Goat Cheese Spiked Brussels Sprouts – Serves 6+

I’ve got news!  In a week from today I start my journey West.  I recently accepted a position in San Francisco…  Time for a whole new adventure.  I am super excited and nervous but I will channel that energy for something positive.  About five months ago I set out to change my career and well, it finally happened, anything is possible.

Fall weather has me reaching for everything pumpkin when I have a sweet tooth but when I want something savory then I reach for butternut squash or sweet potatoes.  I am over pumpkin at the moment; my savory taste buds have kicked in, hence this recipe was born.

Butternut squash is an excellent way to increase your dietary fiber as well as nourish your body with vitamins A & C.  With the winter months upon us your skin needs these vitamins more than ever (#makeyourskinglow).

Ingredients:

  • 1# Brussels sprouts; quartered with roots removed
  • 1# butternut squash; diced
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 shredded pieces of proscuitto
  • 3 tbsp crumbled goat cheese
  • Drizzle of balsamic vinegar
  • To taste: 1 tsp sea salt

Methodology:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a bowl toss the following ingredients well: Brussels, butternut squash, olive oil, black pepper, goat cheese, proscuitto, and sea salt.
  3. On a parchment lined baking sheet spread out the Brussels and butternut squash.
  4. Drizzle balsamic vinegar over the vegetables.
  5. Bake for 30 minutes.
  6. Set aside and serve with your favorite entree (or in my case, eat from the baking tray and pass out in a food coma).
  7. Cheers!

 

xxx – Sarah

Thyme Spiced Lamb Chops & Vinegar Loaded Brussels – Serves 2

As a kid my mother used to make lamb chops once a month and it was a favorite amongst us kids!  I was feeling ultra nostalgic today…  Must have been my recent visit to New York that led to the cravings and water works.  Hmm.

Lamb is a great source of protein and a great way to change up your oral intake.  Lamb can be grilled, roasted, pan fried, and much more.  I love to roast lamb in a makeshift tinfoil dish since it means no mess, no fuss.  This is a simple and quick dish that will leave your dinner guests wanting more – I swear.  Also, cooking with parchment paper on baking pans/sheets is another great way to save time (and your manicure).

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Thyme Spiced Lamb Chops 

Ingredients:

  • 4 lamb chops (about 1#)
  • A mix of the following spices to coat the chops on both sides:
    • French thyme (about 1.5 tbsp)
    • Paprika (about 1.5 tbsp)
    • Black pepper (about 1 tbsp)
  • OPTIONAL: on one side of the chops add a pinch or two of coarse sea salt

Methodology:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Mix the spices evenly together and cover the chops.
  3. Create a makeshift tinfoil pan with at least two layers of foil on the bottom then add the chops.
  4. Roast the chops in the oven for 15-18 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat, drain out the juices, discard the tinfoil, and plate.
  6. If you’re looking for a game changer then pair with my ‘Vinegar Loaded Brussels’ – absolute heaven.

Vinegar Loaded Brussels

Ingredients:

  • 1/2# Brussels sprouts; halved/quartered
  • Vinegar mixture:
    • 1 tbsp black pepper
    • 1 tbsp mustard seeds
    • 1/2 tbsp cayenne pepper
    • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
    • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
    • 1/4 cup olive oil

Methodology:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a large bowl combine all the ingredients for the vinegar mixture.
  3. Add the Brussels sprouts and toss well.
  4. Layer on a baking pan one sheet of parchment paper then spread the Brussels evenly on the paper.  Some of the vinegar mixture may left in the bowl and that’s okay!
  5. Bake for 20-25 minutes depending on crispiness desired… I love a little bit of crispy and ‘not so crispy’ so I opted for 23 minutes.
  6. Remove from heat and pair with a protein of choice – I highly recommend my ‘Thyme Spiced Lamb Chops.’
  7. Bon appétit!

 

xxx – Sarah

 

Vanilla Candied Brussels and Pistachio Peppered Beef topped with a Poached Egg – Serves 4

I can pretty much add an egg to everything…  And I do.   As previously mentioned, throw out the notion that eggs and their yolks are bad for you…  Totally yesterday’s news.

Egg yolks contain MORE nutrients than an egg white.  Egg whites have fewer calories and protein compared to the whole egg.  However the yolk provides extra protein along with micronutrients that include iron, phosphorus, zinc, and folate, and the fatty vitamins (A, D, E, and K).  The B-complex vitamins found in whole eggs include biotin, selenium, and choline which are crucial during the creation of the human nervous system as well as its maintenance throughout the lifespan.  

These are two incredibly easy recipes to make and/or keep for leftovers during the week.  As I always say, leftovers always taste best, plus you don’t have to lift a finger.  Basically I made both recipes and then consecutively layered them with a poached egg on top.  This can be made at breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner…  Brunch was my poison of choice.

Vanilla Candied Brussels

Ingredients: 

  • 1# Brussels sprouts, quartered
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinaigrette
  • 2 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • About 1 tbsp/enough to grease a cooking sheet – coconut oil or EVOO

Methodology:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Grease a cooking sheet with coconut oil or EVOO.
  3. In a mixing bowl combine the Brussels sprouts, vinaigrette, vanilla extract, and spices, then lay out evenly on the cooking sheet.
  4. Roast in the oven for 20 minutes or until desired texture is achieved (less than 20 minutes for more moisture or greater than 20 minutes for crispiness).  At the cooking half point, utilize a spatula and lightly toss the Brussels to ensure that all sides are cooked well.
  5. Remove from oven, set aside for use, or cool down and store.

 

Pistachio Peppered Beef

Ingredients:

  • 1# beef, ground (98% lean)
  • 1/2 cup yellow and red bell peppers, diced
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced and minced
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, minced
  • 1/4 cup pistachios (make sure all the shells are removed – you don’t want broken teeth)
  • 2 sweet potatoes, diced/minced/chopped
  • 2 tbsp garlic, minced
  • About 1 tbsp/enough to grease a frying pan – coconut oil or EVOO
  • Spices to taste (2-3 shakes):  Cumin, paprika, curry powder, red pepper flakes, garlic powder, and black pepper
  • Optional:  Salt

Methodology:

  1. Drizzle coconut oil or EVOO in a frying pan under medium-high heat.
  2. Toss into the frying pan onions, sweet potatoes, cilantro, and garlic, and mix well for about 3-5 minutes or until onions are golden.
  3. Add pistachios,peppers, spices, and ground beef to the pan.  Sautee for 10-15 minutes until beef is well cooked or has met an internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit (this is the minimum temperature set by the USDA to kill E-Coli).
  4. Set aside to add to a meal or cool down to store.

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Poached Egg

Ingredients:

  • 4 whole Eggs
  • 2 cups water or just enough to cover the egg
  • 1 tsp white vinegar
  • Pinch of sea salt

Methodology:

  1. In a saucepan bring water to a boil then reduce to a simmer.
  2. Add a pinch of salt and white vinegar.
  3. Drop one egg in and using a large spoon whip the water around the egg in circular motion until the whites are close to the yolk.  Cook for about 2 minutes then remove and repeat with the remainder eggs.
  4. Serve atop the layered Vanilla Candied Brussels and Pistachio Ground Beef.
  5. Don’t forget to poke the yolk for extra taste!

 

xxx – Sarah