Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Brussels Sprouts, Apples and Walnuts over Wild Rice

My husband adores brussels sprouts. My poor husband is married to a woman that used to hate the brussels sprouts as much as he loved them. I never made the man brussels sprouts and he had to resort to getting them when we were out until I learned the secret. About 5 years ago I realized that I hated brussels sprouts because I grew up eating the ones my mom made which were overcooked and had that unpleasant sulfur thing happening. Now I know the secret to good brussels sprouts is to cook them lightly so that they are still crunchy. Coincidentally cruciferous vegetables also retain more nutrition when they are lightly cooked. By cooking them properly you are getting more nutrition as well as a better tasting vegetable.

Tonight’s brussels sprouts were combined with sweet red onion, and apples. I added the walnuts for texture and omega 3 fatty acids. We haven’t had wild rice in a while so I decided that would make a nice bed for the vegetables. Here is what I did.

Brussels Sprouts, Apples and Walnuts over Wild Rice
Serves 4


4 ounces wild rice
2 cups water
1 pinch of salt
½ red onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced (allow to stand 10 minutes so the allicin will develop)
¼ - ½ cup water to sauté the aromatics
2 apples, cored and cut into bite sized chunks
1 teaspoon canola or olive oil
1 pound Brussels sprouts, sliced in half
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, removed from the stems
¼ cup walnuts, roughly chopped


Combine the wild rice, water and salt in a pot with a lid. Bring the water to a boil and then reduce to a simmer and cook for 35 minutes. After than time check to see if there is water left in the pan. If there is water left cook a few more minutes until the water has all been absorbed. Then turn off the heat and allow the rice to stand in the covered pot for 10 minutes.

While the rice is resting begin cooking the vegetables. Combine the onion, garlic and water in a heavy bottomed pan (I used cast iron) and cook until the onions are tender. Add the apples and cook for a few minutes more, until they just begin to soften. Now remove the mixture from the pan to a plate.

Wipe the pan clean with a paper towel and add the oil so that it lightly coats the bottom of the pan. Add the brussels sprouts in as close to a single layer as possible. You want to down side of the brussels to caramelize. This will happen in 3 of 4 minutes. During that time don’t touch the brussels sprouts. When you shake the pan and sprouts move easily it is time to turn the brussels sprouts and cook a few minutes on the other side.

Next add back the apples and onions and top the brussels with the walnuts. Cook a minute to heat everything through and serve hot on top of the wild rice.

Nutritional Information:

Amount Per Serving
Calories - 244.1
Calories From Fat (24%) - 58.64

Total Fat - 6.94g
Saturated Fat - 0.72g
Cholesterol - 0mg
Sodium - 371.34mg
Potassium - 596.67mg
Total Carbohydrates - 41.72g
Fiber - 7.26g
Sugar - 10.06g
Protein - 8.65g


I asked my husband how he liked the dish and he said, “It is brussels sprouts how can it be bad”. See what I mean about he loves brussels sprouts. When I probed for more information he said he thought it was a good flavor combination but one that he wouldn’t have thought of on his own. I inquired if he would have liked a little agave or Dijon with this and he said no. If you like clean dishes this was a tasty recipe. I thought it would have been better with a little bit more flavor, maybe lemon juice or Dijon mustard or both.

Nutritionally this dish is not the powerhouse of some of my other dishes based on the information in the cookbook program. However, the program doesn’t take into account the indole 3 and sulphorane that is present in cruciferous vegetables. According to the program one serving of this recipe contains over 935IU of vitamin A, 74mg of vitamin C, 73mg of calcium, 105mcg of folate, 168mcg of vitamin K, 222 mg of phosphorus and 3mcg of selenium.

Tonight's meal was very filling. We ate dinner about 2 hours ago and I am still full.

I hope everyone has a great evening.


  1. Your dinner looks wonderful!

    You've such a fantastic blog which is full of information and INSPIRATION. I LOVE it, thank you for sharing:)

    P.S. I've never cooked brussels sprouts before but I love them.

  2. Aha! I never considered that it could be that the brussel sprouts weren't cooked properly that I never liked them... happy to know that maybe this year, if made correctly, I'll get to enjoy brussel sprouts for the very first time.

    Thanks for the tip about the tea shop. You're always so helpful!

  3. Oraphan,

    Thank you so much for the compliment. I really appreciate it.

    Can't wait to see what you do on Friday with sushi. I have been in sushi mode recently too.


    It was a revelation to me as well regarding the brussels. I really thought I hated them, until I had them cooked properly. They have such a different taste when they are cooked tender crisp.

    You are welcome for the tea shop suggestion. If I can help you find anything locally let me know. We struggled initally looking for healthfood stores, etcetera so if I can help you to not go through that I am happy to be of assistance.


  4. Where did you get/what kind of wild rice did you use?

  5. Shenandoah,

    I either bought it at Wegman's or Super Fresh. I think it was Wegman's. It comes in a little 4 ounce box, the name is something like "Haddon House". I have also bought big bags of wild rice from the healthfood store. We don't eat it often so I find the little boxes to be most space efficient.


  6. Okay, I will look for it. I like wild rice, but I heard it was really difficult to cook.

  7. Shenandoah,

    I don't think wild rice is any more difficult to cook than brown rice. I mix brown basmati and wild rice sometimes since they have a similar cooking time. I think you will be fine.


  8. All of your recipes look fabulous and your blog is truly a wealth of information! Thanks for asking about my son, he is doing extremely well. I am working toward making as many changes as you and your hubby have, but I meet a lot of resistance from my hubby who still eats meat and loves processed food. I read every book and study about nutrition and cancer prevention I can get my hands on, so we have a lot in common. You are very inspiring!

  9. Janet,

    I am so glad your son is doing well. Keep up the good work!

    Thank you so much for your kind words regarding my blog. I try to put as much information out there as I have in my head at the time I write the post. It is nice to know that people find it useful.

    Ten years ago my husband was also very resistant to change. He loved everything that was bad for him. Since the cancer diagnosis he has been much more willing to change. Would your husband consider eating his unhealthy food when he is away from the family and eating healthy at home with the family? I know a few families that work things that way.

    As you obviously noticed I spend a lot of time reading about nutrition. The book that I have found the most useful so far is "Life Over Cancer". It is like a oncology course but at the same time it is very uplifting. If you haven't read it I highly recommend the book.

    thanks again for your kind words,

  10. Sooo healthy looking! I've always loved brussel's sprouts; I'm excited that they're coming into season.

  11. Rose,

    Thanks! I love the sprouts now too, but it took me a while to come around. Are you growing them at your house?

    I just got home from cooking class. We had a blast, as always.

    I need to make the hubby's lunch for tomorrow now so I have something to post today.

    Will be back soon,

  12. Not growing brussel's sprouts, but I do have some kale, chard, and pak choi coming on. :)

  13. We just had a similar dish last week with dinner--I LOVED it but my honey wasn't too keen. It looks great to me!

  14. Ricki,

    Did you post your recipe so I can see how it is different? I don't remember seeing it but I am looking at so many blogs during MoFo I am having trouble keeping them all straight.

    Both the hubby and I liked this recipe. Which is very odd since I was a sprout hater less than five years ago.

    thanks for commenting,


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