Steph’s note: This Caramelized Brussels Sprouts with Lime & Crispy Shallots Recipe comes to you courtesy of my very good friend Rach from Meatified. She wrote the most ah-may-zing new cookbook (release date: March 24, 2015!) called Nourish: The Paleo Healing Cookbook, and this is one of its recipes.
Nourish has 120 AIP-friendly (90% of which are Whole30-friendly) recipes designed to help you through the elimination phase of AIP and saves you from eating the same boring, repetitive foods. The recipes are all free from eggs, nuts, seeds, nightshades and seed spices. Many are coconut-free or have coconut alternatives. (See the full index here.) She’s got tons of creative flavor combinations, plus ultra-healing foods such as bone broth and gelatin included for good measure. Click here to order it right now! Take it away, Rach!
Mr. Meatified still says he hates Brussels sprouts. But he loves them when they’re cooked like this. Slicing the Brussels sprouts super finely makes them caramelize all over instead of just on the outside and the lime juice creates a tangy glaze.
Topping them off with crispy shallots makes these “mini cabbages” crispy-crunchy and downright addictive! Brussels are packed with vitamin K and vitamin C, to boot, making them a badass vegetable when it comes to potent anti-inflammatory benefits!
Caramelized Brussels Sprouts with Lime & Crispy Shallots
Author: Rachael Bryant from the “Nourish” Cookbook
Serves: Serves 4
2 tbsp (30 ml) coconut or avocado oil, divided
1 lb (454 g) brussels sprouts
½ tsp salt
¼ cup (60 ml) fresh lime juice (about 2 limes)
CRISP: Peel the shallots and cut each in half. Slice the shallots finely. In a large skillet over low-medium heat, add 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of oil. When the oil is hot and beginning to shimmer, add the shallots and toss them in the oil to coat, then spread them out in a single layer. Cook until golden, stirring frequently to avoid burning, about 5 – 8 minutes. Once the shallots are golden-brown and crispy, remove them from the oil with a slotted spoon and transfer them to a paper towel-lined plate to cool. Watch them carefully as the shallots will burn easily – it’s better to take them out when then still look a little underdone, especially if you’re cooking them in a black skillet!
CARAMELIZE: Cut the stems from the bottom of each sprout and discard. Pull off any loose leaves and slice the rest of the sprouts finely. Add the remaining oil to the skillet and increase the heat to medium-high. Add the loose leaves and the sliced brussels sprouts to the pan, along with the salt. Cook until the brussels sprouts begin to caramelize at the edges, about 5 minutes. Add the lime juice and toss to coat. Continue to cool until caramelized and just tender, about 8 minutes. Top with the reserved crispy shallots and either serve immediately as a side, or let cool slightly and use as a salad base.
This Paleo Brussels Sprouts, Blueberry and Bacon Salad was inspired by a dish at our local grub establishment, and it’s full of awesome flavors: crisp Brussels, sweet blueberries, savory bacon and a tangy lemon tarragon dressing. Got your attention?
What’s even better is that this Paleo Brussels Sprouts, Blueberry and Bacon Salad is easy to scale up and bring to a party or potluck, and it’s pretty simple to make. If you can’t find dried blueberries without a bunch of added sugar, fresh will work just fine.
¼ cup (60 mL) light-tasting olive oil or avocado oil
Preheat the oven to 350F (177C) and line a baking sheet with foil. Lay the bacon strips on the foil. You may want to season the bacon by sprinkling it with a little garlic powder. Bake the bacon until it’s crispy but not burned, around 15 to 20 minutes. Set it aside to cool, and chop it.
To prep the Brussels sprouts, peel off any damaged outer leaves. Using a sharp knife, carefully slice the sprouts thinly. I like to think about making 4 to 6 slices per sprout. The thinner the better. Place those in a large bowl.
Add in the blueberries and walnuts.
In a medium bowl, combine the lemon juice, garlic, tarragon, mustard, salt and pepper. Whisk to combine, then drizzle in the oil while whisking until it’s evenly mixed. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss everything well to combine. Top with the bacon.
