Thursday, May 26, 2011

Chou de Bruxelles

Ah yes, chou de Bruxelles, more commonly known as the Brussels Sprout. I have a confession about this tiny green cabbage that I would like to share with you. As a dietitian it is part of my job to promote the consumption of two fruits and five vegetables per day, and as a vegetarian the majority of my diet is made up of the aforementioned produce (with some chocolate thrown in for good measure). However, with all these vegetable-centric lifestyle factors there are still two vegetables that I try to avoid like the plague: cauliflower (cooked, I like it raw) and Brussels sprouts.
That was until recently when for some reason I began to crave the chou de Bruxelles. Each week at the markets I would ponder a bag of baby sprouts before turning and walking away, I didn't want this craving to end badly with a pile of sodden steamed or boiled sprouts and the stink of cabbage to taint my memory.
So I waited, and I considered how I would really like to enjoy my Brussels sprouts. Then like a gastronomic miracle whole living came to the rescue with this recipe for Roasted Brussels Sprouts. Taking this as my inspiration I set to work on creating the Chic Chickpea version, and now I present it to you:

Chic chou de Bruxelles Bake

250g baby Brussels sprouts
1 apple
1 pear
1 red onion
10 thyme sprigs
3tbs grapeseed oil
Salt and pepper

  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius and line a baking tray with paper
  2. Core apple and pear and slice both thinly and place into a medium size bowl
  3. Halve Brussels sprouts and add to the bowl
  4. Peel onion and cut into wedges (I think I did eighths here) and add to vegetable mix
  5. Drizzle over oil and add thyme and a little salt and pepper
  6. Gently toss vegetable mix with hands to ensure it is all coated by the oil.
  7. Spread across baking tray and slide into the oven. Bake for approximately 30 minutes.
Next time I would add some chopped hazelnuts or almonds about 10 minutes from the end as some roasted nuts would compliment the flavours immensely.
I served mine with chickpeas (for moi of course) and some roasted chicken breasts (for my beloved omnivores) along with some blanched asparagus and butter beans and roasted potatoes it made for a lovely Sunday evening dinner.

Mon Petit Chou Part Deux
I had a few Brussels sprouts leftover for my dinner during the week. The markets that weekend has also yielded some Swiss brown mushrooms, my absolute favourite for their earthy and essentially "mushroomy" taste.
Into the frypan went:
A handful of Brussels sprouts, halved
6 Swiss brown mushrooms, sliced
2 large handfuls baby spinach
Small handful of hazelnuts, chopped
 I added the mushrooms and sprouts first and after they had softened I added the hazelnuts and fried this all until the nuts became fragrant. Then I tossed the spinach in along with a small amount of soy sauce to bring out the mushroom flavour and cooked until the spinach was wilted.
I  was going to add some kidney beans to the dish to get some protein into the dish, however I ate them while I was watching it all cook. Yes, I am one of those strange people who likes to eat the beans straight out of the can (please, no judging).

This past weekend was also my little sister's 21st birthday. To celebrate we had breakfast at the markets where we purchased some of these beautiful roses to decorate the tables at the restaurant where we were had a birthday breakfast party.
For Jess's party favours she baked some beautiful devil's food cupcakes from Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook, and then iced them with cocoa buttercream frosting and of course....sprinkles!
Happy Birthday Little Chic Chickpea! 21 years sure have gone fast.
Here's to all your wishes for the next year, and many more birthday cupcakes to come.

1 comment:

  1. brussels sprouts are my favorite vegetable! i've never cooked them in these ways, though, i'll have to give them a try. i usually just roast them in olive oil with some salt & pepper or steam them and top with a tahini sauce. i can't wait to try something new :)