caramelized brussel sprouts with a honey balsamic drizzle

 

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with sausage for optional meatiness

I sort of forgot about Brussels sprouts until I saw a beautiful photo of a side dish in this fall’s Food & Drink (LCBO magazine).  Inspired, I purchased some this weekend and remembered how much I like them.  They are really easy to prep and take on flavours quite well, making them really tasty with this super easy balsamic honey drizzle.  Be sure to let them brown up in the pan to get a nutty sweet flavour out of them!

I have to admit they were not a hit with either piepie or boss (now ages 4 and 2) – but they did give it a try (mommy rules: you must try everything at least once).  My husband really liked it though! It went well with our Sunday local craft beers:)

what you need:

  • ~1lb Brussel sprouts
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • salt and pepper
  • cooking oil (I used avocado oil) & olive oil
  • optional* 2 honey garlic sausages (or if you like a kick, use spicy Italian)

what to do:

  1. In a large pot bring some water to a boil.
  2. Wash Brussel sprouts and then trim off the hard bottoms, then cut them in half lengthwise.
  3. Roughly chop garlic and set aside.  If you are using sausage, cut it up into small chunks.
  4. Place Brussel sprouts in boiling water and cook for about 2 minutes, they will turn bright green and soften slightly (but don’t leave them for too long, no one likes mushy Brussel sprouts!).
  5. Drain Brussel sprouts and set them aside in a bowl.
  6. *skip this step if you are not using sausage – In a frying pan, heat up 1 tsp cooking oil and add sausage pieces, browning them on all sides and making sure to cook through. Remove sausage from heat and set aside. Use the same pan for next step.
  7. Add about 1/2 tbsp cooking oil to a large frying pan on medium heat and add half the garlic, sautéing for about 20 seconds.  Add half of your Brussel sprouts cut side down, allowing them to brown and caramelize, about 1-2 minutes. Remove from pan and repeat this process with the remaining garlic and Brussel sprouts.
  8. Add everything back into the pan for a final sauté, season with salt and pepper, about 1 minute, tossing everything to mix. Remove and place onto your serving platter.
  9. In the same pan on medium low, add 1 tsp olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and honey. It will bubble and reduce a little bit – about 20 seconds – then drizzle onto your Brussel sprouts. Serve hot. Enjoy!

 

carrot salad with a light ginger dressing

carrot

light & fresh, perfect for complimenting a summer BBQ

My husband insisted on using our rotisserie on the BBQ tonight (to which he added applewood chips…definitely worth the wait! Delicious chicken, so much flavour and very juicy! He keeps joking he will post his stuff on his own site, called “fit for beer dad”). Anyways, we needed a side dish so I decided to make a light salad. I’m really a big fan of these kinds of salads (grated hearty vegetables) because it is so much more exciting than lettuce, and packs more flavour and nutrients per bite. This salad is very low maintenance – the hardest part is grating carrots…pie pie helped me with this part on the deck and then I let her throw the carrot tops into the yard to feed the rabbits and deer (she got a kick out of that!). You don’t even need to mix the dressing separately in a jar, you can just measure and pour the ingredients directly onto the grated carrots. It also keeps well in the fridge until the next day, so make extra to take for lunch!

prep: 10 min   yield: 4-6 servings

what you need:

  • 5 medium carrots
  • 1 green onion
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup roasted whole almonds

dressing:

  • 1 tbsp finely grated ginger (the easiest is to freeze fresh ginger and then use a microplane to grate it)
  • 1 tsp red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tbsp raw honey
  • small pinch of salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil

what to do:

  1. Soak raisins in a little bit of warm water, just enough almost cover them.
  2. Meanwhile, throughly wash carrots, then peel. Use a box grater to grate all the carrots. Place into a salad bowl.
  3. Wash green onion and then chop finely. Add to carrots.
  4. Roughly chop almonds into irregular sizes and shapes. Set aside.
  5. Add dressing ingredients directly into carrot bowl and toss to mix.
  6. Drain raisins from water and toss with carrots.
  7. Right before serving, add chopped almond pieces and toss to mix. Enjoy!