How to make brussels sprouts when you’ve never tasted brussels sprouts before? With the help of Google, of course! Click here to go straight to the Vegan Cheesy Roasted Brussels Sprouts recipe.
I had grown up hearing stories of how horrible brussels sprouts were. My impression was that they were gas-inducing, rotten cabbage-tasting, alien-brain-looking devices of punishment used by sadistic parents and evil stepmothers on innocent children (sorry, step-parents, I know it’s an unfair stereotype). So, for most of my life, I had no interest in trying them. I had seen them once or twice at supermarkets every now and again, but never even touched one. As far as I know, my Asian parents hadn’t either.
So what changed my mind? Lately, I haven’t been posting much; I haven’t been excited enough about anything to post. I was thinking about the original plans I had for Mary’s Test Kitchen, way back when I first stopped using it as a website testing ground. I had set out to test new foods that I had never had before. It was such an exciting idea to me and I launched into it with enthusiasm. But then this whole “vegan” thing got in the way and I pulled a whole bunch of posts down that no longer aligned with my beliefs. My original plan was totally ruined. RUINED I TELLS YA! Without a plan, I randomly blogged here and there about my omni to vegan transition, then randomly recorded recipes, never going back to the initial idea that was so fun and compelling to me. How could I become passionate about writing this blog again? The answer was obvious: test out new-to-me foods that also happen to be vegan. Duh! TL;DR: Blogging about my first time with new-to-me foods is tres exciting to me. And I’m a dork.
I was looking for smoked tofu at my local grocery store, when I spotted a big bag of pre-washed brussels sprouts for a few bucks. On a whim, I picked them up (never did find any smoked tofu at that store though). I looked online for ideas on how to prepare them, what they were supposed to taste like after cooked, etc. The variety of brussels sprouts recipes overwhelmed me. Dinner time was fast approaching and I was getting hungrier by the minute. At last, I said eff it and headed to the kitchen feeling like I had the gist of what how brussels sprout behave like on the stove. With confidence, I threw the sprouts into a bowl, drenched them in Earth Balance, garlic, seasonings, and nutritional yeast (nooch). Excessive amounts of Earth Balance and nooch are actually my go-to cheater ingredients. They will make anything taste good, no matter how much I screwed it up. Luckily, I think I did a good job. The brussel sprouts came out amazingly delicious. Parts of the sprouts were a little browned giving them a caramelized flavour and a bit of crispiness. The buttery, cheesy, onion-y dressing was perfect. The flavour of the sprouts themselves were a bit like cabbage, a bit like brocolli, but more dense and filling. I am now completely addicted.
It was a week before my next opportunity to buy brussels sprouts. I didn’t even wait for dinner. I nuked some in the microwave with a bit of water, added some maple syrup, crushed garlic, and a sprinkle of sea salt. I was blown away by how tasty they were even with such a simple preparation.
Later, I sliced them up and added them to a curry stir fry. Delicious. Geez, brussels sprouts are flipping amazing vegetables. Do I sound obsessed? That’s ’cause I am.
Aaaand this morning, as I was finishing up this post, a brussels sprouts craving attacked so I ended up having this for breakfast:
No recipe, just nuked some leftover sushi rice with cut up brussels sprouts for a minute and a half, then added a touch of sesame oil, sea salt, and some roasted garlic butter.
- 2 cups brussels sprouts
- 1 tablespoon Earth Balance Buttery Spread, softened/at room temperature
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 2 tablespoons minced onion (you can use shallots too)
- 3 cloves of minced garlic (adjust to your own taste)
- Preheat your oven to 400F. You'll need a roasting pan or baking sheet. To make clean up easy, line it with parchment paper.
- Wash and dry your brussels sprouts. Pick off any brown leaves and trim the stems if discolored.
- Toss in a large bowl with the rest of the ingredients until well coated.
- Turn everything out on the baking sheet and spread out evenly.
- Bake in the preheated oven for a total of 40 minutes. At the 20 minute mark, use tongs to flip the sprouts so browning is more even. Remember that you may need to adjust the time as all ovens tend to have their own *personalities.*
- When you remove the sprouts from the oven, they should be mostly bright green with some brown bits. Don't let them burn! Or..let them..they'll just have a different flavour...maybe you'll like it.
Pro tip: Try not to scarf the brussels sprouts down whole. Chew thoroughly before swallowing to avoid unpleasant *ahem* after effects.