3 in 1: Quick Roast Veggies, Leftovers Pancakes, Crunchy Chocolate Party Sticks

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Thanksgiving is just around the corner and we’re all busy in our kitchens, cooking up some love for our families. But holidays are also a stressful time, and keeping yourself happy while keeping the rest of your family happy can be hard. Here are a few things that I hope will make your life a little easier over the next week or so.

The first is a way to roast veggies in under ten minutes, no joke. The second is a delicious way to use up leftovers of this and that; to reduce waste where you can.

The last is extra special. A simple candy that almost anyone can make. Only a handful of ingredients (two for a pared-down version, four for the fancy version), with a crunchy, addictive result.

Quick Roasted Veggies 

quick roasted veggies

My favorite busy night dinner is roasted Brussels sprouts with either potatoes, tortillas, or pasta. And then I cook Jason some chicken or turkey keilbasa, with one of the three aforementioned carbs, and some salad. I dislike cooking meat, but if I didn’t cook it for him, he’d eat it elsewhere.

I used to love drowning the sprouts in cheese, which essentially negates the whole point of having veggies for dinner. My clothes were feeling a little tight and uncomfy, and I knew cheese was the main culprit. My running felt sluggish, which inevitably puts me in a bad mood. So I made this sauce as a way of scaling back on the cheese. It’s just as a satisfying and stupid easy, and Jason loves it.

I came up with a quick-roast method of making my sprouts so that I could still have my favorite veggie even when I got home from work late. Sure, the flavor isn’t as deep, but you still get the soft sprout under a caramelized crust. If you’re rushing around trying to get the house ready for guests and still need something healthy for dinner, this is a great option

Quick Roasted Sprouts 

  • 1 cup sprouts (or more), quartered
  • drizzle of olive oil
  • seasoned salt

Turn on the broiler. Put the sprouts in a microwave and oven safe dish. Microwave for two minutes. Add oil and seasoning. Broil for 3-4 minutes on one side, turn, and then broil for 2-3 minutes on the other side.

Easy Cream Sauce

  • 1/3 cup good quality fat free Greek yogurt
  • 1 tbsp sriracha
  • pinch of cumin
  • salt to taste

Stir all ingredients until an even color and consistency is reached.

Pumpkin Cornmeal Pancakes 

Pumpkin Cornmeal Pancakes

I have a great appreciation for using up leftovers. Food waste is a terrible problem in this country, and it happens far too often. I’m guilty of it myself (comes with the food blog territory), but I try to keep it to a minimum. These pancakes were made using leftover cornbread mix, and the pumpkin was leftover puree.  This topping reminded me of why I used to love pumpkin pie. In the past few years, I’ve fallen out of love with it, preferring to the mix the squash with chocolaty things, or really just about anything that wasn’t straight-up pie. But this brought me back. Maybe because it’s so scaled down. Maybe because it doesn’t have the density that can sometimes kill an otherwise lovely pie. Maybe it’s because the fall flavors lend themselves well to breakfast. Here, they are not the full-of-stuffing-and-Beaujolais dinner denouement. They are the sunshiney greeting to the start of your day.

This makes just a small batch, enough for one or two people, but it’s easily multiplied.

Pancakes 

  • 1 cup Bob’s Red Mill gf cornbread mix, or other similar cornbread mix
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • coconut oil, for the pan

Combine egg and milk, then combine cornbread mix and baking powder. Wet ingredients to dry ingredients. Bring a pan to medium heat and melt the coconut oil. Spoon 1/8th cup (2 tbsp) of the pancake batter into the pan for each pancake. Cook for 2 – 2 1/2 min on one side, flip, and cook for another minute or so. Serve with pumpkin topping. Makes about 15 dollar size pancakes.

Topping 

  • 3/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp pumpkin spice
  • toasted pecans and salted butter, for serving

Combine all ingredients, except for the pecans and butter. Serve warm over cornmeal pancakes.