Use fresh blueberries instead of dried if you prefer. This recipe is Whole30-friendly if you use sugar free bacon and blueberries without added sugar.
I need to preface by saying that this is one spectacular little number. It could easily pose as a main for lunch or act as a superior side dish for a larger spread. The birth of this recipe began one day while strolling the farmers market. After spotting a bushel of Brussels sprouts at a vendor’s booth, and some beautiful heirloom beets at another, I decided to come up with a dish that would combine the two. Ironically, I thought of uniting one of my all-time faves, beets, with something I had (at that point) never EVER tried before, Brussels sprouts.
To put this dish over the edge, I knew it would be ideal to cook up some bacon in the oven first and then roast the beets, garlic and Brussels sprouts in the fat afterward. Two words: dynamite decision. After slow roasting, everything caramelizes together to make one huge mound of goodness. It creates an earthy and nutty sauce within itself. Every bite gives you a savory crunch that will appeal to your taste buds and leave you wanting more.
Arrange slices of bacon on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil and bake for about 20 minutes in the oven until crispy. When done, remove with tongs and set aside on a plate to cool. Reserve the bacon fat for cooking the vegetables.
In a large roasting pan, add in the beets, Brussels sprouts and garlic. Drizzle with leftover bacon fat. Sprinkle with dried thyme, salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly using the tongs. Roast in the oven on the middle rack for about 45 minutes until everything has caramelized slightly.
In the meantime, toast pistachios in a small pan over medium heat on the stovetop. Transfer contents of the roasting pan to a large bowl and top with pistachios. Crumble the cooled bacon and add it to the veggies. Use tongs to toss it all together.
Brussels sprouts are an excellent source of vitamin K and C.
Pistachios are an excellent source of copper and vitamin B6. They are also a very good source of iron, manganese, phosphorus, vitamin B1 and B5 as well as a good source of magnesium.
Want to check out more of Paleo Takes 5 – Or Fewer? Go here and click on Look Inside.
Say hi to my guest blogger, Laura! I first stumbled upon Laura’s recipes via her Instagram account (@paleo_in_comparison) and quickly came to admire her creativity when it came to food and her genuine nature. She’s a wife, homeschool mom of two rambunctious boys, and the Paleo blogger behind Paleo In Comparison and a growing Facebook community of the same name. In November of 2011, after years of yo-yo dieting and eating disorders, she stumbled into the Paleo lifestyle. With a total weight loss of 60 pounds (27 kg), and a complete change in her physical and emotional health, she’s never looked back. Paleo gave her life and health back, and helped her form a healthy relationship with food (I can relate!). She’s passionate about sharing her story, and believes that clean eating and living are essential to lifelong health and wellness. I know you’ll love her approach to food and her sense of humor.
If you’re looking for a tasty salad for your holiday table, I think this is perfect and the thought of the hot, sweet dressing makes my mouth water! With no further adieu, here’s Laura and her Collard and Brussels Salad with Hot Sweet Bacon Dressing…
“But salads aren’t sexy.”
That’s what I said to my husband when I told him I was considering making a salad for this guest post.
Salads are often neglected in the Paleo / Primal community for the glitz and glory of a rare steak, “Paleo” cookies, and bacon-wrapped…well…anything! But there are a lot of benefits to eating salads.
First, while I don’t subscribe to a raw food only diet, there most certainly are huge benefits to consuming our fruits and vegetables raw whenever possible. It’s just science – cooking can destroy and break down some of the vital nutrients and fiber in our foods. Cooking is a process – albeit a harmless one – but eating foods raw is the closest to unprocessed that we can get. Salads are a great way to get a lot of different veggies into our diets in their purest form.
On the more practical side, raw foods like salads are super convenient and easy to take with us anywhere. Cold travels better than hot, and you don’t need a microwave or oven to reheat it.
