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Recipe: Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Shitake Bacon

This weeks featured vegetable is... Brussles Sprouts!!!!!! Why? Because they are my favorite and by the end of this month, my garden harvest should feed a village we planted so much! DID YOU KNOW... A 1/2-cup serving of Brussels sprouts supplies 2 grams of protein. Brussels sprouts aren't among the most well-loved vegetables. But as a member of the nutritionally potent cruciferous family, they're worth a place in your healthy diet. Not only are Brussels sprouts a good source of protein, iron and potassium, but they also offer other benefits that can boost your overall health. Vitamin C Vitamin C is essential for normal growth and development. The nutrient keeps your immune system strong and helps maintain the health of your skin, teeth and gums. Vitamin C protects your cells from damage as well, which can reduce your risk of heart disease and cancer. A 1/2-cup serving of Brussels sprouts contains 48.4 milligrams of vitamin C, which is about 50 percent of what men need each day and about 65 percent of what women need on a daily basis. Fiber The average diet contains far less than the 25 to 30 grams of fiber needed for good health, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. Fiber keeps your digestive system working normally, encourages regular bowel movements and prevents constipation. Fiber also helps reduce cholesterol levels, which can lower your risk of heart disease and stroke. A 1/2-cup serving of Brussels sprouts supplies 2 grams of fiber. Folate Often called folic acid, folate is a B vitamin that is present in large doses in leafy green vegetables. Folate aids in the formation of the neural tube and can help prevent certain birth defects such as spina bifida and cleft palate. It also plays a role in the formation and maintenance of DNA. Folate might reduce your homocysteine levels, which can reduce your risk of heart disease, according to MayoClinic.com. One-half cup of Brussels sprouts provides 47 micrograms of folate. This translates to about 12 percent of the 400 micrograms you need each day. Antioxidants Brussels sprouts contain certain antioxidants compounds that offer protective benefits. A 2011 study published in the "Journal of Food Science" notes that Brussels sprouts contain compounds called glucosinolates and isothiocyanates that can reduce your risk of cancer. The article also reports that cooking Brussels sprouts can leach these beneficial compounds from the vegetable, though even cooked Brussels sprouts still offer nutritional benefits. Steaming is best! ROASTED BRUSSELS SPROUTS WITH SHITAKE BACON Until I learned to prepare them correctly, I hated Brussels sprouts. They were a limp, mushy and weird-tasting vegetable that immediately, like a two year old, or even older, refused to eat it. Like most vegetables that get a bad rap, the Brussels sprout is not inherently bad. But boiling or blanching coaxes out a flavor I don't like, while roasting creates a sublime, smoky, popcorn-like aroma and allows a beautiful caramelization to develop around its cabbagy edges. Toss these with toasted sesame or olive oil, minced garlic and a few pinches of salt and roast to perfection, then throw in some shiitake bacon... BAM INGREDIENTS 1/2 pound of Brussels sprouts, ends removed and halved 1 TBS toasted sesame or olive oil a few pinches of coarse sea salt 2 cloves garlic, minced Shiitake Bacon DIRECTIONS Preheat your oven to 425. Add the Brussels sprouts, curved side down, into a cast iron pan or baking sheet and drizzle with the sesame or olive oil and salt. Roast for 10 minutes or until nicely caramelized on the bottom, flip, then sprinkle with the garlic, and roast for 5-7 minutes more, or until evenly roasted/caramelized on the other side.
Toss with the shiitake bacon and serve warm or at room temperature. SHITAKE BACON You can make shiitake mushroom bacon either on the stovetop or in the oven. Neither method is better than the other; it really just depends on what else you have going on in the kitchen at the time. If you’re already standing at the stove cooking and have an open burner, fry the shiitake mushrooms in a large pan. If the oven is already on, or all the burners are occupied with other pots and pans, “roast” the shiitake mushrooms in the oven at 350°F for a few minutes. INGREDIENTS 1/2 pound fresh shiitake mushrooms 1/4 cup olive oil 1/4 teaspoon soy sauce 1/4 teaspoon salt canola or grapeseed oil DIRECTIONS Stem shiitake mushrooms and slice caps into 1/4-inch strips. Toss with olive oil, soy sauce and salt. Allow to “marinate” for about 5 minutes. “FRYING” SHIITAKE BACON ON THE STOVETOP: Heat grapeseed or canola in large frying pan over medium heat. Add shiitake mushrooms and cook until crisp, about 10 minutes. Remove mushrooms to a separate plate. “ROASTING” SHIITAKE BACON IN THE OVEN Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread marinated mushrooms into a single layer on parchment-lined baking sheet. Roast in oven for about 10 minutes, or until dark and very lightly crisped at edges. For an even stronger taste, cook until the shiitake mushrooms are really dark.
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  • Cazare
    April 22, 2017 at 3:30 pm

    bookmarked!!, I really like your site!

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