next gen boyfriend’s one pot roasted brussels sprouts with maple syrup pecans & tempeh


As I grew up, every dinner my mother prepared included a side serving of vegetables– and that was what we had to eat to get dessert. A small pile of mushy green peas, corn, or carrots from the freezer, string or baked beans from a can were the norm. When my mother and I were a little older, she would occasionally serve fresh asparagus (steamed to mushy) or an artichoke (served with mayonnaise, another horror). Given that my mother truly didn’t like vegetables, I’m sure now she never chose to serve brussels sprouts, which is probably good fortune…  Sometime in my young adulthood I tried cooking brussels sprouts in my own kitchen, but my results weren’t great, so …. yea, brussels sprouts. Nobody I knew liked them.

A generation later, one of my daughter’s friends self identified as a brussels sprouts lover. Really? “Just roast them in a little olive oil and maple syrup.” So I thought I’d give it another try. Here’s what I came up with– and enjoyed! Easy prep and satisfying. With the brussels, broccoli, and yellow pepper, this is very high in vitamins K & C. By including the tempeh, it becomes a great ‘one pot’ main dish that is great for leftovers to take on-the-go for lunch.

ingredients:

  • 1 12 oz package tempeh, cut into cubes IMG_3331_2
  • 18 Brussels sprouts, quartered
  • 2T olive oil
  • 2T maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup or more pecans, toasted
  • 1 yellow pepper, cut into strips
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 good sized stalks of broccoli, chopped
  • 1t thyme
  • 2t fresh ginger root, minced
  • champagne vinegar
  • black pepper to taste

instructions:

Turn on oven to 375F. Remove ends of brussels sprouts and any yellowed or browned leaves, then cut in half or quarters depending upon size. Pour 2T olive oil and 2T maple syrup into large frying pan, then add chopped brussels sprouts and stir to coat well. Wipe roasting pan with a little additional olive oil, then spread brussels sprouts onto roasting pan, also yellow pepper cut into 1/4 inch slices, and peeled garlic cloves. Roast for about 20 minutes, checking several ties to flip yellow peppers and stir brussels sprouts. The peppers will finish roasting first…roast brussels sprouts until lightly browned but still moist inside. When done roasting, transfer to casserole dish, and press the roasted garlic.

While the brussels sprouts roast, use that same frying pan which is now coated in olive oil and maple syrup to toast the roughly chopped pecans over medium heat, stirring constantly. Toast until lightly browned and fragrant. Set pecans aside in serving dish.

Using the same frying pan with an additional 2 T of olive oil, saute the chopped tempeh over medium heat, stirring for 3-4 minutes, then reducing the heat to medium low and covering to continue to cook. Check frequently every couple minutes to stir to prevent burning. Continue to cook until tempeh is nicely browned and cooked well inside without becoming dried out. Transfer to the casserole dish.

While tempeh cooks, cut away the tough outer stem of the broccoli, then chop the broccoli stems into large bite sized pieces. Then transfer broccoli stems to that same frying pan to saute — add 2-3T of water as necessary. Add minced ginger and thyme, continue to stir for 2-3 minutes, then add 2-3 T of champagne vinegar to pan, stir, cover, reduce heat and simmer for another 2 minutes before adding chopped broccoli flowerettes. Cover and simmer for another 2-3 minutes, until broccoli is bright green and tender but still has plenty of body. Transfer to the casserole dish, stir all together well. Add ground black pepper to taste. Serve garnished with toasted pecans.

Autumn green goodness


Eating local vegetables in season is healthy, and so easy to do in the summer with  fabulous fruits and so many familiar easy to like vegetable choices. But in autumn, at least for me it requires more determination. Brussels sprouts? Really? Yes, autumn vegetables can be both inspiring and nurturing too! Brussels sprouts are beautiful now, and kale…makes me think to try something new with the beautiful vegetables I bought at the farmers market this morning.

ingredients:

  • 3/4 c hulled barley  photo
  • 18 small brussels sprouts, sliced
  • 1 leek, chopped
  • 1 bunch lacinato kale (about 4 packed cups)
  • 10 oz fresh or frozen edamame
  • 2-3T ginger root, minced
  • 1-2 teaspoons thyme
  • dash or two of apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2-1 lemon, juice and pulp
  • black pepper to taste
  • Chopped pistachios garnish

instructions:

Rinse then soak barley for 4-8 hrs. Drain and rinse, cover with 4 cups fresh water, bring to a boil, then simmer covered for about 45 minutes until soft yet still slightly chewy. Drain, rinse with cool water to cease cooking, drain and set aside. Saute chopped leek in 2-3 T olive oil over medium heat for 2 minutes, then add minced ginger, thyme, sliced brussels sprouts, well washed edamame and apple cider vinegar. Remove lower half of center veins of kale, then slice leaves into thin ribbons. Continue to cook brussels sprouts while stirring, adding chopped kale after 3-4 minutes; cook until brussels sprouts are bright green and tender but not mushy, about 5-7 minutes in total of which the last 1-2 are with lid on to steam. Never overcook brussels sprouts and kale! Remove from heat, mix with cooked barley, and toss with juice and pulp from freshly squeezed lemon. Serve warm or cold, dressed with a drizzle of olive oil and pistachio nut garnish. I might try adding some feta cheese when I serve the leftovers?