I didn’t think it was possible to get a 7 year old to fall in love with Brussels sprouts
I always enjoy a challenge, especially when it comes to finding ways to “sneak” vegetables into a child’s diet so that they eventually grow to love them. Brussels sprouts are tricky to hide though, so I decided to do something daring and opted to instead dress them up with the hopes that two 5 year olds and a 7 year old wouldn’t turn their noses up at them during dinner.
Although I’d taken courses on Child Nutrition & Cooking at Stamford University, I didn’t have much experience with cooking for children before I moved to Australia to become an Au Pair. My approach coming into the family was simple though: prepare my regular go-to meals, but gradually introduce new flavours and spices to their palates by upping the intensity of herbs each time I cooked the dish. When I first arrived, the kids were accustomed to simple steamed vegetables, a starch (steamed potato, rice or pasta) and a baked or pan-fried protein for their dinner every night. A well-rounded nutritious meal, but a little mild in comparison to what I was used to cooking.
The oldest child, Max, was the trickiest to please. His favourite foods included pizza from the restaurant down the street, and “pasta pockets” (pre-packaged cheese tortellinis). When testing out new recipes and presenting them to the kids and getting their opinion on the meal, he was my toughest critic…so when I convinced him to try my Rustic Roasted Brussels Sprouts, and he gave me a thumbs up with a huge smile as he shovelled more into his mouth, I was proud.
- 300 g Baby Brussels sprouts
- 4 Fresh or thawed sausage links (pork, chicken, lamb, or meat-free)
- 3 Cloves of garlic, crushed
- ½ Medium Spanish onion, diced
- Olive oil
- Balsamic vinegar
- ¼ Lemon, juiced
- Herbal salt
- Ground black pepper
- Lemon herb & garlic seasoning
Steam the Brussels sprouts for 10 minutes, or until tender (you should be able to pierce with a fork all the way through). Remove from heat, and once cooled, slice in half.
While the Brussels sprouts are cooking, slice the sausages lengthwise, and remove casings. Break into small pieces and roast in a large skillet on stove top. Once browned, add the Brussels sprouts and sauté in the sausage drippings for 2 minutes on medium heat.
Next, add a drizzle of olive oil, diced onions, crushed garlic, lemon juice and a generous splash of balsamic vinegar. Be sure to thoroughly mix everything together in the skillet pan. Add remaining seasonings to desired taste, and reduce heat to a low simmer. Continue cooking until onions are transparent, and Brussels sprouts are browned and slightly charred.
Serve with mixed grains salad or roasted potatoes.
PREP TIME: 5 minutes
TOTAL COOKING TIME: 20 minutes