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Thursday, April 18, 2013

Oven Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Roasted Pecans

Green Cabbage is one of the vegetables that my daughters don't wanna eat. They say it smells awful. Whenever I make pancit, nilaga, chopsuey, vegetable stir-fry or even salad with green cabbage in it, they would eat everything else except the green cabbage. That is how much they hate this nutritious vegetable. They don't have a problem with red, napa and savoy cabbages, neither with bok choy...but with green cabbage and its miniature counterpart, Brussels Sprouts, it's totally a different story. My daughters will do everything to avoid eating them!

Unlike the green cabbage which I grew up eating, "Brussels Sprouts" is something I haven't heard of until I came to the US. The first time I saw Brussels Sprouts at the supermarket, I thought they are baby green cabbages. Well, they look exactly like green cabbage...and they taste the same too! They actually belong to the same family, but they are of different variety. Brussels Sprouts won't grow into big cabbage heads like what I first thought. They grow on a tall stalk and stay small (only 1"-1.6" in diameter) even when they are mature. But like cabbage, Brussels Sprouts is an excellent source of vitamins A, B6, C and K. They are also rich in protein, fiber and antioxidants...and also contain iron, copper, calcium, manganese, magnesium, phosphorous and potassium. They are incredibly nutritious vegetables...but like cabbage, they have a strong unpleasant smell which my daughters don't like. 

But this Oven Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Roasted Pecans seems irresistible for them. My daughters love bacon...so I thought adding some in a Brussels Sprouts dish will definitely lure them to eat one of their most hated vegetables. Well, it worked! The first time I made this, they seemed so excited seeing all the bacon in it...though still a bit hesitant to try it. But Cherlin started digging in when she noticed that she could hardly smell the Brussels Sprouts...and then, Clarise followed. Since then, Brussels Sprouts is no longer a part of their "not-to-eat" list.

Thanks to ginger! You see, it's not just the bacon that makes my daughters love this. Ginger has something to do with it. Ginger helps partly eliminate any unwanted smell in food, so my daughters can hardly smell the Brussels Sprouts. Now, they enjoy it...and even cabbage too! Whenever I make stir-fries with cabbage in it, I see to it that I include some minced ginger. It really helps! (",) 

If you have kids who don't like Brussels Sprouts, try making this Oven Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Roasted Pecans. I'm sure you'll see a big change on how they see Brussels Sprouts. :) Next time, I'll share with you another Brussels Sprouts dish that they love...


Ingredients:
  • 2 lbs Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
  • 8 slices turkey or regular bacon
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • ½ Tbsp minced garlic
  • ½ Tbsp minced ginger
  • ¼ cup finely chopped red onion
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup roasted pecans, chopped
Instructions:
1. In a non-stick skillet over medium heat, cook bacon for about 5 minutes, turning occasionally until crisp. Transfer bacon on a paper towel lined plate to drain. Let cool. Coarsely crumble.
2. Preheat oven to 425 F. Save about a tablespoon bacon dripping. Toss Brussels sprouts with drippings in skillet, olive oil, garlic, ginger, chopped onions, salt and pepper. Line a baking pan or cookie sheet with aluminum foil and grease with olive oil or non-stick spray. Arrange sprouts in a single layer on the prepared pan, and roast 25-30 minutes, turning occasionally, or until sprouts are slightly crisp and golden brown on the edges.
3. Transfer to a serving bowl or plate and toss with Parmesan cheese, roasted pecans and crumbled bacon. Serve warm with grilled meat/fish. 

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