Tag Archives: sprouts

Blissful Brussel Sprouts

14 Apr

 

Growing up I was not a fan of brussel sprouts. They only graced the dinner table in my midwestern childhood home on Thanksgiving. And they were of the boil in bag variety. In other words, boring, limp and swimming in “butter” sauce. It became, for me, a dish to pass along quickly-without taking any.

Times have changed. Brussel sprouts have become a fav of not only mine but my kids as well. I still won’t eat the boil in bag sprouts, but now I like them raw and shaved in salads. The most delectable way to enjoy them, however, is roasted. With bacon. YUM.

Savory roasted brussel sprouts are so easy to make there is no reason not to start making them. Let’s get started with a look at what is needed for this recipe.

The ingredients needed are fresh sprouts, olive oil, lightly cooked and crumbled bacon, balsamic glaze, and salt and pepper. That is all you need for this heavenly side dish. Don’t eat bacon? Leave it out. No big deal. You can customize this recipe to suit you.

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These simple ingredients are all you need for this delectable recipe!

The brussel sprouts were whole, and I wanted them more in bits size pieces. Halving them would work here,  but first things first. They needed to be washed.

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Wash those sprouts!

 

After they are washed, pick out the bad ones. Hey, nature being what it is, you will have some unusable sprouts.

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Toss any brussel sprouts like this one that are blemished or soft.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. This is a high temperature but these will roast to perfection. Next spend a couple of minutes cutting these in half.

Cut these in half. After cutting them, lay them on paper towels to dry them off.

Lay them on paper towels to dry. This is an important step. If you don’t dry these before going in the oven, they will steam instead of roast. That is not what we are going for here. So lay them on paper towels and dry them on the top as well. Place them on a large baking sheet, a flat pan. Drizzle the olive oil over them. Dust with salt and pepper and scatter the bacon over top. Time to pop this into the oven. We will need to check on them, so set the timer for 10 minutes.

When the timer goes off, take the sprouts out of the oven and give them a good stir. They should be starting to brown and crisp up. Resist the urge to nab one off the baking sheet and sneak a quick yummy taste. Put them back in the oven for another 5-10 minutes. It is that easy. When they are golden brown they are done. Pull them out of the oven, put them in a pretty bowl, and drizzle with balsamic glaze and enjoy!

These delectable little nuggets of yum are irresistible.

You can use these for a side dish along just about anything. Another option is to let them cool, drizzle a light vinaigrette over them, and serve them as a cold salad. So many ways to go with this simple side! Let me know what you do with them! I can’t wait to hear from you!

Recipe:

  • 12 ounces fresh brussel sprouts, cleaned and halved
  • 1/2 cup Olive Oil
  • 4 slices bacon, lightly cooked and crumbled
  • 1-2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste

Mix ingredients together, place on baking sheet and cook for 15 minutes at 425 degrees. Serve immediately, or cool and use in a veggie salad.

Recipe note-

I microwave a couple of pieces of bacon to crumble in this recipe. Easy with very little clean up.

 

 

 

 

Zucchini-Grilled

30 Mar

I really like vegetables. Even more than fruit.  Eating seasonally and taking advantage of farm fresh vegetables all year long not only provides great flavor and variety, but eating seasonally is budget friendly. My kids and I are adventurous when it comes to food, so I am challenged to find new ways to cook veggies.

Since it is winter, root vegetables have been the staple lately.  Luckily, my family enjoys carrots, potatoes, squash,beets…all the delicious colorful winter vegetables.  Did I say all?  Um, I meant most.  My kids aren’t crazy about one winter vegetable…brussel sprouts.

My kids tend to delight in normal kid stuff like, well, farts.  Brussel sprouts, closely related to cabbage, are notoriously gas producing.  Shouldn’t that be my number one selling point in adding brussel sprouts to our dinner repertoire?  I mean, what could be more fun than that for my kids….seriously.  With their competitive nature, I see this as a win win food offering, if you catch my drift (waft, hang time…).

And that’s how I tried to sell it to my kids. They know enough to know what a cruciferous vegetable is, and what that produces.  Slow roasted fresh brussel sprouts gently browning in the oven smell, well, cabbage like.  Rats.  That wasn’t going to sell my kids on these delicious sprouts.  Of course my mouth is watering, but the kids are scrunching their nose up.  So in the interest of family peace, I now reserve brussel spouts for when I dine at a restaurant.   So I took the sprouts out of the family dinner rotation, but continue on a quest for a fresh seasonal change.

