Balsamic Maple Brussels Sprouts with Toasted Almonds

Balsamic Maple Brussels Sprouts with Toasted Almonds

By April Swiger, Contributing Writer

Sweet and salty with a bit of crunch, these brussels sprouts are enjoyable to even the hardest critics. This cold-weather vegetable from the cabbage family is often seen as undesirable for having a bitter taste. I believe it all depends on how you cook it though. For those who typically overlook these tiny buds, you may be pleasantly surprised by this combination.

Maple syrup is in abundance where I live in New England, and I love finding ways to incorporate it into my recipes. For a vegetable like brussels sprouts, where a bitter taste may need to be tamed, I knew this natural sweetener would be the perfect addition, along with the tang of balsamic vinegar. Throw in some chopped almonds, or your nut of choice, and it’s reminiscent of my favorite homemade candy, almond roca.

Balsamic Maple Brussels Sprouts with Toasted Almonds

There’s something about roasting vegetables that makes my mouth water. I love the golden brown pieces that are left in the pan, drenched in butter and salt. If I have a vegetable that I’m not sure what to do with, I will typically roast it, knowing it will likely turn out delicious. This is the only way I’ll prepare brussels sprouts from now on!

If you’re tired of soggy boiled brussels sprouts, you may just fall in love with this sweet and salty caramelized version. It only takes minutes to prepare. Also, you may love Kim’s version of Sautéed Brussels Sprouts with Bacon. Yum!

Other recipes you may enjoy:

Balsamic Maple Brussels Sprouts with Toasted Almonds
 
Author:
Recipe type: Side
 
These sweet and salty Brussels sprouts will satisfy even the hardest critic!
Ingredients
  • 1 lb Brussels sprouts, rinsed, stemmed, and halved
  • 3 Tbls Coconut oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 Tbls Maple syrup
  • 1 Tbls Balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ Cup chopped almonds
Instructions
  1. Preheats your oven to 400 F. Rinse the brussels sprouts, trim the stems, and slice them in half.
  2. On a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, roast the Brussels sprouts with coconut oil, and salt and pepper, for 20 minutes. Toss them after 10 minutes.
  3. Whisk together the maple syrup and balsamic vinegar, and coarsely chop the almonds. Drizzle the maple and balsamic mixture over the brussels sprouts, sprinkle the almonds over them, and roast for 5-7 more minutes.

 

Dairy Free Pina Colada (nonalcoholic)

This dairy free Pina Colada is made with only 3 ingredients, and is so refreshing! It's also nonalcoholic, though you could certainly add some rum to it, if you wanted. -- The Nourishing Gourmet
This dairy free smoothie is a creamy blend of pineapple, coconut, and banana. That’s right. Only 3 ingredients! It is so refreshing and delightful we’ve made it several times this last week. The other great thing about it is that it’s completely sweetened with fruit. My eight-year-old wants to make a batch to make some popsicles with it, which I think is a lovely idea.

I used canned pineapple in fruit juice as that was what was available to us, but fresh pineapple would obviously be delicious as well. Canned pineapple tends to be very sweet, so if for some reason your fresh pineapple wasn’t very sweet, you could add a little extra banana for more sweetness. Trader Jo’s also sells frozen pineapple that we have used to make wonderful smoothies.

Another way that I love pineapple is this Ambrosia Salad. Yum! This is the coconut cream #afflink, I use (it’s free of any “gums”).

Pina Colada

serves 2

For an extra creamy milkshake consistency, freeze the banana and use frozen pineapple! If it gets too thick, just add more liquid. Because I use coconut cream, I dilute it a bit with water to make the amount needed for this recipe. For an extra special touch, top with coconut milk whipped cream.

Ingredients:

1 whole banana, peeled
¾ – 1 cup of coconut milk
1 cup of pineapple chunks (and juice, if using canned)
If not using any frozen ingredients, add a handful of ice

Directions:

Blend together in a high powered blender. If it gets too thick, simply add a bit more liquid. Top with coconut whipped cream, if desired. Serves 2

Dairy Free Pina Colada (nonalcoholic)
 
Serves: 2
 
For an extra creamy milkshake consistency, freeze the banana and use frozen pineapple! If it gets too thick, just add more liquid. Because I use coconut cream, I dilute it a bit with water to make the amount needed for this recipe. For an extra special touch, top with coconut milk whipped cream.
Ingredients
  • 1 whole banana, peeled
  • ¾ - 1 cup of coconut milk
  • 1 cup of pineapple chunks (and juice, if using canned)
  • If not using any frozen ingredients, add a handful of ice
Instructions
  1. Blend together in a high powered blender. If it gets too thick, simply add a bit more liquid. Top with coconut whipped cream, if desired.

 

Egyptian Red Lentil Soup with Caramelized Onions

Egyptian Red Lentil Soup with Caramelized Onions - This gentle, cumin-scented soup is topped with sweet caramelized onions, a drizzle of high-quality olive oil, and a blast of fresh lemon juice. It’s incredibly easy and surprisingly delicious considering how inexpensive it is to make.

