Like many parents, I have a problem getting my kids to eat vegetables. My elder daughter will only eat cooked veggies, and then only broccoli and, grudgingly, green beans. My younger daughter will eat most veggies raw (though she does not like salad) but only likes cooked broccoli and asparagus. Both girls love to eat peas – frozen. Like tiny pea-sicles.
I balk at serving frozen veggies at big holiday dinners, and quite frankly, I get tired of cooked broccoli all the time. Asparagus is very, very out of season. So what can I do to get my kids to eat something green this holiday? Bribe them with sugar and fat, of course. I found this recipe originally on AllRecipes and used it for Thanksgiving. I love it for its simplicity and quick cooking time. You can easily make this in a toaster oven for small meals or whisk it into the oven after you take out the turkey. Be warned, however, that they cool quickly and aren’t nearly as good cold. Here’s my slightly tweaked version.
Maple Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon
1 pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed and cut in half
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 Tablespoons pure maple syrup
4 slices bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 400 deg. F. Combine olive oil, maple syrup, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Add Brussels sprouts and toss to coat thoroughly. Spread in a single layer in a shallow baking dish or pan. Sprinkle with bacon. Roast until bacon is crispy and Brussels sprouts are caramelized, 30 minutes.
Note: I cut my sprouts in half because I bought organic sprouts, and they naturally had a lot of flea beetles in among the leaves near the stem. This is a good sign – it means the sprouts are tasty and full of nutrients. But flea beetles aren’t particularly appetizing, so I cut open each one to check them and clean them out as needed. This also had the pleasant side benefit of reducing the cooking time and removing the need to stir the sprouts halfway through cooking. But if you are short on prep time and your sprouts are beetle-free, then you can leave them whole, increase the cooking time to 45 minutes, and give them a stir halfway through.