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Spring Ahead with Sunflower Shoots

Updated: Apr 10

by Lisa Dorfman, MS, RD, CSSD, CCMS, LMHC, FAND @The Running Nutritionist®

Fullei Fresh Chef Ambassador


The sun is shining. There is a ray of hope and optimism in the air. Thanks to the COVID vaccine roll out and restrictions loosening, life is feeling a little more normal again. No doubt a great time to start sharing delicious food with family, friends and neighbors.

During this time of year, many of us are preparing for beach and vacation time. Some of us even devote extra energy towards cleaning our homes AND diets of unnecessary baggage.

For our Muslim community, this is a sacred time of the year as they celebrate Ramadan which began April 12th and ends May 11; it is their most sacred holiday when Muslims demonstrate self-restraint, reflection, and give to those less fortunate. We honor our Muslim friends and family members with some delicious Middle Eastern/Arab appetizers Mezze bites which means “sharing.”

A Season of Renewal

Regardless of your reason for dietary changes—looks, health, or for training for your next triathlon or 5K race, no doubt nutrition can make a huge impact on the rate, results and maintenance of your goals.

Which diet is best to follow?

While there are dozens of quick fix weight loss programs, one that ranks high for overall health, well-being, and performance is the Mediterranean diet. A product of the geography it represents, the Italian/Greek/Middle Eastern regimen includes a staple of plant-based foods accented by fish, whole grains, nuts, seeds and legumes/beans with modest amounts of poultry, eggs and dairy and red meat on occasion.

Mediterranean eating has been associated with lower risk factors for heart disease, diabetes, cancer and even death from COVID-more than likely for reducing the risk factors associated with the disease.

Enter Sunflower Shoots

The entire sprout family fits beautifully with the Mediterranean lifestyle especially this month’s featured

Fullei Fresh® Sunflower Shoots.

While not technically a sprout, this crunchy, nutty flavored microgreen adds a delicious taste, texture and nutritional boost to the Mediterranean Mezzo platter recipes prepared for you in my falafel, hummus, and tabbouleh recipes. They are also an awesome add to breads, soups, salads, wraps and smoothies.

Fullei Fresh® Sunflower Shoots are high in protein, fiber, zinc, omega fatty acids, B vitamins, folate, and also contain electrolytes and minerals such as potassium, magnesium, calcium, iron, copper, phosphorus and zinc.

Sunflower Shoots are also a beautiful garnish for any dish, Enjoy!

Sunflower Shoot Showered Tabbouleh

Serves: 4-6


1 ½ cups barley or gluten free quinoa

½ purple onion, diced small.

½ large cucumber diced small.

1 cup chopped parsley.

½ cup chopped Fullei Fresh® Sunflower Shoots.

5 cherry tomatoes quartered.

½ cup Fresh mint, chopped.

Fresh lemon to taste

1 tbls olive oil

¼ tsp ground cumin

Florida Pure Sea salt to taste


  1. Prepare barley (or if gluten free quinoa) according to the package. Cool. Set aside.

  2. Add chopped onions to bulgur and mix.

  3. Add cucumbers, tomatoes, cumin, parsley, sunflower shoots, mint, lemon juice and oil to barley mix and toss.

  4. Serve with Tzatziki recipe from my previous Fullei Fresh Blog Post (Fresh & Light: Staying Cool with Quick Summer Bites ( or with fresh yogurt, salad greens, or as a “wrap” on large lettuce leaves.

Sunflower Shoot Falafel Balls

Vegan, Gluten Free

Serves: 4-6

1 cup of Fullei Fresh® Sprouted Garbanzo Beans

¼ cup Fullei Fresh® Sunflower Shoots

2 tbls Gluten Free Flour— Chickpea, rice, quinoa (I use Lupini (Miracle Flour) for extra protein and minerals)

1 tsp ground cumin

4 cloves roasted garlic cloves, diced.

½ tsp baking powder

Lemon zest

Florida Pure Sea Salt to taste


  1. Mix all ingredients in a food processor and refrigerate for a minimum of 1 hour.

  2. Roll Falafel mixture into golf ball size bites.

  3. Bake for 20-25 minutes at 300-350 degrees. Air fry the last 5 minutes of the baking to attain the browning achieved with the traditional frying method.

  4. Serve with tzatziki, fresh salad and the rest of your Mezze platter.

OR Alternative Ingredients:

1 box Trader Joe's Falafel Mix prepared according to package.

1 cup of Fullei Fresh® Sprouted Garbanzo Beans

¼ cup Fullei Fresh® Sunflower Shoots

Quick Method:

Mix all ingredients in a food processor and refrigerate for a minimum of 1 hour and follow instructions from more complex method.

Sunflower Shoot Infused Sprouted Garbanzo Bean Hummus



½ cup Fullei Fresh Sprouted Garbanzo Beans

¼ cup white beans, lupini beans

¼ cup Fullei Fresh Sunflower Shoots

1 tbls olive oil or tahini

3 whole garlic cloves

Juice of 1 lemon

Florida Pure Sea Salt to taste


  1. Blend all ingredients except sunflower shoots in a NutriBullet or food processor until desired texture.

  2. Add Sunflower Shoots and blend for a few seconds until mixed in but not completely crushed.

  3. Serve with fresh crudité, toasted pits, Sunflower Shoot infused loaf, fresh salad and falafel balls.

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.

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