Blazing Brussel Sprouts

soft little cabbagesHave you ever seen brussel sprouts on a stalk? Months ago my sister in law gave me one long stalk and I instantly fell in love with the sight. I, never having eaten one before, could not immediately understand why these cute little round cabbages could be the bane of so many a child’s existence.  Instantly I developed the simplest (and ridiculously tasty) method to cooking them: roasted in the oven.  Are you surprised? Most of my go-to quick veg meals involve the oven and no work.

I have since learned that overcooking can lead to an unappealing color and aftertaste, but in my short experience with them, such a result is rarely achieved by a simple roast so I implore you to try it out and cook them this way.  If you have developed a hatred for them, I would suggest that it is merely conditioning from childhood complaints from peers and possibly one bad foray.  So just try it. Plus, I just decided to read up on them a bit and learned they have a reputation for having potent anti-cancer properties as well as DNA rebuilding properties. An expert could share more insight on that though. They are also high in protein (when coupled with whole grains, the amino acid spectrum is complete) and fiber; all good things in my book.Ingredients

  • 1 lb organic brussel sprouts, rinsed (20-30; I like smaller-sized ones)
  • 5 pearl red onions, peels and halved
  • 4 garlic cloves, sliced
  • olive oil
  • 1/3 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp red chili powder
  • 1-1 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • salt
  • black pepper
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • dried pomegranate powder

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  In a large bowl combine roughly 3 tbsp of olive oil,  turmeric, chili powder, cumin, and lemon juice until mixed well.  Add salt and black pepper to your preference. The benefit of salt is you can always just sprinkle a little after it’s cooked if needed, so no need to go overboard.

Toss brussel sprouts, onion halves and garlic into mixture, and spread into a deep baking dish or pan.  Make sure everything is well coated in oil and spice.  Lastly, sprinkle the pomegranate powder generously on top, and cover the dish tightly with foil. This results in a mix between roasting and steaming the veggies, both good ways of cooking that retain the nutritional value.  (FYI: boiling is the worst “healthy” way to prepare vegetables, as the water strips them of a lot of their vitamins etc and is then washed down the drain).

Pop in the oven and promptly forget about it until your favorite rerun of Friends of Everybody Loves Raymond has finished you’ve finished cooking the rest of dinner, about 25 minutes later. You can check on them, give them a quick mix/toss once during that time, and let them cook until you can halve them smoothly with a fork.  For me, that’s about 25 minutes, but every oven is different. Remove from the oven, squeeze a little lime and serve immediately, getting ready to witness what melt-in-your-mouth magic feels like… with a vegetable, no less.

If you really don’t like them after this… I pity your taste buds.  Seriously.  Pity pity pity! Pity pita with some humdrum hummus for you! (ok I love hummus, but you get what I mean.) It’s a great side, I promise thee.  The garlic is rendered soft and smooth, without any of the sharpness attributed to its raw form, and the pearl onions offer a delicate tang. It’s a worthy dish.

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