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

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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.

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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.

 

INGREDIENTS

  • 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

 

DIRECTIONS

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.

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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.

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Rustic Roasted Brussels Sprouts – the end result

Serve with mixed grains salad or roasted potatoes.

SERVES: 6

PREP TIME: 5 minutes

TOTAL COOKING TIME:  20 minutes

Why You Should Eat More Fiber + Veggie Skillet Recipe

FRESH TO DEATH NUTRITION (3)

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

Spices

  • 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
Protein
17 grams
Carbohydrates
56 grams
Fiber
11 grams
Sugars
6 grams
Fat
3 grams
Sodium
147 milligrams
Potassium
1346 milligrams
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
Calcium
Iron
106 %
232 %
23 %
40%