Still wanting variety, I reverted back to another inexpensive vegetable…zucchini.  I like to roast these with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, with perhaps a few shreds of fresh parmesan.  But on this particular night, I was pinched for time and looking for a quick veggie option.  I still used zucchini, but took it in a super quick and easy direction.

Splitting the zucchini down the middle, I then pulled my cast iron grill pan out and heated it up.  I drizzled with zucchini with olive oil, and onto the grill pan it went.  I seared it much like a piece of meat, not quite knowing how it would end up.   After searing one side, I turned it over and seared the second side.  I then put a bit of fresh parmesan cheese on top.  The result was fantastic.

Grilled zucchini in my (very inexpensive) cast iron grill pan.  It was sizzling and searing.  Yum!

Grilled zucchini in my (very inexpensive) cast iron grill pan. It was sizzling and searing. Yum!

I flipped the fleshy side of the zucchini up and put a little freshly served parmesan on top.  Ooh!  So good!

I flipped the fleshy side of the zucchini up and put a little freshly served parmesan on top. Ooh! So good!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is a keeper.  It was super quick, hardly any ingredients, and oh so tasty!  It was beautiful on the plate as well.  So look for variety not only in your food, but in ways to prepare them.

Oh, and  you may want to take a page out of my book and order your brussel sprouts out at your favorite place Saturday night!

 

 

Saturday Splendor

18 Sep

Every once in a while, a little gift comes along.  Sometimes we know its coming, sometimes it surprises us.  But regardless of when this gift appears, it is always appreciated!  Always rich and plush!  And gone in a flash!

As a mother of three children, my weekends, like my weekdays, are tied up.  And that is exactly where I love my life to be.  With family.  With my children.  Spending time with friends, at sporting events, parties, and even running errands.  Sharing with them, laughing with them, kissing them goodnight, and just plain loving them.   That is good living in my book!  My family and my children make my life glorious.  Timeless.  Joyous.

As much as I love sharing every day with my children and being their mother, everyone needs a break every now and then.  And that is a healthy part of any good relationship.  I think my children and I welcome time apart occasionally, and that is normal.  Distance can lend appreciation and perspective to a relationship.  All good stuff.

I had one such break on a recent Saturday.  A precious Saturday with no scheduled games, events, or obligations.  My house was clean, my grocery shopping completed.    My children were otherwise engaged, and my house was blissfully quiet.  I seized the moment!  I welcomed the gift of some quiet time in which I could embrace some very rare “me time”‘.  I was determined to use this gift to it’s fullest!

Denis, with whom I share the same adventurous culinary spirit, and I decided to have a light and delicious lunch on this particular Saturday.  We discovered a refreshing summer beer that was made with watermelon, and had been waiting for just the right occasion to try it.  Voila!  This quiet day presented our opportunity.  As we so often do given the opportunity to try an offbeat food or ingredient, we took the watermelon beer and created a wonderful culinary event!

Watermelon beer. A refreshing summer treat!

We made the most amazing sandwich to accompany our beer.  Fresh turkey, rich swiss cheese, creamy wedges of avocado, and crunchy sprouts.  Oh did we pile that sandwich high!  We topped it off with a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

The building of a fabulous turkey sandwich!

It was a breezy summer afternoon.  The screened porch was beckoning us.  We could not resist.   Out to the porch with sandwich and glass of beer in hand, the location was adding to our culinary experience.

My porch. The perfect spot for morning coffee and afternoon lunches!

The beer was very interesting.  When it first hit the tongue, it tasted like a nice pilsner.  On the exhale, tones of watermelon gently chimed in.  It was a delicious summer treat.  The sandwich was packed with flavor.  A delight for the palate!   The beer paired with the mile high sandwich was fantastic.  Good well thought out food, a crisp refreshing drink, a breezy afternoon, and fabulous company. What a gift!  An appreciated treat!  A sweet and wonderful summer afternoon.

It wasn’t just the lunch that made the afternoon so special.  After a long lunch, the dishes had to be done.  Once the dishwasher was stacked, another gift.  The house was still blissfully peaceful.  Now it was not the porch beckoning, but the couch.  A nap.  Yup…that’s right.  I said it.  A luxury to cap off an another luxury.  A lazy, breezy summer afternoon.  A quiet house, delicious food, and a little nap.  A fleeting gift…but appreciated like no other!