Crunchy Chocolate Party Sticks

Crunchy Chocolate Party Sticks 

Jason LOVES these. A few days ago, I made a batch and left them in the fridge for him, in a paper bag with a big heart on it. When I got home from work that night, I found the following scene: husband fast asleep on the couch, Netflix playing softly on the TV, and the bag, torn into like a raccoon had gotten to it. And it was completely empty. Which was fine, since I’d made them for him, but also, it was a huge batch. These are super addictive, so proceed with caution.

The are also ridiculously easy. If you need just one more dessert, or need something quick to bring to a party, this is it. And you don’t even have to make it yourself. Enlist a bored relative to help you out, or round up a few of the kids. PS, I still consider myself one of the kids. That’s probably because I don’t have any yet. whew!

Crunchy Chocolate Party Sticks

  • 2 cups of Rice Chex
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup of sweetened shredded coconut (optional. I like them with coconut, Jason likes them without)
  • food coloring for the coconut

Melt the chocolate over a double boiler. Pour over the cereal, and stir gently, being careful not to break any of them up. When the cereal is completely coated, lay some wax paper out on a cookie sheet. Make rows of cereal – each piece touching the next, but not overlapping. You can make the sticks as long or short as you like. If you want longer sticks, reduce the cereal to 1 3/4 cup, so that there is more chocolate on each piece and the bonds are stronger. Sprinkle with coconut. Place in the freezer to harden, then gently peel them off the wax paper. Enjoy! This makes about 18-20 sticks of assorted sizes.

 

 

Tahini & Sprout Pie

Tahini & Sprout Pie

 

I’m happy every day for all that I have. It’s so easy to be jealous of people with better jobs, bigger homes, prettier faces, slimmer bodies. I’ve also always been ragingly jealous of people who are good at math. It’s so easy to get angry (and trust me, I do). But it’s also super easy to remind myself that I’m so lucky because I have a BGE, and a huge park practically right next door to run in, and a job with such good benefits. See? That was so easy. And right now I’m eating a Sour Patch Kid Popsicle…..so that’s another thing to be so happy about.

Oh, derp. I forgot that I’m also happy about this pie! I wanted to call it a pizza, but I have respect pizza purists (like my BGE) and I know that they would not appreciate the name. So it’s a pie.

Yes, it’s one of those cauliflower crust ones. But it’s got three binders in it (chia, flax, tahini) so it’s not as delicate as other cauliflower crusts pies I’ve made. It is a little crumbly, as are all non-egg cauliflower crusts, but really is a big improvement. I think it was the tahini.

I’m such a sprout freak (you know you are too. sprouts are so hot right now), so they were the natural choice to top this pie with.

Tahini & Sprout Pie

 

Sriracha sprouts, that is. Yup, that’s one more thing to be happy about. Oh and I’m going for a run once I’m finished typing this up. This happy list is getting long……

Tahini & Brussels Sprout Pie

Ingredients

    for the crust:
  • 1 medium head of cauliflower
  • 1/4 cup of tahini
  • 1 tbsp flaxmeal
  • 1 tbsp ground chia
  • 1 large garlic clove
  • sprinkle of salt
  • for the sprouts
  • 1 lb Brussels sprouts, trimmed and quartered
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 1/2 tbsp sriracha
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • extra tahini to drizzle

Instructions

    for the crust
  1. Chop up the cauliflower, core and all.
  2. Steam over high heat 5-6 minutes.
  3. Drain and allow to cool, then rise with cold water to cool completely.
  4. Put the cauliflower in a flour-sack cloth and squeeze as much water out of it as you can.
  5. Blend the cauliflower up into a paste (I used an immersion blender).
  6. Add in the chia, flax, and tahini.
  7. Grate in the garlic.
  8. Roll everything into a ball.
  9. Place the ball on a non-stick silicone sheet and pat into desired shape,ensuring that crust is at least 1/2 inch thick.
  10. Bake at 400 for 25-30 minutes, arrange sprouts on top, and then bake for another 8-10 minutes.
  11. for the sprouts:
  12. Combine sriracha, lemon juice, and salt. Set aside.
  13. Coat a large sautee pan with non-stick spray or olive oil.
  14. Cook the sprouts for 5 minutes over medium heat, stirring gently.
  15. Pour the sriracha mix over the sprouts and cook for 5 more minutes, stirring occasionally
  16. The sprouts won't be cooked all the way, but once you put them on the pie crust and in the oven, they'll finish up.
  17. Once the pie comes out of the oven, drizzle with additional tahini and a sprinkle of salt.
http://kitchenwindowclovers.com/tahini-sprout-pie/

 slightly adapted from nutrition stripped 

 

