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Tag: food trends

Trend Spotting: Brussels Sprouts

No less a respected culinary source than the James Beard Foundation has predicted that Brussels sprouts will be one of our major trends for 2010. To that I say: What took you so long?

(Be sure to read all the way down for a chance to win a free cookbook!)

We love, love, love Brussels sprouts at our house, only we call them “Monster Heads.” My son will tell you they are his favorite vegetable now that he has learned that mushrooms are a fungus, not a vegetable, that is.

In my cookbook, I’ve even written an Ode to Brussels sprouts of sorts. They were not something I liked as a child — in fact, I’m not sure my mother ever served them because I don’t think she liked the 1950’s-style of overcooked Brussels sprouts that she grew up eating. But once I started tossing those little green balls into my Glorious One-Pot Meals, a love affair began.

Check out these one-pot meal recipes for delicious Brussels sprouts:
Downeaster Lobster Tails
Sweet Tart Chicken
Sweet Potatoes for Dinner

Brussels sprouts are a good source of Thiamin, Riboflavin, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus and Copper, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Vitamin B6, Folate, Potassium and Manganese.

Eating Brussels sprouts together with some foods, like potatoes, will create a complete protein for your body to utilize. They have no glycemic load and are mildly anti-inflammatory, too. Not to mention filling.

Heres what a Brussels sprout plant looks like
Here's what a Brussels sprout plant looks like

It’s fun, too, to snag a whole stalk of Brussels sprouts. What a treat!

Need any more reasons to consider adding Brussels sprouts to your diet?

Consider only peeling away the top layer of leaves when cleaning, trimming the base, and making a shallow X with the knife in the heart (helps them cook more evenly and more quickly). I was disappointed to see fully white Brussels sprouts appear at dinner one night while in England visiting dear relatives. Outside of London it can seem like the Brits have an inborn aversion to green things like leaves and vegetables. We did find wonderful organic produce down south near Bath and in London, but up north and into Scotland green foods were far and few between.

5280, the premier city magazine for Denver (yes, the title refers to how many feet we reside above sea level — 5280 feet in a mile — get it?) has noted this passion for Brussels Sprouts showing up at the nicer restaurants around this town, too.

Ha! I knew I was not the only Brussels sprout-lover out there! It all has to do with how they are prepared.

Brussels sprout season is almost over, so  get them while you can.

Oh, and if you’d like to share your favorite Brussels sprout recipe, I’ll reward my fave with a personally autographed cookbook. The contest ends March 1st, 2010, just because I have to end it sometime.

So let’s hear ’em! Leave your best Brussels sprouts recipes in the Comments below (just click “Comments” below this post online — sorry: while appreciated, emailed responses will not be entered in the contest).

I can’t wait!!

Americans are changing their eating habits

The US Department of Agriculture reported that Americans are changing the way we eat. From 1970 to 2006, consumption of veal has dropped 83%, lamb is down by 62%, margarine has dropped by 58%, and white sugar has dropped by 39%.

I applaud these signs that people are taking their health more seriously, but I’m concerned about the drop in consumption of whole homogenized milk, which has gone down by 73%. I feel that if you’re going to give little kids milk, they deserve the full-fat version, especially if they’re under 10 and not overweight. Lets not forget that fat cushions our internal organs, gives us elastic skin and shiny hair, and helps us absorb certain fat-soluable vitamins. I always cringe when I see a well-intentioned mom offer skim milk to an active 3-year-old.

Interestingly, here in Colorado we have a burgeoning local lamb industry that is showing up on restaurant menus as “Colorado-raised lamb.” I wonder if we might have a local bump in lamb consumption that’s not reflected in the national numbers.

Margarine, of course, I’ve already talked about in this space, and white sugar is in general a suspect industry when it comes to our health, so I’m very glad to see those numbers drop.