Brussels Sprouts with Turkey Bacon

I like making Brussels sprouts often because they require very little effort, yet they’re extremely healthy.  They’re low in Saturated Fat, and very low in Cholesterol. They are also a good source of Thiamin, Riboflavin, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus and Copper,  and – let me catch my breath – a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Vitamin B6, Folate, Potassium and Manganese. Wow. And if you don’t think you’re the hugest fan of the taste, throw in a little turkey bacon and you’ll barely notice. For all that awesomeness and basically no downside, sign me up.

I came up with this dish when I had a few ingredients left in my fridge that I needed to use up because I was going on vacation. Because Brussels sprouts are so awesome, as you can see, it’s not uncommon for me to pick them up at the market to keep in my fridge if I don’t feel like a frozen steamable veggie. And although I didn’t include turkey bacon in my kitchen staples list, you’ll almost always find some in my fridge because it’s a great low-cal breakfast protein (you can see that I use it in many of my recipes).

But both the Brussels sprouts and turkey bacon needed to be eaten before I went on a 10-day trip, and I was starting at the almost-empty fridge thinking, okay what do I do now? I didn’t have eggs or other veggies to make an omlette or frittata. And the thought of my Brussels Sprouts with a Kick didn’t sound awesome with a side of turkey bacon. So I thought, why not combine them? I still had my jar ‘o chopped garlic, and luckily I had some chicken broth in my pantry. 20 minutes later and my oddball dinner was done.

Super healthy and totally delicious.

What you’ll need:
2-4 slices of turkey bacon (your preference)
1-1.5 pounds of Brussels sprouts
1 tbsp olive oil
4 tablespoons chopped garlic
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth

**Tip: If you have it, a shallot would be awesome in this dish. Unfortunately, I didn’t have that in my extremely limited fridge when I made this. Chop the shallot and add it to the pan at the same time as the garlic.

What you’ll need to do:

Put a medium pot over medium-high heat on your stove and spray with cooking spray. Use kitchen scissors to cut the turkey bacon horizontally into strips and put them in the pot.

**Tip: Cutting turkey bacon with scissors is way easier than using a knife. I do this for regular bacon, too.

You want to cut the bacon thinly enough that you get a little bit in every bite, but not so big that you can’t taste it with the Brussels sprouts.

Continually stir the turkey bacon for about 6 to 8 minutes until it is cooked on all sides.

While your turkey bacon cooks, prep your Brussels sprouts. Cut off the stem and cut them in half (see my Brussels Sprouts with a Kick for a visual). Set aside.

After your turkey bacon is done, turn the heat down to medium and add the olive oil and garlic. Cook for about 1 minute, and then add your Brussels sprouts. Cook the Brussels sprouts for about 2 to 3 minutes to soften, then add the chicken broth. Bring the broth to a boil, then cover and simmer for about 10 minutes over medium-low heat.


Brussels Sprouts with a Kick

I’m lucky because my parents aren’t picky eaters, and they raised my brothers and me to be the same when it came to food. You eat what’s served, whether it’s dark green, bright red, brown, yellow, or purple. However, there were a few food items that I knew my parents disdained, and for my dad, Brussels sprouts topped the list.

So for the longest time, I was afraid of cooking Brussels sprouts. Since they’re a food I didn’t really grow up eating, I wasn’t even sure I would like them. That is, until Clinton and I went to dinner at a friend’s apartment and our lovely hosts completely blew me away with this yummy veggie that I never knew had so much potential. So, Dad, I think I found a recipe for Brussels sprouts that I think even you would like.

The trick: Sriracha.

They're a little spicy, a little crispy, and extremely healthy and delicious.

What you’ll need (makes 2 servings):
1 lb Brussels sprouts
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp Sriracha
Salt and pepper to taste

What you’ll need to do:

First, preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Then start slicing off the nub-like stem at the bottom of your Brussels sprouts, and then slice the Brussels sprouts in half.

As I slice, I throw the sprouts directly in the baking dish.

After all the Brussels sprouts are in your dish, drizzle with the olive oil, Sriracha, and salt and pepper to taste, then mix with your fingers to get the Brussels sprouts completely covered.

I use about 1 tbsp of Sriracha, but I'm sensitive to spicy. The more spice you like, the more Sriracha you should glob on.

Cover your baking dish and stick it in the oven for about 30 minutes. And that’s it! While it cooks, sit back and relax, or even make a yummy main course to go with it (see my post on chicken, as an example). It’s a super easy recipe that requires very little babysitting. What you’re left with is a super healthy, simple, and delicious side dish that’s great with any meal.

Pictured here with a baked potato, recipe to come!