Weekly Dish: Brussel Sprouts with Sweet Potatoes and Honey

I have no picture for you, as this dish doesn’t exactly exude beauty. But it is pretty good! My 4-year-old said, “This is the best dinner ever.” Granted, he has said that a lot lately, and then hated the meal the next time I tried to serve it. But really, this is a great way to get these superfood veggies into your diet and onto your family dinner table without any groaning from the kids and/or slipping to the dog under the table.

4 strips uncured bacon, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 onion, finely chopped
2 pounds brussels sprouts, thinly sliced and ends and outer leaves removed
1/4 teaspoon Real Salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 cup coarsely chopped pecans, optional
3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced into thin rounds
1/3 cup raw honey (could also use Grade B real Maple Syrup)
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Minced Italian parsley, for garnish

Preheat oven to 400.

In a skillet, cook bacon until crisp. Remove and set aside. Reduce heat to low; add onion and cook about 5 minutes until translucent.

Add brussels sprouts and cook, stirring frequently until slightly soft, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and add reserved bacon, salt, pepper and pecans. Add Sweet potato slices to pan and cook until light brown, about 3 minutes per side (at this point you may need to add a little drizzle of Olive or Coconut oil or a splash or water to the pan).

In a small bowl, whisk together honey and butter.

Toss all ingredients in a dish and bake 20 minutes, uncovered. Garnish with parsley and serve.

Thanksgiving Menu- Check!

Thanksgiving 2011 is now 12 days away. 11 days for me, as we are having a feast with friends on Wednesday and a feast with family on Thursday. This means I had to get on the ball (Butterball?) and plan a menu. Which, of course, is not foreign to me. And I love it, just a little. But still, it had to be done ASAP or disorganization, stress, and caffeinated last minute-ness would ensue.

I offer a disclaimer right off the bat: There is white bread on my Menu. *gasp!* I am not an experienced Thanksgiving-er. This is technically my first one. So you can see why I would be a little afraid to try whole wheat or an alternative bread when other non-family member people are coming to my house to eat dinner. People who may or may not care about eating white bread. So I had to do it. However, with this one small exception, the menu is packed with REAL food. Maybe no one will know. Maybe no one will care. Except for the neurotic hippie. (That would be me.)

With that being said… let us proceed.

The Menu

No stuffing inside the bird. Instead, lemon, orange, carrots, celery, thyme and butter. So I guess it is sort of stuffed… just not with bread.

Caramelized Onion Dressing
A classic stuffing with the addition of caramelized onions and parmesan cheese.

Cheddar Jalapeno Dressing
A dressing made with an Italian loaf, cheddar, jalapenos, and a lager beer for depth of flavor.

Green Bean Casserole
Not your grandma’s recipe. This one is made with fresh mushrooms, cream and homemade chicken stock, and topped with caramelized onions.

Whipped Sweet Potatoes and Bananas with Honey
For the kids as well as the adults. Takes the marshmallow topping idea to a new and sophisticated level, gracing it instead with candied pecans.

Creamy Mashed Potatoes
Gotta use the gravy with something! Made with Yukon Golds.

Cranberry Orange Sauce with Maple Syrup
Replacing white sugar with maple syrup is always a good idea. So is combining cranberries with oranges with cinnamon.

Appetizers, Rolls and Dessert
I am passing this off to anyone and everyone who offers to bring something. Like our friend, the Pastry Chef!

I hope to be posting many of these recipes in the near future. I have high hopes; hopefully there is nothing to disappoint on that day. But who can go wrong with caramelized onions, butter and cream?!