Wholesome Mediterranean Meal: Balsamic Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Grilled Tofu with Pesto, Cucumber Cherry Tomato Salad and Mediterranean Rice Pilaf with Cranberries, Slivered Almonds and Scallions


I recently made a trip to Costa Rica and one of my favorite things about the trip was the food! They prepared a meal called the “casado” with rice, beans, vegetables, sweet plantains, salad and protein. I loved the concept! We see so much of the high carb, low fat diet vs, high protein diet and you start to wonder what exactly it takes to eat right. In India, we always have a little bit of everything. We call it a “thaali,” and usually has a little bit of carbs,  some protein, and tons of vegetables.  I decided to take this concept and put a mediterranean twist on it using flavors like balsamic vinegar, basil and parsley. For the carb portion, I made a brown-wild rice blend with almonds, cranberries and scallions, for the protein, grilled tofu with a spinach-basil almond pesto. Balsamic-roasted brussels sprouts for the veg, and a cucumber-basil cherry tomato salad. In this blog I usually focus on one component, and do soups, salads and sides separately, but as an experiment I wanted to try and put a full meal in a post.  Theres a little bit of everything in this meal, but feel free to make some or all of it!  Here goes!

Tomato Cucumber Salad

Ingredients: Cherry Tomatoes, Basil, English Cucumber

  1. Peel, seed and dice 1 med english cucumber
  2. Slice 2 cups of cherry tomatoes
  3. Julienne 6-10 or so leaves of basil
  4. Combine in a bowl with 2 tbsp olive oil (1 drizzle) and 3 tbsp (2 drizzles) good quality balsamic vinegar
  5. Salt and pepper to taste!


Balsamic Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Ingredients: 1 16 oz bag trader Joes Brussels Sprouts, Balsamic Vinegar, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Salt and pepper

  1. Halve the Brussels Sprouts and cut off the core,
  2. Lay them on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Enough to coat. The balsamic vinegar will thicken a bit in the oven. It should stick on to the sprouts.
  3. Season with salt (reserve pepper for later)
  4. Bake in the oven at 375 degrees for 20 minutes. Remove half way and shake the pan move the Brussels Sprouts around.
  5. Season with pepper and serve!


Mediterranean Rice Pilaf

Ingredients: 1 cup brown-wild rice blend, 2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth, slivered almonds, flat leaf parsley, 1 bunch scallions, craisins, salt and pepper

  1. Rinse rice well, and bring 1 cup of rice to a boil with 2 cups of low-sodium vegetable broth. Simmer on medium until cooked (20 mins or so).
  2. When rice cools, mix in a handful of slivered almonds, a handful of craisins, finely chopped flat leaf parsley, and a small bunch of scallions.
  3. Toss well and add salt and pepper to taste (only if you use low-sodium broth.


Grilled Tofu with Pesto

Ingredients: Extra Firm Tofu and pesto

This one does not really merit a recipe.

  1. Cut 1/2 inch strips of extra firm tofu, pat dry and season with salt
  2. Toast on a greased pan until each side is brown
  3. Top with pesto and Voila!

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