When I was younger, I did not like Brussels sprouts. But, I don’t really know too many kids that like Brussels sprouts. They smell funky when cooking and can have a bitter taste if not cooked properly. As a result, my mom rarely made them. Our vegetable of choice was steamed broccoli with a little olive oil and lemon juice. And, we ate a lot of frozen peas. My dad traveled a lot for work, so we had fish sticks with peas at least once a week.
Right before the Whole30 hit big, and everyone was trying it, I decided to do this diet. I had just moved to Dallas and was coming off a two month “goodbye tour” of New Jersey and living in Hoboken. Needless to say, I was ready to detox and start fresh in a new city. As many of you know, the Whole30 is very strict and you can’t eat a lot of the things you enjoy. Luckily, I like vegetables but this diet caused me to try foods I didn’t normally eat. Brussels sprouts is one of those vegetables. I guess my taste buds changed because I discovered I liked these little cabbages!
The History of the Brussels Sprout
Brussels sprouts were indeed grown for the first time in Brussels, Belgium, in the 1500s. They spread through Europe and came to the United States in the 1800s when French settlers came to Louisiana. They were grown mainly in Louisiana until production moved to California in the 1930s. Today, the majority of Brussels sports that are consumed in the US are grown in California, with some grown in Washington state and Long Island, New York.
Nutritional Benefits of Brussels Sprouts
Brussels sprouts are so healthy for us! As part of the cabbage family, they are considered a non-starchy vegetable. They are rich in vitamins A and C, folic acid, and fiber. In addition, Brussels sprouts also contain iron and vitamin B6.
The Versatilely of Brussels Sprouts
You can cook Brussels sprouts a lot of different ways. For the longest time, I would sauté garlic and Brussels sprouts in olive oil and finish them in the oven with cubed butternut squash. But then I learned there are different ways to cook this tiny cabbage. You can eat them raw in salads, roast them, boil them, grill them, smash them (like smashed potatoes), fry them, wrap them in bacon, bake au gratin (with dairy-free cheese, of course), make chips, and stuff them (like stuffed mushrooms). Also, when you roast them, you can put so many different spices and sauces with them!
One day I was thinking of a new way to serve Brussels sprouts. I had a bag of them in the fridge, along with butternut squash, but I wanted to do something different. I decided to mix them with quinoa and a maple-dijon dressing. OMG this was so good! I ate almost all of it in one sitting! This can work as a main dish for lunch or be used as side dish with chicken, pork or steak. You can serve it with fish, but the Brussels sprouts might taste a bit heavy agains the lightness of fish. I used my rice cooker for making the quinoa. I followed the directions and the quinoa came out perfect. If you don’t have a rice cooker, you can cook the quinoa on the stovetop. Just remember to keep your eye on it so it doesn’t burn and stick to the bottom of your pan. If you want leftovers, I recommend doubling the recipe.
Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Butternut Squash & Quinoa and Maple-Dijon Dressing
Author: The Food Allergy Foodie
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 35 minutes
6-8 Brussels sprouts, washed, with the ends cut off and quartered
1 butternut squash, cubed (or one 12-oz bag of precut butternut squash)
1 cup cooked quinoa
4 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1-1/4 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
Kosher salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 400.
- Cook 1 cup of quinoa according to the package directions. You can also cook the quinoa in a rice cooker. Using vegetable or broth instead of water adds extra flavor.
- While the quinoa is cooking, prepare the Brussels sprouts and butternut squash.
- If you are using a fresh butternut squash, peel and cube the squash. Here is a linkto a quick instructional video on how to cube a squash. If you are using precut squash, place the squash in a large mixing bowl. Add 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil and add a dash of salt and pepper. Mix well.
- Cut the ends off the Brussels sprouts and quarter each sprout into four pieces. Place in a strainer and rinse the sprouts. Pat dry with a paper towel. Add the Brussels sprouts to the butternut squash. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and add salt and pepper to taste. Toss all together until mixed well.
- Place the Brussels sprouts and butternut squash on a medium baking sheet. Make sure none of the ingredients are overlapping.
- Roast in the oven for 30 minutes; at 15 minutes, gently toss the Brussels sprouts and butternut squash. Continue roasting for another 15 minutes or until the butternut squash and sprouts are cooked.
- While the sprouts and squash are roasting, prepare the dressing. Mix all ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.
- Once the quinoa, Brussels sprouts, and squash are done cooking, combine all together in a large bowl. Toss with the dressing and serve.