Are people over their “eeeewwwwww, brussels sprouts” thing yet? I know most of the paleo people/bloggers out there are. But what about…
normal people people that aren’t so into the whole real food and i-love-to-cook-and-try-anything and put-all-the-vegetables-on-my-plate things?
Solution: these Maple Balsamic Brussels Sprouts with Toasted Pecans & Bacon. Yep, you read that right.
I started making these at Thanksgiving about 3 years ago and we haven’t looked back. More like, my family BEGS me to make them every year at Christmas and Thanksgiving. And during the year. Because they are THAT. GOOD.
Speaking of people that don’t like brussels sprouts, i think my not-so-little-anymore brother will FINALLY like them this year. They’re coming for ya, Kyle. I’m so proud of him. He’s a senior in college and was so fed up with the food in the dining hall that he started cooking for himself. And guess what? It’s REAL FOOD. And GOOD real food too. None of this bland chicken, spinach and rice bullsh*t. Ain’t nobody got time (or lack of tastebuds) fo that. He’ll send me pictures of a fantastic looking dinner of pulled pork, roasted sweet potatoes (except that one time he burned them to a crisp, oops), and veggies, or a breakfast of sausage, eggs and guacamole…and he even wanted to try and make my sesame chicken meatballs. SO PROUD. You go, Glen Coco. But none for Gretchen Weiners.
See, paleo/real food can be so easy a
caveman college student can do it, and LOVE it too.
Now about these brussels sprouts. Pulled pork and eggs may be all fun and games/normal for people who don’t eat many veggies, but these babies are a whole ‘nother obstacle to overcome. So, naturally, to
force help my family like them fall in love with them, I added in some kicka** flavors that will do a 1-2 punch and KO your tastebuds so you’re left like “wooooahhhhh whaaaaaaat?! that was brussels sprouts??”
Also, if you know me, please picture me saying that in your head. Because it actually happened and was hilarious.
So what are these mysterious, amazingly awesome flavors that’ll leave you wanting more, you ask?
Bacon. as if this wouldn’t be enough by itself.
toasted pecans. cinnamon. balsamic vinegar. maple syrup.
Umm, yeah. So about that tastebud explosion of awesomeness? You might wanna prepare for that.
- ½ cup raw pecan halves*
- 6 slices thick-cut bacon, chopped into bacon bits
- 2 pounds brussels sprouts, stems trimmed, halved
- 1 Tbsp coconut oil
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- ¼ tsp black pepper (optional)
- 2½ Tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 Tbsp maple syrup
- Preheat your oven to 350 F and line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the brussels sprouts in a large, heat-proof mixing bowl.
- Place pecans on the prepared baking sheet and bake for about 5 minutes, until lightly toasted. Make sure to watch them closely because they burn fast! Transfer nuts to a cutting board and let cool before chopping them coarsely. Set aside for later.
- Increase the oven temperature to 400°F.
- In a medium sized skillet over medium heat, cook the bacon bits until crispy, about 5-6 minutes, stirring often with a wooden spoon so they don’t burn. Once cooked, remove the bacon to a paper towel lined plate to cool.
- Carefully pour the remaining bacon fat (about 1-2 Tbsp) into the bowl with the brussels sprouts. Add in the coconut oil, cinnamon, salt and pepper, and stir to combine with a wooden spoon.
- Pop the pan in the oven and roast the sprouts for about 20 minutes, then stir them with a wooden spoon. Turn the oven down to 375 F and cook the sprouts for about 10 more minutes. They should be fork-able, browning and caramelized when they’re finished.
- Transfer to a serving bowl and toss with balsamic vinegar and maple syrup to coat evenly.
- Just before serving, fold in the pecans and bacon, then adjust salt and pepper to taste.
What’s your favorite way to eat brussels sprouts?
Want even more epically delicious paleo Thanksgiving and Holiday recipes like this? Check out my ebook, Our Paleo Holiday Table: Insanely delicious gluten-and-dairy-free recipes from my family to yours.
So what’s inside? 11 gluten and dairy-free (paleo) holiday-themed recipes that are easy to make and really freaking delicious. Plus make-ahead tips and tricks to save you tons of time (and stress, and hair-pulling) on the big holiday meal day. You can print out the recipes in a pretty little PDF, so you’re already to go with an entire meal planned out for your holiday! Because everybody loves delicious holiday food, right?? Check it out here!