Thanksgiving Favorites: Balsamic Roasted Brussels Sprouts

balsamic roasted brussel sprouts (2)Thanksgiving is right around the corner. That three day work week is in my sights, as are the Black Friday sales! I like to start planning my Thanksgiving menu about a week in advance unless we’re squatting at someone else’s house. This year it looks like we’ll be hosting at our place in Seattle. I personally like a Thanksgiving meal that’s a balance between old favorites (buttered rolls, pumpkin pie, etc.) and newer/healthier favorites (roasted butternut squash, kale salad, etc.). This year I’m breaking out a simple recipe for brussels sprouts featuring one of my all-time favorite condiments: balsamic vinegar reduction.
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Balsamic vinegar reduction is simply balsamic vinegar that has been cooked down on the stove to create a sweeter and richer flavor. The liquid becomes thicker, almost like a syrup but no sugar is added. It’s delicious stuff, good on top of almost any recipe, but is especially good when drizzled on top of roasted vegetables.

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balsamic roasted brussels sprouts thanksgiving recipe favorite julia malinowski.

Balsamic Roasted Brussels Sprouts

  • 1 lb brussels sprouts 
  • About 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or ghee
  • cloves garlic, peeled and lightly smashed
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • tablespoons balsamic vinegar .
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Directions

  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Trim off the bottom of your brussels sprouts, and slice in half from top to bottom.
  2. Heat your oil or ghee in a cast-iron pan over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Place your sprouts in the pan cut side down. Only do a single layer so every piece gets nice and brown. Nestle your garlic cloves in the pan and sprinkle everything with salt and pepper.
  3. Let the sprouts cook they begin to brown on bottom – make sure not to stir them until this happens.
  4. While they cook, pour at least 3 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar into a small saucepan. Heat the vinegar over medium-high heat until it reduces by half and develops a syrupy texture. Be sure to stir frequently to prevent it from burning. Remove the reduction from the stove and let it cool for a few minutes.
  5. Once your sprouts have browned, shake the pan to stir and transfer to the oven for about 10-20 minutes. Stir or shake the pan a few times to make sure the sprouts evenly cook. Remove when tender.
  6. Taste and add more salt and pepper if needed. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar reduction and immediately serve.
  7. This recipe serves two, so adjust your ingredients accordingly if you’ll be serving this for a big crew at Thanksgiving.
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balsamic roasted brussels sprouts thanksgiving recipe favorite julia malinowski

Love the color of fresh brussels sprouts. Sprouts can vary by size, so keep this in mind. If yours seem extra large, feel free to cut them in fourths. Conversely, if your sprouts seems extra small, feel free to roast them whole. 

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balsamic roasted brussels sprouts thanksgiving recipe favorite julia malinowski

Getting ready to reduce my balsamic vinegar into syrupy perfection.

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balsamic roasted brussels sprouts thanksgiving recipe favorite julia malinowski

The final and delicious product. Note, this dish is best served right out of the oven. I kept some leftovers in the fridge and they got a little soggy from the balsamic liquid.

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Have you started planning your Thanksgiving menu this year? Another favorite Thanksgiving recipe is this kale salad. You got to have some greens on the table to balance out all those carbs, right? Happy eating!
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XOXO,
Jules

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Friday Favorites

Y’all, let me just tell you that this week it was hard to pick my favorites. Between Back to the Future Day and ALL the fall recipes and DIYs, the internet has been chock full of so much awesome. And let’s face it, with Thanksgiving and Christmas on deck, it’s only going to get better from here. This weekend I’m planning on working on a little fall DIY myself. If it turns out, I’d like to share it with you, so stay tuned. In the meantime, have a good weekend and enjoy this week’s picks.
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FF10.23.2015 .
1. Am I the only one who purposefully avoids any recipe that calls for yeast proofing? Every time I’ve tried to bake with yeast, it’s been a miserable failure. My dough doesn’t rise and I end up wasting a whole bunch of flour, butter, etc. My eyes lit up when I saw The Kitchn’s Baking School post on yeast. It’s a required read for any other timid bakers out there.
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2. Nick and I are back on a Whole 30 cycle, with a few planned cheats on our upcoming trip to Portland. This of course means that all of the traditional Halloween candy is off limits, including my beloved Milky Ways. Adding this recipe for Paleo Milky Way bars to my list of treats to make 26 days from now.
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3. Halloween treats are only as good as the music to which you bake them. Here’s a fun soundtrack to carry you through until the end of the month.
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4. IKEA Hackers came out with an app and I’m pretty excited about it. Heads up to my friends and family, everyone is getting a FADO kitty lamp for Christmas.
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5. Have you hard about the new movie I Smile Back? The film addresses women’s mental health with Sarah Silverman starring as  mother struggling with depression and anxiety. I was unsure about Sarah playing it straight until I heard her NPR interview yesterday where she shares her personal struggles with depression from a young age.
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XOXO,
Jules

