About Me

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Clarksville, Tennessee, United States
I have been an Ovo-Lacto Vegetarian for a few years and am considering making the switch to a full Vegan diet. I decided to become a vegetarian because I could no longer disassociate the meat on my plate from the loving, kind and peaceful animal it had once been. I have always been an animal lover, so I guess this was a natural progression. I am not a diet or nutrition expert by any means, I am just a woman on a mission to eat better, feel better and live better.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Brussels Sprouts: Love 'em or Leave 'em?

I've hated Brussels sprouts my entire life.  Until a few years ago, that is.  I was at a restaurant with a salad bar and they had a soup which had them as one of the ingredients.  I thought, "What the heck?  I'll give them a try.  If I don't like them, I don't have to eat them".  Well, I DID like them.  In fact, I LOVED them!  

Why had I hated them?  There must have been a reason, right?  Some horrible childhood memory of being force-fed some overcooked, smelly, cabbage-like green veggie that left me scarred for life, right?  Right?  

Honestly, I can't even tell you why I had thought I always hated them.  I do not have one single memory of every eating them as a child.  I know my mom never cooked them, because she grew up hating them, too.  So where did my mind determine that I didn't like them? 

I think it's likely that since just about everyone I ever heard talk about them claimed to hate them, spoke of how horrible they were, and that no one in my family ever served them in their own homes, I might have developed the "idea" that I hated them.  After all, if everyone hates them, they MUST be bad.  

Well I'm here to tell you if you haven't tried them, or if you've avoided them since you WERE force-fed some overcooked, smelly version of them as a child, you should really give them a second look.  I have fallen in love with them, and am always trying to find new ways to prepare them.  After all, it's not like my recipe box is full of dishes made with Brussels sprouts that are old family favorites, passed down from generation to generation.  I'm starting from scratch here.  

My favorite way to eat them right now is roasted.  I cut them in half, drizzle them with a little olive oil, salt and pepper, spread them on a cookie sheet and bake them at 425 for about 30 minutes or until they're getting nice and brown around the edges.  Stir them half-way through baking so that they cook evenly on both sides.  You can also mix them with other vegetables you like to roast, such as potatoes, carrots, mushrooms, etc.  Either way, roasted Brussels sprouts make a delicious side-dish.  

What got me thinking of Brussels sprouts today was watching Rachael Ray this morning.  She had a recipe for a Brussels Sprouts Caesar Salad which I just HAVE to try!  The idea of separating all the leaves and using them in a salad, or mixing them with other lettuces and greens, is genius.  I'm sure it's going to become one of my favorite uses for these healthy little veggies.  

And they ARE very healthy.  Here are some facts from the Fruits and Veggies More Matters website:  

How to Select
Choose firm, compact, bright green Brussels sprouts heads.
Buy on stalk when possible.

How to Store
Refrigerate brussels sprouts in plastic bag up to 1 week.

Nutrition Benefits
Low fat; saturated fat free; very low sodium; cholesterol free; low calorie; good source of dietary  fiber; high in vitamin C; good source of folate.

At about 10 calories per sprout, you can load up your plate with them and not worry about it.  That is, as long as you're preparing them in a recipe that isn't loaded with other fat- or calorie-laden foods.  Keep it simple and keep it wholesome. 

If you'd like to read more about them at the World's Healthiest Foods website, please click here.  They provide a lot of helpful and interesting information.

So now that I'm thinking about all things Brussels sprouts, I'm going to be searching the internet for new delicious ways to eat them!  

I hope you all enjoy your day and have a very happy Friday!

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