Let’s talk brussel sprouts.
They have graced the table at every single Christmas since we can remember, always covered in cheese. How many times have either of us actually eaten them? Well that is an entirely different thing altogether!
You see, like beets, brussel sprouts were another one of those foods that scared us. This time, though, it wasn’t so much what they looked like, it was more because of their name. Brussel sprouts. Something about that just didn’t sound right to our 8-year-old ears. They provoked the same kind of reaction that liverworst and blood oranges would cause.
Ridiculous? Maybe, but are we really going to try to justify the logic of 2 little girls?
How about instead we just move ahead to the time when we finally decided to try them? Eventually we both decided that how bad could something possibly be when it’s covered in cheese? 🙂
And guess what? Surprise of the century, we both actually ended up really liking them- so much so that we even found ourselves choosing the ones with less cheese!
That’s not to say that we don’t enjoy a good cheese sauce, though, which is why we have come up with this dish:
No-Cheese Roasted Brussel Sprouts.
The thing is, brussel sprouts are incredibly good for you, but when you drown them in cheese you kind of negate any of the potential health benefits. So we came up with this recipe for two reasons: Its much healthier, and if you or a family member is vegan, he/she can have it too! 🙂
And that’s perfect, because Christmas is a time for sharing, right? 😉
Before we go any further, let’s give a quick run-down on brussel sprout nutrition:
We aren’t really into calorie counting, but for those that are, in one cup of brussel sprouts there is only 38 calories. With those 38 calories, you get about 3 grams of fiber and 3 grams of protein. Not only that, but they also contain vitamins A, B6, E, folate, lutein and choline, and have especially high amounts of vitamin C (even more that oranges!) and vitamin K. Brussel Sprouts are also rich in calcium, phosphorous, magnesium, iron, selenium and potassium. Pretty impressive, right?
Studies have also been done showing that brussel sprouts contain a compound that stops breast cancer cells from multiplying. (source) We think that’s pretty cool, and all of these benefits make brussel sprouts worth trying!
So back to this so-called cheese sauce. It doesn’t have any cheese in it, so we suppose that’s a bit of a misnomer, but “nutritional yeast sauce” doesn’t really have the same ring to it, so we’re gonna just going to let that one slide.
Despite the fact that this sauce is missing the “key” ingredient, though, we don’t think anyone would even notice! Because this stuff really tastes just like cheese! So you can happily sit at the table listening to your friends and family say things like “wow! this is delicious cheese sauce!” and “forget the sprouts- just gimme more of that cheese sauce!” and smile to yourself knowing that you’ve fooled them all 😉
So at a table full of thick gravy, buttery rolls and candied yams, these brussel sprouts will be a nutritional star for your Christmas day meal – though no one will know it. 🙂
“Cheesy” Brussel Sprouts
Prep time: 5 min
Cook time: 25-30min
Serves: 8-10 people
10 cups brussel sprouts, halved (measured after cutting)
1 tbsp olive oil
Dash of pepper
2 c. milk (or non-dairy milk, for vegans)
1/2 c. nutritional yeast
1 tbsp corn starch
2 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
Pre-heat oven to 400 F.
Toss brussel sprout halves in oil and pepper, spread evenly on a baking sheet and roast for 25-30min, or until fork can be inserted with ease.
Meanwhile, combine milk, nutritional yeast, turmeric, salt and garlic powder in a pot and whisk in the corn starch until all clumps are gone. Bring to a boil and then turn the heat to a medium low and simmer for about 10min, stirring frequently, until sauce has thickened slightly.
When the brussel sprouts are done, put them into the pot with the cheese sauce and stir until evenly coated.
Serve and enjoy!
What other Christmas side-dishes would you like to see made over?