Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Blue Cheese Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Cranberries and Pecans

For dinner my first night off of work, and to officially kick off my Thanksgiving Week of Deliciousness, I made these roasted Brussels sprouts. They were good--a little salty, but a small drizzle of honey helped with that.

Then I figured up the nutrition stats, and found myself liking the dish less and wishing that I'd eaten only one serving instead of two. Since when does a veggie side dish cost you more than 500 calories per serving? The pecans and olive oil were definitely the culprits (each one adding about 200 calories per serving!), but at least they bring some nice monounsaturated fats to the party.

If I make these again (which I probably will since there's still a half-pound of Brussels sprouts in my fridge), I'll make some pretty substantial adjustments for both health and flavor reasons: 1) use a bit less blue cheese; 2) halve pretty much all the remaining ingredients other than the Brussels sprouts and cranberries; 3) add a bit of orange zest to the cranberries before roasting (or maybe halfway through when I pull them out to stir them).

Blue Cheese Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Cranberries and Pecans

Pulled elements from Prevention RD and Two Peas and Their Pod
Yield: 2 servings

1/2 cup fresh cranberries, washed and chopped/halved *
1/2 to 1 tsp. sugar
Drizzle of olive oil

1/2 lb. Brussels sprouts, rinsed, with bad/loose leaves removed
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1/8 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper

1/2 cup chopped pecans
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1/4 cup blue cheese
Drizzle of honey (optional)

Line two 8 x 8-inch pans with foil.** Preheat oven to 400.

Combine cranberries, sugar, and olive oil in a small bowl. Pour into one of the foil-lined pans.

Cut the base off each Brussels sprout and halve each bulb. Put the sprouts into the pan in a single layer. Using your hands, toss the sprouts with olive oil, salt, and pepper.

Roast the cranberries and sprouts for 20-25 minutes, stirring the cranberries and rotating the pans halfway through. After 20 minutes my cranberries were almost as shriveled as craisins. If you want them less shriveled, take them out 5-10 minutes earlier.

Meanwhile, heat a small skillet over medium heat. Toast the pecans for about 5 minutes, until pecans just start to brown and smell toasty. Remove from heat. In a small jar, combine remaining 2 Tbsp. oil, vinegar, and mustard. Put lid on and shake vigorously.

Stir together the cranberries, Brussels sprouts, dressing, pecans, and blue cheese. Return to the oven for an additional 3-4 minutes. Toss and serve. If desired, drizzle with the slightest bit of honey.

* You could use craisins instead of roasting fresh cranberries. I simply had cranberries in my freezer that needed to be used. Just skip the whole roasting process for the cranberries, and add the craisins at the end when you stir in the pecans, blue cheese, and dressing.

** If using fresh cranberries, I'm sure it would work just fine to roast the cranberries and Brussels sprouts in the same pan. I only kept mine separate in case one roasted much more quickly than the other.

from MyFitnessPal iPhone app

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