Savory lentils are gently spiced and blended into a creamy base, and then topped with caramelized onions and generous amounts of fresh lemon juice and a drizzle of olive oil for a delightful simple soup. We make and enjoy this soup on an almost weekly basis (which is very often for us!). Our kids love this meal, it takes 35-45 minutes to make the whole thing, and it is so frugal too!

This recipe is from my soup cookbook, Ladled: Nourishing Soups for All Seasons. (You can read reviews or buy it from my affiliate Amazon here).  One of my goals for the book was to have a wide variety of recipes to meet different needs. I wanted to have hearty winter soups, fresh spring soups, special occasion soups, and simple everyday soups. I felt for it to be a practical book – something that was very important to me as a busy mother in the real world – that it should be a mix of soups suitable for all sorts of dining needs. Such as having a recipe for Chinese Egg Drop soup to go along with your favorite Chinese meal, or Mussels in Tomato Garlic broth for a romantic dish for two, Pho Ga for that craving we get once in a while, and hearty Mexican Black Bean soup for a cold winter night.

However, I think that I was especially interested in making this soup cookbook full of practical, easy recipes as seen in my sections for Simple Soups with Eggs, Creamy Vegetable Soups, and Family Favorite Soups. I wanted people to have recipes that they could use on a regular basis!

This specific recipe is one of those everyday soups that we love! It is so important to have recipes that are good last minute recipes. For those of you who soak grains and legumes, red lentils don’t require a soaking period and cook up very quickly. (But you can soak them if you prefer.)

You may also enjoy a few other sample recipes from my cookbook: Simple Thai Broth, Miso Brown Rice Congee, and go here to get a PDF sample including the recipes for Mexican Tortilla Soup, Butternut Apple Soup, Spanish Garlic Soup.

Back to this recipe: As we have made this recipe over and over again I have only two notes to add to the original directions. My recipe testers and I had at first agreed that this recipe was best using just water to make it as it allows the lemon and caramelized onion flavors to really shine. But now we’ve found that we like it best when made with a light flavored chicken broth. Either way, you can’t go wrong. My second note is that if you find the soup getting too thick, thin it down with a bit of water or more broth.

This is one of our favorite recipes that we froze for enjoying after Larkin was born. We went through our store of it so quickly that I have already made another huge batch of it to freeze again! For more in depth directions for making caramelized onions, check out this tutorial. 

Egyptian Red Lentil Soup with Caramelized Onions

4-6 servings

This gentle, cumin-scented soup is topped with sweet caramelized onions, a drizzle of high-quality olive oil, and a blast of fresh lemon juice. It’s incredibly easy and surprisingly delicious considering how inexpensive it is to make. You don’t have to soak lentils because they are lower in phytic acid, but you’re welcome to soak your lentils in warm water for 8 to 18 hours.

Ingredients:
2½ cups/1 pound/450 grams red lentils (the orange ones, which indicates that they have been hulled)
8 cups/1.9 liters filtered water or broth of your choice (I prefer water to allow other flavors to shine)
1 medium/large yellow onion, peeled and chopped
3–6 medium garlic cloves, peeled and finely minced by hand or in a garlic press
2 teaspoons cumin
Caramelized Onions (see below)
Extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling
2 lemons, cut into wedges

Directions:
1. In a large pot, add the red lentils, broth or water, onion, garlic, and cumin. Bring the soup to a boil over high heat. Turn the heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes or until the lentils and vegetables are soft.

2. Meanwhile, make the Caramelized Onions.

3. When the soup is done, you can purée it for a super smooth soup or leave it slightly textured (the lentils turn to mush when cooked).

4. Salt to taste and serve each bowl topped with a spoonful of Caramelized Onions, a drizzle of fruity olive oil, and a generous squeeze of lemon juice. I allow people to top their own soup as desired.

Caramelized Onions

Ingredients:
2 medium/large yellow or sweet onions, peeled and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons fat of your choice (see page 23)
Salt

Directions:
1. In a large saucepan, heat the fat of your choice over medium heat. Add the onions and sprinkle them generously with salt. Stir as needed to prevent premature browning, allowing the onions to “sweat” and wilt.
2. Continue to cook until the onions turn a light brown color, are sweet, and are very soft. This process takes about 30 minutes.

Egyptian Red Lentil Soup with Caramelized Onions
 
 
This gentle, cumin-scented soup is topped with sweet caramelized onions, a drizzle of high-quality olive oil, and a blast of fresh lemon juice. It’s incredibly easy and surprisingly delicious considering how inexpensive it is to make. You don’t have to soak lentils because they are lower in phytic acid, but you’re welcome to soak your lentils in warm water for 8 to 18 hours.
Ingredients
  • 2½ cups/1 pound/450 grams red lentils (the orange ones, which indicates that they have been hulled)
  • 8 cups/1.9 liters filtered water or broth of your choice (I prefer water to allow other flavors to shine)
  • 1 medium/large yellow onion, peeled and chopped
  • 3–6 medium garlic cloves, peeled and finely minced by hand or in a garlic press
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • Caramelized Onions (see below)
  • Extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling
  • 2 lemons, cut into wedges
Instructions
  1. In a large pot, add the red lentils, broth or water,
  2. onion, garlic, and cumin. Bring the soup to a boil
  3. over high heat. Turn the heat to low and simmer
  4. for 30 minutes or until the lentils and vegetables are
  5. soft.
  6. Meanwhile, make the Caramelized Onions.
  7. When the soup is done, you can purée it for a super
  8. smooth soup or leave it slightly textured (the lentils
  9. turn to mush when cooked).
  10. Salt to taste and serve each bowl topped with a
  11. spoonful of Caramelized Onions, a drizzle of fruity
  12. olive oil, and a generous squeeze of lemon juice. I
  13. allow people to top their own soup as desired.

