Friday, November 20, 2009

vitamins from Brussels…

This time of year, eating fresh greens gets harder and harder for me as my garden goes to sleep for the winter. But the saving grace is that Brussels Sprouts are in season. As a child, I hated Brussels Sprouts with all my might, as they came to the table boiled to death and ghostly grayish-green.

Now that I know that there are dozens of tasty ways to prepare them, keeping them fresh tasting and green, I try to keep a stalk of them in my cold pantry all winter. They are easily available on a stalk all over the US at you local Fruit and Veggie market.

Brussels Sprouts on my "Martha Stewart green" French button chair

I found these interesting facts about Brussels Sprouts and I wanted to share them with you, especially if these are not your favorites. This may encourage you to give Brussels Sprouts a whirl this Winter.

15 Facts About Brussels Sprouts

1-Brussels sprouts are native to northern Europe.

2-They are part of the Brassica family of vegetables, which also includes cabbage, broccoli, kale, and collard greens.

3-They get their name from the fact that they were widely cultivated around Brussels, Belgium during the 16th century.

4-They were introduced to England and France in the 19th century.

5-According to a 2002 survey, Brussels sprouts are the most hated vegetable in Britain.

6-French settlers in Louisiana introduced Brussels sprouts to America in the 1800s.

7-Commercial production began in 1925 on the Louisiana delta.

8-By 1939, Brussels sprouts were being produced in central California.

9-Today, almost all U.S. production of Brussels sprouts happens in California.

10-Other top Brussels sprouts producers include Canada, The Netherlands, England, and Germany.

11-Like broccoli and some other members of the Brassica family, Brussels sprouts contain something called sinigrin, a glucosinate that may prevent colon cancer according to research.

12-One cup of Brussels sprouts contains 1,122 IU of Vitamin A.

13-That same cup also contains 669 IU of beta carotene.

14-A cup of cooked Brussels sprouts contains about 60 calories.

15-1/2 cup contains 80% of the RDA of Vitamin C.

These are 15 great reasons to eat your sprouts;
one more is that each sprout has only 10 little calories…so eat up…!

My two favorite ways to enjoy them is steamed and tossed with a lemon vinaigrette.
Made this way they taste fresh and light.

During the cold months, I love to roast Brussels Sprouts in the oven. Cut sprouts in half after washing. Toss them with a fruity olive oil, salt and pepper and roast at 400 degrees, turning after 10 minutes until caramelized (about 15-20 minutes).

These are very sweet, pungent with out any cabbage-y flavor and pair very well with winter braised meats and that Turkey you may be cooking for you Holiday table.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

wordless Wednesday…Happy Veteran’s Day…!

Nothing is to strong as gentleness,
and nothing is as gentle as real strength.
~ St-Francis de Sales

I have been busy with many new projects,
but I wish you all a Happy Veterans Day…!

I will be back posting very

Friday, November 6, 2009

November peas…a simple supper

Unbelievably, my little urban-suburban garden is still producing peas, lettuces and a few last tomatoes. I sowed another batch of peas and lettuces mid-September, and the tomatoes are just not quitting. With that in mind, I decided to make a super-simple meal of probably the last of my autumn crops.

My Novemember crop of peas

I made a package of the Gluten Free cheese ravioli that I bought from Conte’s Pasta. I gently sautéed a few tomatoes and halved peas in a first cold press fruity Olive oil with chopped shallots and garlic.

After the ravioli are cooked through and drained, I topped them with this very simple sauce. I finished my dish with a bit of freshly grated ParmesanoReggiano and a few stings of fresh Mozzerella. A very quick and easy-peasy meal with the last harvest from my urban-suburban garden.

Gluten-free cheese ravioli with November peas and tomatoes

I can't say enough about Conte’s Gluten Free ravioli. I haven’t had ravioli since before I was diagnosed and these were delicious and you would never guess that they were gluten-free.

Conte’s Pasta Company is truly a premier manufacturer of gluten-free ravioli, pierogie, gnocchi, stuffed shells, pasta, and pizza shells. The believe that everyone should be able to enjoy pastas. Believe me, these are the best gluten-free pastas that I have yet to enjoy.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

wordless wednesday...a walk in the woods

Colors burst in wild explosions
Fiery, flaming shades of fall
All in accord with my pounding heart
Behold the autumn-weaver.