a delicious way to eat brussels sprouts

I feel kind of silly, but I just learned that the correct way to refer to those delicious, tiny cabbages that are so trendy these days is Brussels sprouts, as in the city of Brussels! I’ve been spelling it brussel sprouts for years! The humiliation! I might continue to not capitalize the “b” because that just seems like too much respect for one vegetable.

Anyway, this recipe was inspired by some brussels sprouts I had at The Lowry in Minneapolis a few months ago. Their brussels sprouts were fried, and then drizzled in honey and sprinkled with toasted almonds and goat cheese. Very delicious. I mistakenly got them as an appetizer with a group of (foolish) people who did not like brussels sprouts, and though I also ordered an entree, the brussels sprouts really would have sufficed. They were crispy, caramelized, tangy, nutty, salty, and sweet. Brussels sprouts at their finest.

This recipe was altered a bit to fit the ingredients I already had, but the idea is similar. I used a balsamic reduction instead of honey because I really love vinegar, nixed the almonds because I didn’t want to buy them, and added shiitake bacon to make it a real meal. This would be great with almonds or other nuts, and can be eaten without cheese or with a vegan goat cheese to make it vegan. Enjoy! Continue reading a delicious way to eat brussels sprouts

recipe test: shiitake bacon

Recently, I made a soup that called for small chunks of ham. Instead of ham, I decided to try making shiitake bacon to top it. I’d had it at restaurants, and it’s incredibly good: smoky, crispy, caramelized, and salty, it makes an effective and delicious vegan vehicle for umami.  It’s also truly simple and quick to make!

No, it does not taste exactly like bacon, but it can replicate some of the key things that bacon brings to a dish: the crispy meaty texture, the smokiness, the saltiness, and the umami-ness. I chose to use it to replace the small amount of ham because it was comparable in size and texture; a larger ham hock, for example, would also give you some gelatin from the bones, so this would not be a good replacement for a larger, meatier meat.

This was was a great complement for my tangy, creamy soup (I will post that recipe soon!), and would be great on a salad, on sandwiches, mixed with roasted veggies like brussel sprouts, or in an omelette/scramble-type dish. And probably in a lot of other things too! It’s so yummy!  Continue reading recipe test: shiitake bacon