A close up of a purple onion and green onions
November 16, 2023
A close up of a purple onion and green onions

Brain Healthy Ingredients: Onions, Pomegranates

Serves: 4-6

Onions are rich in the antioxidant quercetin, which has been shown to protect against stroke and may improve impaired memory.

You can usually find textured vegetable protein (sometimes just called TVP) at a health food store.


  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 cup yellow onion
  • 5 cups Portobello mushroom caps, chopped (about 4-5 mushroom caps)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 14 ½ oz can diced tomatoes with chili
  • 1 can beans (pinto, black, or red kidney)
  • ½ cup textured vegetable protein
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 Tbsps high quality ground chili powder such as chipotle or guajillo
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Large handful pomegranate seeds
  • ½ cup red or green onion, diced
  • ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese or vegan cheese substitute (optional)
  • Chopped cilantro to taste (optional)


  1. Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add yellow onions and sauté until browned.
  2. Add mushrooms, garlic, canned tomatoes, beans, textured vegetable protein, cumin, chili powder, salt, and 3 cups of water. Bring to a boil, simmer and cook for about 20-25 minutes (or to desired thickness).
  3. Serve in a bowl or over brown rice or a baked potato. Garnish with red or green onion and pomegranate seeds (and cheese and cilantro, if using).