Day 362–Brussels Sprouts with Apple

Brussels Sprouts

 

I know Brussels sprouts are supposed to be gross-out territory for a lot of children, but Ellie has always been a big fan of those cute, little cabbages. We typically roast them or saute them with bacon pieces, both ways are far better than the boiled-to-death treatment of frozen sprouts from the 1970s. This Christmas Eve, we featured sprouts in a new way–roasted with apples, onions, and lemon juice. They were incredibly good provided a much-needed change of pace in our sprout menu! You can adjust the amounts here depending on your family size and whether these are a main dish or side dish (this would make a fabulous vegan main dish). We served 6 as a side dish and there were barely any sprouts left over.

 

If you can find fresh Brussels sprouts, definitely go that route. The flavor and texture is far superior to frozen. Brussels Sprouts are typically found in the late fall and early winter. If you can’t find local, fresh sprouts, then use flash frozen sprouts in a bag, not the kind that come in a square box with lots of added water. Water is not a sprouts best friend. And whatever you do, don’t skimp on the lemon zest and juice. It really makes this dish special!

 

Brussels Sprouts with Apple (serves 6 as a side)

 

  • 2 lbs. fresh Brussels sprouts, trimmed and cut in 1/2 lengthwise
  • 2 large apples (I used Granny Smith), peeled, cored and cut into bite size pieces
  • 1 large yellow onion, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • Kosher salt and pepper to taste
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon

 

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees (see note below).
  2. Put the prepared sprouts, apple and onion into a large mixing bowl. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  3. Pour olive oil over vegetables in bowl and toss to coat all.
  4. Pour vegetable/apple mixture onto a rimmed baking sheet (line sheet with foil for easy clean up).
  5. Roast vegetables in the oven for about 50 minutes, stirring occasionally. Sprouts and onion should start to brown.
  6. Remove from oven and pour all into a serving bowl. Add zest and lemon juice and toss well.
  7. Serve immediately.

 

Note: You can roast this mix at a higher temperature (400 degrees) for a shorter period of time. Since I was roasting these while heating our seafood casserole, I roasted them longer at a lower temperature. Either works just fine.

 

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Day 322–Our (mostly) Locavore Thanksgiving

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I am really excited about our Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow! And I am thankful that I am not doing all the cooking! Thanksgiving dinner just makes me happy all over–the incredible aroma of a roasting turkey, setting a lovely table, having my family around me and, yes, a weekend of football. You can have the Black Friday shopping, I’ll be sitting on the sofa with a turkey sandwich. And maybe my laptop so I can do some online shopping during commercials…

This year, I am thankful for so many things and I thought I would share some of them:

  • I am thankful that my family is all happy, healthy and that we can be together
  • I am thankful for my farmer friends and all their hard work that brings local food to our table
  • I am thankful for my warm house, my little garden and my snuggly pets
  • I am thankful for everyone who reads this blog and even more so for those who respond with questions or ideas
  • And I am thankful that I live in a country where, even though we don’t always get it right, we keep trying

Here is our menu for Thanksgiving (you can also see it on our chalkboard wall above). We are featuring a heritage breed turkey raised by a wonderful local farmer. I’ve never cooked a heritage breed turkey, so I’m looking forward to the experiment and will report back!

  • Roasted turkey (Bourbon Red heritage breed) from Homestead Harvest Farm¬†with rosemary butter
  • Honey mustard glazed boneless mini ham from Mae Farm
  • Sausage pecan foccacia stuffing (sausage from Mae Farm, homemade chicken stock, NC pecans)
  • Roasted Brussel sprouts with onion and bacon
  • Mashed sweet and white potatoes with maple syrup
  • Carrots glazed with local honey and thyme
  • Deviled eggs with local farm eggs
  • Great Harvest Bread Company Virginia rolls with local honey butter and homemade jam
  • Cranberry sauce
  • Salted caramel and pumpkin ice cream pie (not local, but Trader Joes pumpkin ice cream is crazy good, so I hope it makes a good pie!)
  • Buttermilk and chocolate chess pies

Get ready for lots of locavore leftover recipes! And everyone, please have a happy and healthy Thanksgiving holiday!!!

Day 68–Roasted Broccoli and Shrimp a la Jerry

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Roasted Broccoli, Peppers and Shrimp--Easy and Healthy!

My friend Jerry sent me this recipe (thanks, Jerry!) and I finally had a chance to add it to our weekly menu. Fresh, local, organic broccoli and NC shrimp–a simple, and amazingly good combination. Although it wasn’t in the original recipe, I added some sliced red bell pepper since I had it handy. This recipe is light, but satisfying and quite tasty. Don’t skimp on the coriander seeds or hot pepper–they infuse the entire dish and make it something special. Healthy, quick and easy to make, this recipe hits all the marks for a succesful, weeknight dinner. And even better, it only uses one bowl, a cutting board and one baking sheet, making cleanup super quick.

A note about shrimp. I bought large-sized shrimp and 10 minutes was just right for roasting. If you buy medium or small shrimp, you may want to back off on the roasting time. If you don’t have access to local or U.S. shrimp (or you just don’t like shrimp), you could probably try this with a thick, locally available fish (here that would be tuna or swordfish) cut into chunks. Scallops might be good also!

You could also play around with what vegetables to include, and make this a truly seasonal dish. I can’t wait to see how we can work our Produce Box veggies into this dish over the spring and summer!

Roasted Broccoli and Shrimp a la Jerry

This makes 3 servings or 2 servings for hungry seafood lovers!

  • 2 lbs. broccoli
  • 1 lb. fresh shrimp, shelled and deveined
  • One red bell pepper, sliced into strips
  • 4 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
  • 1 tsp. whole coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp. whole cumin seeds (or 1/2 tsp. of ground)
  • 1/8 tsp. hot chili powder (I used red pepper flakes)
  • 1 lemon, zested with lemon reserved for serving
  • Kosher salt and ground pepper to taste
  • Rice, quinoa or other cooked grains
    1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
    2. Cut the broccoli into large florets with some stem remaining.
    3. Cut the red bell pepper into strips and cut each strip in half crosswise.
    4. In a bowl, toss the broccoli florets and bell pepper with 2 Tbsp. olive oil, coriander, cumin, hot chili pepper, and salt and pepper to taste.
    5. Put broccoli and pepper mix on a rimmed baking sheet and roast for 10 minutes.
    6. In the bowl, toss shrimp with remaining 2 Tbsp. of olive oil, lemon zest and salt and pepper to taste.
    7. Add to the broccoli mix and pop back in the oven for another 10 minutes or until the shrimp is pink and opaque, but not overcooked.
    8. Serve over rice with lemon wedges and you are done!

      The broccoli and peppers before roasting--so pretty!

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The final product just before the feast!