cooking with mom: thanksgiving brussel sprouts two ways


In my opinion, a Thanksgiving feast is all about the side dishes. Even when I used to eat Turkey as a kid (I haven’t eaten Turkey in over 10 years), I always loved the flavorful side dishes and cranberry sauce more than the meat. Some of my favorite side dishes I’ve posted recipes for on the blog previously, such as: Classic Stuffing (vegan style), Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes and Maple Rosemary Acorn Squash – see more recipes here.

My mom is a great cook, very instinctive and skilled at making healthy things taste great. As a result, I never had an aversion to vegetables growing up because my mom always made them super delish! Thus was the challenge in this video, to take brussel sprouts – a “much maligned vegetable” as my mom put it – and make them taste amazing, not one, but two ways! Both of these dishes are perfect for the Thanksgiving holiday. I would suggest serving the savory Brussel Sprout Bruschetta as an appetizer and the Sweet Maple Cranberry Brussel Sprouts as a side dish. I promise you will convert brussel sprout haters to instant fans!

Watch the video above to see the recipes take shape and my mom and I be #weird.

Sweet supplies…

Savory supplies…

Fresh parsley from mom’s patio garden…

Sweet Maple Brussel Sprouts (serves 8)

Prep It:

  • about 2 pounds of brussel sprouts
  • 1/3 cup of maple sugar or syrup – depending on how sweet to taste
  • 4 or more tablespoons of vegan butter or real butter – depending on how juicy
  • 3/4 to 1 cup of pine nuts – or almonds or pecans
  • 3/4 cup of dried cranberries or currents, raisins etc. – whatever you prefer!
  • cut your brussel sprouts in half and parboil them in a pot with about 3 inches of water until they are bright green but still firm (not mushy!) about 3 minutes (add lemon juice to preserve green color) – strain and set aside
  • toast your nuts in a dry pan until brown but not burned
  • brown your brussel sprouts in a pan (medium heat) with 1 tbs of vegan butter then add more vegan butter with your maple sugar, toasted nuts and cranberries and mix together and let caramelize but not overcook – keep tasting!
  • serve in a bowl as a delicious side dish or eat them as a sweet snack on movie night!

Savory Brussel Sprouts Bruschetta with Capers and Anchovies
(make this dish vegan with no anchovies and extra capers)

Prep It:
  • about 2 pounds of brussel sprouts
  • olive oil (and butter – optional, use vegan butter to keep vegan)
  • half jar of capers
  • 1 can of anchovies in olive oil – chopped – (vegan optional, use more capers to add salt if going without the anchovies)
  • 5 or more cloves of garlic – minced
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
  • half cup of fresh parsley – roughly chopped
  • 1 lemon
  • loaf of crusty bread or rolls
  • cut your brussel sprouts in half and parboil them in a pot with about 3 inches of water until they are bright green but still firm (not mushy!) about 3 minutes (add lemon juice to preserve green color) – strain and set aside
  • pre-heat oven to 400
  • in a saucepan, over low/medium heat add a good sploosh of olive oil (about two tablespoons or more to make it nice and saucy – until you feel guilty!) and a stick of butter or equal amount of vegan butter
  • start your brussel sprouts browning in the oven for a few minutes, add a little drizzle of olive oil to make them brown better
  • mix your capers, chopped garlic and anchovies into your olive oil/butter mixture and let simmer to release flavor for a couple minutes, then add a tablespoon or two of balsamic at the end
  • toast your bread in the oven or toaster oven
  • pull your brussel sprouts pan out from the oven and drizzle the olive oil, caper, etc. mixture over the top and mix it in, then sprinkle about half a cup of your chopped parsley and squeeze half a lemon over the top – pop the pan back in the oven for another 5 to 10 minutes to brown and glaze more, depending on how brown and crispy you want it!
  • serve the salty, delicious brussel sprouts over the toasted bread like a bruschetta and enjoy!



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