Hey there! Remember me? I used to write this blog last year. I can’t say that I’m proud of neglecting my baby for over a month, but I’m going to list out some reasons (ahem, excuses) here. I hope you’ll bear with me while I talk about myself for a minute or two before I get to this delicious recipe.
There have been a lot of changes in my life over the past couple of months, most of them for the better. Focusing on getting my career back on track was one of the changes I decided to make. It became my number one priority and because of that, I was using my lunch hours to work rather than to write or edit photos. Evenings were spent eating cereal for dinner and researching next steps for my career instead of new recipes. I also spent a lot of time focusing on fitness and health (sorry, you won’t see any cupcake recipes here anytime soon!). I’ll still continue to focus on all of those things, but I also want to take some time out doing the things I’m passionate about: cooking and writing this blog. I have had a lot of time to do some self reflecting over the past couple months and spend time with…myself. It had been a while, and I missed me. Did I mention I turned a quarter century old? So here I am, officially in my mid-twenties, newly single, and ready for a happier and healthier 2014!
Speaking of healthier, here’s a recipe for a nutrition packed vegetable that tastes as good as it is for your body. I could eat these for a snack or as a side to a some lean fish for dinner. I know you like the sound of that, because you made a New Year’s resolution to be a healthier you! So, although this was inspired by Ina Garten’s recipe, it was really inspired by you and your New Year’s resolution. That’s why I substituted garlic cloves for the pancetta Ina was calling for. Garlic gives it that extra punch that pancetta would, without adding any fat. I also love her idea of adding a little extra coarse salt on these so that the crispy leaves get nice and salty, like fries or chips! Plus, Ina Garten is so adorable and genuine, how could you not do what she tells you to?
PS. I took these photos with my iPhone. I’ve been in heaven ever since I discovered how I can take some pretty good pictures of food with my camera phone. Not too shabby, eh?
- 1 pound brussels sprouts
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ teaspoon coarse salt
- ¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon syrupy balsamic vinegar (see instructions)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit.
- Prep the brussels sprouts by trimming the ends and cutting lengthwise. You will get some loose leaves - retain those.
- In a mixing bowl, add all of the ingredients except for the vinegar and toss with your hands. Using your hands is important because it helps coat each brussel sprout better than a spoon can.
- Place brussels sprouts in a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil or parchment paper, or a cast iron skillet.
- Bake for 20-30 minutes, tossing halfway between cooking. Cook until the sprouts are dark brown on the outside (time will vary depending on your oven)
- Meanwhile, make the vinegar by heating about 2 tablespoons of good dark balsamic vinegar in a saucepan on medium heat. Let it simmer for about 5-7 minutes or until the vinegar is reduced to about a tablespoon.
- Remove sprouts from oven, pour the syrupy vinegar over, toss gently, and serve immediately.
- Ina Garten says you can buy syrupy vinegar, but I didn’t even bother looking in the grocery store because it’s really easy to make with regular balsamic vinegar.