Friday, June 10, 2011

Brussel Sprouts!!

I had such a craving for brussel sprouts the other day!  Huge craving.  So, what did I do?  Indulged of course in a tasty veggie dinner! :)   For those that don't know, brussel sprouts are not in season locally (I caught the tail end of them at my local Farmer's Market about 2 weeks before they were gone :-( ).  So even though frozen don't hold a candle to fresh, they're all I got right now and are still better than no brussel sprouts!

Let me just say I cannot even believe how much I love brussel sprouts.  For someone who heard all the horror stories as a kid, didn't grow up with them on a regular basis to get used to them, and had a couple icky brussel sprout meals as a kid, I'm shocked I like them as an adult.  But ever since cutting out 95% of my processed sugars, flours, and all other processed food intake, my taste buds certainly have changed and gotten used to a whole other arena of flavors and tastes that I don't think I ever would have liked while still consuming flavor enhanced, processed food.

That being said, unless you love a cabbage-y flavor, you do have to prepare brussels right in order for them to really be tasty (in my opinion).  So here's a rough idea of what I do that has me goo-goo ga-ga over the funny little cabbage looking brains.  ;-)

So the ingredients hold true for fresh or frozen, but the cooking method's here are for frozen.  (Roasting fresh is the way to go.)

Balsamic Seasoned Brussel Sprouts

Brussel Sprouts
Garlic powder
Balsamic Vinegar
Olive oil (just a smidge)

Toss in a microwavable bowl with a little water and cook for 3ish minutes (which is half the time the bag says it should take to cook them).

Optional: Transfer to cutting board and slice the semi-cooked little cabbage brains.

In a nonstick skillet, heat maybe 1/2tsp-1 tsp olive oil.  Toss brussels in and start sauteing. ( I like to finish cooking them this way in order to get a little color on them and to reduce the wet mushiness that can come from just microwaving.  They will still be mushier than fresh though, unfortunately.)

In the skillet while cooking, season to taste with S&P, garlic powder and a bit of balsamic.  (This is what they look like seasoned, but without the balsamic.)

When you reach the desired amount of color, tenderness, or whatever, take them off the stove, adjust seasoning as needed, and enjoy!  (Most of the brown color in the picture below actually came from some balsamic added at the end, not from that much sauteing.)

Note: I believe there is some question as to how good non-stick cookware is to use.  I haven't researched that much, but I also rarely use my non-stick skillet.  I like it here, because it enables me to saute the sprouts in very little olive oil without burning them.  You can of course use a regular skillet and more oil, but that will definitely start adding [potentially] unwanted calories.

So that's my simple little brussel sprout recipe.  And it really is pretty simple in spite of the two methods of cooking involved, mostly because you aren't actively having to do things while they are microwaving, and most of the time I am not actively stirring the sprouts in the skillet either.  I give them a good stir/toss, then let them sit for several minutes - repeat, repeat.

So I'm curious, for anyone brave enough to try the dreaded food from childhood stories, who likes brussel sprouts (either using this recipe or another one)???  I think it's so fun to find someone who actually likes them!

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