My family has a Thanksgiving tradition where we go around the table and say what we are thankful for. It is impossible for me to adequately articulate what a whirlwind of incredible 2013 has been and how I’ve wanted to hang on to every moment and every conversation and every celebration, because it sometimes feels impossible and unreal that life can be so simply happy. My husband Andrew and I made a pact about a week before we got married that we would consciously change something about ourselves and our relationship after the wedding. We’d already lived together, we already had our puppy, marriage just seemed like a formality in the equation. So what would be different? We settled on mindful health. That we would consciously live our lives healthfully in the hopes that cleaner eating and continuous movement would free our minds and our spirits and allow us to not only enjoy life more, but each other. And with those words, I can confidently assert: I am thankful for health.
My holiday table would be incomplete without some variation of the Brussels sprout making an appearance. These miniature wild cabbages not only pack a huge (and perhaps acquired) flavor punch, but are so nutritious. Brussels contain a miraculous chemical called sulforaphane that is believed to contain anti-cancer properties. They are also a great source for plant based protein, fiber and vitamin C. This simple holiday side dish glorifies Brussels by pairing them with savory, vibrant, and rich red pears and walnuts. The combination makes these seemingly bizarre green balls come to life in a crispy, crunchy and colorful medley of perfection.
Roasted Brussels Sprouts & Pears [makes 8 servings]
2 pounds Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
2 red bartlett pears, ripe, cored and cut into 1/2 inch thick wedges
6 shallots, quartered
1/2 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
1 large spring fresh rosemary, destemmed and minced
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
In a large bowl, toss brussels sprouts, pears, shallots, walnuts, rosemary and olive oil. Evenly distribute on a foil lined rimmed baking sheet and place in oven on middle rack.
Roast for 35-40 minutes (tossing after 20 minutes) or until Brussels are tender and well browned. I like my Brussels particularly crispy so I let them cook closer to 40 minutes. Remove from oven and drizzle with maple syrup.
Nutritional Information (per serving)
160 Calories, 20g Carbohydrates, 9g Fat, 5.2g Protein