Caramelized Onions
 
 
Ingredients
  • 2 medium/large yellow or sweet onions, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons fat of your choice (see page 23)
  • Salt
Instructions
  1. In a large saucepan, heat the fat of your choice over medium heat. Add the onions and sprinkle them generously with salt. Stir as needed to prevent premature browning, allowing the onions to “sweat” and wilt.
  2. Continue to cook until the onions turn a light brown color, are sweet, and are very soft. This process takes about 30 minutes.

 

Steamed Artichokes with Three Dipping Sauces

Steamed Artichokes with Three Dipping Sauces

By April Swiger, Contributing Writer

Ring in spring with this seasonal delicacy! These savory dips, rich in healthy fats and bursting with flavor, are the perfect addition to the lovely spring artichoke. They are a cinch to whip up, and an easy way to jazz up the standard side of melted lemon butter, or mayonniase, typically served with them.

I learned how to eat an artichoke at a very young age and immediately fell in love. I don’t know if it had to do with the actual artichoke itself, or the fact that my mother always served it with a big bowl of melted butter and fresh squeezed lemon juice. Yum! Regardless, I adore the taste and look forward to steaming some up this time every year.

Springtime is peak season for artichokes. These beautiful greenish, purple-hued thistles may appear intimidating at first, but I assure you they are very easy to prepare. A few minutes of prep time allows you to cut the stem off, thorns from the petals, and quickly rinse it for steaming. Place them in a pot with some crushed garlic, lemon slices, and bay leaves, and your kitchen will smell amazing within minutes.

Steamed Artichokes with Three Dipping Sauces

I love the unique way artichokes are eaten. Dip individual petals into your choice of dip and scrape off the “meat” at the tip through clenched teeth. Discard the petal in a scrap bowl and repeat. When you reach the heart of the artichoke (the best part, in my opinion), gently scoop out the fine fuzzy hairs with a spoon or knife, slice it into bite sized pieces, and dip. If you love butter, like I do, you will truly savor every bite.

These three dips are made with basic ingredients that most everyone has available to them, and are simple to assemble with minimal dishes. They can be easily doubled for larger groups.

Steamed Artichokes with Three Dipping Sauces
 
Author:
Recipe type: Side
 
These savory sauces are the perfect compliment to the lovely spring artichoke.
Ingredients
  • 4 Artichokes
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • 3 Garlic cloves, crushed
  • 3 Lemon slices
  • A sprinkle of salt and pepper
  • For the Parmesan Butter Sauce:
  • 2 Tbls butter, melted
  • 2 Tbls olive oil
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 Pinch of lemon zest
  • 1 Small garlic clove, minced
  • A pinch of sea salt
  • For the Balsamic Mustard Sauce:
  • 2 Tbls balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tbls olive oil
  • 1 Tbls dijon mustard
  • A pinch of sea salt
  • For the Lemon and Herb Butter Sauce:
  • 4 Tbls butter, melted
  • 1 Small garlic clove, minced
  • ⅛ tsp each of dried thyme, oregano and basil
  • 1 Tbls fresh lemon juice
  • A pinch of sea salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. Cut the stems off each artichoke, along with ½-1 inch off the top, and trim the prickly thorn off each petal. Rinse them under cool water, gently spreading the leaves open.
  2. Place them upside-down in a pot with about 2 inches of water, the bay leaf, garlic cloves, lemon slices, and salt and pepper. Bring the water to a boil, then turn down the heat to low. Cover the pot and simmer for 25-35 minutes, or until a knife can be easily poked through the artichokes from top to bottom.
  3. While the artichokes are simmering, prepare your dips.
  4. For the Parmesan Butter Sauce: Melt the butter in a small saucepan. Remove from heat and whisk in the remaining ingredients. Transfer to a small bowl for dipping. Serve warm.
  5. For the Balsamic Mustard Sauce: Place all the ingredients in a small bowl and whisk until incorporated.
  6. For the Lemon and Herb Butter Sauce: Melt the butter in a small saucepan. Remove from heat and whisk in the remaining ingredients. Transfer to a small bowl for dipping. Serve warm.
  7. How to eat: Dip individual petals into your choice of dip and scrape off the “meat” at the tip through clenched teeth. Discard the petal in a bowl and repeat. When you reach the heart of the artichoke (the best part!), gently scoop out the fine fuzzy hairs with a spoon or knife, slice it into bite sized pieces, and dip.