Whenever someone wants “a light lunch,” they go for a salad, but I would argue that nothing will fill your belly faster than raw veggies! Because all of that fiber hasn’t been broken down in the cooking process, you’re going to feel fuller longer – just be sure to drink plenty of water to help your tum-tum digest all that fibrous goodness!
Salads? Not sexy? Boy, did I change my mind fast! Healthy is sexy. So, if A=B and B=C, then A=C. It’s Logic 101. Salads are healthy, healthy is sexy. Therefore, salads are sexy!
The result of my salad revelation was this chicken thigh salad inspired by the colors of the Holiday season. Don’t worry, I was a good Paleo / Primal cook, and threw a little bacon grease in there for good measure. I hope you enjoy this sexy salad as much as my family did!
Collard and Brussels Salad with Seasonal Fruit, Hot Sweet Bacon Dressing & Crispy Chicken Skin Crumbles
Ingredients For the Salad
8 cups raw collards, shredded or finely chopped
4 cups raw brussels, quartered
1-1/3 cups raw cranberries
1 large green pear, sliced (or two small)
4 chicken thighs, bone-in with skin on (if you have a hungry set, make double for 2 thighs per serving)
Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Remove skins from raw chicken thighs. This should be very easy. You may need to use a small paring knife in some spots, but the skins should come off easily just by hand. Once removed, cut the square-like pieces of skin in half. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper – this will help absorb the grease as the skins bake, making them crispier. Place on the cookie sheet and bake until deep golden brown and crispy, approximately 15 minutes. When finished remove from the cookie sheet and allow to cool completely, uncovered.
Remove parchment paper from cookie sheet, use the grease from the skins to coat the bottom of the cookie sheet. Place chicken thighs onto cookie sheet and coat with remaining grease (if you don’t have enough grease, you can coat the thighs with a little fat of choice – duck fat or ghee is always great with chicken). Season simply with a little salt and pepper. Bake at 375°F (190°C) until internal temp reaches 160°F (80°C), approximately 20-30 minutes depending on how many you cook. Allow to cool. Remove meat from bones & shred with your fingers.
Melt bacon grease in a non-stick pan over medium-low heat. Add balsamic vinegar and crushed garlic. Reduce liquid until it starts to thicken and the fat and vinegar are incorporated. Stir mixture occasionally with a rubber or wooden spatula while cooking. Once it has thickened, remove from heat and pour into a separate bowl. Add remaining ingredients and whisk well. Keep in mind the dressing should be served warm. Refrigerate leftovers and simply reheat to serve. The fat in the dressing will cause the dressing to harden when cold, so don’t be alarmed. Reheating will bring it back to proper consistency.
Plating the Salad
On each full-sized dinner plate, make a base with 2 cups of raw collards and 1 cup of raw Brussels sprouts. Place 1/4 of the pear slices on greens. Top with meat from 1 chicken thigh (2 if you doubled the chicken). Top with 1/3 cup of cranberries and some crumbled crispy chicken skins. Serve dressing on the side, or simply drizzle over the salad before serving.
Change it Up
You can use any leftover white meat you have for this salad.
If you want to make it with leftover meat, and do not have the crispy chicken skins, simply replace them with crispy bacon crumbles.
You can also make a quick and cold sweet dressing with honey, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, Dijon, and a little salt and pepper.
Do you have any questions for Laura? Let her know in the comments below!
Last week, Michelle from Nom Nom Paleo posted Food 52’s version of a Thanksgivukkah sandwich (without actual bread of course) on her Facebook page and needless to say, I had to wipe the drool off my keyboard. This recipe’s very much inspired by that photo, but I resolved to make one of my own in my signature stupid-easy style. The result is stripped down a bit in terms of complexity but still huge on flavor.
What we’ve got here are sweet potato “buns” serving as the bread of the sandwich, layered with super yummy cranberry apple sauce, roasted peppered turkey breast and some shaved Brussels sprouts with bacon. I served it with the pan juices on the side…fancy gravy not necessary.
