Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta & Sage

brussel4My household loves Brussels sprouts.  But really, how many recipe’s do I have that utilizes these gems?  Not many.  So truly, we end up eating a lot of steamed Brussels sprouts, sautéed asparagus and buttered broccoli.  That is the youzhe.  I like to spice things up.  Throw the unsuspected a curve ball or two.  So when my eyes wandered over this recipe in my beloved Eating Well Magazine I knew that I had found a keeper.

What turned me on to this recipe mostly was the whole-food ingredients.  The handful of ingredients.  Easily attainable ingredients.  Especially the fresh sage.  I love cooking with fresh sage, the aroma that permeates from any dish with fresh sage in it gives me such a warm feeling.  A “home” feeling…

I had purchased the ingredients a few days back not knowing which night I’d make it.  All of a sudden I come home from work today and got panicked as my Brussels sprouts may turn in a day or two.  I threw this side dish together in literally 10 minutes.  It’s just a bunch of mindful chopping.  Who doesn’t like to chop a bunch of vegetables?  I love it, it’s my time to meditate and focus on the task at hand.  So then it all roasts for 20 minutes or so.  So simple.

Add it to your holiday dinner menu.  I may have just introduced you to your new tradition.

Happy cooking friends!

Ingredients

2 large leeks, white and light green part only, thinly sliced

2 pounds Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved (about 8 cups)

1/2 cup chopped pancetta (2 ounces)

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh sage

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 450°F.
  2. Rinse leek slices well to remove any grit, then pat dry. Combine with Brussels sprouts, pancetta, sage, oil, salt and pepper in a large roasting pan. Roast, stirring once, until the Brussels sprouts are tender, 18 to 20 minutes.
Ready to be roasted.  Look at these vibrant colors and flavorful foods.  What a fantastically healthy dish.

Ready to be roasted. Look at these vibrant colors and flavorful foods. What a fantastically healthy dish.

High Altitude Adjustment

  • I reduced the oven temperature to 400 degrees and increased the cooking time to about 30 minutes.

Compost

  • Brussels sprout, leek and sage trimmings

Recycle

  • Sage and pancetta containers

Reuse

  • Plastic bags vegetables came in

Spicy Quinoa with Sweet Potatoes

quinoa2Spicy.  Quinoa.  Sweet potatoes.  Then my eyes wander to the ingredients.  Cilantro.  Red onion.  Ancho chile powder.  Red jalapeno.

I want to marry this recipe.  How lovely to spice up an ordinary chicken dinner with a side dish such as this.  Or instead of bringing a store-bought cake to your next potluck, throw this together and wow your friends with how healthy you are (even if you did eat a slice of pie for breakfast, who needs to know?!).

I’ve made some changes to this recipe that originates from Food Network.  How does one simplify an already simple recipe you ask?  Well, maybe you are unaware of the genius that is my mind.  Or possibly that I’m lazy.  Or maybe, just maybe I forgot to read the recipe all the way through and I botched it.  Or did I?

Happy healthy cooking friends!

P.S. Easily made vegetarian, simply exchange the chicken stock for vegetable.

P.P.S. Oh yes, it would be super simple to just use the regular chile powder that occupies your pantry.   But oh how you would be missing out on that ancho goodness!  Make that extra trip to your local spice shop and indulge!  The smokiness my friends!  You’re welcome.

Ingredients

1 3/4 cups quinoa

3 cups low-sodium chicken broth

Kosher salt

3 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 red onion, thinly sliced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon ancho chile powder

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1 small red jalapeno pepper, seeded and thinly sliced (keep a few seeds in there if you want to add spice to your life)

2 small sweet potatoes, roasted to a slightly soft consistency, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces

1/3 cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro

1 to 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

Directions

  1. Put the quinoa in a bowl and cover with water; drain. Repeat twice; drain well. (This will help remove bitterness, um, I did a one rinse deal and it turned out fab.) Transfer the quinoa to a medium saucepan over medium heat and stir constantly until the quinoa is dry, about 8 minutes. Add the chicken broth and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Bring to a simmer, then cover the pan, leaving the lid slightly ajar to let steam escape; reduce the heat to medium low and cook until the quinoa is tender and the liquid is absorbed, about 15 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the red onion and garlic and cook until slightly softened, about 4 minutes. Add the chile powder, coriander and cumin and cook, stirring, until the spices darken, about 1 minute. Add the jalapeno, sweet potatoes and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Increase the heat to medium high and bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sweet potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes.
  3. Add the sweet potato mixture to the quinoa, then add the cilantro and lime juice and toss; season with salt.

High Altitude Adjustment

  • Increase broth to 4 cups
  • Cooking time for quinoa will be longer

Compost

  • Red onion, garlic, jalapeno, sweet potato, lime and cilantro trimmings

Recycle

  • Chicken or vegetable broth carton or can/lid

Reuse

  • Plastic bags vegetables came in