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!

monday night eats

Because the Redskins (the husband has been a diehard fan since birth…I inherited a love for the team after dating him) rarely have a Monday Night game, I decided that I was going to cook some game day eats.  Had a handful of chicken wings on hand, as well as Italian sausage so I made some Asian wings with Sausage and Peppers Sandwich.  Yeah I know the flavor combo is weird, but good food is good food.

ASIAN CRISPY CHICKEN WINGS (adapted by whiteonricecouple, modifications by me in red)

INGREDIENTS

about 2 pounds chicken wings, cut at joints.
1 cup rice flour or all purpose flour.
about 1 cup grape seed/peanut/vegetable oil for frying
2 garlic cloves, crushed or finely minced
1 cup water
2 1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon fish sauce or soy sauce. We highly recommend fish sauce, if  you have it.
1 Tablespoon vinegar
1 Tablespoon garlic chili sauce, tabasco sauce, or sriracha sauce. OR about 2 finely minced thai chilis. Use a little less of these if you want it more mild, or use more if you want it extra spicy!
lots of fresh ground black pepper to taste
1 Tablespoon cornstarch or potato starch

DIRECTIONS

Rinse chicken wings and pat dry. In bowl, add rice flour and fresh ground black pepper and add wings to coat with flour.

Fry wings on both sides till cooked through and golden brown. (I didn’t fry the wings.  I baked them on a cooling rack at 375 degrees F for 15 – 20 minutes.)

For the Sauce: In small bowl, combine cornstarch and about 1 Tablespoon of water until mixture becomes  watery, almost milky consistency. Combine well, then set aside.

In saucepan, add about 1 Tablespoon oil and fry garlic until it becomes slightly golden. Add water 1 cup of water, sugar, salt, fish sauce, chili sauce, vinegar and black pepper. Combine well and allow to slowly come to boil. Once mixture comes to a boil, turn off heat.

Slowly add about 1 Table spoon of cornstarch to the warm sauce mixture until it becomes thick enough to allow sauce to cling to wings. If the first Tablespoon was enough, then do not use the rest.

In separate bowl, add crispy chicken wings and toss with chili sauce.

Top with some sliced green onion and/or cilantro.

Serve with cold BEER. For the kids, juice and water and a little beer.

SAUSAGE AND PEPPERS SANDWICH

INGREDIENTS

1/2 onion
1/2 green pepper, sliced into strips
1/2 red pepper, sliced into strips
oregano
3 Italian Sausages (I made 3 because I used Zuppa Toscana.  If you’d liket to make more, use more bell pepper and onion)
Red pepper flakes (if you’re using mild or sweet sausages and put as much spice as you want)
Hoagie rolls

DIRECTIONS

Grill sausages for 8-12 minutes (Grill pan on stove).

When done, remove the sausages from the grill, set aside.  Place onions and bell pepper, sprinkle oregano and red pepper flakes and cook until soft.

When the veggies are done, remove from grill and set aside.  Split hoagie rolls and toast on grill.

The food was good.  The Redskins performance?  Not so much.  Maybe next week…  but then again is the year of rebuilding.

ole!

My old co-worker was in the area and visited the apartment during Football Sunday.  I bought some chips and made some Guacamole, but didn’t end getting into it.  So on Monday I decided to make Calfornia Turkey sandwiches for me and hubs for lunch (his to go of course).

California Turkey Sandwich

Ingredients

2 slices of bread
Mayonnaise
Guacamole (see recipe below)
Tomato, sliced
Lettuce
Hot Sauce
Colby Jack Cheese
Pepper Jack Cheese
Turkey Breast Slices

Guacamole Directions

Take an avocado, spoon out the meat into a bowl.   Cut up a small red onion and chop and place into bowl.  Mince garlic and place into the bowl.  Quarter cherry tomatoes and place into bowl.  Chop up cilantro and jalapeno and juice two limes over the bowl.  If you don’t have jalapeno on hand, add some red pepper flake or 2-4 dashes of hot sauce.  Mix together.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Directions

Toast slices of bread.  After toasted, add Guacamole on one slice and Mayonnaise on another side.  Layer the remaining ingredients and enjoy!

Since I had extra guacamole from the night before/lunch, I decided to make some Tequila Lime chicken to accompany the chicken. I really like the tequila lime chicken from Applebees so I decided to try it myself. My first effort with this recipe was botched as the marinade spilled (the bag was punctured), so I decided to try it again.  It was pretty good.  Very tasty.

Tequila Lime Chicken by Pioneer Woman Cooks

Ingredients

3 whole Limes, Juiced
5 cloves Garlic, Peeled
1 whole Jalapeno, Sliced
1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
½ cups Cilantro
½ cups Tequila (I used clear tequila… Patron.  Remember don’t use alcohol you wouldn’t drink)
5 Tablespoons Olive Oil
4 whole Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
1 cup Monterey Jack Cheese, Grated

Directions

Combine lime juice, garlic cloves, sliced jalapeno, salt, cilantro, and tequila in a food processor or blender. Pulse until combined. Turn on the blender/food processor and drizzle in the olive oil until it’s all combined.  (I didn’t combined the ingredients in a food processor and it turned out just fine.)

Slightly flatten chicken breasts with a mallet or the bottom of a heavy skillet. Place in a plastic bag and pour in marinade. Seal bag and marinate for several hours or (preferably) overnight.

When ready to cook, remove chicken from bag and place on the grill. Cook until completely done. Toward the end of cooking, top chicken breasts with grated Monterey Jack and allow to melt. (You can also top chicken with cheese and melt under the broiler.)

For crunch, I added tortilla chips on top like at Applebee’s.

As a side, side I made the elote corn I’ve made before with frozen corn which the hubs DEVOURED again.  I love it when I make him veggies that he enjoys.  Roasted asparagus, broccoli, and green beans are on the list as well.  As well as peas, but you all knew that.