Sauteed Brussels Sprouts with Cream

If you’re looking for a different, quick, and seasonal side dish to accompany your Christmas feast this year, I’d like to propose these Sauteed Brussels Sprouts with Cream. And that proposition comes from one who is generally not a fan of Brussels sprouts. This is easy enough for a quick weeknight side, but special enough for a holiday table.

The other evening, my husband told me twice how much he enjoyed the Brussels sprouts I fixed for supper. Coming from him, that is a huge compliment! The idea for the recipe goes to The Bonne Femme Cookbook: Simple, Splendid Food That French Women Cook Every Day. But, as usual, I added my own twist.

These Brussels sprouts will definitely be gracing our dinner table again.

SAUTEED BRUSSELS SPROUTS WITH CREAM
(slightly adapted from The Bonne Femme Cookbook)
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1 pound Brussels sprouts
1 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 Tbsp olive oil
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
2 to 4 Tbsp heavy cream

Trim the stem ends of the Brussels sprouts and cut length-wise into 1/4-inch-wide slices. Place in a saucepan and add enough water to cover. Bring to a boil and cook for 4 minutes (do not overcook–you want the green color to sparkle). Drain, rinse under cold running water, and drain again.

Wipe the saucepan dry, and melt the butter with the olive oil in the same pan over medium-high heat. Add the Brussels sprouts and sauté briefly, until nicely coated and just a little more tender, about 2 minutes. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper. Drizzle cream over the Brussels sprouts and gently toss to coat. Serve.

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On the Side: Mashed Cauliflower

I’m on a continual quest to add more vegetables to our diet. I love veggies, but Jeremy’s not as crazy about them. So, I like to experiment with new dishes that highlight veggies.

The other night I was making a sauté of mushrooms, asparagus, onions, cherry tomatoes, and diced chicken sausage and wanted something to serve alongside. The head of cauliflower in the fridge became my ingredient inspiration and thus the mashed cauliflower recipe was found. I thought it was quite delicious; Jeremy liked the veggie sausage sauté over the cauliflower.

So, if you’re looking for a new veggie dish to try, or a lower carb option to replace mashed potatoes, I suggest you give mashed cauliflower a try. I know I’ll be making it again.

MASHED CAULIFLOWER
(based on a recipe from EatingWell)
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8 cups bite-size cauliflower florets (about 1 head)
3 cloves garlic, peeled
1/4-1/3 cup buttermilk
1-2 Tablespoons plain yogurt
3 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
freshly ground pepper to taste
snipped fresh chives, for garnish

Place cauliflower florets and garlic in a steamer basket over boiling water, cover and steam until very tender, 15-20 minutes.

Place cooked cauliflower and garlic in a food processor. Add buttermilk, yogurt, olive oil, salt and pepper; pulse several times, then process until smooth and creamy. Add more buttermilk or yogurt until desired consistency. Garnish with chives and serve hot.

On the Side: Chicken-Apple Sausage

A few months ago I purchased a pound of ground chicken for the purpose of making homemade chicken sausage. But I couldn’t get it made in time, so I froze the meat until an opportune time. An opportune time arrived in the form of a long weekend with my husband and I dug out the recipe I’d planned to make. Served alongside some eggs and asparagus, these sausages were delicious. And since you’re making them yourself and know all the ingredients included, they are certainly healthier than your average sausage.

CHICKEN-APPLE SAUSAGE
(from The Simple Art of EatingWell)
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2 teaspoons oil
1 small onion, diced
1 medium sweet apple, peeled and diced
1 pound ground chicken
1 Tablespoon of finely chopped fresh sage (or 1 tsp dry)
1 Tablespoon light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds, chopped (optional)
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Heat oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring, until beginning to soften, about 2 minutes. Add apples and cook, stirring, 2 more minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and cool for 5 minutes. Wipe out the pan.

Add chicken, sage, sugar, fennel (if using), salt and pepper to the bowl with the apples and onions. Gently mix to combine.

