Properly roasting a vegetable is an art form. Whole Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pecans and Cranberries is simple enough, but it’s important to infuse lots of flavour to maximize the appreciation for the end result.
I talk about food a lot. I really do. I’ve always had a love affair with food, but it hasn’t always been a favourable one. Food is great, but the wrong foods – excess amounts of food – can sometimes lead to unfavourable consequences, such as weight gain.
I’ve always struggled with weight, because I had always made poor food choices. I’m not saying that my present food choices are resulting in a perfectly shaped, toned body, because I still struggle with weight every single day. But, my food choices are now based on great tasting food, in-season food, and food that makes me feel good.
I still over indulge from time to time; I still add cheese to more dishes than I should, and I will often add a bit of butter to things that don’t really need it. I am human, after all. Proudly though, I can say that I didn’t have to add anything but wholesome ingredients to these Whole Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pecans and Cranberries in order to eat them all up!
In my 40s though, I began to accept the fact that food doesn’t have to be the evil twin. It’s okay to eat food that you love and food that makes you feel good. It’s okay to not be skinny, and it’s okay to have ‘fat days.’ I have never been skinny; in fact, I was 11 pounds when I was born, so why would I strive for perfection for others when the only person who needs to be happy with me is me?
My daughter taught me that. She’s a wise one! She told me that she’s doesn’t need to be skinny. She loves her curves and how she feels in her own skin. She’s 15 and wise beyond her years. I try to remind myself of that every day. Yes, I still watch what I eat, but I have learned that I can make better food choices that will make me feel better about me.
It’s not about starving anymore so that I lose weight. It’s about good foods, fuel, and treats in moderation. For example, we recently spent a week at the cottage where I allowed myself to eat a bagel for breakfast, and I allowed myself to eat a larger than normal grilled steak. I also allowed myself a slice of carrot cake from a bakery that one day we went into town to buy eggs.
Whole Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pecans and Cranberries, Dear Reader, is good food. In my humble opinion, good food is simple food. I’ve always been a lover of Brussels sprouts, even long before they became popularized by hipsters. But, unlike the hipsters, I don’t feel the need to add bacon to Brussels sprouts. What is with the bacon in everything?
I love bacon just as much as the next guy, but bacon is a very dominant ingredient. I have added bacon to veggies before, I won’t lie, but I feel that if you need to pair bacon with such a modest ingredient like Brussels sprouts, then you probably don’t like Brussels sprouts to begin with!
I’ve said this before, and I stole the line from Nancy Fuller, simple is best, so that’s why this Whole Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pecans and Cranberries recipe boasts only a few ingredients. The perfect little bite-sized veggie, bursting with great flavour, these should be your new go-to side dish. And, hold the bacon!
Whole Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pecans and Cranberries
- 3 pounds brussels sprouts, ends trimmed and washed
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon dried sage
- 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 4 tablepoons olive oil
- 1 cup pecans, roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Add all of the ingredients to a large sheet pan, except the pecans, and cranberries. Toss well to combine and coat.
- Roast for 45 minutes.
- Remove from oven, toss, and add the pecans, and cranberries.
- Bake for 15 minutes.
- Remove from oven and serve.