Monday, November 14, 2011

Giving in to Autumn with Brussels Sprouts

I just got back from a vacation to Mexico with my boyfriend, best friend and her man, and their two amazing friends whom I'd never met until we landed in Puerto Vallarta. The couples retreat was timed just right, I had my fill of drinking homemade pina coladas from a canteen, cooking or ordering tacos every night - made simply and un-fussed with like they should be. We soaked up as much sun as we did tequila and at the end of the trip I came home to discover that the bone-chilling cold of late Fall had finally set in while we were away.

Even though it's always a sad day when you pull out the winter coats and put away your flip flops, I don't mind too terribly. It's the turning point where massive maple leaves burst from green, to red, to yellow and orange - always most vibrant before they die. I like the crisp, cold walks in the sun on weekends with a scarf and hat and my hand shoved in my boyfriend's coat pocket. And I really like the Autumn vegetables that have started to wander into my CSA box and onto my plate. Tonight I made a healthy dinner that feels hearty but gave me a break from the beef stews and and potatoes that can prepare you for winter. Raw Brussels Sprout salad with pomegranate seeds and roasted root vegetables on the side. Favorite things about this food - you can easily find new ways to adjust the recipe with what you have on hand, and it tastes just as good an hour later as it does when served immediately.

Brussels Sprout Salad with Pomegranate Seeds
1/2 lb. Brussels Sprouts, shredded
1/2 C Tofu, cubed
1/4 Yellow Onion, finely sliced
1/3 C Pomegranate Seeds
1/4 C Toasted Almond Slivers
Handful of shaved Parmesan

1/4 C Olive Oil
1/2 C Apple Cider Vinegar
2 Tbs Dijon Mustard
2 tsp Honey
Salt and Pepper

 Dice tofu into cubes and pat dry. Season with salt and pepper and brown in a saute pan and set aside. Peel off outer leaves of Brussels sprouts and shred. Slice onion and place in a bowl of cold water - this will take away some of the bite! Whisk vinaigrette in a separate bowl and combine with all ingredients. Serve and top with Parmesan cheese.

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