Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Brussels Sprouts.jpg

Brussel Sprouts come into season in the late fall and are said to be sweeter after the first frost. Perfect for holiday side dishes.

Brussels Sprouts seem to be a love or hate type of vegetable. I love them now but haven’t always. Growing up I would hide them in my napkin so it seemed like I was eating them and my Mom wouldn’t yell at me. Before I met Stefen, I never had them cooked quite right- they were to bitter or sour.  I don’t know how other people were cooking Brussels Sprouts but this recipe is very simple and I love the orange flavor in this dish. 

Roasted Brussels Sprouts Recipe

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 Pound Brussels Sprouts 
  • 1 Naval Orange
  • 1 Yellow Onion, sliced thinly 
  • 1/4 Cup Italian Parsley, chopped 
  • 1 Tablespoon Rosemary, chopped 
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat Oven to 400 degrees 
  2. Bring a (preferably) cast iron saute pan to high heat, add the 1 teaspoon (enough to coat the bottom of the pan) Grapeseed oil (or broth for oil free), sliced onions and garlic, stirring to prevent the onions from burning or sticking. Reduce the heat to medium low and continue to cook and stir until the onion are a deep caramel color and taste sweet. 
  3. Remove the stems at the bottom of the Brussels sprouts. Peel off any yellow or dark leaves. Cut into half's and quarters depending on the size. You're trying to get uniform sized pieces. 
  4. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Add the sprouts, cooking until just tender. Drain and spread on to a baking pan allowing them to cool. Drain any excess water from the baking pan that has accumulated during the cooling.
  5. In a large bowl toss the Brussels Sprouts with the olive oil, place in the oven cooking for 30 minutes.
  6. Zest and juice the orange. 
  7. Remove the Brussels Sprouts from the oven. Toss the Orange zest, Caramelized Onions, chopped Parsley and the Rosemary with the Brussels Sprouts. Season with salt and pepper to taste (optional). Return to the oven to continue to cook until you reach a nice roasted color - about 15 minutes. 
  8. Just before serving add the orange juice which should be 3-4 Tablespoons.

Notes:

If you prefer to cook without Oil:

Caramelizing the Onions without oil:  

  1. Place onions into a pot along with salt and any seasonings you wish to use. Use approximately 1 teaspoon per large onion. The salt helps draw the liquid out of the onion and allow it to caramelize, rather than steam.
  2. Cover the pot and cook on medium-high heat to draw the majority of the water out of the onions. This will take approximately 15 minutes depending on the amount of onions added and their water content. (keep a eye on them to avoid burning them).
  3. Uncover the pot and continue to cook until the water reduces and the onions begin to caramelize. Stir to prevent the onions from sticking. Onions will begin to turn from a translucent white color to a golden color and will continue to darken as you cook them.
  4. Deglaze the pan with one-half cup water or broth when the onions begin to stick to the bottom of the pan, but before they begin to burn. Scrape the bottom of the pan thoroughly. Repeat until the onions reach your desired level of caramelization.

Oven Roasting: Without oil, roasting will take longer to achieve browning. You will want to coat the Brussels Sprouts with a little Vegetable broth or Soy sauce.  Also you will want to use parchment paper or a silpat baking mat so the vegetables do not stick to the baking pan.

Mashed Potatoes and Gravy

We continue to prepare for the holidays with more of our favorite side dishes. This week we have the classic Mashed Potatoes and Gravy.

Mashed Potatoes

The thing about most mashed potato recipes that makes me crazy is that we fill up a big pot of water add the potatoes, cook them and then drain the water!!!! The water that has all that great starch and potential flavor. In cooking I'm always looking for ways to layer the flavors and create more flavor. So when we cook the potatoes in the old way were basically tossing flavor down the drain. 

They key to these mashed potatoes is the cooking liquid. I want to flavor the liquid and use that same liquid to make my mashed potatoes. 

Another thing that seems pretty simple but we often fail at is the actual cooking of the potatoes. People tend to over cook the potatoes which will lead to a watery mashed potato which will never be creamy and rich. You are looking for a slight tenderness to the potato. When you pierce it with a knife tip you want the potato to just yield. It should keep its shape and not fall apart. 