Generously coat the pan with cooking spray and heat over medium. Using a 1/3-cup measure, scoop 4 portions into the pan, flattening each into a 3-inch patty. Cook until the patties are browned and cooked through, about 3 minutes per side, adjust the heat as necessary to prevent burning. Coat the pan with cooking spray again and repeat with remaining sausage mixture.

On the Side: Orange-Basil Sweet Potatoes

I love sweet potatoes. I could eat them multiple times a week. Jeremy is much more ambivalent about them, but usually willing to try my experiments. I whipped up these unusual sweet potatoes to serve alongside crockpot barbecue ribs. I really enjoyed the flavor combination, though I did go just a little lighter on the dried basil than the recipe specified.

I found this recipe in The Cleaner Plate Club. This is a relatively new cookbook that is geared towards getting kids to eat real food. I don’t have kids, but am very impressed with the recipes in this book. I’ve already tried several and have bookmarked a few more.

ORANGE-BASIL SWEET POTATOES
(from The Cleaner Plate Club)
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2 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
1/2 c. orange juice
1 Tbsp finely chopped fresh basil, or 1 1/2 tsp dried basil
Salt to taste

Steam the sweet potatoes fro 20-30 minutes, until fork-tender. Put a couple of inches of water into a large pot, set a steaming basket in it, and bring to a boil. Set the sweet potatoes in the basket, cover, and let steam.

Mash the sweet potatoes in a large bowl. Mix in the orange juice, basil, and salt to taste.

Serves 8

Appetizer: Avocado Salsa

This week we will be featuring five days of yummy recipes that are perfect for your next game night or even your Superbowl party on Sunday! We hope you enjoy our collection of snack ideas and even a delicious chili that’s easy to make for a crowd.

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I’m kicking off this week with a light, fresh, delicious and terrifically easy salsa recipe. This would be perfect with any sort of Mexican dish or as a dip with chips or pita, but also I think lovely over a mixed green salad.

I found this recipe in The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook, a wonderful cookbook I received for Christmas. The other day I wanted to jazz up my lunch of flounder and rice, so I decided to mix up Avocado Salsa to top the rice. Not only is it lovely to look at, but the taste combination is perfect. Though I must admit, fresh cilantro would have been better than the dried. Ah well, you use what you have.

AVOCADO SALSA
(from The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook)
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2 large avocado, diced
1/2 small red onion, finely diced
2-3 Tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
1/4 c. chopped cilantro
pinch sea salt, or to taste

Place all ingredients into a small bowl and gently mix. Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to 2 hours.

On the Side: Chipotle Cheddar Chard

We’re all in need of a little more green in our lives–be that greenbacks, a green thumb, or green consciousness. I’d happily have a little more of any of that in my life, but one green thing I’m always searching for is new recipes for greens. Typically I make a batch of green soup to enjoy throughout the week. But sometimes that just doesn’t cut it.

My default bunch of greens to purchase at the grocery or farmer’s market is usually spinach or kale. However, in an attempt to bring versatility to our diet and knowing greens are the heavy lifters of good nutrients, I’ve been experimenting with other varieties and recipes.

Last week I grabbed a bunch of swiss chard and tried out this recipe from the new cookbook The Simple Art of Eating Well. My greens-hesitant husband asked for the leftovers in his lunch. The chipotle powder adds a delightful smoky edge to this tasty, cheesy dish.

CHIPOTLE CHEDDAR CHARD
(from The Simple Art of Eating Well)
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1 lb chard
2 tsp canola oil
1 small onion, halved and thinly sliced
1 medium tomato, chopped
1/4 c. chicken broth or water
1/4-1/2 tsp ground chipotle powder
1/4 tsp salt
2/3 c. shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Wash chard and let water cling to the leaves (it helps steam the chard and keeps the dish room drying out); separate stems and leaves and chop.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the stems and onion; cook, stirring often, until softened, 3-5 minutes. Add tomato, broth (or water), chipotle to taste and salt; bring to a simmer. Add the leaves; cook, covered, stirring once, until just tender, about 2 minutes. Scatter cheese on top and cook, uncovered, until it is melted, 1-2 minutes more. Serves 4-6.