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!

Green challenge

So did any of you participate in the Greens for March challenge?  How did you all do?  Truthfully, I did really well at first and then I got lazy.  There were days when we had a lot of leftovers.  I’m not a huge fan of leftovers.  I’m slowly starting to be okay with them, but find that I have to reinvent them to be okay with eating it the next day (how very spoiled of me to say, I know.).  So I was stuck eating leftovers for lunch (not that I’m complaining) and not salads.

But here are a couple of salads I created.  Stay tune for future posts of these recipes.

Beet Farro salad

Shaved brussels sprout salad

Kitchen sink salad with nut butter dressing

Mango, avocado, and black bean salad with chipotle chicken

This April, I’ve joined yet another challenged.  This time I’m doing the Young and Raw 30 day Green Smoothie challenge.  Upon joining the group, you’re emailed a list of ingredients to purchase for the next 5 days.  Then you’re emailed a smoothie recipe the night before using those ingredients.  This isn’t a cleanse challenge.  It’s just a way to get your greens in, via smoothies for 30 days.  You are not to use dairy, which I haven’t really done.  Usually I make my smoothies with greek yogurt and milk or soy milk.  The challenge also has you adding herbs into your smoothies like cilantro, basil, or parsley, which I also have never done before.  As well as adding hemp seeds (I’ve only added chia or flax) or maca.  So trying all these new things has pushed me out of my smoothie making comfort zone, if you may.  I decided to do this after I had the tasty HI-5 juice (okay it’s a juice, not a smoothie. but I don’t want to invest in a juicer right now) from The Protein Bar, while in Chicago.  Cilantro in a juice sounded interesting but intimidating.  To my surprise, it was UNBELIEVABLY tasty and pleasantly refreshing.  That drink inspired me to make my Copineappearanalery smoothie.  We’re in the second week of the challenge and some of the recipes have been good, some have been okay, and some I’d rather not taste again.  The challenge is going on right now and you can still join, unofficially, on Facebook.  There are other groups on Facebook that do something similar.  Some of which, do use dairy products, so I may try that next after this 30 day challenge.

Some people are doing these challenges as a means for dieting, which there are nutritionists that administer these challenges on Facebook.  I, however, am just looking for another way to get my daily dose of vitamins plus enjoy a tasty non-alcoholic drink.  I’m trying to stay clear of sodas and some juices (as they’re loaded with sugar).  Sometimes water can get boring, so smoothies or infusing my water with fruit are my healthy tasty alternatives.

Have you done a juice or smoothie cleanse?  How about a juice or smoothie challenge?  Have you bought into the ever so popular green smoothie trend?  What’s your favorite green smoothie recipe?