What’s your favorite way to prepare Brussels sprouts? Boiling, steaming, roasting, grilling, or stir-frying? No real surprise, but for us Chinese, stir-frying is the most favored way to cook these cabbage-like, leafy greens. Compared to the roasting method, stir-frying makes this recipe much easier and quicker to prepare.
Although I don’t buy Brussels sprouts as often as kale, broccoli, or green beans, I do like the slightly bitter taste from the sprouts. Sometimes I cook them with salmon or chicken. However, meat isn’t the only thing you can use in Brussels sprout recipes. For instance, this time I used roasted coconut shreds and dried cranberries to add some interesting textures, flavors, and contrasting colors to the whole dish. It’s simple, healthy, and appetizing.
Now get ready for a shock. My 2.5-year old son, Leo, actually enjoyed the sprouts, and I didn’t smother them in a sweet sauce like honey either. He was so eager to have some before I was able to finish my photo shoot. Do you see his little hand reaching for the dish? At the table, he proudly served himself another big scoop right after he finished his first serving.
Preparing leafy green vegetables in a way that is appealing to Leo can sometimes be challenging. He does, however, love his steamed broccoli dipped in peanut butter. Does that sound a little odd? As parents, we continue to encourage him in positive ways, such as being a good role model and giving him a variety of healthy options to choose, like toppings. What methods have worked wonders for your kids? I’d love to hear it.
Brussels sprouts taste best when you buy them fresh, instead of the frozen packages. They will have an unpleasant distinct taste and soft texture if they’re overcooked. When stir-frying in oil, you just need a pinch of black pepper and salt to make the taste stand out. Adding vinegar or lemon juice will give some extra zing to the dish, but will also change the color to yellowish-green.
- 1 lb fresh Brussels sprouts
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened coconut shreds
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil or canola oil
- 1 tablespoon water
- ¼ teaspoons salt or more to taste
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- optional ½ tablespoon lemon juice, freshly squeezed preferred
- 1 tablespoon dried cranberries
- Wash and remove the any loose leaves of Brussels sprouts, trim the ends off, and halve each Brussels sprout.
- Preheat oven at 350 °F. Place coconut shreds onto a metal baking sheet and bake for 4 to 5 minutes until they are golden brown.
- While the coconut shreds are roasting in the oven, heat a sauté pan over high heat. Add oil after the pan is hot and then wait for 15 seconds until the oil is hot. Reduce the heat to medium and add the halved Brussels sprouts with the cut-side down. Stir occasionally until the cut sides are golden brown, approximately 4 minutes.
- Add 1 tablespoon of water and salt to the sauté pan, continue to stir for another 2 minutes or until the Brussels sprouts just start to soften.
- (optional) Add lemon juice if used
- Turn off heat. Toss in roasted coconut shreds and cranberries. Serve hot.