by Lisa Dorfman, MS, RD, CSSD, CCMS, LMHC, FAND
Alfalfa Sprouts (Al-Fal-Fa,) named by the Arabs as the Father of All Foods, are among the most popular sprout varieties consumed in the U.S according to Food Source Information.
Alfalfa sprouts are a rich source of protein, fiber, Vitamin C and K. Alfalfa also has a high content of bioactive plant compounds—saponins, coumarins, flavonoids, phytosterols, phytoestrogens and alkaloids which in addition to vitamins and minerals, these compounds help you to attain and maintain optimal health!
As a chef, I love the versatility of alfalfa sprouts—its flavor is never trying to steal the show, always ensuring the food stars get center stage while taking a supporting role enhancing the nutritive value and fresh crunch of any dish!
Mofongo— Multicultural Comfort Food
Honoring my African friends, colleagues and neighbors, Mofongo as an appetizer, main meal or football-watching snack dish was actually brought to the Caribbean from Africa as Fufu. Mofongo is also known in Cuba as fufu de plátano, and in the Dominican Republic as mangú, and appeared in Puerto Rico's first cookbook, El Cocinero Puertorriqueño, in 1859.
The dish traditionally uses fried plantains then smashes them with salt, garlic, broth, and olive oil. They will either have chicharron (pork cracklings) or bacon bits inside and is typically served with fried meat and chicken broth soup.
My version of Mofongo is vegan, prepared with Benevolent Bacon® Hickory and Sage flavored strips a low fat low sodium, cholesterol free alternative which was also used in the Mofongo Ice Cream; and Field Roast® Grain Meat Italian Sausage, a high protein (25 grams/sausage) in ½ of the mofongo recipe.
Yes, I said Mofongo ice cream, why not! Since COVID started, I am trying to maximize my food budget, double down on my recipes, using ingredients across the board especially in 1 meal dishes or leftovers to not only avoid food waste but experiment with different food backdrops for ingredients and flavors..
Vegan Mofongo Infused with Alfalfa Sprouts
2 green plantains (reserve ½ for Mofongo ice cream recipe)
2 Benevolent Bacon® Hickory and Sage flavored strips-fried and crumbled
1 Field Roast® Grain Meat Italian Sausage-diced
4 cloves garlic roasted and smashed with mortar and pestle
½ white onion chopped
½ fresh lemon
½ cup Fullei Fresh alfalfa sprouts
2 tsp Harmonizing Flavors Complete Spice Blend™
Himalayan salt to taste
Olive oil spray
1. Peel and cut plantain into 1-inch pieces.
2. Boil plantain until soft about 15 minutes.
3 In the meantime, pan fry bacon strips in an oil sprayed pan and diced Vegan meat sausage in another pan.
4. Roast garlic in a toaster oven until golden brown.
5 Chop ½ white onion, sprinkled with fresh lemon
6 In a food processor, take ½ the mix and blend with onion and garlic, and 1 tsp Harmonizing Blend, then add bacon until blended but still intact. Do the same for the vegan sausage.
7. Add sprouts into blends and just mix. Roll into balls.
8. Pan fry in vegetable spray + 1 Tbls. oil if needed to brown and cook through.
9. Serve with alfalfa infused stir fried rice with onions, shallots, 1 tsp Harmonizing Blend and Himalayan salt to taste and fresh farm greens, (longevity spinach and sorrel from my garden photographed.)
Chef note: if someone has sensitivity to garlic, can alternatively use Fullei Fresh Garlic Sprout Blend which offers the garlicky taste without the side effects people experience from whole garlic. You can also use Asafoetida aka Hing seasoning as an option.
Sprouted Mofongo Vegan Ice Cream
Why not share the love of Mofongo and waste not, doubling down on your fresh plantains and bacon in a dessert dish? This savory ice cream embraces sweetness with a salty, umami crunch! The alfalfa sprouts kick up the protein, fiber, Vitamin C and fresh crunch!
Serves 4 (unless you finish the batch by yourself, it’s addicting!)
14 oz can organic coconut milk
2 Tbls. Organic Brown Rice Syrup
5 Tbls Organic Maple Syrup
½ Plantain boiled, diced
2 Benevolent Bacon® Hickory and Sage flavored strips-fried & crumbled
1 cup alfalfa sprouts
Pinch Himalayan salt
1 Bring coconut milk, maple syrup, brown rice syrup and salt pinch to boil.
2. Set in ice bath until room temp (ice in a bucket of water.)
3. Blend in plantain and bacon bits for the cooling process.
4 Add alfalfa sprouts and move the mix into an ice cream machine or to a container for freezing.
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.