Gasp! “Ew! Brussels Sprouts!” you say?! If this sounds like you, then this is just the recipe to turn you into a Brussels sprout feen! I believe this recipe has special powers to transform the hardest of critic’s opinion on the mini cabbage. No more boiled and boring Brussels sprouts…these babies are full of flavor, texture and nourishing ingredients. Already love these green gems?! Then this will be your new go-to, easy, recipe for Brussels.
Burssels sprouts are a member of the cruciferous family of vegetables. This group might be my favorite and includes things such as broccoli, kale, collard greens, bok choy, kohlrabi, cauliflower, and rapini to name a few. Cruciferous vegetables are known for their anti-cancer properties and support liver detoxification. When our liver is overloaded, toxins end up circulating in our system, trying to get out via the skin and other elimination organs. If they can’t, they stay in our system and burden the liver even further as well as many other body systems and processes. The liver is responsible for over 500 processes in the body from producing bile to excrete excess cholesterol to the metabolism of carbohydrates and proteins and detoxification of the blood. Brussels sprouts are also high in fiber, so very beneficial for a healthy digestive system. By combining the fiber in the Brussels with the olive oil in the dressing, it helps to bind toxins and reducs the absorption of fats. I was lucky enough to find some at the last farmers market of the season this past weekend: perfect timing for Canadian Thanksgiving!
I consider myself pretty lucky to get two Thanksgivings, seeing as it’s my favorite holiday. If you have read my blog before, you know I’m from Alabama yet live in Canada. Even though Canadian’s celebrate their Thanksgiving in October, I will forgive them, as it gives me an excuse to have two Thanksgivings: one on the Canadian holiday in October and one on the American holiday in November! It might sound crazy to some, but I love cooking for big groups of people during the holidays, even if it takes days to prep and a bit of sweat and hair pulling. Nothing says “holidays” more than big groups of family and friends talking and laughing around the dinner table. It’s beautiful how the joy of food can bring everyone together. To me, Brussels sprouts scream “holidays” and I think this is the perfect, healthy, side-dish for any of your holiday dinner parties.
For those of you not in Canada, our Canadian Thanksgiving is this Sunday, October 12. I can easily say I am most thankful for my growing family. I am blessed to be carrying a precious baby that we will soon get to introduce into our crazy family. I’m also thankful for a loving and supportive husband that forces me to take naps during my pregnancy even when I think I don’t need them! And as if it couldn’t get any better, we found out Monday that it’s a precious baby boy! My prince in the making! What are you thankful for this holiday season?
- 1/2 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
- 4 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 Tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 leek, green top removed and discarded, rinsed and sliced
- 3 Tablespoons coconut oil, divided
- 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 1 apple: 3/4 chopped, 1/4 sliced thin on a mandolin or with a knife
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh, chopped thyme
- 14 oz Brussels sprouts, shredded in a food processor
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
- 2 Tablespoons pumpkin seeds
- 2 Tablespoons pomegranate seeds for garnish (optional)
- salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and coat with a very thin layer of coconut oil (I rubbed a bit on with a paper towel). Arrange the grated parmesan cheese into various, small, tight circles on the parchment paper and press each one down with your finger. Bake in the oven for approximately 7 minutes or until brown and bubbly. Remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack.
- While the parmesan crisps cook, combine the extra virgin olive oil, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, and maple syrup in a small bowl. Stir thoroughly to combine and set aside.
- In a large iron skillet, sauté leeks and 1 tablespoon coconut oil over medium-low heat for 3-4 minutes until leeks are soft. Add garlic, chopped apple (not sliced) and thyme and sauté for another 3-4 minutes until apple begins to soften, stirring frequently. Add shredded Brussels sprouts, a large pinch of salt, and one more tablespoon of coconut oil and cook over medium-low heat for approximately 4-5 minutes, stirring frequently. Turn the heat down to low and add the reserved dressing mixture you made earlier, as well as the lemon zest. Stir thoroughly to combine and remove from heat. Season with salt and pepper.
- Transfer to a serving plate and top with parmesan crisps, sliced apple, pumpkin seeds and possibly pomegranate seeds.
- You may need to sauté the Brussels sprouts in two batches depending on the size of your skillet.