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.
- 1 12 oz package tempeh, cut into cubes
- 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
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.