 

Brussels Sprout Poppers

brussels sprout poppers brussels sprout appetizers

I haven’t had jalapeno poppers in years, so I can’t say for sure whether these are better than the classic casual dining appetizer. But they’re not fried (extra points for sprout poppers), have a goat cheese-sriracha filling (more points), are gluten free (yada yada points) and made with the best veggie ever, Brussels sprouts. I think we know who wins here. And considering I am a lover of jalapenos and all things spicy, that’s saying a lot. Well, these are spicy too.

The crunchy coating is made from finely-ground corn Chex (or, um, “oven-toasted corn cereal”) and it’s so very crispy. 

I made sure that I got the precious caramelization on the sprouts before I added the cheese. I’ll eat non-caramelized sprouts, but only grudgingly or if I got home late and was really hungry and just wanted to shovel something in my mouth. The thing is, you can’t stir-fry like you’re used to. You have to stir very carefully so that as many leaves stick to each sprout. You also have to be  careful when cutting them. Cut as close to the heel as possible, so as to not lose leaves. 

These taste best when they are hot and fresh and right out of the oven. They just don’t taste anywhere near as good the next day.  Refrigerated-reheated sprouts are never quite as fun.

What is fun is being able to make these right at home, without any of that casual dining flare.

Ok, maybe a little flare.

brussels sprout poppers brussels sprout appetizer

 

 

Brussels Sprout Poppers

Ingredients

  • 1 lb sprouts
  • 3 1/2 cups of corn Chex
  • 1 1/2 tbsp dry Italian seasoning mix (Hidden Valley is GF)
  • pinch of salt
  • small garlic clove, minced
  • 2 eggs
  • 6 oz goat cheese
  • 3 tbsp sriracha

Instructions

  1. Grind up the Chex in your food processor until you have fine crumbs.
  2. Toast the crumbs gently in a sauté pan over medium heat, stirring occasionally so they don't burn. It will take 10-15 minutes. They can go from almost-done to brunt in mere seconds, so watch closely.
  3. Combine the Italian seasoning mix, the Chex crumbs, and a pinch of salt. Mix well and set aside.
  4. Wash and trim the sprouts. Cut them in half lenghwise.
  5. Coat a large sauté pan with non-stick spray or oil and bring to medium heat.
  6. Sprinkle the sprouts with a little salt and place them, cut-side down, in the pan.
  7. Cook for 10 minutes, turn, and cook for 5 minutes.
  8. Add the garlic and continue to cook, stirring slowly and constantly, for 5 more minutes.
  9. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
  10. Combine the sriracha and goat cheese in a blender until an even color and consistency is reached.
  11. Scoop the sriracha cheese into a pastry bag with a larger-than normal piece of the tip cut off.
  12. Place the sprouts on a large tray or baking sheet, cut side up.
  13. Put HUGE dollops of cheese sauce on the cut side of each sprout.
  14. Place the sprouts and cheese in the freezer for 10-12 minutes.
  15. Preheat the oven to 350.
  16. Beat the eggs together with a fork.
  17. When the sprouts come out of the freezer, the cheese should be very hard.
  18. Dip the sprout poppers in the eggs and then in the corn chex crumbs. It's best to use a fork to do all this or else your fingers will be very messy.
  19. Place poppers on a non-stick silicone sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Enjoy right away.
http://kitchenwindowclovers.com/brussels-sprout-poppers/

Ruby Wraps with Grapefruit Dip

Ruby Wraps with Grapefruit Dip

These wraps contain two of my favorite veggies ever.

I say a lot of things are my favorite, but it’s true! It’s also true that if you love everything, then you don’t love anything. Trust me, there are a lot of foods I can’t stand. I just don’t want to talk about them right now because I’d like to tell you about these instead.

