Sprouts

Another veggie that keeps showing up in our fridge that I really don’t care for is Brussels sprouts, but they seem to be a crowd pleaser and sell well.

Brussels sprouts are a cultivar of the same species as cabbage, in the same family as collard greens, broccoli, kale, and kohlrabi; they are cruciferous (they belong to the Brassicaceae family; old name Cruciferae).About 80% to 85% of US production is for the frozen food market, with the remainder for fresh consumption.[9] Once harvested, sprouts last three to five weeks under ideal near-freezing conditions before wilting and discolouring, and about half as long at refrigerator temperature. American varieties are generally 2.5–5 cm (0.98–1.97 in) in diameter. (Wiki)

Raw Brussels sprouts contain excellent levels of vitamin C and vitamin K, with more moderate amounts of B vitamins, such as folic acid and vitamin B6 (USDA nutrient table, right); essential minerals and dietary fiber exist in lesser amounts. Brussels sprouts, as with broccoli and other brassicas, contain sulforaphane, a phytochemical under basic research for its potential anticancer properties. Although boiling reduces the level of sulforaphane, steaming and stir frying do not result in significant loss.Brussels sprouts and other brassicas are also a source of indole-3-carbinol, a chemical being studied for how it affects DNA repair in cells and appears to block the growth of cancer cells in vitro. Consuming Brussels sprouts in excess may not be suitable for heart patients taking anticoagulants since they contain vitamin K, a blood-clotting factor. In one such reported incident, doctors determined that the reason for a heart patient’s worsening condition was eating too many Brussels sprouts which countered the intended effects of blood-thinning therapy.

I should probably start eating these things more…

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Pan seared sprouts with roasted apple, fig balsamic, and crème friache

Makes 1 small app serving

  • 6 sprouts cut in half
  • 1/8 cup of green apples diced fine
  • 1 tsp of cinnamon
  • 1 tbl honey
  • Fig balsamic glaze (bought at any local store)
  • EVOO
  • Salt/Pepper to taste
  1. Add oil to a small sautee pan and bring to a light simmer then add sprouts, be careful they will cause the oil to pop at first. Let the sprouts develop a nice caramel color as the render down stir every 2 minutes.
  2. Deglaze the pan with balsamic fig glaze toss sprouts to get a nice coat
  3. Add the apples, cinnamon, and honey toss to coat everything
  4. Place pan into a oven at 350-400 for 7-10 minutes until sprouts are fork tender
  5. Remove the pan carefully and add the mixture to a small plate or bowl top with crème friache
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Getting cold time for a little soup action

Only in VA or possible any other coast town it can go from 40 degrees to 80 in a matter of three days. This normally means that you’re constantly sick or trying to avoid catching a cold with the weather flux. Recently at the restaurant we have had an abundance of fall veggies come through given our access to local farmers. I have had a lot of butternut squash, pumpkins, and parsnips in the walk in lately. I try to use these in a lot of different ways, but soup is always a quick crowd pleaser and easy mid shift meal. I got bored with the standard stuff of pureeing squash little heavy cream nutmeg and calling it a day. Below I’ll give you my two soups we ran this week one is a curried pumpkin and coconut milk and the other is a root veggie soup.

While you might want to skip using fresh pumpkin in baked goods , it’s a must when making homemade pumpkin soup. Yes, it takes a while for the pumpkin to roast, but once the gourd is cooked through, the soup comes together in no time. Plus, roasting real pumpkin lets you reserve the pumpkin seeds for toasting and adding as a topping. If you have other stuff laying around such as butternut squash this will work across the board or blend them together.

Notes

If soup is too thick, add more stock to thin it out. In addition, if soup is too thick when reheating leftovers, add more stock until the desired consistency is reached.

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Ingredients: Yields about 7 cups of soup-increase if making in bulk.

1/4 tablespoon of sage

1 onion, medium dice
1 tablespoon coconut oil or butter. This is up to you if you want to make it vegan or not.
2-4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
1 teaspoon curry powder (I used red to give the soup a deeper color, but yellow is fine)
3/4 teaspoon coriander
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1 medium-sized (2-pound) pumpkin, cut in half with seeds and pulp removed
3 1/2 cups stock, vegetable or chicken
1/2 cup coconut milk
Cayenne pepper, to taste
Salt, to taste

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Rub pumpkin halves with coconut oil or butter. Then place flesh-side down on a foil-lined cookie sheet and roast for 45 minutes or until flesh is tender when pricked with a fork. Once cool enough to touch, scoop pumpkin flesh out from the skins and set aside for later use.
  2. Heat a large soup pot over medium-high heat, and melt oil or butter. Add onion and do not stir. Allow onions to brown on one side, then flip them in one move and do not stir again, allowing onions to brown on other side. Add garlic and ginger, stir, and cook for 1-2 minutes, until garlic becomes fragrant and slightly brown. Add curry powder, coriander, cumin, and cloves, and constantly stir until spices become toasted and fragrant, about 60 seconds. Add stock, coconut milk, and pumpkin, and bring to a boil.
  3. Turn off heat, and use an immersion blender to blend the soup until smooth. Alternatively, transfer soup in batches to a blender, and blend until smooth. Once soup is completely smooth, turn flame back on to medium-high heat and bring soup to a simmer. Taste as you go this is where you can control the spice of the soup. For me I like it to have some kick and this is also where you can begin to play with the consistency of the soup thin or thickness.
  4.  When I add this to the bowl I normally either finish it with some chopped cilantro on top and a drizzle of coconut milk. This both will help to combat the heat of my version when I make. Other fun options are to thinly cut a jalapeno and place on top to give it crunch and heat.

Butternut and Root Vegetable Soup ( serves 8 )

1 large butternut peeled, seeded and cubed
3 carrots peeled and chopped
3 parsnips peeled and chopped
1 sweet potato peeled and chopped
1 large onion peeled and chopped
2 leeks cleaned and chopped (white parts only)
8 cups vegetable stock
2 cloves fresh garlic crushed
1 teaspoon ground thyme
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
3 tablespoons olive oil

1. Heat oil in a large pot, add onion and garlic and stir-fry till the onion is soft.

2. Add remaining vegetables, thyme and salt and pepper and stir-fry for a few minutes.

3. Pour in the stock and bring to the boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer till all the vegetables are soft (about 45 minutes).

4. Cool before pureeing.

5. Adjust seasonings and re-heat before serving.

Note: With this its up to you how you want the soup to be if you want a smooth soup follow step four, but I like texture so I saved half and didn’t puree it and pureed half then added it back.