When it comes to dinner, I’m definitely more of an entree + side dish kind of gal. Salads are great for lunch, but when I’m sitting down to dinner I like to have three distinct piles on my plate: a protein, a veggie, and a carb.
When it comes to the veggies, I tend to run out of ideas quickly. Roasting them in the oven with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper is my absolute favorite way to cook veggies, but even that can get boring after a while.
This is what happened to me last week, when I was trying to figure out what to do with all the brussels sprouts I over-eagerly purchased from Costco. Fabio and I had already eaten roasted brussels sprouts a couple of times that week, and I was just not looking forward to having them again.
Then after a bit of brainstorming and poking around on Pinterest, I decided to do something different with my brussels sprouts, and shredded them! The end result was flavorful, healthy, easy, fast, and the variety I was looking for. Thank goodness!
In case you ever find yourself in a weeknight side-dish rut, here’s how my brussels sprouts creation came to be.
To start things off, I added a little butter and olive oil to a large sauté pan that was set to medium heat. Then I tossed 1/2 a chopped onion into the pan, and let it get nice and soft for about three minutes.
Quick tip: Here’s a video to show you how to cut an onion super fast. #GameChanger
Once the onion was almost translucent, I added about 2 cloves of minced garlic to the pan (I used the kind from a jar…judge me). Then I stirred this around, and let it cook for a couple more minutes.
While the onions were getting happy, I set another sauté pan to medium low heat, and started toasting about 3 tablespoons of pine nuts. These burn quickly, so it’s best to keep the heat low and give them a toss every couple minutes. Don’t let ’em burn!
When the nuts were light brown and slightly fragrant, I removed the pan from the heat, and set it aside.
Next it was time to shred my sprouts! I’ve often seen those bags of pre-shredded brussels sprouts at the grocery store, but they can be expensive. Now that I know how easy it was to make these at home, I’ll never buy them again!
To make these, all I did was wash about 1.5 cups of brussels sprouts, and remove any nubby ends or withering outer leaves. Then I placed them in my food processor with the slicer blade on, and pulsed the brussels a few times.
And voila! Shaved brussels! I left mine a little chunky for a more rustic texture, but you can process these more if you don’t like the lumps.
Then I added my shredded brussels sprouts to the pan with the onions and garlic, and tossed in about two tablespoons of the pine nuts. Mix, mix, mix! I let this mixture cook for about 5 minutes, or until the brussels sprouts started to soften.
Next I added 1/4 cup sliced cherry tomatoes, and the juice of 1/2 a lemon to the pan. When squeezing the lemon I placed my hand underneath to catch any seeds, which was trickier than usual since the seeds looked just like the pine nuts! I hope I didn’t miss any…lol.
From there I seasoned the dish with some salt and pepper, and taste-tested it to see if it needed more seasoning. Nope! It was good!
Then I plated my side dish, and topped it with the remaining toasted pine nuts.
I served this dish with roasted sweet potato wedges and hummus-coated chicken. This meal was easy, delicious, and nutritious – my favorite!
- ½ onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1½ cups brussels sprouts (whole)
- 3 tbsp. pine nuts
- ¼ cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- ½ lemon
- Olive oil
- Set a large sauté pan to medium heat, and add butter and olive oil (about 1 tsp. each). When the pan gets hot, add onion. Cook onion for about three minutes, then add garlic.
- While onion is cooking, set a smaller sauté pan to medium low heat, and toast pine nuts, being careful not to burn. Once nuts are light brown and fragrant, remove from heat and set aside.
- Wash and prep brussels sprouts by removing nubs or outer leaves. Add to a food processor with the slice blade on, and pulse until you reach desired texture.
- Add sliced brussels sprouts to the pan with the onion and garlic, and add two tbsp. of the toasted pine nuts.
- Cook the brussels and pine nuts for about 5 minutes, or until brussels are softened.
- Add cherry tomatoes, lemon juice, salt, and pepper to the pan. Cook a couple minutes more until tomatoes are warmed, then serve.
Question of the day: What are your favorite weeknight side dishes?
One of my favorites is my World’s Best Broccoli. I seriously need to bring that back into my life!