Cranberry Brussels Sprouts

With the holidays upon us, I have been eager to cook festive foods that reflect the cheer of the season. We recently bought cranberries with the intention of making cranberry sauce, Orange-Cranberry Bread, and Thanksgiving Leftovers Turkey Salad. One day, I noticed the bag of leftover cranberries next to a bag of brussels sprouts and I realized they might work well together.

Most recipes online that combine cranberries and brussels sprouts involve using the sugar-sweetened dried cranberries or add lots of sugar or honey to mix to counter the tartness of the cranberries. I was determined to create something that tastes great without the added sugars.

This recipe came together after just one less-than-perfect experiment and a few recommendations from Brent. As the whole dish cooks, the balsamic reduces and adds its own sweetness. Coupled with the sweet and nutty pecans, the whole dish comes together with a nice balance of sweet, savory, and tart. Plus, it’s beautiful!

Spicy Pickled Brussels Sprouts

Since a young age, I’ve really enjoyed pickles. Dill pickles were always the clear winner, where bread and butter made me want to run screaming (I know, fighting words.. still not a fan of those or sweet gherkins). I’ve come to appreciate them, though, as well as the burgeoning artisan fermented foods. These small “craft brewers” of pickles and other vegetables are great—often local—options. We were lucky enough to meet Number 1 Sons (a local DC area operation) when Russ had his book release party, along with the Paleo Parents and Primal Palate.

That being said, I was inspired to try my own hand at this cuisine. Brussels sprouts seemed like a great candidate for pickling, and when we saw some pickled brussels sprouts at a local store, I decided it was our fate. These have a great pickle flavor, and still have the awesome crunch of brussels sprouts.