“Crunch” Time for the Holiday Season
Updated: Apr 23
by Lisa Dorfman, MS, RD, CSSD, CCMS, LMHC, FAND @The Running Nutritionist®
Fullei Fresh Chef Ambassador
In normal times, we think of the holiday season as a time of peace, joy and get-togethers with family, friends, and co-workers. This year most of us got a head start, eager to bring the spirit of the season earlier than usual, doing most holiday shopping online, decorating our homes with fragrant fresh trees, holiday candles and bright lights. We all need a little holiday jingle to give us hope—ensuring some kind of certainty that the new year will deliver good health and happiness to our country and around the world.
While we have all needed to pivot for the holiday season in one way or another, albeit minus the usual stresses that come with like getting holiday cards and gifts delivered on time, the anticipation of entertaining extended families and friends, making sure all our silver is polished, the crystal and china are dust free. There is one festive crunch time treat we can enjoy that’s completely stress-free—this month’s featured sprout: Fullei Fresh's Crunchy Mix.
I love the Fullei Fresh Crunchy Mix because like the holidays is a mix all things delicious. With a perfect blend of mung beans, red and green lentils, green peas, & adzuki beans, it’s a nutrient dense treat that delivers an abundance of protein, Vitamin C and iron and fiber. I love Crunchy Mix on a fresh salad, as a snack or toasted as a topping or it to include in the holiday recipes I’ve included in this month’s blog.
I selected the Crispy Chicken and Chicken Free Legs with Crunchy Mix “Coat” because it’s a quick nibble, great as an appetizer, football game watching snack or accompaniment to any well-rounded buffet. The Duet of Pastas with Crunchy Mix Infused Pomodoro Sauce is a high protein meal between the lentil and quinoa pastas and Crunchy Mix, is enough protein to satisfy vegans and non-vegetarians, even as a super recovery post workout meal. The Savory Crunchy Mix Stuffing is an obligatory holiday staple, this vegan version with sautéed Field Roast Italian plant-based sausage to give it that deep umami kick.
Crispy Chicken and Chicken Free Wings with Crunchy Mix “Coat”
4 organic chicken wing pieces
4 May Wah Vegan Chicken Legs
2 egg whites or 3 Tbsp egg white substitute (aquafaba, chickpea liquid from can or other egg substitute)
¼ cup water
1 cup gluten free seasoned breadcrumbs
¼ cup Fullei Fresh Crunchy Mix Sprouts, home prepared or store bought ready to eat
2 Tbls olive oil
Prepare traditional breading procedure for chicken wings and legs, separate into 2 evenly portioned plates of flour, egg (or egg free) wash and breadcrumbs for each set of chicken parts.
Add the toasted Crunchy Mix into the breadcrumb mix.
Dip the chicken parts in flour first, then egg wash, then crunchy breadcrumb mix.
You can heat a pan with 2 Tbsp olive oil, use an InstaPot to sauté or air fry the chicken pieces without the oil or by following the directions of your air fryer until chicken and chicken free pieces are cooked through, about 15-20 minutes or until “meat” is 165 degrees and free of pink color and juice emitted from wings.
Duet of Pastas with Crunchy Mix Infused Pomodoro Sauce
4 oz Trader Joes Quinoa Pasta, cook according to package instructions
4 oz Trader Joes Red Lentil Pasta, cook according to package instructions
Mire Pois—8 oz store bought diced, ready to prepare (Trader Joes and Publix) or freshly prepared:
1 whole red onion, 2 stalks celery, 1 large carrot diced
1 Tbsp Olive oil
1 Tbsp Vegan “butter”
8 oz fresh tomatoes
1 Tbsp Olive oil
1 cup organic vegetable stock
5 toasted garlic cloves, crushed
4 Tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp thyme
Salt and pepper to taste
¼ cup toasted Fullei Fresh Crunchy Mix Sprouts, leave 2 Tbsp. aside for garnish.
Prepare pasta according to package. I used the red lentil and quinoa to boost the protein content of the dish and to celebrate the colors of the holiday season.
Sauté Mire Pois—onion, celery, and carrot mix in olive oil until just soft and onions clear. Set Aside.
Place diced tomatoes into heated saucepan with 1 Tbsp oil. Sauté until soft at medium heat.
