I promised you guys a healthier dish in my last post, which was completely over the top.
I know. I’m sorry?
I figured we could all squeeze in one more indulgence before heading into the new year with all our bright and shiny new resolutions (or recycled ones).
I, like so many others, re-evaluate my eating and exercise habits every January. Not so much for weight-loss purposes, but more so because I’m interested in the “clean slate” mentality.
Instead of focusing on what dress size I need to be or how much weight I want to lose by bikini season, I try to slowly but surely re-vamp the daily habits brought on during the holiday season.
The holidays are tough. I mean, they are THE BEST EVER, but also tiring. I feel like I hardly have a second to stop and enjoy them sometimes. Then there’s the food. And the alcohol. It’s everywhere you go!
I am not complaining, but it DOES take a toll on our minds and bodies after a while. By the time January rolls around, I’m actually EXCITED to eat kale and whole grains and green smoothies again. See? Clean slate!
Now, I’ve already proclaimed my love of brussels sprouts. They rock my world. Not only are they considered a super food, which makes them perfect for new year transitions, but they are easy to prepare and taste great.
This recipe is a good one for brussels newbies. If you are still on the fence about them, try them cooked this way. Roasting veggies of any kind makes them more delicious. It’s not debatable. Brussels are ESPECIALLY helped out by the roasting process.
They get crispy and caramelized in spots, and all of that gross boiled-cabbage flavor we all associate with the brussels from childhood goes away. Roasting is magic.
While the brussels are roasting, we make some quick caramelized onions (win) that cook in sweet balsamic vinegar (win). We also have crispy BACON (um, obviously that’s a win!) for sprinkling over the brussels after they’ve cooked. Yes, it’s a little bit of a cheat to add bacon to a healthy veggie dish, but hey! At least you’re eating your veggies! Baby steps.
The bacon adds a salty bite while the onions and vinegar do their part to balance things out with some sweetness and acidity. It’s a perfectly balanced symphony of flavors and textures. Truly.
The other thing that’s great about these brussels is that they make for a great side dish for most things. They go with everything! Steak, turkey, fish, and hey, I’ve even reheated leftovers to have with my morning eggs. SO good and so very versatile!
My husband tends to eat these brussels as his entire entrée. He says that they are the best brussels he’s had…like EVER.
I think I’m doing OK so far in 2014. Brussels (and bacon) for the win.
- 6 slices of bacon, diced
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 medium red onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- Pinch of red pepper flakes
- 3 teaspoons light brown sugar
- 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
- 4 cups trimmed and halved brussels sprouts
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- Preheat the oven to 425F.
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add the diced bacon. Cook until the bacon is rendered and crispy.
- Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and set aside on a plate lined with paper towels.
- Discard all but 1 tablespoon of the bacon drippings (you can save for another use!) and add the butter to the drippings remaining in the pan.
- Add the diced onion and a pinch of salt and cook for 15 minutes, or until beginning to caramelize.
- Meanwhile, place the brussels on a large rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with the olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper. Place in the oven for 15 minutes. Roast until charred in spots and tender, toss around on the pan, and roast for roughly 10 minutes more.
- Once the onion is golden brown and caramelized, add in the garlic, red pepper flakes, sugar, and balsamic.
- Cook, stirring frequently, until the balsamic vinegar is mostly reduced and the mixture is thickened and glossy. Taste carefully and season with salt and pepper.
- Take the crispy brussels sprouts out of the oven and pour over the balsamic caramelized onion mixture. Toss around on the tray until the brussels are evenly coated. Stir in the crispy bacon.
- Transfer to a serving dish and serve while warm.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 40 minutes
- Category: side dish
Keywords: balsamic bacon roasted brussels sprouts, roasted balsamic brussels sprouts with bacon, caramelized onion and bacon brussels sprouts