Who would have thought that Brussel Sprouts would be the vegetable of choice by my daughter? Not me that’s for sure. I made them for dinner one day and she was very excited – “Yea! Brussel Sprouts!” I was a little surprised at her excitement for this tiny cabbage but I went with it.
Getting your kids to eat any vegetables (or anything healthy for that matter) can be a chore, but after years of leading by example, my daughter has finally caught on that veggies can taste good.
Perhaps it’s the way I make them. I don’t know. Well, they do contain bacon and bacon makes everything taste good. Bacon is the gateway drug for vegans and vegetarians to start eating meat again. It’s that powerful.
If you are looking for a good side dish for your holiday table, look no further than this recipe. The sprouts are roasted with a little bacon and garlic. Add a little balsamic vinegar at the end if you so please but that isn’t necessary.
The best thing about this recipe, is that you can either cook them on the stove or in the oven. So... you have a choice! Both cooking methods are below.
Preheat the oven to 375ºF.
In an oven proof saute pan, render the bacon over medium heat until brown and crispy. Remove bacon from the pan. Set aside (don’t eat it!).
Add the brussel sprouts to the pan; toss in the bacon fat. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Place in the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and add the garlic and red pepper flakes. Bake for another 15 minutes or until the sprouts are fork tender.
Remove from oven. Toss with the bacon. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve.
STOVE TOP METHOD:
In a saute pan, render the bacon over medium heat until brown and crispy. Remove bacon from the pan. Set aside (don’t eat it!).
Add the brussel sprouts, garlic, and red pepper flakes to the pan; toss in the bacon fat. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Over medium heat, brown the sprouts on one side for 5 minutes. Lower the heat to medium low, add 1-2 tablespoons water, and cover; cook for 10-15 minutes or until the sprouts are fork tender. Add the bacon at the end of cooking process. Serve.
Add a touch of balsamic vinegar at the end if desired.
Mashed potatoes tend to be a favorite side dish this time of year with the holidays lurking around the corner. When it comes to mashed potatoes, there are two camps of people. In the first camp are those who want mashed potatoes that are light and fluffy and sans lumps.
But then there those in the second camp who really don't care about lumps in the potatoes. We just want to make mashed potatoes as painless as possible. I tend to be in this camp. Look, I cook a lot. I can make perfect mashed potatoes if I really want to. But I don't. I have other things to worry about. My mashed potatoes will taste great but will contain lumps and skins. As a dietitian, I feel it is important to note that the skins contain most of the vitamins, minerals, and a touch of fiber. So eat the skins. They're good for you.
Here you have Roasted Smashed Potatoes. No peeling. No boiling. All you do is roast the potatoes until fork tender, then mash them up (skins and all) with butter, milk, and sour cream. I sound like an infomercial. Sorry.
Roasted Smashed Potatoes
Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
Toss the potatoes and garlic in the olive oil. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Spread mixture onto a sheet pan. Roast in the oven for 30-40 minutes or until the potatoes are fork tender.
Place the cooked potatoes in a bowl. Let them sit for 5 minutes or so to allow some of the steam to come off. Add the butter and sour cream. With a potato masher, mash the butter and sour cream into the potatoes and garlic. Stir in the milk until desired consistency. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve.
Lentils: Pantry Gems by Marcy Gaston