Food Challenge: Brussels Sprouts

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Before I became a military spouse, when my husband and I were dating in college, he once chased me around the house with a Brussels sprout.   We spent Thanksgiving with his mom and Brussels sprouts were a traditional part of their holiday meal. 

I don’t think I had ever tried them, but I knew they had a reputation for being horrid.  I wanted to be a polite guest and quietly fill my plate with other things and not make a big deal out of the Brussels sprouts that I had no intention of trying.  My husband brought one over on a fork and insisted that I try it.  Like a stubborn child, I refused and ran away to lock myself in a bathroom until his mom called him off.

Even though I grew up vegetarian, there were lots of vegetables that we just didn’t have at home and it took my husband to open my eyes to the variety in the produce aisle.  When we first met I ate peas, corn, carrots, green beans, iceberg lettuce, and not much else.  Now, I only prefer to not eat large chunks of raw onion and mushrooms, but everything else is fair game.  Congratulations to my husband for converting a picky eater into a foodie adult!

That being said, Brussels sprouts still aren’t my favorite.  My husband and daughter love to eat them steamed with a little butter and salt.  I like them to have a little more doctoring.  I like them roasted and paired with seasonal fruit like cranberries or pomegranate seeds.  If Brussels sprouts aren’t your favorite, give one of the recipes below a shot and see if you can start to work them into your veggie rotation.  If they are a favorite, comment and let us know your favorite way to prepare them.

 
Food Challenge: Brussels Sprouts
 

Resources: Cooking Light | VeganYumYum | WebMD

Warm Quinoa & Roasted Vegetable Salad

Start with this dish if you’re still not sold on Brussels sprouts.  They can be the star of the dish, or you can throw in as many other veggies until the sprouts take a more supporting role. 

Roasting veggies is a great way to use up what you have on hand.  I used Brussels sprouts, butternut squash, red onions, asparagus, red potatoes, a white sweet potato, carrots, and yellow pepper.  I’m thinking I need to add roasted veggie day into my menu plan every week to make sure things don’t go to waste.

I have been cooking with quinoa for a long time and I have never soaked it.  You can skip this step as directed by the recipe.  As for rinsing, you will always need to check the package.  Some quinoa comes pre-rinsed so no rinsing is required.  If it’s not pre-rinsed, you need to wash it carefully, otherwise it will be bitter and awful.

Pan-Seared Brussels Sprouts with Cranberries & Pecans

This is a great option for a holiday meal when your oven is working overtime because you can use the stovetop to caramelize your Brussels sprouts nicely.

I used feta instead of the Gorgonzola, just for personal preference.

Citrus & Pomegranate Brussels Sprouts

If you’d rather not use the breadcrumbs, then use sunflower or pumpkin seeds which add a nice crunch to the dish.

Don’t stir in the pomegranate seeds because if they get too hot their juice will release and your breadcrumbs will get soggy.

So what do you think?  Will you give Brussels sprouts a try?  When you do, take a photo and use #IDfoodchallenge in Facebook or Instagram so we can see what you made.