Brussels Sprouts with Balsamic Glaze
Brussels sprouts often get a bad reputation because they are so often cooked badly. Plain boiled brussels sprouts are just nasty. I get it. But these are so NOT that stereotype. If you think you hate brussels sprouts and have only had them prepared boiled, just try this recipe, please!
This comes to us from Julie Piatt and Rich Roll's "The Plantpower Way: Italia" again. This recipe represents simple beauty.
15 Brussels sprouts, cut in half
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tsp coconut oil
8 slices tempeh bacon (any veggie bacon will do)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp sea salt
...and that's it!
First up is browning/blackening the brussels sprouts. Heat a pan and add brussels sprouts (cut side down) to the pan and nothing else (that's right - no oil!). When a bright green colour emerges and the blackening begins, add 1/4-1/2 cup water and add a lid. Cook until the sprouts are done (about 5 min). Take them off the heat (don't overcook!).
Meanwhile, reduce the balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan over low heat. This will take 7-10 minutes.
While all this is going on, prepare the tempeh (veggie) bacon by frying it in coconut oil. I like mine crispy, but go for whatever texture works for you!
Now for plating - drain the sprouts and put them on a plate. Drizzle the reduced vinegar and olive oil over the sprouts and sprinkle with bits of the prepared bacon.
Vegan rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ This is really wonderful. The blackened sprouts and the tang of the vinegar combine in a lovely way with the saltiness of the bacon. Yum.
Simplicity rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ This is very simple, especially if you have vegan bacon on hand. If you don't, it's also delicious without it. One idea might be to have the reduced balsamic on the side so people can decide how much tang they want to add. Bacon on the side might also be an option for people to customize. My kids wanted to pick out more bacon to eat on its own after they tried this dish!
Carnivore rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ "The bacon is so much better than I thought it would be!"
Kid rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ "Can I have more bacon, Mom?"
As a vegan, I don't automatically think of pairing vegetables with bacon, but I guess it's a good idea! I used Lightlife bacon, which doesn't crisp up as much as other brands, so I think I would have liked it even more with a crispier bacon.