Weekend Cookbook Challenge: Veggin’ Out


Weekend Cookbook Challenge # 24 focused on vegetables this time around, and although this first seemed like an easy assignment, I had trouble finding a recipe from my cookbooks that was ALL vegetables. Granted, there are some cookbooks I’ve used a lot recently that I could have turned to, but I wanted to use something that had been sitting neglected on the shelf for a while.

Finally, I came across The New American Plate Cookbook: Recipes for a Healty Weight and a Healty Life. It was a cookbook my husband had bought early in our relationship but that somehow got used only a few times before being forgotten. Flipping through the pages, I couldn’t believe I had gone so long without cooking from it. Thanks to this challenge, I have a new rediscovery, and I plan on cooking from this cookbook much, much more.

I settled on brussels-sprouts with shallots and nutmeg, which required steaming the sprouts. I have only cooked brussel sprouts by caramelizing them, so this was unknown territory, and I think I steemed them for a little too long. Although I didn’t have any bitter sprouts in my bowl, Jay wound up with more than his fair share, and after tasting a bitter one, I don’t think I could cook sprouts this way again. Unfortunately, caramelizing the sprouts requires a lot more oil than this recipe (2 Tbs. versus 2 teas.). Maybe next time I will get the timing right and they won’t be so bitter.

Plusses on this recipe: after just a bowl of these sprouts, I was full. I think the nutmeg and the chicken broth contributed to this. I didn’t go to the gym the day I cooked these, so that could have been why I didn’t need extra food to fill up, but considering how little calories these sprouts have, I was happily surprised. If you’re looking for a way to eat less calories and still feel full, I suggest this recipe. Also, this recipe was relatively quick to make.

Brussels Sprouts with Shallots and Nutmeg
(original recipe The New American Plate Cookbook)
Note: you can make a vegetarian version of this recipe by using vegetable stock instead of chicken stock. Also, be sure NOT to steam the sprouts too long or else they will become unpleasantly bitter.

10 ounces fresh brussels sprouts (about 3 cups)
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 small shallots, thinly sliced
1/2 cup fat free reduced sodium chicken or vegetable broth
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Salt (Note: we both thought the sprouts also needed pepper)
3 tablespoons chopped toasted almonds (optional)
2 tablespoons chopped flat leaf parsley (optional)

Remove any yellow leaves from the brussels sprouts and rinse them thoroughly. Time the bottoms and, with the tip of a knife, make an X in each stem end to help the sprouts cook evenly. Place a steamer basket inside a pot and add about 2 inches of water. Bring the water to a boil and put the sprouts in the steamer. Cover and steam over high heat for about 8 minutes, until sprouts are a bright, fresh green, and just tender but still crisp. (Sprouts can also be steemed in a microwave-safe contianer in the microwave). Drain the sprouts and set them aside.

In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil. Add the shallots and saute for about 2 minutes, until translucent. Add the sprouts and the broth, cover, and cook over medium heat for 2 minutes. Remove the cover and cook for 1 to 2 minutes more, until the broth is absorbed. Stir in the nutmeg and season with salt to taste. Transfer to a serving dish, sprinkle the almonds and parsley over the top, and serve immediately.



3 Responses to “Weekend Cookbook Challenge: Veggin’ Out”

  1. 1 Clumsy January 21, 2008 at 3:28 pm

    I’ve never tried steaming brussel sprouts before but I imagine it’s very hard to get the timing right. Good for your for getting it *almost* there! I do love how brussel sprouts leave you full though, and the nutmeg sounds great. 🙂

  2. 2 culinography January 21, 2008 at 11:31 pm

    Brussels sprouts must be in the air right now… just posted a recipe myself! 🙂

    Looks yummy… I’m glad to know that I’m not the only one who finds that steaming can be a bit tricky.

  3. 3 tasteslikehome January 23, 2008 at 12:57 am

    I like the idea of shallots,almonds, and nutmeg — but, as for me, I’ll take my Brussel sprouts roasted and caramelized! Seems like you could do that and then toss them with the other ingredients before serving – the best of both worlds!

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January 2008
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