Tag Archives: vegan

Balsamic Brussels Sprouts

In keeping with the clean eating theme of the week and the new year I thought I would post one of the easiest vegetable recipes I know that features one of the best veggies to help clean up your act.  Cruciferous vegetables, think broccoli, kale and our little friends the brussels sprouts, are considered “super vegetables” because they contain high amounts of Vitamins A and C, and help prevent cancer and cardiovascular disease.  I love them because they are usually inexpensive and also some of the only good looking things in the produce aisle once the weather turns cold.  I love roasted brussels sprouts (and also fried ones but that’s not really health conscious!) but those take time.  By shredding the sprouts you can saute them in minutes.  In the spring and summer I like to pair them with bright lemon like I do here but in the fall and winter something a bit deeper is called for.  For that I turn to balsamic glaze, essentially balsamic vinegar that has been cooked down to a rich syrup.  You can do that yourself but lots of places are selling glazes these days and that makes this even quicker to make (I like Wegmans version).  Want to speed up the process even more?  Skip the tedious task of slicing the sprouts thinly and let the slicer blade on your food processor do the work for you.  Look how fast!

If you don’t have a food processor you can thinly slice them with a sharp knife for on a mandolin several days in advance.  Just keep them in a baggie until you are ready to use them and this dish will come together in minutes.  This dish would be great alongside Veal SaltimboccaPistachio Crusted Pork Medallions or Cornish Game Hens with Herb Butter.

Balsamic Brussels Sprouts (printable version at the end of the post)

Inspiration:  a healthy 2017
Special Equipment:  food processor fitted with a slicer blade (optional)

  • 1 pound brussels sprouts, sliced thinly
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1-2 tablespoons balsamic glaze

Heat your largest skillet to medium high and when it is hot add the olive oil.  Dump in the sprouts and season with salt and pepper.

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Let sit for a minute until some browning has occurred, then stir.  Stir again every couple of minutes for 5-7 minutes until the sprouts have wilted a bit and they are browned in areas.  Place on a serving platter and drizzle with the balsamic glaze.

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Balsamic Brussels Sprouts

  • Servings: 4
  • Print

Special Equipment:  food processor fitted with a slicer blade (optional)

  • 1 pound brussels sprouts, sliced thinly
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1-2 tablespoons balsamic glaze

Heat your largest skillet to medium high and when it is hot add the olive oil.  Dump in the sprouts and season with salt and pepper.  Let sit for a minute until some browning has occurred, then stir.  Stir again every couple of minutes for 5-7 minutes until the sprouts have wilted a bit and they are browned in areas.  Place on a serving platter and drizzle with the balsamic glaze.

Mexican Beans and Greens

Beans and Greens is a super traditional Italian dish that is usually made with bitter escarole greens and creamy white cannellini beans.  I love this dish and make it often.  However, for Fiesta Friday I wanted to come up with a Mexican version.  Black beans sub in along with black kale to give this dish a more rustic touch and mezcal is thrown in for good measure.  I had lovely spring onions from the farmers market but you could use a red onion, or regular white onion no problem.  This dish comes together really quickly and can be a great vegan/vegetarian main dish served alongside quinoa or rice.  I love to have it with braised turkey tacos or grilled skirt steak.  This is a great side to make extra of so you can have it for lunch the next day – really filling and healthy with a ton of flavor.  Happy Fiesta Friday and see you all next week!

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Mexican Beans and Greens (printable version at the end of the post)

Inspiration:  a spicier, smokier version of the Italian classic
Special Equipment:  none

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 bunch spring onions, chopped or 1 medium red or white onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced or grated
  • 1 jalapeno, chopped
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 large bunch of black kale (also called dinosaur or lacinato) – leafy part ripped off the stem and sliced thinly
  • 1/2 cup mezcal

In a large skillet (that has a lid) heat the olive oil over medium heat.  Add the onions, garlic (being careful not to burn the garlic) and jalapeno.  Cook for 3-5 minutes until the onions are soft.  Add in the beans and kale and toss so everything is combined.

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Add the mezcal and cover – adjust the heat until it is just simmering, usually low or medium low.  Cook for 10 minutes.  Remove the cover and season with salt and pepper.  If the liquid hasn’t all cooked off yet cook uncovered for several more minutes.

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Mexican Beans and Greens

  • Servings: 4
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Special Equipment:  none

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 bunch spring onions, chopped or 1 medium red or white onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced or grated
  • 1 jalapeno, chopped
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 large bunch of black kale (also called dinosaur or lacinato)
  • 1/2 cup mezcal

In a large skillet (that has a lid) heat the olive oil over medium heat.  Add the onions, garlic (being careful not to burn the garlic) and jalapeno.  Cook for 3-5 minutes until the onions are soft.  Add in the beans and kale and toss so everything is combined.  Add the mezcal and cover – adjust the heat until it is just simmering, usually low or medium low.  Cook for 10 minutes.  Remove the cover and season with salt and pepper.  If the liquid hasn’t all cooked off yet cook uncovered for several more minutes.

