Rustic Roasted Brussels Sprouts – for Trisca

I didn’t think it was possible to get a 7 year old to fall in love with Brussels sprouts

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
  • Rosemary
  • Lemon herb & garlic seasoning
  • Thyme



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.

Rustic Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Sauté the Brussels sprouts with the sausage

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.

FullSizeRender (1)
Rustic Roasted Brussels Sprouts – the end result

Serve with mixed grains salad or roasted potatoes.


PREP TIME: 5 minutes


Why You Should Eat More Fiber + Veggie Skillet Recipe


On days when I’m strapped for time and can’t decide on what to eat, veggie skillets are my favourite. This simple vegan dish is jam-packed with fiber and will leave your taste buds satisfied. 

A plant-based diet has numerous benefits, but my favourite advantage is the higher fiber intake. Fiber is a type of carbohydrate that can’t easily be broken down in our digestive system to be converted to sugar for energy (with whatever’s left over being converted to fat). Fiber is essential for helping to bind our digested food together in our small and large intestines to help move things along. It also helps to stabilize blood sugar, keep our cholesterol in check, and can even help prevent colon cancer and hemorrhoids. In addition, fiber helps to keep us fuller for longer periods of time which in combination with its digestive properties, aids in weight loss.

Women should aim for 25 grams of fiber per day, whereas men should aim between 35 grams and 40 grams as they have a higher chance of being diagnosed with colon cancer, and typically consume more protein and calories than ladies. There are so many high fiber foods to choose from, so realistically there shouldn’t be any excuse for not getting your recommended daily intake (RDI). Whole wheat breads & pastas, brown rice, artichokes, avocados, apples, pears, lentils & legumes, almonds, peas and raspberries are just a few options, and there are hundreds of different recipes out there that combine these fibrous foods to form tasty meals. 

Along with taste, this veggie skillet recipe is jam-packed with 11 grams of fiber, 106% of your RDI of vitamin A, 232% of your RDI of vitamin C, 17 g of protein and 40% of your RDI of iron. By prepping your veggies before hand and freezing them, this dish can be made in under 5 minutes.

Veggie Skillet

  • 3/4 cup of diced par-boiled potatoes
  • 1/3 cup of diced red/green/yellow/orange sweet peppers
  • 1/2 cup of finely chopped kale or leafy greens
  • 1/3 cup of green or yellow beans, cut into pieces
  • 1/2 a carrot, sliced
  • 1/2 cup of mushroom pieces
  • 1/3 cup of shelled edamame
  • 1/3 cup of black beans
  • 1 Tbsp of olive oil, avocado oil or flax seed oil
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1/3 shallot, finely chopped


  • 1 tsp of chili seeds
  • 1/2 tsp of cumin
  • 1 Tbsp of homemade Montreal steak seasoning
  • 1/8 tsp of seasoning salt
  • dash of pink Himalayan sea salt
  • dash of black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp of freshly diced parsley or 1/2 tsp of dried parsley
  • 1/2 Tbsp of paprika

Heat oil, garlic and shallots in frying pan on medium heat. Once shallots begin to turn transparent and soft, throw all veggies in the pan and sauté until veggies are thawed (if using frozen), or if using fresh, add spices immediately. Cook until browned. Serve immediately for a vegan dish or top with a warm over-easy egg, allowing the runny yolk to break and coat veggies under it.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving: 350
17 grams
56 grams
11 grams
6 grams
3 grams
147 milligrams
1346 milligrams
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
106 %
232 %
23 %

5 Benefits of Chia Seeds + Chia Pudding Recipe

benefits of chia seeds

Chia pudding has been getting lots of attention lately.

Both foodies and fitties alike have been obsessing over this healthy snack and breakfast treat, and if you have yet to hop on the bandwagon, you’ve been missing out.

Unlike traditional puddings, chia pudding is not only beneficial to your health, but also quite filling due to the seeds’ very high fiber content. Once in contact with liquid, the seeds expand to 12x their original weight & size, and turn gelatinous. Think about the raw seeds entering your body, and then expanding as they work their way through your digestive track: The affect is similar to that of a snowball rolling down a snow covered hill, and as it gains momentum, it also starts to collect more snow around it. The seeds in your digestive tract move through your intestines, and do the same thing but pick up leftover bits of food. This can also help you lose weight!

Chia seeds are a nutrition powerhouse, and easily fit into the superfood category. Per tablespoon, chia seeds offer more Omega 3 fatty acids than salmon. Omega 3’s are essential for brain development & mental health, heart health, & positive behavioral health in children to name just a few benefits. Surprisingly, many people are actually deficient in this essential fatty acid, mostly due to the 1990’s trend of trying to eliminate fat with “low fat” and “fat free” products dominating the grocery store shelves. The general public seemed to assume that fat in food = fat on your body, which isn’t true at all. Thankfully, people started to do their research and eventually came to realize that certain fats are healthy and in fact good for you!

Calcium is a necessary vitamin in our diet, and chia seeds pack a punch — double that compared to a serving of almonds. As we all know, calcium is essential for building strong bones and to help your heart, muscles and nerves function. For those of you who are lactose-intolerant or vegan, you know how hard it can be to get enough calcium, so if you haven’t started sprinkling these beauties on everything yet, what’s stopping you?

The Aztecs & Mayans considered these seeds a dietary staple, and  knew how nutritious they were. The word chia coincidentally even translates to “strength” in Mayan, so it’s any wonder why these little black seeds are hailed as a superfood. Chia seeds are rich in antioxidants, which help to fight off free radicals which damage healthy cells in your body. Free radicals can contribute to not only aging but also diseases like cancer. 

chia seed benefits

I like to add chia seeds to just about everything – just be sure not to add them to anything you’re not going to eat right away (meal prepping) as they will quickly “gel up” and have the potential to solidify a smoothie. I’ll sprinkle chia seeds on top of salads, mixed in with musli or granola, on top of parfaits, in oatmeal, but my favourite way to enjoy them is in a chia pudding. 

Chia Pudding 

  • 1/2 cup of homemade almond milk 
  • 1/4 cup of chia seeds
  • 1 Tbsp of buckwheat groats
  • 1 tsp of ground flax seeds
  • 1 chopped organic Medjool date
  • 1 Tbsp of coarsely chopped almonds

Combine all ingredients in a bowl with a lid. Place in fridge for 4 hours, stirring occasionally. It will be ready once it has “set” like traditional pudding. Experiment with different flavours by topping it with cinnamon, cacao, bee pollen, vanilla bean, or whatever tickles your fancy.