Saturday, March 22, 2014

ain't no doubt - I love sprouts! (roasted brussels sprouts with carrots recipe)

It's true.  I know it may be hard to believe, but as long as I can remember, I've always LOVED brussels sprouts. From what I understand, however, they are definitely one of those foods in the "you either love 'em or hate 'em" category - and most people I know lean towards the latter.  If you are a sprout-hater :( , I'm not here to try to convert you, because believe me, I know first hand about extreme aversions to the taste of certain foods (hello, cilantro!).  However, if you already feel the love for these adorable little cabbage mini-mes, I'm here to share my favourite way to prepare them. And okay, maybe there's a teeny tiny part of me that hopes you haters out there might reconsider too - because besides being delicious, these little babies pack a BIG nutritional punch:

  • They are exceptionally rich in protein, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
  • Sprouts belong to the same family as other nutrient-rich vegetables such as broccoli, collard greens, cabbage, and kale.
  • If you combine brussels sprouts with a whole grain (such as quinoa), you create a "complete protein", which makes a great replacement for animal protein in a meal.  Yay, plant power! :) 

I know.  You're thinking, "great, not only do they taste horrible, they're good for me too" - and I'm pushing you even farther away.  But don't give up on me yet.  Because this recipe combines sprouts with something you might actually like - carrots - and together, it's a roasty, toasty, veggie marriage made in heaven - the sweetness of the carrots offsets the bitterness of the sprouts, and it's a virtual flavour explosion! So let's get started, shall we?  As always, choose organic produce whenver possible for optimum nutritional value:

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Carrots 
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time:  30 minutes
Serves: 2-4

2 c. brussels sprouts
2 c. carrots
2-3 tbsp. olive oil (or camelina oil, see below)
1-2 garlic cloves, minced 
A generous pinch of sea salt
1/4 tsp. fresh ground black pepper

Before I continue with the recipe, I MUST make mention of camelina oil.  While I LOVE olive oil, and continue to use it, when I started to dig deeper into the world of culinary nutrition, I came across this wonderful product, derived from an ancient grain - it is not only exceptionally nutritious, but it has a fantastic flavour that enhances anything you cook with it.  Like olive oil, it tolerates a high cooking temperature, and due to it's high Vitamin E content, has a long shelf-life; and as if that wasn't enough, it's high in Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids, is non-GMO, sustainable, and traceable (literally, right down to the field where the camelina grain was grown).  I use a brand manufactured in Saskatchewan, made by Three Farmers - and if you hadn't already guessed, I highly recommend it - not only for this recipe, but for anything you would normally use olive oil for.  (And they didn't pay me a cent to tell you that either - honestly, I just love the stuff).

Okay!  We now return to our regularly scheduled program...

Set oven to 400°

Rinse and clean the brussels sprouts, chop off the ends if necessary, and remove any loose leaves; you can either leave them whole, or cut in half lengthwise (or a combo of both, depending on the size of the sprout).

Peel and chop carrots into 1-inch chunks.

Finely mince/chop garlic.

Another handy hint - I use a tool I love called a mezzaluna to chop/mince garlic (named obviously for its half moon or crescent shape - yep, there I go with my awesome Italian language skills again!) ;-) You just rock it back and forth across the garlic, and it gets the job done quickly (mine is double-bladed, so it's extra quick), and you can chop the garlic as chunky or as fine as you like.  It's also a great tool for finely chopping fresh herbs such as parsley, rosemary, etc. - super quick and easy!

Place sprouts, carrots and garlic in a mixing bowl.  Drizzle with oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and toss to coat:

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (a more healthful non-stick option, and easier for cleanup), and arrange vegetable mixture in a single layer.

Roast veggies in oven for 25-30 minutes (rearrange with a wooden spoon approximately every 10 minutes for even roasting):

Remove, and transfer to a serving bowl, or straight to your dinner plate. (But be careful, those little suckers retain their heat like no tomorrow!) 

Looks delicious right?  Can't you just taste that savoury, earthy, goodness from here?  You can prepare this recipe to serve as a side dish, or serve atop a bed of quinoa for a warming, nutritious, (and meatless) meal all on its own.  It's even great the next day for leftovers. (One of these days, I'll get around to writing a post about my favourite way to warm leftover food...) 

Hope you've enjoyed my little shout out to B-sprouts! :)  I'll leave you with a little tip - although it somewhat defeats the purpose of my attempt to get you to show brussels sprouts a little love, this is also an easy way to roast any number of vegetables - sub the sprouts for broccoli,  sweet potato, butternut squash...whatever medley tickles your fancy - and enjoy! :) 


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Yay! Hello Glenda! I hope you like it! :)

  3. This looks great! You've convinced me, I'll give them a try :-)

  4. Good! Then my work here is done. :) Hope you like them!

  5. looks like a lovely meal to me! seriously i'd be happy with a big bowl! YUM!
    have never heard of camelina oil! will look for it. probably not going to find it here, but i'll look!
    great job on the photography! really beautiful!

    1. Thanks Tracie, yep definitely a meal in itself! In fact, I've inspired myself to roast up a fresh batch! Haha it'll still be yummy with olive oil! Enjoy should you give it a try! :)