Recipe: Balsamic Brussels Sprouts Grilled Cheese

Balsamic Brussels Sprout Grilled Cheese

Brussels sprouts seem to be the “it” vegetable, and for good reason. Gone are the days of mushy, bland, boiled Brussels, and in are the delicious, caramelized versions that your mom certainly didn’t make. And as much as I love just tossing them in olive oil, salt and pepper, and then baking, it’s nice to come across a recipe that takes them to whole different level. Such is the case with the Balsamic Brussels Sprouts Grilled Cheese on How Sweet It Is. I knew as soon as I saw the pictures that I had to try to make a vegan version, which wasn’t that difficult to do.

For my version, I used a regular French-style baguette, which worked out great, but the next time I make it (and there will be a next time because the sandwiches were so delicious!), I do want to use a multigrain bread as in the original recipe. Because I did use a baguette, I put the slices until the broiler as open-faced sandwiches to help melt the cheese. For the cheese, I used Daiya Mozzarella Shreds because I happened to have some on hand, but there is a Havarti-style wedge that would work as well.

The balsamic reduction really makes the sandwich, adding a nice sweet and tangy touch to the Brussels. (And if you have any extra left over, it’s wonderful drizzled over strawberries or a seasonal fruit.)

Balsamic Brussels Sprouts Grilled Cheese

Serves 4

Ingredients

1/2 pound brussels sprouts, stems removed and chopped or shredded
1 tablespoons olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
pinch of salt and pepper
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
4 oz. Daiya Mozzarella Shreds
1 French baguette, sliced into four equal parts and sliced long

Directions

To make the balsamic reduction, add 1/2 cup of balsamic vinegar to a small saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat, whisking constantly. The fumes from this will be pretty strong, so you might want to open a window or turn on a fan, and, whatever you do, don’t stand directly over it. After about 8 to 10 minutes of whisking, the vinegar should have reduced to about half the amount and should coat the back of spoon. Set aside.

Heat a large skillet oven medium heat and add olive oil. Toss in the shredded Brussels sprouts, garlic, and salt and pepper. Cook down for about 5 minutes or until golden and wilted. Set aside.

Turn on the broiler. Place your baguette slices on a baking sheet or a cast iron skillet, sliced sides up. Top with the Brussels sprouts and drizzle with the vinegar reduction.

Balsamic Brussels Sprouts Open Faced

Top with the Daiya shreds and place under the broiler for 2 to 3 minutes and check constantly to make sure it doesn’t burn. Press the slices together to form a sandwiches. It’s a bit messy, but so, so good.

Enjoy!

Advertisements

Vegan Thanksgiving 3.0: The Food

I can’t believe Thanksgiving has already come and gone. I hope you all had a good one! We decided to make our vegan Thanksgiving spread yesterday since we had family obligations all day on Thursday. I got a little bit of a late start yesterday, but it came together pretty quickly and turned out really well. I’d say, it took me about 3 hours total to make everything, and that’s with a crappy oven and hardly any counter space (one day I will have a new-ish, more spacious kitchen … one day).

While I still opted for a traditional spread this year, I did make a few changes from last year. For example, instead of making Sweet Potato Balls, I just made simple roasted butternut squash and Brussels sprouts. Not only did it cut down on time, but the vegetables were a nice change in texture. I also changed up my Green Bean Casserole recipe from last year, and for the better.

But one major change from the past couple of years was that I made my own vegetable stock, and, wow, what a difference in flavor. I used the Simple Stock recipe from “Vegan Soul Kitchen,” and made it on Wednesday evening. (You can find the recipe here.) I poured the finished batch into large pitcher so it was ready to add to my dishes when needed. Prior to this, I had never made my own stock before, but I was so surprised at how easy (and cheap) it really is; I highly recommend it.

The Cumin-Cayenne Mashed Potatoes from “Vegan Soul Kitchen” were just as good as I remembered them. I had planned on making a mushroom gravy recipe, also from the same cookbook, but I ran out of mushrooms between the stock and the green beans. Instead, I just made a simple brown gravy that actually turned out really well.

I’ll post recipes for my gravy, along with my Green Bean Casserole, and Sage, Apple and Carrot Stuffing soon. I’ll also post dessert pictures.

I know it’s a little late, but I am so thankful for all of you coming to and reading my blog!

Mini Potluck Meal

I don’t often make meals that feature a lot of sides. My meals usually consist of a soup with cornbread, or a casserole or main dish with a quick salad. I don’t know why that is because I love having lots of options on my plate. I’ve always been a fan of potlucks for that reason.

For this dish, I went all out. I made the Atomic Tofu Pecan Loaf (which I’ve featured on here before) in my slow cooker, and a side of roasted carrots and Brussels sprouts. Looking for a second side, I found a Chickpea-Quinoa Pilaf recipe in Veganomicon. It was so good and so, so easy to make.

All in all, it was a healthy and hearty meal that warmed our bellies on a cool spring day.

Roasted Vegetables with Herbs de Provence

Despite being vegan, I still look to non-vegan sources for food inspiration. I was watching an episode of “No Reservations” with Anthony Bourdain in which he visited Provence, and was intrigued by the food. There was one scene where Anthony Bourdain has dinner with a Provencal family on their estate. The meal was very simple and rustic, which I love, and consisted of roasted vegetables, aioli, crusty bread and olives.  Sometimes, myself included, we get so caught up in trying to create elaborate meals, that we forget how delicious simple food tastes. Inspired by the meal, I decided to recreate it and it’s become one of my favorite meals. It’s so simple and so comforting.

I’m sure this meal tastes better in Provence, but it’s incredibly easy to recreate a similar version at home. The first time I tried it, I did create an aioli by crushing garlic using a mortar and pestle and sea salt, and adding Vegenaise. It’s certainly not authentic, but it’s a good substitute. For the meal in the above picture, I made a Dijon dipping sauce by combining Dijon mustard and Vegenaise. I also served my roasted vegetables with a simple salad consisting of baby arugula tossed in lemon juice and olive oil. Good, crusty bread and olives rounded out the meal.

As for the vegetables, I chose Yukon Gold potatoes, carrots, and Brussels sprouts, but the first time I made it, I used fennel instead of the Brussels sprouts. To roast them, first preheat your oven to 350 degrees. If your potatoes are small enough, leave them whole and make sure your carrots and other vegetables are similar in size. Otherwise, slice your potatoes accordingly. Toss the vegetables in olive oil, and sprinkle generously with Herbs de Provence, and sea salt and pepper. Bake in the oven for 45 to 50 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender and slightly caramelized.

Enjoy!