You could certainly make the components separately and use for any application you’d like or put it all together and make your own “sandwich” to savor the flavors of Thanksgiving before the holiday actually hits.
The sweet potato buns were inspired by Melissa from The Clothes Make the Girl‘s BBQ Beef “Waffle” Sandwich (p 116) in her killer new book, Well Fed 2. Sadly, I’ve got no waffle iron, so I tweaked the ingredients a bit and made them in potato pancake / bun form.
For the Peppered Roasted Turkey Breast
Use any leftover turkey or chicken OR
Roast a turkey breast in the oven. I added a lot of black pepper and a sprinkle of salt but feel free to season as you’d like. I roasted a small 2 lb (1 kg) turkey breast in the oven on 350°F (175°C) for about 45 minutes or until a meat thermometer reads 165°F (75°C) for the internal temp.
In a pot over medium heat, combine all the ingredients. Use a microplane grater to remove the orange zest and add that. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer over medium-low heat until the cranberries pop and the apples soften.
This keeps for several days so you can make it ahead!
Peel and grate the sweet potatoes (by hand using a box grater or using a food processor with a grating disk). I grated them by hand…great way to work on your biceps! Put in a large colander and sprinkle with the salt. Let sit for about 10 minutes.
Squeeze the moisture out of the sweet potatoes. Now is not the time to be wimpy…really squeeze hard!
Put the sweet potatoes in a large bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well.
In a large skillet over medium-low heat, add a large spoonful of fat (I used ghee because it tastes yummy). To make a bun: fill a 1/3 cup measure with the sweet potato mixture…you want it sort of packed down. Turn this out into the pan and flatten a bit with the back of a fork. [If you flatten it too much the bun will be pretty fragile.] Cook 3-4 minutes on one side, until nicely browned, then flip and do the same on the other.
Tip: cool these on a cooling rack so they don’t get soggy on the bottom.
Thinly slice the raw Brussels sprouts. This takes a few minutes so put on your favorite song and sing along! I usually slice them in half and then in half again. If they’re too thick, they will never ever cook, and that’s super annoying!
In a large skillet over medium heat, add the chopped bacon and render it down until it’s brown and crispy. Do not get rid of the bacon fat.
Instead, add the onion to the bacon / bacon fat and cook until it’s translucent, a few minutes.
Add the raw sliced Brussels sprouts and cook over medium heat for about 8-10 minutes until they soften. You’ll have to stir them frequently so they all get happy and soft.
Season with salt and pepper to taste and a splash of balsamic vinegar.
Assemble your sandwich and pat yourself on the back because you just leveled up.
Do you think you’ll make something like this with your leftovers?
This is a pretty simple side dish that compliments virtually any main. To save cooking time, I sliced the Brussels sprouts thinly, but if you’re crunched you could either buy them pre-sliced (I’ve seen them at Trader Joe’s) or halve and steam them, then throw them in the pan. I don’t recommend putting them in whole because they’ll take forever to cook. Adding a splash of coconut aminos at the end of cooking is a nice compliment, but if you don’t have it, salt will do just fine. Just taste before adding depending on how salty the bacon is.
Brussels sprouts and bacon is a classic combination. This recipe substitutes pancetta instead of bacon which gives the same savory/salty effect without having to worry about the quality of the bacon. And seriously now…if you are eating bacon (which I think is totally fine in some degree of moderation), you really want to think about buying high quality! Make friends with the meat vendor at your local farmer’s market, buy the really good stuff (such as from 5280 Meat or US Wellness meats. Also, Applegate Farms products are just about the best you can get in a commercial supermarket like Whole Foods)…you really want nitrate-free pork, raised in the best possible conditions. For an interesting take on bacon, check out the Whole9 Bacon Manifesto…good reading!
Ingredients for Pancetta & Red Onion Brussels Sprouts
1 pound Brussels sprouts
1/2 large red onion, diced
4 oz. pancetta, diced finely (I got mine at TJ’s pre-diced)