Filet Mignon and Shaved Brussels Sprouts

Filet Mignon and Shaved Brussels Sprouts

Filet Mignon and Shaved Brussels Sprouts

Craving a simple low-carb meat and veg dinner? Here you go.

  • 3/4 lb. slice of beef tenderloin (filet mignon for 2)
  • high-heat canola oil
  • brussels sprouts
  • olive oil
  • kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
  • balsamic reduction

Beef Tenderloin

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Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Italian Sausage, Balsamic Syrup

Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Italian Sausage, Balsamic Syrup

Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Italian Sausage, Balsamic Syrup

Last Thanksgiving’s Brussels Sprouts with Bacon Shards was such a hit, I’m going to add meat to the veggie dish again this year. Bacon and Brussels sprouts are a classic pairing, but for an unexpected twist, I’ll be serving the little brassicas with Italian sausage seasoned with fennel. Fennel seeds add interesting anise notes that complement and add complexity to the roasted sprouts.

A balsamic vinegar reduction will add sweet notes and enough acid to balance the rich sausage. A sprinkling of parsley will bring bright, fresh qualities. I’m confident that this side dish will be equally, if not more popular, than the bacon version. As a bonus, ease of preparation and a short ingredient list make this one a winner for the busy holiday cook (me).

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Italian Sausage Recipe

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Crispy Shaved Brussels Sprouts Flatbread Pizza

Crispy Shaved Brussels Sprouts Flatbread with Bleu Cheese, Dried Cranberries, Balsamic Syrup

Crispy Shaved Brussels Sprouts Flatbread Pizza
Bleu Cheese, Dried Cranberries, Balsamic Syrup

Keep flatbread on hand and you will never be without a crowd-pleasing appetizer. Flatbread pizza is fast and easy to prepare, and it can be topped with any type of cheese and an unlimited creative combination of items from the pantry or the fridge. Today’s fusion of flavors and textures was especially harmonious.

Brussels sprouts are roasted until the edges get crispy and caramelized. Flatbread with covered with a layer of mozzarella, topped with Brussels sprouts and bleu cheese then baked until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Dried cranberries add a layer of sweetness with a pop of color. An artful drizzle of balsamic syrup also brings sweet and subtly sour notes.  Crispy shaved Brussels sprouts flatbread pizza joins my “flatbread pizza collection” along with the Croatian Sausage Flatbread Pizza and Potato Arugula Flatbread Pizza. There will definitely be more to come.

Brussels Sprouts Flatbread Pizza Recipe

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Brussels, Bacon, Balsamic

Brussels, Bacon, Balsamic

Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Bacon Shards, 18-Year Balsamic Vinegar of Modena

Thinking about my upcoming Thanksgiving menu, wondering if my nephews would try the Brussels sprouts this time around. Can Aunt GeeGee sell one of America’s most-disliked vegetables to 11 & 13-year-old boys?

Hmmm…maybe bacon would help, but not some puny bacon bits. This would have to be real bacon, the thick smoky meaty kind from my butcher, not the pre-packaged grocery store variety. And it would have to be substantial. Bacon shards. And I will drizzle it with the most heavenly vinegar, a vinegar older than both of them…rich and creamy, sweet and subtly sour, aged 18 years!

Stone at 6-years-old
Stone at 6-Years-Old

Who am I kidding? I know what their plates will look like…turkey, their grandma’s mashed potatoes, gravy, and shards of bacon (no Brussels sprouts in sight). Maybe I can get them to try my pumpkin risotto, it’s full of cheese after all.

Brussels, Bacon, Balsamic Recipe

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Quinoa Omelette with Brussels Sprouts & Cheddar

Quinoa Omelette filled with Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Cheddar

Quinoa Omelette
filled with
Roasted Shaved Brussels Sprouts and Cheddar

Lovers will love. But will haters, hate? There is something about roasting shaved Brussels sprouts that makes them appealing to even the most picky eaters. And stuffing them into a fluffy omelette made with quinoa and melting cheddar – well perhaps we are able to win some new friends for these cute little brassicas that have the unfortunate reputation of being one of the country’s most disliked vegetables.

