Sunday, October 2, 2011

Vegan Mofo #3 - Lauren’s Apple Cider Brussels Sprouts...

Vegan Mofo #3 - Lauren’s Apple Cider Brussels Sprouts

The Book - "Vegan Yum Yum"
The Author - Lauren Ulm
The Recipe - Apple Cider Brussels Sprouts
Page # 133
Difficulty - Easy
Duration - Roughly 10 minutes prep time 20 minutes cooking time.

Brussels Sprouts are another one of those foods that I didn’t start enjoying until I was an adult. Though honestly I don’t remember ever eating them as a child and can’t recall now if I actually disliked them for valid reasons or because Brussels seem to be the one vegetable that society actually commands us to hate. Though they periodically entered my home growing up, and though they were occasionally served at holiday functions I can’t actually recall a time when I might have tried them. It wasn’t until a few years ago that on a whim I decided to give them a fair shake.

I definitely think that Brussels Sprouts get a bad rap, one that’s continually perpetuated in society. I mean at this point not liking them is practically a cliche. I’m not exactly sure what fostered this ardent global hatred for the tiny cabbage but I think part of it probably has to do with the fact that a lot of people simply don’t know how to cook or prepare them. So often they’re the type of vegetable that gets boiled to death, until it’s discolored and yellow. Or they’re under steamed and tough. More often then that even I find that people really under dress them. Brussels Sprouts have a very bold sometimes bitter flavor. Like green cabbage but stronger and more potent. So a lot of times a simple mixture of butter, salt and pepper doesn’t go a long way, with those who are unfamiliar with the sprouts. Personally I think Brussels are much better showcased when paired with other bold flavors that lean more towards sweet, sour, and sometimes savory. Especially if you’re trying to introduce them to someone new. One of my favorite simple ways to eat them is steamed with just a little bit of olive oil, a generous helping of balsamic vinegar, a big pinch of salt and some black pepper. It might not sound like much but that vinegar really mellows the Sprouts out. Giving them a sweet and sour tang yet allowing them to maintain their integrity.

This recipe does a great job of letting the taste of Brussels Sprouts shine, while simultaneously tempering them with the natural sweetness of apple. It’s a brilliant combination, and if you’ve ever roasted Brussels Sprouts in the oven with Granny Smith Apples then you know exactly what I’m talking about. The apple-sprout combo just works magic. This is a very simple recipe with few ingredients and a quick cooking time. Which I really like, especially on a day when you want to make something delicious and kinda decadent in a pinch. Adding Dijon mustard into the glaze is also an inspired idea, it adds a delicious tang that balances out the sweetness of the apple and helps mask any bitterness from the sprouts. Though honestly Dijon has always been my favorite kind of mustard so anytime it’s used in a recipe I’m always ecstatic.

Ever since being converted to the ways of the sprout I honestly can’t say enough good things about them. They’re nutritious, bursting with flavor, versatile, and easy to cook. I only wish I’d been wise to their awesomeness earlier. Perhaps if I’d had this recipe growing up I would have. I think Lauren’s Apple Cider Brussels Sprouts are the perfect way to jazz up your next holiday dinner, and they’re so delicious I bet you can get at least one sprout skeptic to perk up and say "Not bad" In the very least if you like Brussels Sprouts this recipe will be something different, we all need a change of pace once in a while and if you’re looking for a serving suggestion I think they’d go exceptionally well next to Colleen’s Apple Cranberry Stuffing, and Lauren’s Candied Lime Sweet Potatoes!


  1. I just posted about these today too - and loved them as much. I also hated brussels sprouts as a child - even when my mum cooked them in honey but now I am happy to have them steamed and plain as long as they are not overdone - often eat them this way as a side dish

  2. lol! Wow how funny that we both posted about the same thing on the same day. Agreed I am so happy to be a Sprouts convert, and they are super good steamed!

  3. Ok, I'm not the biggest Brussels sprouts fan around but I'm slowly being converted. I agree, it's all in how you prepare it b/c I've never tasted Brussels sprouts quite like you make them. Quite often, it's hard to even tell they're there, if they're mixed in w/ a lot of other things. We'll see. Maybe 1 day I'll be able to eat whole Brussels sprouts instead of having them chopped up into tiny pieces. ;) - Matt