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Monday, May 20, 2013

Chillin' With My Brussels

"My pants are getting looser!"
I wasn't surprised one bit by The Wifester's discovery yesterday. We've been eating primarily plant based diets for supper for the last two weeks. We have only allowed ourselves poultry at supper, and confined that to twice a week. It has been a good couple of weeks, too. Only a couple of times did we go to bed and say, "I'm still hungry." But we weren't hungry enough to eat more of anything.
We found a few truly keeper recipes, too, like the Marinated Brussels & Kale Salad. And seriously, don't let the kale deter you. I hate kale. I've hated it with a passion every single time I've tried it. My sister in law, who is a phenomenal cook, made kale chips and swore that they were wonderful, and that is the only time I've honestly felt like she bold faced lied to me. I've always found kale to be bitter and disgusting, until now.
I mean, I've loved brussels for as long as I can remember. I've talked about my love of the little, round, bundle of yumminess time and time again. Even after bouts of illness that I associated, or attributed to having eaten tainted brussels, I've come 'round and been jumping back in the saddle with the little boogers. I can't keep myself away from 'em. I'll gobble those little pillows of deliciousness every chance I get. But, oh sweet mother of all things edible, I never knew they could be so fantastic cold! I've eaten them steamed and roasted and grilled and broiled, but never in my life did I think to chill them.

On Mother's Day, The Wifester and I went to a Mother's Day picnic with The Wifester's mom, our sister in law, her mom, her sister in law, and a host of aunts. It's a yearly thing, and it's great. All the non-moms host it for all the moms, and it truly is a wonderful way to celebrate all those mothers.

Anyways our contribution was this super fantastic dish, whose recipe was requested more times than I can count, and then asked for again, and again. And since it was in such high demand, I thought I'd share it with you.

Marinated Brussels and Kale

2 lbs Brussels sprouts
1 large bunch of kale, center stem discarded, leaves thinly sliced
3/4 cup olive oil
2 lemons,zested and juiced
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
3 Tbsp honey
2 large shallots, peeled and sliced
1/2 cup parsley, chopped fine
1 small sweet onion chopped
½ each red, yellow, green peppers
4 large garlic cloves, minced
salt to taste
fresh ground black pepper to taste
*this recipe also called for 1/3 cup almonds, coarsely chopped – I used roasted sunflower seeds instead, due to The Wifester's nut allergy

Combine lemon juice, honey, vinegar, shallots, garlic, sweet onion, and ¼ teaspoon salt + a pinch of pepper. Stir to blend well. Set aside.

Prep Brussels and slice the larger ones in half. Toss with kale. Bring ½ inch water to boil in a large pot, add Brussels and kale, cover pot and steam for 3-5 min. until just barely tender. Drain the sprouts and plunge them in a bowl of ice water. Leave them there for 1-2 min., then drain.

Whisk in the olive oil with the lemon juice mixture. Toss Brussels and kale with the vinaigrette to coat well. Add almonds or sunflower seeds. Salt and pepper to taste. Cover and place in refrigerator for at least 2 hours before serving, best if made a day in advance. Stir mixture occasionally to ensure even soaking.

There you go. Enjoy!

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