Folks who have known me for a long time will be surprised to see this roasted Brussels sprouts salad recipe. I always hated Brussels sprouts. So much so that when I was asked to capture the essence of hate in a college drawing class I opted to create a repeat pattern of Brussels sprouts. (Side note: I ended up liking the drawing so much I had it framed and it hung in my kitchen for many years. That’s irony for you.)
The main reason I never cared for Brussels sprouts could have something to do with how they were cooked in my childhood home. New England boiled dinners were a mainstay – my mother and grandmother were either boiling or frying the hell out of our food – and seasoning didn’t extend far beyond salt and pepper. Brussels sprouts were no exception and the overcooking enhanced their bitter flavor.
Best Way To Cook Brussels Sprouts
I adjusted my opinion of Brussels sprouts the first time I had them roasted. Roasting enriches the overall flavor – taking them from “yuck” to “mmm-good!”
- 1 dozen large fresh Brussels sprouts
- 1 tbs extra virgin olive oil
- ½ tsp fine sea salt
- ¼ tsp ground black pepper
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. (I use my toaster oven, set on the convection roast setting.)
- Add oil, salt and pepper to a 1-gallon plastic bag.
- Wash and trim Brussels sprouts. (Remove ends of stems and any discolored leaves.)
- Slice Brussels sprouts in half lengthwise and then place them in the bag with the oil.
- Shake bag to coat Brussels sprouts evenly in oil.
- Line a shallow baking pan with parchment paper.
- Spread Brussels sprouts in a single layer in the pan and roast for about 15 minutes.
- Turn Brussels sprouts with a spatula and continue roasting for another 15-20 minutes until they are tender but not overcooked.
Health Benefits of Brussels Sprouts
Okay, now that we know how to make these little “mini cabbages” delicious, why should we add them to our diet? Brussels sprouts offer a wide range of health benefits:
- Brussels sprouts contain detox-activating substances and antioxidants that help our body ward off cancer and protect our DNA.
- They help us avoid excessive inflammation.
- Brussels sprouts contribute to cardiovascular health.
- They are rich in fiber and provide digestive support.
These are all good reasons to look for ways to enjoy Brussels sprouts!
Roasted Brussels Sprouts Salad with Walnut Sauce
Roasted Brussels sprouts are a delicious side dish, but since the side dishes in my home often serve as my main meal, I always look for ways to pack in more healthy ingredients. In addition to Brussels sprouts, this roasted Brussels sprouts salad recipe includes:
- Brown rice
- Baby Spinach
It’s a vegan meal for me, gluten-free for my daughter, and my husband and son tell me it goes well with steak.
- ¾ cups water
- 1 clove of garlic
- 1 tbs tamari
- ½ cup chopped walnuts
- 1 dozen roasted Brussels Sprouts (See recipe above.)
- 3-4 cups cooked long-grain brown rice
- 1 cup baby carrots
- 1 cup frozen peas
- ½ large red onion
- 2 cups packed fresh baby spinach
- 1 tsp sunflower seeds (optional)
- Place water, garlic, tamari and walnuts in a high speed blender and slowly turn up to highest speed.
- Blend on high for approximately 30 seconds.
- Place frozen peas in a strainer and rinse with warm water for approximately 30 seconds, and then set them aside in a mixing bowl to thaw completely.
- Add carrots to a food processor fitted with an S-blade and pulse until carrots are chopped finely.
- Scrape chopped carrots into the mixing bowl and repeat the pulsing/chopping process with the onion and spinach.
- Gradually add rice and walnut sauce to mixing bowl (1/3 at a time) and stir until ingredients are well blended.
- Slice roasted Brussels sprouts in half. (So they are quartered, I find they hold up better as halves when roasting, but blend into the salad better as quarters.)
- Add sliced roasted Brussels sprouts to salad and stir to mix well.
- Sprinkle top of salad with sunflower seeds if desired.
- Serve slightly warm or at room temperature. (Consider zapping the salad in the microwave for 1-2 minutes if the rice was cold.)
The walnut sauce was adapted from a recipe in Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn’s book Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease. See my resource page for more information.
Note: I do not include nutrition information with my recipes because I subscribe to the theories presented in the book Whole and believe we should focus on eating a variety of whole foods instead of counting calories or keeping track of individual nutrients.