Showing posts with label roasted Brussels sprouts. Show all posts
Showing posts with label roasted Brussels sprouts. Show all posts

14 November 2014

For a Frugal Thanksgiving: Vegetable Side Dishes, Part One

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Carrots
For the past seven weeks, I've been dealing with some back issues that have made mobility painful. I'm on the mend, but the process is slow.

I miss cooking. I've been getting by with bagged salads, cereals and easy-to-make sandwiches plus the contents of my freezer's soup stash and my husband's cooking.

I miss puttering around in the kitchen. The organization, the prep, the chopping and slicing and dicing. I'm hoping to be back in full action in two weeks, just in time for Thanksgiving.

Some people insist on tradition, serving the same menu year after year. That would drive me crazy. I like to mix it up a little, try something new. Each Thanksgiving and each Christmas is different. One year we had chateaubriand. Last year we had coq au vin. No final decision on this year yet, but it's safe to say we will have one or two vegetable side dishes.

Roasted Cauliflower with Gruyere and Cheddar Cheese
Our choices may be one of the following:

Sautéed Fresh Corn with Onions: I've been making a roasted version using frozen kernels that is almost as good.

Maple Roasted Carrots with Onions and Thyme: This is a classic at my house, but I'm the only one who eats it. I now use fresh carrots. When I took this photo, I was cleaning out the freezer, so I used an emergency ration.

Roasted Carrots with Brown Sugar and Thyme: This is one of my favorite carrot dishes. It takes the recipe above and kicks it up a notch.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Carrots: I prefer fresh vegetables, but if you're pinched for time, this recipe makes frozen Brussels sprouts taste really good. I paired mine with fresh carrots.

Roasted Cauliflower with Gruyere and Cheddar Cheese: This pairs well with ham and sweet potatoes. A side salad of Brussels sprouts rounds out the meal. Corn bread is a nice addition.

More frugal side dish options to follow.

04 February 2014

How to Make Frozen Brussels Sprouts Taste Good

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Carrots
At the beginning of every winter we stock up on essentials, like coffee, paper products, laundry detergent and kitchen staples. Wisconsin weather is fickle, and it's more likely to turn bad than good. Some days it is just too much of a hassle to run errands. That is the beauty of early retirement: Going outside in winter only when it is an absolute necessity.

We also fill our freezer with vegetables and fish. My vegetable list is topped by Brussels sprouts, cauliflower and broccoli. I replenish my stock mid-winter, and hasten to clean it out by June. I think my semi-annual Clean Out the Fridge Month, which comes in spring and lasts longer than four weeks, is my favorite time of year. It is a creative time, when much experimentation takes place in my kitchen. I also spend less on groceries during that period!

Frozen vegetables are supposed to be a better nutritional value than fresh vegetables that have traveled hundreds of miles to supermarkets, so I always have plenty on hand from September to May.

I love the earthy taste of Brussels sprouts, and I don't think I have ever had a dish made with them that was not good. My soup and warm salad recipes are repeat performers. They are best made with fresh Brussels sprouts.

So what can you do to dress up a bag of frozen Brussels sprouts? Here is my favorite dish, Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Carrots.
  • 1 bag of baby Brussels sprouts (about 32 ounces)
  • 4-5 medium carrots, parboiled and sliced
  • 2 tablespoons canola or olive oil
  • salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Clean, parboil and slice the carrots. Set aside.

Spray a low baking dish or low casserole dish with oil (you could actually skip this step). Empty the bag of Brussels sprouts directly into the dish (or into a separate bowl), add the carrots, and drizzle with oil. Season. I added some Mural of Flavor from Penzeys, one of my new acquisitions, which blends shallots, onion, garlic, thyme, rosemary, basil, coriander, lemon peel, citric acid, black pepper, chives, green peppercorns, dill weed, and orange peel. I think thyme and a dash of lemon peel would be a an equally perfect addition.

Roast for about 30-40 minutes, or until sprouts cook through and begin to brown.

The result is sweet, earthy and nutty and the perfect side dish for a meal featuring pork. If you have time, caramelized shallots would be a wonderful topping.

Coming up: How to make a bag of frozen carrots taste good.

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