Brussels Sprouts often get a bad rap, like lima beans, but are actually quite tasty, if I do say so myself.  (Not sure I can say the same thing about lima beans, but I eat them anyway.)  If they aren’t a staple on your Thanksgiving table, think about trying them out at your celebration this year.  The recipe below is good any time of year–heck, ANYTHING with bacon is good anytime of year!

Eat What:

-A cruciferous vegetable, brussels sprouts are in the same family as cabbage, broccoli, kholrabi and kale

-Brussels Sprouts are indeed named after the city in Belgium, but aren’t believed to have originated there

-Sprouts grow in a spiral pattern along a stalk up to 4 feet tall

Eat When:

-Peak growing season is September to mid-February

-Most of the brussels sprouts grown in the United States come from California and New York–go get some!

-Removed any wilted leaves and store in an airtight plastic bag in the fridge

-They don’t keep long; buy them only a day or so before using them

Eat Right:

-Brussels Sprouts are high in Vitamins K, C, A and folate and fiber

-About 1.5 C Brussels Sprouts provides a third of your recommended daily intake of Alpha Linolenic Acid (ALA), the most basic of Omega-3 Fatty Acids

-Be sure not to overcook them (and all other types of cruciferous vegetables) as overcooking leads to a sulphurous smell

-Steam, saute or roast rather than boil; fewer vitamins and minerals are lost

Eat More:

-Discard outer/wilted leaves and halve; steam for 5 minutes then toss with honey-mustard dressing

-Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper; roast at 400 for 35-40 minutes, turning so all sides brown evenly

-If you’re a chicken/broccoli casserole kind of person, try subbing them for the broccoli or throwing them in a stir-fry

Brussles Sprouts Lardons

(from Ina Garten’s ‘Barefoot in Paris’ cookbook, although I lessened the salt and raisins because they are both more than necessary.  While my husband might be picky about cheese and creamy things, he does like his vegetables!  He loves brussels sprouts and ever since I made this dish years ago, it’s my ‘go-to- brussels sprouts recipe.  This would also be a fantastic Thanksgiving dish.)

2 tbsp olive oil

6 ounces pancetta or bacon, 1/4 diced

1.5 pounds brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved

1/4 tsp kosher salt

1/4 tsp pepper

1/2 C golden raisins

1.75 C chicken stock

1.  Heat olive oil in large saute pan over medium heat and add pancetta (or bacon).  Stir often and cook until fat is rendered and pieces are browned and crisp, about 5-10 minutes.  Remove to a paper towel.

2.  Add brussels sprouts, salt, pepper to the pan and saute until lightly browned, about 5 minutes.  Lower the heat and add the raisins and chicken stock.  Cook until brussels sprouts are fork-tender, about 15 minutes.  If the pan gets too dry, add chicken stock or water.

3.  Once brussels sprouts are finished and all the liquid has been absorbed, add the pancetta back into the pan and season to taste.

Nutritional Information: per 6 servings

90 cal, 2.4g fat, 8mg chol., 263mg sodium, 13.5g carb., 4.5g fiber, 6.7g protein


Holly R. Layer received a B. A. in Journalism from Penn State and served four years in the U. S. Air Force before deciding to go back to school to become a Registered Dietician.  She loves running, reading, fine stationery, colorful kitchen gadgets and ALL things food-related.  An avid cook and baker, you can find her in the kitchen most days whipping up something yummy.  Too bad her husband, Andrew (an East Aurora native) is the pickiest man alive!  You can find her at