Brussel Sprouts are yummy, and water doesn’t really rust your pipes…
If you know me at all, (and I hope that you will read my blog often!) you know that my Grandfather was a V.I.P. in my life. I could fill volumes on how much he meant to me, and to everyone who knew him, as there was really something special about him.
But there was one particular thing about him, that is relevant to this post…. He was super fun. He was always joking around with my brothers and I, and playing games with us, and telling us stories. Because I looked up to him so much, and also because I’m very gullible, I believed everything he told me. (Well, almost everything… I didn’t really believe that drinking water would rust your pipes..) He once told me that he liked every vegetable, EXCEPT for brussel sprouts, and that they were terrible. So I honestly went through my whole life believing that brussel sprouts are terrible and I never. even. tried them! I was brussel sprout curious, I must admit, but I didn’t do it. And then a few years ago, a friend of mine brought a large stalk of brussel sprouts to my house for a BBQ (yes, she’s a total hippy), and she proceeded to prepare them, with just oil, salt, and pepper. The curiosity got the better of me! And you know what? They were great, but you probably already guessed that, because I wouldn’t have made a whole post and recipe about them if they weren’t amazing! I honestly think that most people, (including my Grandfather) don’t like brussel spouts because of the way they are prepared. Brussel Sprouts actually taste a lot like cabbage, so if you like cabbage, chances are, you’ll like brussel sprouts. They should be eaten steamed, until they are crisp tender, or roasted, like in this recipe. So if you’ve been on the fence about brussel sprouts, please, give this recipe for roasted brussel sprouts a try, you’ll be glad you did!
One of the first things I noticed when I got close enough to a brussel sprout to actually inspect it, was that they are really cute! They look exactly like miniature cabbages! They’re in the cabbage family, so that makes sense! And because they’re related to broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage, they are really good for you.
You might find brussel sprouts in the store on the stalk (so fun to break them off of there! Let the kids help!Not in the store – after you get them home!) or, most often, you’ll find them loose or in bags (fresh). They sell them frozen too, but I’m thinking that they may be soggy and maybe that’s where they get their bad reputation? After washing, you cut the bottom stem part off, and then peel off the two outermost leaves, if yellow or damaged, like cabbage.
Next, cut them in half, toss them with some oil, salt and pepper, and lay them on a baking tray. I line it with parchment paper so they don’t stick, and also easy clean up! Win!
Brussel Sprouts are great as a side dish, roasted or steamed, but they are also super duper tossed with PASTA! Especially when that pasta has a quick and easy Balsamic Garlic Sauce, Sun Dried Tomatoes, and some faux Chicken all tossed together! If you want to keep it soy free, you can use cannelini beans instead of the soy chicken and it’s a still a delicious dish, with protein and veggies.
The Balsamic Garlic Sauce is really quick and easy to make. You can use more oil than what the recipe calls for, especially if you are using gluten free pasta. I put in what I felt was the minimum amount to make it tasty, but if you want it to be more decadent, than add more, or serve with oil and vinegar, and each person can customize it at the table. The sun dried tomatoes come packed in olive oil, so you can just use that oil to saute your garlic! (Be sure to cool that mixture down a bit and remove from heat before you mix your balsamic vinegar in , instructions will be in the recipe). A pinch of salt, and that’s it! Just toss it with your pasta! Mix in the rest of the ingredients, and you have a delicious, gourmet looking and restaurant tasting dinner that will impress guests, or at the very least, keep your taste buds busy while you binge watch your favorite show on Netflix! 😉
Definitely leave me a comment below, and let me know if I’ve made a Brussel Sprout fan out of you!! Also, if you are binge watching a great show, let me know what you’re watching! We need suggestions around here! Thanks!
- Roasted Brussel Sprouts:
- 2 lbs. fresh brussel sprouts (separated from stalk)
- 4 Tbsp. olive oil or melted vegan margarine
- 1 tsp. pink salt or sea salt
- ¾ black pepper
- Pasta with Balsamic Garlic Sauce:
- 1 Box of Gluten Free Penne Pasta
- 1 8oz. jar of Sun Dried Tomatoes, packed in Olive oil, diced
- 4 T olive oil (Saved from Sun Dried Tomato Jar)
- 4 T Balsamic Vinegar
- 5 cloves of garlic minced
- ¼ t salt
- 1 package of Beyond Meat Soy Chicken, diced OR 1 can of cannellini beans (drained)
- Optional: Serve with extra olive oil and vinegar, and vegan parmesan or shredded mozzarella cheese for garnish.
- Roasted Brussel Sprouts:
- Preheat oven to 400*. Wash brussel sprouts, cut off ends, peel off yellowed or damaged leaves. Cut sprouts in half and large ones in quarters. In a large bowl, toss brussel sprouts with olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread evenly onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for approx. 30- 40 minutes. Sprouts should be browned on the outside and tender when you stick a fork in them. Bake longer if you like more browning.
- While your brussel sprouts are baking prepare your pasta according to the directions on the package. Drain and rinse when done and set aside.
- Balsamic Garlic Sauce:
- In a small saucepan, add 4 T of olive oil reserved from jar, and heat over a medium heat. Add minced garlic and saute for 1 minute. Remove from heat, and allow oil to cool for 1 minute. Add vinegar slowly, and then return to heat. Simmer on low for another minute, stirring. Add salt. Remove from heat.
- Add Sun Dried Tomatoes and beans (or Soy Chicken) to pasta, and toss. Pour sauce over pasta and toss to coat pasta.
- When brussel sprouts are done baking, sprinkle with extra salt if desired, and then serve on top of pasta.
- Serve pasta with extra vinegar and/or olive oil and vegan Parmesan Cheese if desired.