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25 Ways to Use Brussels Sprouts

Although you may remember them as the bane of your childhood existence, Brussels sprouts are the slightly smaller, but equally delicious, cousin of cabbage. Forget whatever you may have thought about Brussels sprouts in your youth and give them another try. When in doubt, pair sprouts with pork; whether it’s bacon, pancetta or even chorizo, no one will be able to resist your bacon-y Brussels sprouts.

On their own, Brussels sprouts are quite the superfood: They’re low in calories, yet packed with vitamin C, fiber and even protein.

Brussels sprouts grow on a long branch, and although it’s a shock at first glance, a stalk of Brussels sprouts is easy to manage; carefully cut off the individual sprouts and peel off the first layer of leaves before rinsing and cooking. Alternatively, purchase trimmed Brussels sprouts for a jump-start in the kitchen.

Thanksgiving is the perfect occasion to showcase your newfound love for sprouts. If you’re still curious about sprouts, check out this Brussels sprouts tutorial, then get cooking. Your mother would be so proud.

  1. If you’ve never made Brussels sprouts (or have never truly enjoyed them), start out with simple Roasted Brussels Sprouts.
  2. Deep-fried Brussels Sprouts are tossed with a miso-sake sauce and crispy bacon for an Asian take on classic flavors.
  3. Brussels sprouts are often roasted, but they can also be cooked on the stovetop. Get them nice and brown, then add water, stock or white wine to cook them the rest of the way. Try the method out with Tiffani Thiessen’s Balsamic-Glazed Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta (pictured above).
  4. Bal Arneson’s Indian Brussels Sprouts are tossed with garlic, ginger, coriander seeds, smoked paprika and fenugreek leaves for a fully flavored side dish.
  5. Anne Burrell’s simple Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon are finished with toasted pine nuts and a bit of shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano.

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Make Your Own Spice Blends

Everything Bagel Spice

Whether you want to make a truly homemade pumpkin pie or gussy up morning toast, spice blends can fill a lot of needs in the kitchen with just a few shakes. A lot of these are great add-ins to light sour cream or plain Greek yogurt to make a flavorful dip for veggies. They’re also an excellent, portable gift idea.

Pumpkin Pie: With Thanksgiving around the corner, this is the perfect spice blend to whip up now. Use it not just in pie, but in muffins, oatmeal and pancakes.

Apple Streusel: Crushed dried apples infuse this blend with a strong apple flavor. Try it sprinkled on popcorn; stirred into sour cream or yogurt as a sweet dip for fruit; or sprinkle it on oatmeal, ice cream, pancakes or toast.

Everything Bagel: Addicted to the salty, savory flavor of everything bagels? Make this spice blend (pictured above) and use it to add flavor to a baked potato or pasta dish, coat a chicken breast, top a salad, or sprinkle over potato pancakes. It’s even great on pretzels.

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Dinner Rush! Chicken Legs with Roasted Grapes and White Cheddar Grits

 

What is the holiday season for if not to step back, reflect on the past year and reconnect with those you love. Since at this time of year calendars seem to magically swell with parties, dinners and casual get-togethers, make your gathering as fabulously effortless as possible with a meal that feeds a small group and a full house alike.

The trick to entertaining with style is to prepare a dish for your guests that is delicious, showstopping and requires as little cleanup as possible. This dish, my friends, is the total package.

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Healthier Take-Out Ideas

Burritos

When it’s dinner and you need to put food on the table, it can be tempting to just phone in an order from a favorite nearby restaurant. But lots of take-out food is rife with too much salt, sugar and oil — and not enough vegetables! The truth is, many of your favorite take-out meals can be made healthfully and just as quickly (most in under 30 minutes, which is faster than it takes to get delivery!)

Here are 17 recipes to try, no matter what you’re craving:

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Dinner Rush! Jumbo Stuffed Meatballs with Spicy Tomato Sauce

Meatballs are one of those dishes that seem to make everyone smile (sorry, vegetarians). They’re easy to prepare and fun to eat — what more could you ask for? A bigger meatball, you say? A jumbo meatball?! Good call.

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Fall Fest: Bring On the Brussels Sprouts

As children, we learned that Brussels sprouts are the yuckiest vegetable of all time. It’s an unfortunate misconception, because shaking our little heads in staunch refusal meant missing out on the versatile side dish for way too long. Embrace the bitter little cabbages and fight their bad rap with five of our favorites.

1. Crunchy panko bread crumbs and salty grated Parmesan give this Brussels sprouts recipe (pictured above) depth of both texture and flavor. For easier entertaining, prep the dish the night before, then cook it through while you complete your main course.

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Dinner Rush! Open-Faced Turkey Sandwich with Apple Cider Gravy and Collard Greens

Let’s face it: Thanksgiving is coming. You can’t stop it. I can’t stop it. The best we can do is to prepare ourselves for turkey’s imminence. Sounds about the right time for a dry run on roasting America’s most-grateful bird.

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Meatless Monday: Broccoli Casserole

Meatless Monday is a global movement, a way of lifeEating less meat has been proven to reduce the risk of disease, curb obesity and has important environmental impacts, too. Will you join us in giving up meat, just for one day a week?

Didn’t make a casserole yesterday? Big mistake. Huge. Why? Because by the time you get home tonight, it will be dark out and the last thing you’ll want to do is chop, stir and saute. You’ll want quick dinner — and you’ll want it to be cheesy. Simply put: You’ll want this broccoli casserole.

If you can wait about 90 minutes, follow Alton’s dead-simple recipe for this wonderful (read: rich, hearty, exceptional) dish. Otherwise, bookmark this winner and make plans to get close with your oven next Sunday. Your Monday will thank you.

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Beat the Wheat: Gluten-Free Carrot Cake

Gluten-Free Carrot Cake
AKA Let Me Eat Cake

A few years ago, a fashion designer made a canvas handbag emblazoned with the words “Eat Cake for Breakfast.” Really? It seemed so targeted toward those ladies who only saw Sex and the City for the first time in syndication on basic cable and thought they were so cool drinking cosmos at girls’ night in some strip-mall chain restaurant, deciding who was the Carrie and who was the Samantha. I used to roll my eyes at women who carried that bag … until I ate the first piece of my new and improved gluten-free carrot cake. Now I get it, people. I won’t carry that bag, but I will unapologetically eat this cake for breakfast. You should too.

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Dinner Rush! Creamy Rigatoni with Squash, Sage and Pine Nuts

Move over, pumpkin spice latte — you’re not the only squash-themed edible that deserves the seasonal spotlight. Let’s clear a path for good ol’ reliable butternut. Is it the sexiest squash at the market? Hardly. But what it lacks in front-porch decor appeal it more than makes up for with a cute name and remarkable versatility.

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