The next key is the fat element. When I was kid my mom learned to make her mashed with milk, butter and mayonnaise. I know that might sound a little nasty but it made for some tasty mashers. So the point I'm making is the fat element is huge in creating a rich creamy mashed potato, after all fat adds flavor. Make a thick Cashew Butter with nutritional yeast and a heathy dash of apple cider vinegar to keep this recipe Whole Food Plant Based and Oil Free.

You’ll have more of the Cashew Butter than you need but it can be used as a spread. If you don't want to make the vegan Cashew Butter, you can use olive oil or a vegan butter such as Nature's Balance.

Gravy wm.jpg

Gravy

The key to this vegan Gravy are the caramelized onions. Again, we are building flavor with the Soy Sauce, Apple Cider Vinegar, Fennel and, of course, the Onions. 

Vegan Mashed Potatoes & Gravy Recipe

Mashed potatoes

  • 2 Cups Almond Milk

  • 3 Cups Water

  • 8 Cups Potato -Yukon gold, diced

  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons Yellow Miso Paste

  • 1 Garlic Clove

  • 1/4 Cup Chives, chopped

Instructions:

  1. Cut the potatoes into large equal size chunks. Place in the pot with the Almond Milk, Water, Miso Paste & the Garlic Clove. Bring to a slow simmer, cooking for about 20 minutes.

  2. Once the potatoes are cooked, drain them over a bowl to keep the liquid.

  3. Now you have a few choices with this next step. A) Use an old fashion hand held masherB) Place in a standing mixer and whisk C) Use a potato ricer. All 3 work great the only difference is how smooth you like you mashers. The potato ricer will give you the smoothest texture.

  4. Once you have picked your method of mashing. Place the potatoes in a bowl and add some of the cooking liquid about 1/2 Cup. Then mash and mix, adding more as needed. You are looking for a firm yet creamy balance. Then add 2 -3 Tablespoons of the Cashew butter. Mix well

  5. Finish with finely chopped chives.

NOTES:  You can peel or leave the skins. However if you plan to use a potato ricer itís best to peel them. 

Cashew Butter

  • 1 Cup Cashews

  • 1/2 Cup Potato -Yukon gold, diced

  • 1/4 Cup Nutritional Yeast

  • 1/2 Cup Water

  • 2 Tablespoons Apple Cider vinegar

  • Pinch of Salt

Instructions:

  1. Boil Cashews and Potato until soft.

  2. Strain and add to a high speed blender or food processor with Apple Cider Vinegar, Nutritional Yeast and Salt. Blend until smooth.

  3. Add water as needed, up to a 1/2 Cup, for smooth texture.

GRAVY

  • 2 Yellow Onion, sliced

  • 2 small Yellow Potatoes, peeled and diced

  • 1 teaspoon Fennel Seeds

  • 1/4 Cup Soy Sauce

  • 3 Cups Vegetable Broth

  • 1 Tablespoon Parsley, chopped

  • 1 Tablespoon Nutritional Yeast

  • 1/4-1/2 Cup Almond Milk

  • 1 teaspoon Apple Cider Vinegar

  • 1 Cup Cashews

Instructions:

  1. Heat a sauce pan over medium heat add 3 Tablespoons of Vegetable broth or water and the sliced onions. Cook until the onions are a deep brown. Continue to scrape the bottom of the pan with a wood spoon to ensure that it does not burn.

  2. Setting aside some Onions for Garnish

  3. Add the fennel seeds to the onions continue to cook until the seeds become fragrant. Add the soy sauce, cooking until it is almost reduced to a glaze.

  4. At this point add the potatoes, cashews and vegetable broth. Cook over low heat until the potatoes are tender.

  5. Pour the mixture into you blender and puree until smooth.

  6. Return the gravy to a clean sauce pan, add the apple cider vinegar, nutritional yeast, chopped parsley and the remaining caramelized onion.

  7. Use the almond milk to adjust the consistency.