Meal Prep Mondays

meal prep (3)Happy Monday! While the start of the week can be rough, Mondays are always a good day in my house because our fridge is stocked from a weekend of grocery shopping and food prep. I’ve previously shared how I plan and prep our meals, but thought it’d be fun to do an update. My go-to recipes change based on the season and how the hubby and I are eating at the time. Most of my staples are Paleo recipes as I feel the best when I eat a dairy and grain free diet.
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breakfast muffins.
Every week I prep something for breakfast, some sort of veggie dish, and a protein. Lately I’ve been on an egg muffin kick. Egg muffins are just mini frittatas cooked in muffin liners for convenience. Pictured are my favorite pizza egg muffins, so named for the delicious pepperoni, black olives, and mushrooms packed into every bite. This particular batch was a little too heavy on the spinach, but was still pretty tasty. Pizza for breakfast is a great way to start the day! I just realized I haven’t shared this recipe on the blog yet. Think I should?
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carrots.
As soon as fall hits, I am all about the roasted root vegetables. Every week I buy whatever veggies are on sale (parsnips, carrots, beets, whatever), chop them up, and toss them in olive oil, salt, pepper, and rosemary. I roast them under the broiler on high, which gets the veggies caramelized quickly but requires keeping a close watch the oven. I’ve definitely let a few batches of veggies get a little too close to the line between roasted and burnt.
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patties.
Usually, we cook a giant piece of meat in the crockpot, a pork loin or beef roast. Recently however, I’ve been making a version of Melissa Joulwan’s Paleo Egg Foo Young. I’ve never actually order Egg Foo Young in a restaurant. so I have no idea how close this recipe is to the real thing. I can tell you that these little patties are delicious enough that I’ve eaten them three weeks in a row.
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What are you eating this week? Do you prep your food on the weekends or do you prefer to fly by the seat of your pants during the week?
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XOXO,
Jules

Fresh Raspberries and a Recipe for Banging Brownies

gluten free and paleo browniesThis past weekend, Nick and I went raspberry picking with some friends of ours at Remlinger Farms. Growing up, we went berry picking every year, making jam and pies from the (literal) fruits of our labor. It may sound crazy, but as soon as I stepped back into the fields, I felt this wave of nostalgia just wash over me. Oh to be ten again, eating berries until my stomach ached.
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Remblinger Farms raspberry picking

We left the field with four pounds of deliciousness. Look at that happy face.

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Fresh raspberries pair perfectly with chocolate, so our trip had me craving a chocolate brownie something bad. I’ve been trying to keep the Paleo thing going as much as possible, so my goal was to come up with a brownie recipe with satisfied my cravings while still keeping things relatively healthy. I’ve tried making Paleo brownies with coconut flour several times, and they always come out too cakey. For me, it’s not a true brownie unless it’s rich and fudgey.

After spending way too much time researching the blogs, I found a promising recipe from Elena’s Pantry using almond butter as the core ingredient. I did a little tweaking (I can’t help myself) and ended up with hands down the best Paleo brownie I’ve ever had. Seriously, it’s good. The best part is that this brownie recipe checks off all the health food buzz words. It’s paleo, gluten-free, dairy-free, and refined sugar-free. Getting your chocolate fix and feeling good about it? If that doesn’t make these brownies banging, I don’t know what else would!
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Banging Brownies

Serves about 10 (or just one if you’re me)

Ingredients
  • 16 ounces creamy roasted almond butter
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup no sugar added raspberry jam
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup cacao powder
  • 1 ounce unsweetened baking chocolate
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
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Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, blend together almond butter, eggs, honey, jam, and vanilla until smooth. I think you could actually use any type of jam in this recipe as long as it was pretty smooth. You really can’t taste the flavor.
  2. Place the baking chocolate in a small bowl and submerge in almond milk. Melt in the microwave, stirring every 5-10 seconds until fully melted. The milk and chocolate should combine into a smooth paste. Scoop the paste into your large bowl and blend until smooth.
  3. Blend in cacao, salt and baking soda.
  4. Grease a 10 x 10 baking dish, or a pie pan. I like to use coconut oil, but anything will do.
  5. Pour batter into dish and bake at 325° for 25-35 minutes. Let cool before serving.
  6. Note: this recipe is meant to have a deep chocolate flavor without an overwhelming level of sugar. Adjust the sweetener according to your preferences.
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paleo and gluten free brownies

I recommend serving a slice loaded with fresh raspberries and vanilla ice cream.

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I have one more slice left to enjoy tonight and then we’ll see how long I can hold out before making another batch. Any bets on how long I’ll make it? 1 day? 1 week?

XOXO,
Jules

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