NOT your average healthy green veggie – AKA Bacon Brussels Sprouts!

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So, about a year ago I started forcing myself to actually eat a veggie here and there.  The best way to do that is to look up recipes on Pinterest that can help veggies taste less like veggies.  I came across tons of recipes that said roasted veggies taste SO much better than steamed vegetables and you don’t loose all the goodie/healthy stuff inside.  The most popular ones were roasted asparagus, roasted Brussels sprouts, and Kale chips…  Well, I tried all of them and honestly I really like all of those.  I also like roasted green beans and I do enjoy plain old steamed broccoli (as long as it’s just the florets…and it has cheez wiz on top…details).  BUT the one I fell in love with was the Brussels Sprout!  I couldn’t even believe it. Me?  Eating Brussels Sprouts?!  It’s true tho.  I experimented for a while before I perfected my process.  Initially I made them with a little olive oil and salt… that was good.  Then I started dicing up bacon and adding it…that was better.  And then, over time I came up with the way that I LOVE them.  And I’m not kidding I eat them once or twice a week.  I eat the WHOLE bag.  I have them as a meal.  One of my favorite things is to fix a bag of frozen Brussels, pop open a super cold coke (I limit myself on sodas so they are extra tasty now) and Netflix binge.  It makes for an exceptional afternoon.  These are my step by step instructions.  These may not be as healthy as plain old steamed ones, but damn they are good… and you’re still getting all those fandangled nutrients you need as well.

Step 1:  Buy frozen Brussels Sprouts.  It’s been proven time and time again that unless you are picking them out of your own garden, frozen veggies are actually better for you than “fresh”.  By the time fresh ones reach your supermarket, it’s been a while since they have been picked.  Frozen veggies are flash frozen, the nutrients and flavor are preserved much better than sitting on a truck for several days in delivery.  I’ll let you do your own research but trust me, only way to get fresher than flash frozen is to get it in your backyard or perhaps a local farmers market – and this girl ain’t got time for all that.  Especially when I eat them twice a week!  I generally buy this brand but I also like a lot of the store brands.  I also like the petite sprouts but my grocery store doesn’t always have them in stock.

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Step 2:  Pour sprouts into a saucepan and barely cover with water.  Most people go directly to roasting but I like to boil mine a little first.  If you want to only roast, go for it.  For me, the boiling for a couple minutes cuts down on roasting time and I like the consistency better than roasting only.

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Step 3:  Once the water begins to boil, boil ONLY FOR TWO MINUTES!

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Step 4:  While the sprouts are coming to a boil and then boiling only for TWO MINUTES, get a baking sheet out and cover it with foil.

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Step 5:  Get your bacon out and cut it in half.  OK, random tip, but I always cut our bacon in half.  I think it cooks better and is a better size for sammies, sides, etc.  Don’t worry, you aren’t going to eat the whole package.  You will need 5 – 6 strips or 10 – 12 half strips.  (I always use 12 half strips/6 whole strips and I love the Maple flavored bacon, but you can use whatever you like.)

 

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Step 6: After your sprouts have boiled for a couple minutes drain them but don’t rinse them or let them cool.  Put them directly on your cutting board.

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Step 7: Cut the sprouts in half.  Again this is a personal preference.  Note:  if I am using the petite sprouts, I don’t cut them in half.  They are already small enough.

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Step 8: Place your 12 half strips of bacon on top of the sprouts (or less bacon if you prefer).

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Step 9:  Set your oven to 420 degrees.  Put your sprouts in and set your timer for 24 minutes.  (Yes, you are putting your pan into a non-heated oven).  If you are a roaster of bacon instead of a fryer you will be familiar with this process.  And as a side note, roasting bacon is the way to go..just saying.

Step 10:  When the 24 minutes are up, open your oven and stir your sprouts around.  Be gentle if they are stuck to the foil.  They’ll come up.  You want to make sure you get them all coated in the bacon grease (Mmmmm).  Before you shut the oven, try and place the bacon in spaces where it’s not covered by sprouts.  This will help it crisp up quicker in the remaining baking time.

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Lifting the sprouts off the foil, stirring them around ensuring they are evenly coated

Moving bacon to edges so it can crisp up faster

Moving bacon to edges so it can crisp up faster

Step 11: Bake for 5 – 8 more minutes.  You may want to watch them.  This really depends on how crisp you like your bacon.  I tend to leave mine in for around 8 more minutes.

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Step 12:  Scoop them into your favorite bowl…

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Step 13: Sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top (Optional) and EAT!

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I promise… they are so yummy!  Just a few other tips.  While your sprouts are baking, rinse out your sauce pan and clean your cutting board.  When the sprouts come out, wrap up the foil from your baking sheet and toss.  The quicker you clean up after making Brussels Sprouts, the less your house will smell!  They taste so yummy but stink when they are cooking!

Give this technique a shot, it’s what works for me and EVERYONE that I have served them to agrees they are YUMMY!  Even people who swear they hate Brussels Sprouts!

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