Tuesday, January 12, 2010

4. Brussels Sprouts

Now before you go throwing up in your mouth a little bit, hear me out on this one. I'm now convinced as an adult that small children are convinced to believe terrible and horrible and scary things about a lot of stuff. Brussels sprouts just happen to join that list (along with fillings at the dentist). I think if cooked right, they're totally delicious.

I had heard they tasted and smelled terrible, and they weren't something my mother ever made. That's probably because my dad hated them. I didn't try them until the ripe old age of 23. I was living with a coworker at the time, and the sweetheart would pack me lunch for work every day. She was a fun mother to one fun child, and a mother with a new onset of dementia. The three of them liked cooking together while her husband was on deployment. This particular summer day her son had helped grill up a killer flank steak, along with baked beans and brussels sprouts. They came off the grill, and they were salt and peppered to perfection. They smelled awful, I'm not gonna lie, but I was really impressed with the taste.

That was the first and only time I had eaten these little sprouts, and after that I never tried them again. While at the grocery store last weekend I passed them in the produce department and asked my husband if he liked them. Score! He did! So I grabbed up a decent sized bag and decided I'd try making them at home. I've been trying to eat better (trying is the key word, fancy macaroni and hot dog rolls don't help) and love roasted vegetables. I usually throw my choice of vegetables out on a baking sheet, drizzle them with olive oil, salt and pepper and sometimes add a few cloves of peeled garlic. Because I feared them tasting terrible, I Googled brussels sprouts and came up with this easy and delicious recipe.

Ina Garten's Roasted Brussels Sprouts

These are so good. The only change I made to the recipe was just cooking them a bit longer than suggested. I think it could just be my oven, as I'm pretty sure I cooked them just how they were supposed to be. They were melt in your mouth tender. We were both impressed. I made them with asparagus, sweet Campari tomatoes and onions. My favorite collection of meals this week had to have been the roasted vegetables, wheat bowtie pasta with the roasted Campari tomatoes for the sauce, a little roasted onion and a baked chicken breast, and the left over white chili I made last weekend. Eating well (and healthy) is so very easy and so very affordable if you know how to do it the right way. It takes practice but you'll thank yourself for it. And I hope you may consider giving sprouts another try.

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