That bright red filling is made of shredded Brussels sprouts and beets. I like to make a sort of hash out of them for dinner and scoop it up with flatbread. That’s rather messy, so I decided to roll them up into neat little packages. You can make several of these at once, which is good for a few days worth of salad lunches.

Ruby Wraps with Grapefruit Dip

The citrus dip is the easiest thing ever. Just throw everything in the blender and you’re done!   It’s not vegan, but can be easily made so.

There are so many things you can do with sprouts. Here’s a list of goodies for all you Brussels sprouts lovers.

Ruby Wraps with Grapefruit Dip

Yield: 14-16 wraps, depending on leaf size

Serving Size: 1 wrap

Ingredients

    for the wraps
  • 2 medium beets
  • 1 lb Brussels sprouts
  • 3-4 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • salt to taste
  • 1 lb turnip greens (you won't use them all)
  • for the dipping sauce
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 1/2 cups grapefruit juice
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 medium-large garlic clove
  • 1/2 tbsp nutritional yeast, plus more to taste
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp maple syrup
  • salt to taste

Instructions

  1. Shred the beets and the sprouts in your food processor. Work in batches if you must. (I had to).
  2. Coat a big sautee pan with non-stick spray, and bring to medium heat.
  3. Cook the beets & sprouts for about five minutes, stirring once or twice.
  4. Cook for 4 minutes more, stirring constantly.
  5. Remove from heat and sprinkle on the nutritional yeast.
  6. Let it cool a little bit and then sprinkle with salt to taste.
  7. Gently wash the turnip greens and pat them dry.
  8. Pick the fullest, greenest leaves. You'll need about 16. It's ok if they're different sizes. Just as long as they don't have any holes or brown spots, you're good.
  9. Place 1 - 2 tablespoons of the beet-sprout mix in the center of each leaf. Fold lengthwise then crosswise. For some of the bigger leaves, you might even be able to use 3 tbsp.
  10. for the mix
  11. Put the avocado, grapefruit juice, sesame oil, garlic clove, fish sauce, chili powder, and honey in a blender till well combined. Taste and add salt if desired.
http://kitchenwindowclovers.com/ruby-wraps-with-grapefruit-dip/

inspired by Spinach Tiger 

Ruby Wraps with Grapefruit Dip

Brussels Sprout Spread

brussels sprout spread

I’m feeling a little guilty about this one because I took something totally healthy and mixed it up with something totally unhealthy. Specifically, I took some nice, low-cal sprouts and then added a bunch of brie.

I did start out with some not-so-naughty goat cheese. Goat cheese is nice and light and tangy, but it was not meant to be. Then I dropped the cheese altogether and used some roasted eggplant. It was perfect, right? All those veggies and no fat. But again, it was not meant to be.

I knew what the answer was, because I’d been avoiding it all along. Brie. Lovely, creamy, perfect brie. Besides, a little bit of something that you really really love is better than a lot of something you’re indifferent to. So I enjoyed a little bit. It was the perfect lunch.

brussels sprout spread

 

 

This would be also fun as a cheese-ball type thing, rolled in nuts and thyme and pepper and served with a mound of crackers. Cover it if it’s in the fridge so that it will retain its bright green color,and let it come to room temperature before serving.

 

 

brussels sprout spread

 

Brussels Sprout Spread

Ingredients

  • 1 lb Brussels Sprouts
  • 8 oz brie, rind removed
  • 1 small garlic clove
  • 2 1/2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 3/4 tbsp pure sesame oil
  • salt to taste
  • thyme
  • chopped nuts
  • black pepper

Instructions

  1. Cut all the little heels from the sprouts.
  2. Using a food processor, shred all the sprouts along with the garlic.
  3. Put a little coconut oil in a pan over medium heat, then add the sprouts.
  4. Sprinkle a little salt over the sprouts and cook them, stirring frequently, for about 8 minutes.
  5. In a food processor, blend the brie with the sesame oil and lemon juice.
  6. Add the cooked sprouts to the brie mixture and blend well. Add in more salt if desired.
  7. Serve on toast. Sprinkle with thyme, nuts, and freshly ground black pepper.
http://kitchenwindowclovers.com/brussels-sprout-spread/