon.  I think I’ll swap out the syrup completely and use honey instead.

So — here goes…. try it.  You’ll like it.

Pan-Seared Brussels Sprouts with Cranberries & Pecans

Serves 3-4

  • 1 pound brussels sprouts, de-stemed and halved
  • 2/3 cup fresh cranberries
  • 1/3 cup gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
  • 1/3 cup pecans
  • 2 cups barley, cooked
  • 1/2 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • Olive oil
  • Salt & pepper

Heat skillet with drizzling of olive oil over medium heat. Season brussels sprouts with salt & pepper and combine with cranberries in skillet.

Pan Seared Brussels Sprouts


Beets, Orange, Pomegranite and Quinoa Salad

Recipe BoxNow that I have more time to cook I find myself craving flavors I grew up with – but healthier.  One of those favorite flavors is beet!  I’ve never quite understood why beets are as expensive as they are (considering the cost of vegetables in general) but that doesn’t matter when I bite into something delicious like this:


  • 3 medium beets (about 1 1/4 pounds)
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 2 cups red quinoa (the red variety is for color, but if you cannot find red, white is OK)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 medium oranges
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar or freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley, divided
  • 1/2 cup chopped pitted dates
  • 1 whole pomegranate, seeded


  1. Position rack in center of oven; preheat to 350°F.
  2. Trim the root end of the beets and remove any greens (reserving for another use); rinse and pat dry. Wrap individually in foil. Roast until tender, 1 to 1 1/4 hours, depending on size. (Alternatively, place beets in a microwave-safe dish, add 1/4 cup water, cover loosely and microwave on High until the beets are tender, about 10 minutes, depending on size.)
  3. Meanwhile, bring broth, water, quinoa and salt to a boil in a large saucepan. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until the liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes. Transfer the quinoa to a large serving bowl.
  4. Zest and juice 1 orange. Place the juice in a medium bowl. Working over another bowl, cut the remaining 2 oranges into segments (see Tips) and set aside. Measure the juice from the first orange—if it isn’t quite 1/3 cup, squeeze the juice from the membranes until you get 1/3 cup. Add the zest, vinegar (or lemon juice), salt and pepper to the juice; gradually whisk in oil in a thin stream until well combined. Stir in 1/4 cup parsley.
  5. When cool enough to handle, peel and dice the roasted beets. Add to the quinoa along with dates and gently combine. Pour the dressing over the salad and gently toss to coat. Serve garnished with the reserved orange segments, pomegranate seeds and the remaining 2 tablespoons parsley.
beet quinoa salad

Beet & Quinoa Salad