Brussels sprouts can have a slightly bitter quality, especially the large older ones, which can be off-putting to many. And then there is that childhood memory of mushy overcooked Brussels sprouts with their lingering cabbage-y smells. But when those mini cabbages are shaved – so there are lots of leaves exposed to get crunchy and crackly, then roasted – creating crispy caramelized bits, they do become quite irresistible.

I add cooked quinoa to eggs to increase fiber and nutrients. Cooked quinoa is fluffy like couscous, creamy like rice, slightly crunchy with a nutty taste reminiscent of sesame seeds. It adds flavor and texture to this unique seasonal omelette.

Quinoa Omelette filled with Brussels Sprouts Recipe

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A Fresh California Twist on Brussels Sprouts

California Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad

Cal-Style Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad

with

Lentils, Cranberries, Walnuts, Chestnuts, and Orange Zest
Orange Tahini Dressing

Imagine serving a Brussels sprouts side dish for Thanksgiving that appeals to all your guests. Unfortunately, that’s probably not possible as these seasonal mini cabbages are one of America’s most-hated vegetables.

Brussels sprouts can have a slightly bitter quality, especially the large older ones, which can be off-putting to many. And then there is that childhood memory of mushy overcooked Brussels sprouts with their lingering cabbage-y smells. No wonder this little brassica has a bad reputation. But we’re putting an original California spin on that old cruciferous vegetable this holiday!

In recent years we’ve seen lots of fabulous recipes for roasted Brussels sprouts, which have changed some peoples minds about this vegetable. We’re refreshing our Thanksgiving menu with a California Style Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad. It is bright and flavorful – the perfect foil to all the rich heavy dishes on the buffet. And it is naturally nutritious, gluten-free, and vegan too.

Most of the U.S. production of Brussels sprouts comes from California where plantings began in the 1920s along our Central Coast. The combination of coastal fog and cooler temperatures is ideal for cultivation. This Cal-Style Brussels Sprouts Salad invokes the flavors of the holidays – cranberry, walnut, orange, chestnut. Shaved Brussels sprouts are blanched in boiling water for only two minutes, then shocked in an ice bath to retain their crispiness and color.

The flavor is fresh and bright. The texture is light and crunchy. I add earthy lentils for balance. The lively dressing is a blend of creamy tahini (sesame seed paste), olive oil, and orange juice. Pairing these little leafy cabbages with legumes, fruits, and nuts is the key. You might just convert some haters this holiday. And as a bonus – this salad frees up much-needed space in the oven…

Cal-Style Brussels Sprouts Salad Recipe

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A Foodie Christmas Dinner Party

Menu

appetizer

Three Holiday Crostini Served with Bubbly:

Italian Truffle Cheese, Truffled Shiitake, Truffled Frisee
Cambozola, Cranberry Orange Relish, Walnut
Foie Gras Paté

dinner

Lori Lynn’s

Spicy Curried Butternut Squash Soup with Creme Fraiche
Garnished with Toasted Coconut, Chopped Cashews, Dried Pomegranate Arils

Gail’s

Bejeweled Endive Christmas Salad
Radish, Shallot, Basil, Fresh Pomegranate Seed
Creamy Champagne Thyme Vinaigrette

Lori Lynn’s

Roasted Cornish Game Hen
Meyer Lemon, Fennel, Olive, Garlic
Meyer Lemon Cream Fraiche “Gravy”

Pat’s

Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Sally’s

Brussels Sprouts with Hollandaise

Lauren’s

Warm Chocolate Lava Cake
Peppermint Chip Ice Cream

A few days before Christmas I hosted A Foodie Christmas Dinner Party for my friends. Everyone was to bring a dish and wine. I had said that I would be making Cornish game hen and the rest of the menu was open. Without any formal planning, the menu evolved and the dinner turned out fabulous! My only direction was to let the cooks know what menu category was available. Since we are foodie friends that have been cooking together for years, it shouldn’t have surprised me that the random menu items complemented each other perfectly.

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