Over the past 10 years, we’ve seen the reputation of the Brussels sprout do an absolute 180. It went from being a limp, gross side dish whined about by children everywhere to becoming a widely-loved star among veggies. And nutritionists couldn’t be happier about their popularity. Sprouts are full of antioxidants, high in protein and clock in at just 28 calories in ½ cup. With each serving, you’ll also be treated to 20 essential vitamins and minerals, including vitamins A, B, C, E and K.
They are also on the list of approved non-starchy vegetables put out by the American Diabetes Association, which encourages diabetics to eat as much of them as they’d like. Plus, Brussels sprouts contain something called sulforaphane, a chemical linked to anticancer properties. Boiling diminishes these powers, so steaming or roasting is your best (and by far tastiest) bet. Here are a few of our favorite ways to prepare Brussels sprouts:
Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad with Red Onion, Lemon and Pecorino
Adapted from: Food 52
½ small red onion
Juice of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon whole grain mustard
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 cups Brussels sprouts (use larger sprouts if possible)
½ cup finely grated pecorino romano or parmesan
1. Slice onion and soak in cold water while you prepare the remaining ingredients. Whisk together lemon juice, honey, mustard, salt and pepper in a bowl. Add olive oil, whisking until dressing is well blended.
2. Cut off the hard ends of the Brussels sprouts (along with any bruises). Shave each sprout separately with a mandolin. Once shaved, use your hands to shred the leaves, until it takes the form of a slaw.
3. Drain onions and gently toss with shaved sprouts and dressing. Sprinkle with pecorino. Serve right away as this salad can droop.
Balsamic-Dijon Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Adapted from: The Vegan Crew
Serves 3 to 4
12 ounces Brussels sprouts
2 tablespoons Balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons water
Salt and freshly ground black
½ teaspoon maple syrup or agave nectar (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
2. Rinse, trim and slice Brussels sprouts in half lengthwise.
3. Whisk together all ingredients except Brussels sprouts (including agave/maple syrup, if using).
4. Toss Brussels sprouts and vinaigrette together, mixing evenly.
5. Spread out on over-safe pan that’s been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray and roast in oven for 20 minutes, flipping half way through.
Photo credit: Andrea Nguyen