Friday, March 25, 2011

Healthy Dinners: Win! The Brussels Sprouts fight.

I guess I may have been a weird child, or my parents were great cooks, or both.  (I did have Sally Jesse Raphael-esque glasses forever, so I'm betting weirdness factors in.)  I just never disliked the veggies my kids  and so many others hated.  I ate up my asparagus, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts without batting an eyelash.

A lot of these types of veggies being kid friendly deals almost entirely upon how they are cooked.  It is so worth your time to master some easy techniques- par boiling, flash frying, correct sauteing, to ensure your veggies have tons of flavor and retain tons of powerful nutrients.  As we've made a family resolution to be more active and get TONS more fruits and veggies into our diets, I've started honing in on getting these techniques right.  The benefit? My kids will eat their veggies!

I won't deny that we all get to go through that wonderful picky eating stage with our kids.  Hence why making sure you've cooked something so that it's not only good for you but your kids are more likely to try it is so important.  We believe that early exposure to as many healthy, natural, and as man unrefined products as possible leads to a lifestyle of healthy eating.

Now, despite the fact that my kids would be tickled pink if I served chicken nuggets and macaroni & cheese both out of boxes nightly, I'm slowly winning the uphill battle of the veggie wars.  Everyone has different mealtime rules and rituals, so how we're slowly winning this battle is best left for another time.  Let's talk about kids hating Brussels sprouts and how to change it.

We try to make sure we eat seasonally because it's often cheapest and healthiest.  Brussels sprouts are still in season here, so I get myself a great big bag every week.  (It does help that they are inexpensive!)  We've doctored them up and served them a great many ways, but last night, we struck gold with this recipe.  The combo here, which I literally threw together in my head right before making it magically worked!  I love when my cooking has these moments, I really do.

We got Eva and Owen happily chomping away on this dish and I really hope it works for you too.  You'll have to let us know your ways you've successfully gotten your kids to come around to veggies that aren't always appealing.  I truly think that us just MAKING them part of our meals to keep eating healthier is a big part of our success.  My kids know that whole grains, veggies, and fruit as daily staples aren't optional.  Thus, they also know that experiencing new things is the number one reason to cook lots and healthfully!

Enjoy and tweak to your desire!

Sausage and Brussels Sprouts 'Stir Fry'
serves 4-6 easily

1 lb ground turkey sausage (removed from casings if necessary), and you can choose spicy, hot, sweet, Italian style- totally your preference
1 lb Brussels sprouts- chopped up roughly, rinsed well and also drained well
1 lemon, both juiced and zested
2-3 minced cloves of garlic
1/2 cup of finely minced onion
1 Tbs pine nuts (totally optional)
1-2 Tbs olive oil
Salt, Pepper, and grated Parmesan
Brown Rice (to serve with and totally optional)

-Fry up your sausage gently until it is just cooked.  Use a large, deep frying pan or a stock pot if you need to.
-Remove sausage into a bowl to set aside.  If you have much fat/grease leftover, you can drain it and use olive oil for the next step, or you can omit the olive oil and use the grease you have.
-Move heat to a solid medium on your stove and saute your garlic, onion, and lemon zest.  You don't want burned bits, so if you have to reduce the heat, thats fine.  Keep stirring and cooking until the onions, etc., are translucent.
-Add Brussels sprouts and turn up heat some.  You can add in about 1/8 to 1/4 cup of water if you'd like.  Saute your sprouts well, until they are limp, bright green, and have some brown spots.  Toss in lemon juice and zest, then the sausage. Turn up the heat some and make sure everything is well seasoned with salt and pepper then warmed through totally.
-Serve with brown rice, if you'd like, and a bit of grated Parmesan for a little extra oomph.

Now pour yourself a glass of great white wine, if you'd like, and everyone enjoy dinner tonight!  It's Friday!

1 comment:

Sarah said...

mmmm sounds good! sausage makes everything taste better, just like bacon hehe