March 2011: Brussels Sprouts

I blogged last week about how we misjudge vegetables and in particular how I have misjudged Brussels sprouts.  My Mom re-introduced me to the idea of enjoying this particularly odd-looking vegetable at a restaurant in Vancouver this past summer, and now Brussels sprouts have a new honoured place in my crisper!

Honestly, I never enjoyed the way my Mom cooked Brussels sprouts (my apologies to my mother but she always boiled them). I was talking about this with my friend at the office and she concurred with the idea: “The vegetables we were fed in our childhood are simply not representative of what the vegetables actually taste like.” So I encourage you to open your mind to these little green orbs that happen to be packed with vitamin C. In fact, eat just six of them and you will have your daily intake of vitamin C.

First, I recommend learning how to cook Brussels sprouts, because it seems most of us have learned to boil them, which really destroys them.

Now for some recommended recipes. Thanks to my Mom for inspiring the balsamic recipe based on the ones we eat together at our favourite restaurant, and thanks to my sister-in-law for the simplest recipe for Brussels sprouts!

Nutmeg Brussels Sprouts

Wash the sprouts, trim the ends and get rid of any yellowed leaves. Steam them for about 5 minutes. You want them to stay crunchy and not smelly, so don’t over-steam them and definitely don’t boil them! Put them in a pan or bowl and toss them in olive oil and nutmeg. If you are not worried about fat content, you could replace the olive oil with butter (according to my sister-in-law, they are “delish!”).

Grilled Balsamic Brussels Sprouts

Yes, I grill all year round. I love grilled food!

Soak wooden skewers in water for 30 minutes.

Heat the grill (medium heat).

Trim the ends, remove the yellowed leaves and wash the Brussels sprouts. Toss them into a bowl with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, a dash of sea salt and fresh ground pepper and 2 cloves of fresh garlic (if you love garlic, add more!). Put them on the skewers and onto the grill. Rotate them and cook them until they’re a little blackened, soft but still crunchy.

If you’re a cheese lover, add a little parmesan. If I ate cheese, I might also try this recipe with some goat cheese.

I’d recommend adding them onto a bed of wild rice, perhaps with a nicely seared piece of salmon as your protein source.

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Oranges Every month, the Healthy UBC Blog highlights a locally available food, and gives you a recipe or two to try out.  This month, read all about mandarin oranges, rich in vitamin A, vitamin C, fibre and folate.

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