Brussels Sprouts and Bacon

Long time no type! Lots of changes in my world over the past month; new job, new apartment (in less than 2 weeks!), new car, new phone, school semester finishing... It's been a little hectic! The new job has me in the car all day and traveling overnight one day a week. Getting ready to move and finishing the school semester has put quite a crunch on time. Shall I mention that I recently ran the Philadelphia Marathon?!? It was a lot of fun; good "bucket list" item to have crossed off :)

So back to the blog. I've missed you!! I am excited to finally get back into the blogging world. I love sharing good, wholesome recipes with those who place a high degree of importance on their health and taste buds. With the holiday season in full swing, I'd like to share one of my favorite "new" recipes. I say new because for me, I did not eat Brussels sprouts at this time last year. In fact, Christmas of 2010 was the first time I ever indulged on one of the most delicious vegetables I've been missing for years.

Brussels sprouts resemble tiny cabbages, and for good reason! They are a cultivar of wild cabbage grown for its edible buds, and nutrient POWERHOUSE! It is common to see them this time of year because they are a cool season crop. However, most are grown for the frozen-processed market. Lest us forget, though, that frozen vegetables rank on the same level as fresh in terms of nutritional value! Cautions, however, to any additives and/or growing environment. Also, fresh vegetables tend to roast and saute better, while frozen veggies are better for boiling/blanching, or using in soups and stews. Again, cautions to over cooking any vegetable as will lose nutrients the longer it is cooked. But I digress :)

That first recipe last Christmas was Brussels sprouts with browned butter and pecans; utterly delicious. Needless to say, I immediately starting buying the little vegetables every time I was at the supermarket. I experimented with different traditional and inventive ways to prepare them. This classic recipe was so simple and so tasty it quickly won my top vote.

Brussels Sprouts with Bacon
The Food
- 1 pound Brussels sprouts, cleaned and quartered
- 2 tbs basting oil (I used one infused with garlic and herbs)
- 6 strips of bacon
- Salt and pepper to taste*

The Prep
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
Fry the bacon in a cast iron dutch oven
Drain the fat, leaving about 1 tbs in the pan
Crumble the bacon

The Method
Toss the Brussels with the basting oil and bacon bits
*Add salt and pepper to taste (use less/no salt if your bacon is high in sodium)
Pour into cast iron dutch oven
Place in oven, uncovered, for 30-40 minutes until the Brussels are fork tender, stirring one to two times to ensure all Brussels get roasted and the fat gets mixed in
Serve hot alongside a nice duck breast, pot roast, rack of lamb, and any other delicious cut of holiday meat you serve up!

Enjoy :)

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