If I was stranded on an island with only one type of produce to choose from, I would without hesitation choose brussels sprouts. It’s right up there with chocolate. This wonderful produce is loaded with Vitamins C and K as well as manganese and potassium (hello, antioxidants!).
Now I understand that many of us do not share these same feelings, and you may have had terrible experiences with boiled brussels sprouts as a child; but I beg you to give this mini-cabbage looking produce a second chance. If prepared well, they are truly delicious! So here are some quick tips and easy recipes on introducing them into your diet.
1) Sauté for a side – This is a great way to try them out without making a large amount. First off, you always want to make sure to trim off the bottoms of your sprouts and remove the very outer leaves (usually they fall off when you trim off the bottom); then begin cutting them into halves or quarters. They will begin to fall apart, but that’s okay; then sauté with olive oil, salt and pepper to taste. I recommend adding some chopped walnuts and a teaspoon of honey or sugar. You will want to sauté on low heat for 7-15 minutes until brussels sprouts become a bright green and tender. Serve and enjoy.
2) Roast – If you prefer to use your stovetop for cooking other items, then roast them in the oven. It’s fool-proof. In a large bowl, toss together brussels sprouts (trimmed and chopped in half), olive oil, salt and pepper, and sliced shallots until everything is coated. Pour mixture evenly into a glass casserole dish and roast at 500 degrees for around 20 minutes (until sprouts begin to char). Make sure to stir the mixture every 5 minutes or so, then remove and immediately drizzle with balsamic vinegar and serve.
3) Serve in a pasta – an easy way to make a pasta more nutritious is to add a vegetable. And it’s a great way to sneak brussels sprouts for newbies, because who doesn’t already like pasta? This pesto pasta recipe is delicious and hearty enough for our meat-lovin’ friends.
4) Add to a salad – Brussels sprouts are great way to add flavor and variety to a salad; this recipe for an autumn greens salad with sunflower seeds is a breath of fresh air from the traditional boring salad with iceberg lettuce and spinach.
5) Create a breakfast hash – For those of you who loving having breakfast food all day long, brussels sprouts will be your friend. A couple months ago, a friend and I were itching to try something new in the kitchen, and she found this gem – sweet potato & brussels sprouts hash. This recipe is truly divine. Don’t expect to have any leftovers.
By Rachel Dorminy