Hey hey, it’s Food Friday. Growing up, veggies were cooked in fatback or bacon grease, or eaten raw (carrots only, mind you), cooked in stews and rarely, steamed. As a teenager, fresh vegetables meant having a side-salad! I don’t think that anymore of course, but my limited exposure to vegetables in my youth has left a bit of a void in my grown-up diet. So even though I’ve been trying to incorporate more veggies in our diet, it isn’t always easy because I don’t always know what to get or how to cook it. Enter the Brussels sprout!
When I was in college, one of my roommates loved these things, and would buy the frozen ones in some kind of sauce, and microwave them. I always thought they smelled terrible! Like a football team’s worth of sweat socks and jock straps-from all season. I swore I would never eat anything that smelled that bad.
But, it so happened the hubs and I went to one of the local casinos and stayed overnight. We ate dinner at the buffet, and there were Brussels sprouts. I decided to try them. They actually looked cute, so tiny and bright green! I put 3 on my plate, and O-M-G! They were so delicious. I decided I would have to look up some recipes so we could eat them at home.
For those of you unfamiliar with these delectable little gems, they are from the cabbage family, which is filled with other cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, kale, and cabbage. Research suggests there is strong reason to believe these mighty veggies are cancer-fighters!
I would like to think that most people know vegetables are excellent ways to add fiber, vitamins, and minerals, not to mention they are low in calories, so you can really fill up on them. Also, there are plenty of studies that show a vegetable rich diet can help prevent many medical maladies, including type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and some cancers.
But what makes Brussels sprouts a mighty veggie? Not only are they high in vitamin C, they’re also pretty high in protein! Although the protein doesn’t have all the amino acids of actual meat, when you add these little morsels to whole grains, you can have a complete meal.
These veggies are in season in fall and winter. If you want them fresh, buy them small, bright green, and in tight little buds. The trick is not overcooking them, because that’s what makes them smelly and gross tasting. They should be a little crisp when they are done. There are a lot of recipes out there, and most will tell you to buy them fresh. I have so far only bought them frozen because the fresh ones at my market looked a little sad. The recipe below is the most basic one I’ve found, but if you want to jazz it up, or are an adventurous cook, there are quite a few good recipes at Eating Well.
Oven-Roasted Brussels Sprouts
1 1/2 lbs Brussels sprouts
3 tablespoons good olive oil
3/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 400 F.
Fresh Brussels sprouts: cut off the brown ends and pull off yellow leaves. Put in bowl and mix with salt, oil, and pepper. Pour into baking dish and bake for 35-40 minutes. Every 5 minutes or so, take the pan and give it a shake so the sprouts brown evenly.
I can’t wait to eat them! Nom nom nom! Maybe I should have bought 2 bags. Then I wouldn’t have to share. Hmmm.
Well, that’s all for now. This has been an amazing week. Thank you to all my new followers, you rock! Enjoy your Easter weekend and please, step away from the dish of jelly beans!