There’s an old episode of The Simpsons where Homer tries to lose weight. So Marge serves him steamed veggies and rice cakes. “They’re only 35 calories a piece!” she proclaims. Saddened by the lack of flavour, however, Homer asks if he can throw a little something on top. He then proceeds to microwave the rice cakes with copious amounts of ham, cheese and other goodies. “Mmmm, only 35 calories…”
That’s pretty much how I feel about all healthy food: Take something that’s good for you and load it with tons of butter, cheese and cream. Then just pretend like it’s still healthy. Take, for instance, this delicious recipe for sautéed Brussels sprouts and sage cream. Brussels, like broccoli and other greens, are a great anti-cancer food. They might lose a bit of their nutrients after being sautéed, but whatever. Plus, they seem to be in season at the farmers’ market, so hurrah for local food!
Start by mincing your onion and halving the Brussels. If onions bore you, you can mince a large shallot instead. Also, if you are a fan of pine nuts, now is the time to lightly sauté them for two to three minutes, after which you can set them aside.
Next melt some butter in a large frying pan or skillet (about medium heat), and toss in the onion. Let it cook until softened and somewhat translucent (4-5 minutes). Then throw in the Brussels, stirring them occasionally, until they are slightly browned (7-10 minutes).
Now you can pour in the chicken/vegetable stock so the bottom of the pan is covered (half a cup should be OK) and let it simmer. I like to cover the pan for a few minutes at first, then leave it open. Ultimately, you want the stock to boil off. This should take about 7-9 minutes.
After this you can add the cream and the sage. Raise the heat and let the cream simmer, then toss the Brussels around in the cream until they’re nicely coated and the cream is a little bit thick. Add some salt and pepper (and the nuts if you did ’em) and you’re done. Serve it while it’s still hot.
Mmmm, only 35 calories!
3/4 lb. Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved lengthwise
2 tbsp butter
½ medium onion, minced
1/2 cup (125 mL) chicken or vegetable stock
1/4 cup whipping cream
1 tsp sage (can substitute thyme)
1/4 cup pine nuts, lightly sautéed (optional)
Salt & pepper
*My step-sister has a similar recipe, except with Parmesan cheese instead of cream, and tons of garlic. So if you like this recipe, try that one out too.