SWEET CHILI BRUSSELS SPROUTS
2 1⁄2 pounds (4 containers) Brussels sprouts, halved lengthwise
2 tablespoons canola oil
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper (or to taste)
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1 tablespoon minced ginger
5 cloves garlic, minced
1⁄3 cup sugar
¼ cup lime juice
3 tablespoons fish sauce
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Coat 2 large baking sheet pans with cooking spray.
2. Toss Brussels sprouts with the canola oil, salt and red pepper flakes and spread in even layers on the baking pans. Roast in the center of the oven, rotating once about halfway through, for about 18 minutes, until slightly undercooked, crisp-tender and lightly browned. (May be made 1 day ahead).
3. Heat the sesame oil in a saucepan over medium high; add the ginger and garlic and cook, stirring, 1 minute until somewhat softened. Add the sugar, 2⁄3 cup water, lime juice and fish sauce and bring to a boil.
4. Dissolve the cornstarch in 2 teaspoons water and add to the saucepan; cook until thickened and glossy, about 1 to 2 minutes. (May be made two days ahead).
5. To serve, toss the Brussels sprouts with the sauce and heat in a skillet or microwave. Makes 8 servings.
Nutritional analysis for each serving 139 calories, 5 g protein, 22 g carbohydrates, 5 g fiber, 5 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 708 mg sodium
BALSAMIC GREEN BEANS WITH BACON
6 slices bacon
2 cups thinly sliced onion
½ cup balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 pounds green beans, trimmed
1. Cook bacon; drain on a plate lined with paper towel. Crumble when cool. Remove all but a thin coating of the bacon fat from the pan and reserve.
2. Add the onions to the skillet with the remaining bacon fat; cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until they are golden and very soft, about 17 minutes. (May be made 1 to 3 days ahead).
3. Carefully, with the skillet off the heat, add the balsamic vinegar and sugar, stirring to incorporate any bits on the bottom of the pan. Return to the heat, bring to a boil and cook, stirring frequently, until the liquid is thickened and reduced to a scant ¼ cup. Reduce the heat to medium and whisk in the reserved bacon fat. (Sauce may be made up to 1 week in advance).
4. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil; add the green beans and cook until they are bright green and crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Drain and run under cold water. (May be made 1 day ahead).
5. To heat: Warm sauce in a large skillet; add room temperature blanched green beans and cook, tossing, until heated through, about 3 to 4 minutes. Toss with the onions and crumbled bacon; add salt to taste. Makes 8 servings.
Nutritional analysis for each serving 142 calories, 6 g protein, 18 g carbohydrates, 4 g fiber, 7 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 162 mg sodium
BROCCOLI AND PINE NUTS WITH LEMON BUTTER
1⁄3 cup pine nuts
2 large bunches broccoli
2 tablespoons olive oil
¼ cup chopped shallots
¼ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons lemon juice
4 tablespoons butter, cut in bits
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1. Toast the pine nuts in a dry skillet, stirring often, until they are lightly golden and aromatic. Transfer to a plate to cool. (May be made up to 3 days ahead).
2. Cut the broccoli into bite-size florets; peel the stems and cut across in ½-inch thick coins.
3. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil; add the broccoli and cook until bright green and just tender, about 5 minutes. Rinse the broccoli under cold water to stop the cooking; drain. (May be made 1 day ahead).
4. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat; add the shallots and salt and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Whisk in the lemon juice and butter, stirring until the butter is melted. (May be made 1 to 2 days ahead).
5. Just before serving, heat the sauce in a skillet, add the broccoli and lemon zest, toss thoroughly and cook until warmed through, about 5 minutes. Stir in the pine nuts and serve. Makes 8 servings.
Nutritional analysis for each serving 181 calories, 6 g protein, 13 g carbohydrates, 5 g fiber, 14 g fat, 5 g saturated fat, 130 mg sodium
TIP When making vegetables ahead, be sure to undercook them slightly to allow for reheating.