Thursday, March 21, 2013

Vegan And Gluten Free Brussels Sprouts Cooked In A Simple Soffritto Or Mirepoix

Brussels sprouts have numerous health benefits!

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I adore Brussels sprouts. They are a family favorite. Even my husband, who resisted them when we first got married, has grown to love them. They are not only delicious, but they have numerous health benefits! What's not to like?

Brussels sprouts have one of the highest glucosinolate contents of all the cruciferous vegetables which means they help us fight cancer. Other healthy cruciferous vegetables that have these cancer-fighting properties include broccoli, kale, cabbage, mustard and turnip greens as well as cauliflower. 

1 cup of Brussels sprouts has only 38 calories.
They are high in fiber and very low in fat.

Brussels sprouts are a very good source of vitamins A,C & K, B6, folate, potassium and manganese.

Soffritto or Mirepoix?
The slow cooking of onions, carrots and celery, to add rich flavor and aromatics to your dish, is call soffritto in Italian cuisine. Soffritto comes from the Italian verb, "soffriggere" which means "to fry slowly".  In French cuisine, the combination of these vegetables is called mirepoix. Italians generally use olive oil while the French typically use butter to cook the vegetables. And, of course, Italians often toss in some garlic too.
Most soffritto recipes call for more oil and a longer cooking time but  I use a modest amount of oil, and a shorter cooking time. 

Soffritto or Mirepoix is a combination of onions, carrots and celery.
Italians often add garlic to the mix.

They should be diced a bit smaller than this but I was lazy!

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Brussels Sprouts 
Vegan, Gluten Free
[makes 6 servings]

1 large Rapunzel vegetable bouillon cube
1 1/2 cups hot water
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, diced very small 
1 large carrot, peeled, diced very small 
1 large stalk of celery, diced very small
Pinch of salt 
Fresh black pepper to taste
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 cup white wine
1 packed teaspoon fresh thyme
1 pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed and cut in half

Make vegetable broth by dissolving the bouillon cube in the hot water and set aside. 

Heat the oil in a 5-quart Dutch oven and add the onion, carrot, celery, garlic salt and pepper. Cook on low heat, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables soften and brown slightly, about 8 to 10 minutes or longer.

Make the "soffritto" or "mirepoix"

Add the wine and cook for another 2 to 5 minutes.

Stir in the thyme and Brussels sprouts to coat. Add the vegetable broth and stir to combine. 

Add the Brussels sprouts

Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, covered, on a medium simmer until the Brussels sprouts reach the desired tenderness, about 8 to 10 minutes. 

Remove the cover and turn up the heat to reduce the broth, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes.


Per serving: 78 calories, 5 g total fat, 2 g saturated fat, 94 mg omega-3 and 282 mg omega-6 fatty acids, 0 mg cholesterol, 4 g protein, 10 g carbohydrates, 4 g dietary fiber and 373 mg sodium.

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