Your Holiday Table Is Missing Brussels Sprouts

Brussel Sprouts

“Brussels sprouts?!” I hear you ask. Yes, I can sense your surprise through my computer screen, and I completely understand your distrust of Brussels sprouts. You’ve been burned before – I get that. You have a bad history with these mini-cabbages because someone in your life cooked them the worst way possible: steamed. Yes, steaming your vegetables is healthy (much better than boiling), but this method of cooking does no favors for the cabbage family – at least taste-wise. Prepare to be amazed, because I will show you TWO ways to love Brussels sprouts so much, you won’t want to have Thanksgiving without them.

1. Shredded Brussels Sprouts with Pistachios, Cranberries & Parmesan

  1. Chop a brown onion finely and saute with olive oil in a large pan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until they begin to caramelize.*
  2. While the onions are browning, chop 10 Brussels sprouts in half, through the root, then slice into thin shreds.
  3. Add the sprout shreds to the pan with the caramelized onions and stir, cooking until they’re tender but still bright green.
  4. Add shelled pistachios, dried cranberries and Parmesan cheese – and serve hot!

*Carnivores might like to add one slice of bacon to flavor the onions, and to crumble over the top of the finished dish.

Healthy Thanksgiving Side Dishes

2. Brussels Sprouts Hot Harvest Salad*

  1. Dice 1 apple, 1 butternut squash, 1/2 brown onion, and 5 Brussels sprouts.
  2. Toss the apple, squash, onion and sprouts with 1 Tb olive oil, and add torn sage leaves, a sprinkling of salt, and pepper.
  3. Roast in a 400 degree oven for 30 minutes, stir, then roast for another 20-30 minutes until the sprouts, onions and squash are nicely browned.

*Add croutons or wild rice and thyme and this recipe makes a delicious turkey dressing!

Roasted vegetable salad recipe

An Intelligent Gourmet Thanksgiving: Smart Appetizers

healthy thanksgiving recipes

While other nutrition and fitness blogs are probably giving out tips on how to avoid the upcoming eating frenzy at all costs, I have just three words for you: Go for it.

If that means making imperfect food choices, like grabbing seconds on that creamy green bean casserole topped with fried onions, well fine. I’ve even heard of dieters deciding to devote their entire day’s allotted calories to pie – and only pie. It’s Thanksgiving and if you need permission to enjoy all the goodies that you are blessed to have on your table, I give it to you.

However, our specialty at Intelligent Gourmet is taking the foods you love and making them healthier for you. So if you’d like to give thanks and feel great this holiday season, try this recipe to start off the festivities.

Intelligent Gourmet Appetizer: Blue Cheese, Agave Stuffed Radicchio

Ingredients:
12 Radicchio leaves
3 oz Blue Cheese
A drizzle of agave
36 almond slices

Preparation:
Fill each Radicchio leaf with a little blue cheese and drizzle with agave. Top with 3 almond slices.

Why it’s crazy-good for you:
Radicchio is high in antioxidants, especially dark red radicchio, which neutralize free radicals and fight cell damage. Its high fiber content promotes weight loss by helping make you feel full, and it also contains inulin, which helps regulate blood sugar levels.

Although honey would be delicious for drizzling, agave syrup has a far lower glycemic index and won’t spike your blood sugar.

Stay tuned, because next week I’ll give you side dishes, and the week after: the best turkey you’ve ever tasted!