5 Healthier Ways to Spruce Up Brussels Sprouts

By: Emily Lee

Brussels sprouts are a pretty divisive vegetable: You either love them or hate them. But developing a love of these cabbagelike little bundles really comes down to finding a preparation method that suits your tastes. Some eaters adore the nutty intensity of roasted whole Brussels sprouts. Others might prefer them deconstructed in a salad, or doctored up with nuts or bacon. Taking the time to find your favorite preparation method is well worth the effort, since Brussels sprouts can produce some of the easiest, most-affordable side dishes around. Here are a few renditions that you’ll definitely want to tuck away in your recipe book, especially with Thanksgiving right around the corner.

Similar to a coleslaw but so much lighter, Ina Garten's autumnal side dish includes Brussels sprouts, radicchio and kale, which are all finely shredded and tossed in a lemon vinaigrette with dried cranberries and Parmesan cheese.

Ina Garten's Balsamic-Roasted Brussels Sprouts for Game Plan as seen on Food  Network's Barefoot Contessa

Ina Garten's Balsamic-Roasted Brussels Sprouts for Game Plan as seen on Food Network's Barefoot Contessa

Photo by: Alice Gao ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Alice Gao, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Ina uses balsamic vinegar as a sweet, syrupy glaze to balance the earthy flavor of roasted sprouts. The salty pancetta complements the nutty roasted sprouts and cuts out the need for an excessive amount of oil or butter.

Photo by: Matt Armendariz ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Matt Armendariz, 2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

A wok gives you the charred flavor you would get from roasting or grilling and the tenderness you would get from braising — but in half of the time. Although the intensity of the wok would overpower delicate seeds or nuts, the meaty, umami-rich mushrooms can certainly handle it.

Food Stylist:  Cyd Raftus McDowell 
Prop Stylist: Pamela Duncan Silver

KO_FN_02BrusselSprouts1_33.tif

Food Stylist: Cyd Raftus McDowell Prop Stylist: Pamela Duncan Silver

Photo by: Kana Okada ©Kana Okada 2011

Kana Okada, Kana Okada 2011

Picky eaters may turn up their noses at the sight of an all-green side dish, but they just might warm up to Bobby Flay’s gorgeous platter of roasted Brussels sprouts garnished with juicy pomegranate seeds and crunchy hazelnuts. This is definitely one to keep in mind when planning your holiday menu.

Tossed with a cheesy shallot-Dijon dressing, this healthy salad highlights two good-for-you green vegetables while offering toasted pine nuts for a welcome crunch. It's important that the salad rest for a few minutes before serving so the kale and sprouts have a chance to absorb the bright flavors of the dressing.

For more ways to spruce up Brussels sprouts, check out these recipes from our friends:

The Fed Up Foodie: Beef and Brussels Sprouts Stew
A Mind "Full" Mom: Brussels Sprouts Caesar Salad

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