The poor Brussel Sprout, small and homely, always gets a bad rap and people assume they don’t amount to much — but how wrong that is! Truthfully, I don’t recall ever even seeing Brussel Sprouts, much less eating them when I was growing up in New Mexico. All I had ever heard about them is that they were a strange, odd tasting vegetable sometimes eaten by people in Europe.
By the time I left New Mexico I considered myself a ‘vegetarian’ but I still hadn’t tried Brussel Sprouts — until one day about 15 years ago I saw them attractively displayed in a Whole Foods grocery store. I was so drawn to their frosty green coolness. The plump little balls looked like they would be fun to eat. So I bought a half pound and took them home.
How to bring out the best in Brussel SproutS
A friend gave me some tips as to how to cook them. Brussel Sprouts can have a slight bitterness and toughness when not cooked properly. But if you boil or steam them first until they are a bright kelly green, they are tender as can be and any bitterness is gone. (Then you’ll find they have their own rich taste which I think is better than their cousin, the cabbage). This is why Brussel Sprouts can be called a “twice cooked vegetable”: first you boil/steam them to a heightened green color, then you bake them, saute them, broil them, or whatever else suits your fancy.
Brussel Sprouts are a big provider of ALA Omega-3 fatty acids — So You can Skip the Fish!
But don’t skip Brussel Sprouts. The really magnificent thing about these brawny little champions is that they are packing more nutrition than many of the better known ‘superfoods’, particularly in terms of antioxidents and they have a big punch of the all important ALA Omega-3 fatty acids.
Big Agriculture likes to have people thinking that animal meat, in particular, fish meat is the only real source of Omega-3 fatty acids. But that is patently false and Brussels Sprouts, with their large wallop of Omega-3’s, can knock that fallacy right out of the rink. (There are also a number of other plant providers Omega-3 fatty acids.)
And just take a look at a small part of the Brussel Sprout nutrient list:
(per one cup serving)
|Total Carbohydrate 8 g||2%|
|Dietary fiber 3.3 g||13%|
|Sugar 1.9 g|
|Protein 3 g||6%|
|Vitamin A||13%||Vitamin C||124%|
|Vitamin D||0%||Vitamin B-6||10%|
Parmesan Encrusted Brussel Sprouts (vegan)
As far as I am concerned, “Parmesan Encrusted” is the best possible recipe for Brussel Sprouts. The only thing that could be up for debate is whether to bake, broil or saute (or maybe even grill). I prefer to saute until they are a deep golden crispy brown. But even without the parmesan, the sprout wills come out buttery and rich tasting after being sauteed in a little olive oil. They will definitely taste like they have many more calories than they actually do (a mere 38 calories per cup!). Also, this is a ‘one pot’ dish.
*For the Parmesan Cheeze you are going to make your very own with the easy recipe reprinted below (really – couldn’t be easier!).
And now for the Recipe:
Parmesan Encrusted Brussel Sprouts
Ingredients and Method:
- 3 cups of Brussel Sprouts
- 2-3 cups purified water
- approx. 3 tablespoons of Olive Oil
- Salt and Pepper
- Tabasco Sauce
- Parmesan cheeze!
- Give a good wash to about 3 cups of Brussel Sprouts (no need to soak)
- Place them in a sauce pan or pot and cover them with good cold clear water. I always use my purified water for this rather than tap water because they will to soak up any taste that the water has.
- Bring them to a boil and watch to see when they turn a brighter kelly green.
- This is when you take them off the stove and drain off the water, then return to the stove.
- Now, on medium heat, give all the Sprouts a nice coating of Olive Oil right there in the pan (use a large spoon to roll them around).
- Now give a whoosh of salt and a grind of pepper — roll them around again.
- Important Ingredient: Here comes the Tabasco Sauce! Give about 4-5 good drabs of it over the sprouts and spoon roll again. (this should be enough to awaken the flavor, but not to make them hot).
- Now for the piece de resistance — oh, yes! — time for the wonderful “parmesan cheeze” you just made from the recipe below. Liberally sprinkle it all over the Sprouts, give them a roll, sprinkle again, and repeat until they are nice and coated.
- Then saute until they are a golden brown with a wonderful aroma to go with it.
Almond Parmesan cheeze (Vegan)
1/2 cup of almond slivers for each grind
1/2 teaspoon of Tumeric for a little flavor and cheesy yellow coloring
1 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt (but of course any salt would do)
1 teaspoon of Garlic powder
1 ‘pinch’ of Tajin (a mexican style lime and chile seasoning available in grocery stores)
Optional: 1 spare pinch of Sriracha salt — for those who love the heat
Then I just gave it a grind until it had the same powdery consistency as Parmesan Cheese and Walla! It comes out darn close!