 

Lemony Brussel Sprouts

You know how when you are a kid your parents are always trying to force feed you vegetables?  Well I had the reverse situation several years ago when I had to cajole my mother to try brussel spouts.  She was holding on to long held (and clearly very bad) memories of brussel sprouts boiled to death that tasted to her like “dirt.”  Overcooked vegetables are an anathema to my mother who prefers crisp tender green beans or roasted vegetables.  I tried explaining that you could roast these little spouts and make them all carmelized and delicious but to no avail.  So I did what any good parent would do in this situation – I hid the noxious vegetable and only disclosed their name after she had eaten and liked the brussel sprouts.  My favorite way of prepping these mini cabbages is roasted but if you don’t feel like turning on the oven, or if you are trying to get a fast one by your guests, brussel sprouts are great sliced very thinly and sauteed.

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me secretly slicing the sprouts so no one is the wiser!

Not only is it a quick side, they don’t resemble themselves at all and instead look like a delicious slaw like green.  Sautéed with some shallots and tossed with pine nuts and lemon this side only takes a couple of minutes but packs a ton of flavor.  So try this out on any of your brussel sprouts haters and see if you can make a convert out of them.

Lemony Brussel Sprouts (printable version at the end of the post)

Inspiration:
Special Equipment:  a sharp knife

  • 1 pound brussel sprouts
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large shallot, sliced
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • pinch of crushed red pepper
  • the juice of one large lemon

First you need to prep the spouts – slice off the tough bottom part and toss it away.  Then start slicing the sprout thinly.  It doesn’t really matter what direction you slice them, just make sure to not make the slices too thick.

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In a large skillet over medium high heat, add the olive oil and the brussel sprouts.  Season with salt, pepper and the crushed red pepper and saute for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Don’t worry if they start to brown, that’s actually a good thing.  At the same time toast the pine nuts in a small dry pan over medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring them occasionally so they don’t burn.  When the nuts are toasted set them aside.  Add the sliced shallots to the pan with the spouts and sautee for 3 more minutes until the shallots are softened.  Take off the heat and toss with the lemon juice and top with the pine nuts.

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Lemony Brussel Sprouts

  • Servings: 4
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Special Equipment:  a sharp knife

  • 1 pound brussel sprouts
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large shallot, sliced
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • pinch of crushed red pepper
  • the juice of one large lemon

First you need to prep the spouts – slice off the tough bottom part and toss it away.  Then start slicing the sprout thinly.  It doesn’t really matter what direction you slice them, just make sure to not make the slices too thick.  In a large skillet over medium high heat, add the olive oil and the brussel sprouts.  Season with salt, pepper and the crushed red pepper and saute for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Don’t worry if they start to brown, that s actually a good thing.  At the same time toast the pine nuts in a small dry pan over medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring them occasionally so they don’t burn.  When the nuts are toasted set them aside.  Add the sliced shallots to the pan with the spouts and sautee for 3 more minutes until the shallots are softened.  Take off the heat and toss with the lemon juice and top with the pine nuts.

Roasted Cauliflower and Farro Salad

Grain salads are a great way to multi task during a busy week.  They are a good mix of high fiber carbs and vegetables, so they are a great 2 in 1 side for dinner and then they make a delicious healthy lunch later.  By using roasted cauliflower in this salad you add bulk to it without a lot of calories.  Farro is an Italian whole grain that has a nutty, earthy flavor.  It’s almost impossible to overcook and soaks up sauces and vinaigrettes.  It used to be impossible to find in stores so I would buy it on line or at A. Litteri here in DC, but I have seen it in regular grocery stores lately in the Italian section.  If you can’t find it or have some other grain on hand like barley that would be great as well.

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To add even more flavor and in a nod to the fall season I cooked the farro in apple cider.  It just gives a hint of sweetness which plays nicely with the spicy arugula and punchy vinaigrette.  This is best eaten right away but I also refrigerated it and ate it reheated later in the week and it was still good, albeit a little less crunchy.  This would also make for a great vegan/vegetarian main course (or pair it with this pork like I did!).

Roasted Cauliflower and Farro Salad (printable version at the end of the post)

Inspiration: fall means I can roasted veggies again!
Special Equipment:  none

  • 1 head of cauliflower, cut into bite size florets
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup farro
  • 2 cups apple cider
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 2 large handfuls of arugula
  • 2 shallots, chopped

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees.  On a large baking sheet toss the cauliflower with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and salt and pepper.

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Roast for 10 minutes, stir the cauliflower around and then roast for 20 more minutes.

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Meanwhile in a large saucepan bring the apple cider and 1 cup of water to boil.  Season with salt and add the farro.  Lower heat to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes, until the farro is tender.  Drain any remaining liquid and put the farro in a large bowl.  In a small bowl whisk the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil, the apple cider vinegar (I love this one), dijon, honey and salt and pepper.  Add the shallot and arugula to the farro (the arugula will wilt a little from the heat and thats ok) and toss with the dressing.  Add the cauliflower and toss again.

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Roasted Cauliflower and Farro Salad

  • Servings: 4
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Special Equipment:  none

  • 1 head of cauliflower, cut into bite size florets
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup farro
  • 2 cups apple cider
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 2 large handfuls of arugula
  • 2 shallots, chopped

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees.  On a large baking sheet toss the cauliflower with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and salt and pepper.  Roast for 10 minutes, stir the cauliflower around and then roast for 20 more minutes.Meanwhile in a large saucepan bring the apple cider and 1 cup of water to boil.  Season with salt and add the farro.  Lower heat to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes, until the farro is tender.  Drain any remaining liquid and put the farro in a large bowl.  In a small bowl whisk the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil, the apple cider vinegar, dijon, honey and salt and pepper.  Add the shallot and arugula to the farro and toss with the dressing.  Add the cauliflower and toss again.

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