Add vegetable stock, bring to boil and then reduce to simmer. Add mire pois to tomatoes. Season with oregano, thyme, salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for 20-30 minutes. Cool.
Remove tomato mixture, add toasted Fullei Fresh Crunchy Mix Sprouts and process. If you prefer some chunkiness, pulse until desired consistency.
Mix pasta duets with sauce, mix or together in one dish, your choice!
Top with a Tbsp of the toasted Crunchy Mix.
Savory Crunchy Mix Stuffing
1 Box Aleia’s Gluten Free Savory Stuffing
2 cups organic vegetable stock
1 cup Mire Pois—1 red onion, 2 celery stalks and 1 large carrot diced
1 Tbsp olive oil, 1 Tbsp vegan or non-vegan butter
1 Field Roast Italian Garlic & Fennel Plant-Based Sausage, diced
Organic Olive oil spray
½ cup Fullei Fresh Crunchy Mix Sprouts, ¼ cup toasted, ¼ cup fresh
5 garlic cloves toasted, minced
½ cup chestnuts toasted, diced
¼ cup raisins
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Prepare mire pois in heated pan with olive oil and butter melted. Set aside.
Sauté diced Field Roast Italian Garlic & Fennel Plant-Based Sausage in pan sprayed with Olive Oil until browned.
Toast garlic until just brown, mince.
Toast chestnuts until just brown, dice.
Prepare Aleia’s Gluten Free Savory Stuffing by bringing 2 cups vegetable stock to boil and adding to stuffing mix. Mix thoroughly.
Add mire pois, diced Field Roast Italian Garlic & Fennel Plant-Based Sausage, toasted chestnuts, toasted minced garlic, toasted sprouts, and raisins to stuffing mix.
Place mixture into sprayed glass casserole dish.
Cover dish with tinfoil and bake for about 20 minutes.
Remove tinfoil, garnish with fresh sprouts, and bake another 5-10 minutes.
Ready to enjoy!
May your holidays be filled with joy and peace and let us pray that 2021 will bring our country and the world good health and wonderful occasions to spend together with our families throughout the year.
Click here to order your Crunchy Mix beans to sprout your own.
Or find the ready to eat Crunchy Mix shown above at your local grocery store.
Meet Lisa Dorfman, MS, RD, CSSD, CCMS, LMHC, FAND
Known internationally as The Running Nutritionist®, Lisa is an award-winning leader to industry, academia, the public & press for more than 3 decades. Lisa has built a global integrative culinary sports nutrition & performance private practice & corporate consulting business working with Olympian athletes, and prestigious luxury resorts such as Ritz Carlton, Sandals & Norwegian Cruise Lines. Lisa designs, writes, and speaks about delicious dishes, menus and diets and travels worldwide sharing the “gospel” of good food, fresh tastes, and plant-based cuisine. Her passion for food, fitness, emotional balance and for life is contagious.
A ’19 President’s Council National Excellence in Practice Award Recipient, Lisa is a Licensed Nutritionist/ Registered Dietitian, Board Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics, Board Certified Professional Counselor, Certified Chef, Certified USAT&F & USA Triathlon Coach, Certified Reiki Practitioner, Certified Horticulturist & Fellow of The Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics. She served as the ’08 US Sailing Olympic Team Nutritionist for Beijing Olympics & Nutrition Expert for the Zumba Plate® program.
Her recipes are inspired by collaborations with some of the top chefs at Sandals Resorts, Ritz Carlton, Culinary Vegetable Institute/Chef’s Garden; restaurants, spas, wellness/fitness-focused programs as instructor at Johnson and Wales University & Miami Culinary Institute, & member of prestigious organizations such as Les Dames d ‘Escoffier, American Culinary Foundation, and the James Beard Foundation. She is Chef Alliance Director for Slow Food Miami.
The author of 8 books, Lisa has appeared on 20/20, Dateline, Good Morning America Health, FOX News, CNN, MSNBC and ESPN & has been featured in numerous publications including: USA Today, Newsweek, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Men’s Fitness, Outside & Runners World magazines. In her spare time, Lisa has competed in more than 35 marathons (PR 2:52:32), Ironman USA Lake Placid, and hundreds of running and multisport races and was a member of TeamUSA at the ’04 World Long Distance Duathlon Championships.