Brussels sprouts

Brussels sprouts, crispy tofu, & mustard vinaigrette salad

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After sorrows such as Monday's there are few things I feel like doing, cooking especially, and most likely most of the country is with me. I huddle on the bottom of the tub with my knees hugged to my chest with the warm shower flowing over my head, crying. I ask over and over why; everyone asks why. We keep asking because there is no way to comprehend it, it is so against human nature. Not only this event, but all of them in our country, in other countries. None are more tragic than another. We are so compelled to find reason in the madness. Some way to understand the hate and violence. There is so much violence all around the world fueled by hate, terrorism, sexism, racism, politics, and none of the tragedies from these crimes ever leaves us. Sometimes we forget tragedies that happen to our brothers and sisters around the world until something like this happens so close to home. But really, no matter the reason why, there is no way to understand it. It doesn't make sense. There is no justification for such a horrid acts of hate. The only way to combat it is love. Love for the victims, love for the families, love for our community, love for our country, love for the world. Hearing the stories of love, empathy, and heroism that came out of the chaos is a bit of hope. Witnessing the true human spirit coming out to offer love and support and to hear the reactions and the responses of victims is amazing. I hope that people will spread the love they share with their neighbors and apply it to the rest of the world, we need it. It is the only thing that helps the soul heal and calm down. For all the hate and insanity from people in this world, there is more love. 

“Some people care too much. I think it's called love.” - Pooh

I made this salad last week. It takes me a bit to get back up and feel like cooking after all my emotions are drained. I hope you will enjoy it as much as we did. 

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Recipe (Serves 4) 

1 bunch brussels sprouts (1lb) - Red brussels or regular. Sliced (I cut each into 1/6ths)

Yellow onion - 1/2, chopped. 

1 package tofu - cut into small cubes and pre-pressed if desired.

Tarragon - 1-2 healthy springs, chopped fine

Slivered almonds - scant 1/4 cup

Peptias (Pumpkin seeds) - a handful. 

Lemon - Juice of 1 lemon

Olive oil - 3TB

Coconut oil - 2TB

White wine vinegar - 2tsp

Dijon mustard - about 2tsp

Honey - 1-2tsp

Salt/pepper - to taste

Heat your oven to 350 degrees. Trim off the ends, and chop up the brussels sprouts into slices or into 6ths. Place in bowl and toss with 2TB olive oil and salt/pepper. Spread onto baking sheet and bake in oven for about 20 minuets, tossing half way through.  During the last 5 minutes, spread out the almonds on a separate pan and toast in the oven for the last 5 minutes. 

Meanwhile heat up a large skillet with 2TB of coconut oil on high heat (or olive oil, but in this case, on medium heat). Once hot add in your already pressed and cubed tofu. Toss in the oil and fry until crispy and golden. About 5-10 minutes. 

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Once Brussels sprouts and tofu is cooked, toss together in a bowl along with the chopped onion, tarragon, toasted almond slivers, and pepitas. Whisk together the honey, dijon mustard, and white wine vinegar. Then slowly drizzle in the 1-2TB of olive oil while whisking until you have reached your desired dressing consistency. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to combine. Lastly, squeeze over some fresh lemon juice, toss and distribute into bowls. If desired, top with a little extra tarragon.

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Roasted brussels sprout leaf salad with toasted walnuts & honey dijon vinaigrette

Salad. 

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A well-composed salad is an art. Sometimes I succeed in this art and other times not as much. Sadly, too many people overlook salads on menus or at home because a traditional iceberg lettuce drenched in ranch isn't something special... or even good for you but, it is what the typical idea of a salad is. I love this salad and of course, like any salad, it is open to adaptation. Throw in some dried fruit or other nuts, add more roasted veggies, maybe some chickpeas or french lentils, change up the dressing, etc. I wish I would have had more than a half bundle of brussels sprouts at my house so I could have made more! I'm sure this salad will keep quite well in the fridge - great for leftovers if eaten cold. 

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Recipe (makes two large salads or 4 small as an appetizer) 

1/2 bunch of brussels sprouts - rinsed and then the leaves peeled of from the head into "petals." 

Salad greens - A generous cup or two big handfuls of spring mix or herb blend

Red onion - 1/4 cut diced small

Walnuts - scant 1/2 cup toasted

Parmesan - 1/4cup grated

Dijon mustard - generous 1tsp

Honey - generous 1/2tsp

Apple cider vinegar - 1tsp

Olive oil - 2-3TB

Lemon - juice of 1/2 a lemon

Salt and black pepper - about 1tsp each or to taste

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Heat your oven to 350 degrees. Toasted your walnuts (takes about 5 minutes) and set aside. Peel the leaves off of each brussels sprout and place in a bowl. Toss with 1-2TB olive oil and about a teaspoon each or to taste of salt and pepper. Spread on a baking sheet and place into oven to roast for about 20 minutes. Flipping the brussels sprouts after 10 minutes. While this is roasting prepare your dressing and everything else.

