Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad

Since the fall, I have been in LOVE LOVE LOVE with brussels sprouts.  I was like the masses and was intimidated by the vegetable.  You have the horrid 60’s or 70’s image of the mushy bitter smelly vegetable.  For some reason, my conception of brussels sprouts before were based on reruns of Leave it to Beaver (which I’d watch with my mom when I was younger).

But within the last 2-3 years, it’s been a bit of a trendy vegetable, much like kale.  So last fall, when they were selling some at Trader Joe’s, I put it in my basket to try it out.  Of course, I cooked it the way I do most vegetables that I’m trying out for the first time, simply roasting them with olive oil, salt and pepper.  AMAZING!  Why hadn’t I tried this before (Oh yeah!  Brussels sprouts are pretty foreign to asians, so my mom didn’t add them to our dinners growing up.)?  I even got my mom and sister hooked.  Even my sister’s boyfriend gave them a whirl when I made them for Thanksgiving.  He was quite pleased with the results.  He never had brussels sprouts before because his mom hated them as a child.  Next I tried adding balsamic vinegar or mustard vinaigrette or parmesan cheese (but cheese makes everything butter so that was a no brainer).  Still delicious.  I made them into chips, similar to Kale chips.  I roasted them as well as fried them.  Such a tasty snack.  Then I thought about trying it raw.  A couple of bloggers were sharing their recipes for shaved brussels sprout salad, so I figured I’d try it.  It was DELICIOUS.  It’s almost like a slaw and this southern girl LOVES her slaw.

For this recipe, I added avocado for creaminess and mustard and vinegar for tang.  I also added quinoa for some protein (plus I had some that I needed to use up).  I wish I had a bowl right now to gobble up.  Minus the shaving or thinly cutting of the brussels sprouts, this recipe is SO easy to make!

Note:  I don’t give exact measurements for this recipe, as I made the salad for one.  Plus I make my dressings more on the low fat side (more vinegar than oil) than others.  But as a general rule of thumb when making vinaigrettes,  its 3 parts oil to 1 part vinegar.  The mustard is for creaminess, extra tang, and to help emulsify the dressing.  TheKtchn has a great guide on how to make your own vinaigrette at home.  I’m a huge fan of making your own dressing because 1) you have the ingredients at home 2) it’s much much much healthier (can’t stress this enough) for you because you know exactly the quality of the ingredients and fat content of what you’re putting into your food.  

SHAVED BRUSSELS SPROUTS SALAD

INGREDIENTS

Brussels sprouts, shaved or thinly sliced
Avocados
Cranberries (optional)
Almonds (optional)
Quinoa (optional)
Dijon Mustard
Vinegar
Olive oil
Sugar
Salt and Pepper, for seasoning

DIRECTIONS

In a food processor or bowl, take your avocado, mustard, vinegar and olive oil and mix the ingredients together.  If you don’t have a food processor and are using a bowl, you’ll want to mash the avocado to smooth creamy consistency before adding the other ingredients.  When it is a smooth texture, add a small amount of sugar to balance out the tang of the vinegar and mustard.  Then season with salt and pepper to your liking.  If needed, add more of an ingredient to your liking.

In a bowl, place the brussels sprouts, cranberries, almonds, and quinoa.  If you’d like more avocado, cube some up and add it to the mixture at this time (p.s. I’m so excited for avocado season!!!  So happy Eva loves it as much as me!).  Then add the dressing and gently toss to combine all the ingredients together.

What vegetables have you tried and loved as an adult, but received a bad rap or didn’t like it as a child?  I love trying new vegetables and fruits, especially since the farmers market is opening soon.  Comment below about what non-typical vegetables or fruits you’re a fan of, how you prepare it, etc.  I’d love to try it!

Meatless Monday – Shake it

Sorry for the delay with updates readers!  As previously stated, I was traveling internationally for work last week and unfortunately didn’t have time to post.  But I do promise loads of goodie posts, continuing with my Europe vacation, this past trip to London, foodie posts and finds in London, hauls, lookbooks, etc. So stay tuned!

Today’s Meatless Monday recipe for you is an easy but goodie.  I used to have this treat when I was younger.  Back then, I used to think my mother was weird for drinking this but I souped up the recipe to make it my own.  I have two ways to enjoy this drink, as a shake and as a smoothie.

Avocado Smoothie
the healthier option

Ingredients

1 avocado
1/2 cup nonfat milk
1/2 banana
1/4 cup vanilla or plain greek yogurt
vanilla whey protein (option, this is if you want this to be more filling)
1 tsp agave or sugar or sugar substitute
ice

Directions

Blend everything in a blender and enjoy.

The next recipe is my FAVE, mainly because what I substitute instead of yogurt.  NOMNOMNOM.

Avocado Shake
yes avocado can be a dessert

Ingredients

1 avocado
1/2 cup milk
scoop of vanilla ice cream
ice (if you’d like it creamier)

Directions

Put everything in the blender and blend.  Then enjoy!

Quick tip:  You can add banana to this if you don’t like the avocado flavor.  Also, try adding some cocoa too it.  I’ll save my avocado chocolate pudding for another time.  Don’t knock it til you try it!

fake it

Last week, after my root canal, I couldn’t really eat hard food, so I was limited to soup.  I purchased Trade Joe’s Tomato and Red Pepper soup and had some leftover, but I didn’t want to have yet another Tomato and Red Pepper with a grilled cheese sandwich AGAIN.

I had some red peppers and grape tomatoes in the refrigerator/sitting out, so I thought why not tortilla soup (chicken less).  I had avocado and tortilla chips to accompany the soup.  I vaguely remembered what was included in tortilla soup so I went off of that.

TOMATO TORTILLA SOUP

INGREDIENTS

1/2 cup Trader Joe’s Organic Tomato and Roasted Red Pepper Soup (Low Sodium)
1/2 cup Trader Joe’s Organic Low Sodium Chicken Broth (or vegetable broth if you’d like this as a vegetarian meal)
1/8 cup chopped onions
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp cumin
6 grape tomatoes, quartered
1/8 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/8 cup whole corn kernels (I used frozen)
1/4 rotisserie chicken (if you have, if not that’s fine.  I made this without chicken)
2 tbsp lime juice
cilantro, chopped
avocado, sliced
crushed tortilla chips
sour cream
colby jack cheese

DIRECTIONS

Heat a sauce pan with a little bit of oil and cook onions until translucent.  Add garlic when onions become translucent.  When garlic becomes fragrant (about 30 seconds), add red bell pepper.  Cook the peppers until tender.  Add the tomatoes and saute for a minute.

Add the chicken broth and tomato and roasted red pepper soup into the sauce pan.  Add the cumin.   Bring to boil so that the flavors can marry.  Taste the soup and add lime juice to taste.  You can add salt and pepper or lime juice and cumin as necessary (even some oregano if you need to).  Add the corn kernels.

Get your soup bowl ready.  If using chicken, add the chicken into the bowl.  Ladle the soup into the bowl over the chicken.  Add in avocado and sprinkle the soup with cheese, sour cream (I used greek yogurt), cilantro and crushed tortilla chips.  Enjoy!

Since it’s completely cooled down ridiculously here in the bay area I’ve been making lots of soup/stewish meals to warm up especially at night.  Soup is all about some improve and whatever you want to put in there.  Gotta love easy, creative meals.