Remember when your mom would tell you to finish your Brussels sprouts, and you’d cringe because eating the little green veggies was like having to swallow the bitterest of pills? Well if you haven’t yet jumped on the Brussels sprouts bandwagon, you may want to now.
After all, Brussels sprouts, which are low in calories — at just 38 calories per cup, come loaded with phytonutrients, which may help ward off diseases such as cancer. They’re also high in protein, iron and potassium, not to mention vitamins C and A, folate and fiber. All good things that can help boost your overall health.
Most important, these diminutive green vegetables are super tasty when you get them in peak season, which stretches from September to mid-February. And of course, working off a good recipe would help. Check out our Barley with Brussels Sprouts, Kale and Sun-Dried Tomatoes, which makes a great side dish for the Thanksgiving meal. We guarantee it’s nothing like your mama’s Brussels sprouts. Try it and see.
Barley with Brussels Sprouts, Kale and Sun-Dried Tomatoes
- 1 lb Brussels sprouts, stems trimmed, halved and sliced
- 2 handfuls kale, ribs removed and torn into small pieces
- 1/2 medium onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, sliced
- 1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
- 1 cup pearl barley, uncooked
- 3 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
- 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 tbsp canola oil
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp black pepper, freshly ground
1. Cook barley according to package directions; use vegetable broth to cook the barley. Meanwhile, clean and prep the vegetables.
2. Heat a large wok or deep pan over medium high. When pan is hot, add canola oil. When oil is hot, add onions and cook for a few minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in garlic and cook another minute.
3. Add Brussels sprouts and cook for a couple minutes, stirring occasionally. Season with 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper.
4. Add kale and cover wok for a couple minutes lowering heat to medium low. Uncover, increase heat and stir kale in with onions and sprouts. Add balsamic vinegar. Cook for another 5 to 7 minutes, stirring frequently, until sprouts are caramelized.
5. Add pearl barley and sun-dried tomatoes. Season with remaining salt and pepper. Turn off heat and combine thoroughly. Stir in Parmesan cheese and serve.
Lisa is the director of content strategy at Zipongo. Her experiences include editorial and strategy at both start-ups and enterprise companies along with cooking at a top restaurant in NYC.