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Dressing - whisk the Mustard, Honey, vinegar, 1TB olive oil together into a small bowl. Set aside until everything is ready. Once the brussels sprouts are roasted toss into a bowl and add the toasted walnuts, chopped red onion, salad greens, and parmesan toss. Drizzle over dressing and taste before adding all of it (in case you want to use less dressing - I used all of it). Toss. Squeeze over fresh lemon juice and toss until it is all incorporated. Enjoy and have a peaceful day. 

 

 

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Sweet Potato and Brussels Sprout hash with a poached egg & Thyme Hollandaise

Brunch.  

Brunch is special. I enjoy a weekend morning where I can take my time in the morning and make something that you don't traditionally think of as breakfast. Brunch breaks the rules and I love it! This meal was so surprisingly good that it will definitely be revisiting my belly for brunch. The only thing I would change is my hollandaise, I added maybe a bit too much lemon that I adjusted the amount in the following recipe. 

*If paleo omit the hollandaise

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Recipe (Enough to serve four) 

Brussels sprouts - 1/2 a bundle, each sprout sliced into four disk

Sweet potato - 2 peeled and chopped into small cubes of roughly equal size

Red onion - 1/2 roughly chopped

Garlic - 2 cloves minced

White pepper - 1 tsp

Salt - about 1/2tsp or to taste

Black pepper - pinch or two to taste

Coconut oil -2TB (feel free to use any oil, I just like coconut oil at higher temps) 

Eggs - one egg for each serving

Thyme hollandaise

Egg yolks - 2

Lemon - juice of 1/2 a lemon

Butter - 4 TB melted

Fresh Thyme - 2tsp chopped

Water - 1TB

Salt and pepper - a few pinches or to taste

Melt you 4 tablespoons of butter in a small sauce pan. Add the 2 tsp of thyme and cook for 1-2 minutes. Turn off heat and let sit to infuse while you prepare the rest of your meal.  Also set out the eggs for poaching on the counter, you want to bring the eggs to room temperature before cooking, it helps with poaching.

Chop up sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts, red onion, and garlic. Heat a medium sauce pot filled with two inches of water until simmering. This will be used later for your hollandaise, so leave this pot aside (simmering) for several minutes until you have started your hash.

In a separate skillet heat oil on medium low heat and add garlic. Cook for a minute until fragrant. Add onion to this skillet and increase heat to medium. Cook for a few minutes until onion starts to soften. Add sweet potatoes and increase heat to medium high/ high heat. Cook about 8-10 minutes stirring/flipping occasionally until potatoes are almost cooked and start to brown. Add Brussels sprouts and cook for several more minutes until starting to color (4-5 minutes). Season with white pepper, black pepper, and salt. 

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Now, while sweet potatoes are cooking, you can work on the hollandaise sauce. Combine egg yolks, 1 TB of water and juice of 1/2 a lemon in a small-ish stainless steel bowl and place over the prepared pot of simmering water (hold with a oven mit or rag - the bowl will get warm). You want the bowl to be hovering over the simmering water, not touching the water if possible. Whisk eggs/water/lemon juice together for several minutes. It will start to get foamy and thicken. You want to thicken your eggs but not cook them. After 2-3 minutes remove from head and slowly drizzle in butter/thyme mixture while whisking vigorously. Keep whisking until your hollandaise has thickened up some. Set aside.

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After you finish the hollandaise, use your simmering pot of water and fill with more water (make sure it is a few inches full) and add in a splash of apple cider vinegar. Heat the pot up to a high simmer/low boil. At this time spoon your hash mixture onto plates to be ready for your poached eggs and get out a wooden spoon. Crack an egg into a small ramekin. Once water is ready, dip the edge of the ramekin into the water and gently pour the egg into the water (one at a time). Use the wooden spoon to gently swish the water surrounding the egg towards the egg to help hold the shape. Cook on a high simmer for 3-4 minutes ( I like my yolk runny) or longer for a cooked yolk. Remove egg with a slotted spoon, let drain and place on top of hash. Spoon over hollandaise. Repeat process for any other servings. Devour and lick plate clean. Happy brunching!

 

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