Arugula Pesto + Brussel Sprout Shreds

It’s like this, you’re either going to reckon this is the oddest food combo and not sure what to think about it (well a twinkie stuffed with meat would be pretty odd)

OR

you’re going to love it and go buy some brussels immediately (brussel haters might even try it!)

(I love how spellcheck doesn’t know what to do with the word twinkie. I think it’s cause it’s an unidentified object). Just sayin.

Anyhoo, I love me some brussel sprout heads and they’re the underdog during this time of the year, I mean you never hear somebody saying (unless you’re me of course) I can’t wait to shovel those brussel sprouts into my mouth. People don’t usually overeat them either. Well,  I’ve overeaten these little bad boys of health. Not pretty. Soooo, don’t do that.

I’ve always wanted to mess around with the sprouts beyond the usual roasting (p.s. roasting is good too, check out this post for a few options). Why not make a happy combo with my two favorite greens? I have been pondering (favorite big word) the thought of shredding the sprouts forever but wasn’t quite sure what to do with them from there.

So, enter a pile of goodness where veggies are the rockstars and the soba noodles are just the backup singers. (Never had Soba? The Kitchn did a good job describing the difference between the Japanese noodles). 

p.s. This recipe is so meant to be played with (like play-dough or silly puddy).

RECIPE

Arugula Pesto & Brussel Sprout Shreds

Serves: (depends on how many soba noodles you make-safely serves 2).

Time: 30 minutes

Equipment: Food processsor

Ingredients:

  • 6 or more garlic cloves (heck, the more the merrier)
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • salt
  • 2 cups arugula
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1 bundle (1 oz.) uncooked soba noodles

For the sprouts:

  • 6 oz bag of whole, uncooked sprouts
  • olive oil (to taste)
  • pepper (optional)

DO IT:

Pre-Prep

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Shred brussel sprouts in food processor. Set aside.

    Love me some shreds!

  1. Place whole garlic cloves (unpeeled) on a cookie sheet and roast for 10 minutes. At the same time place 1/2 cup of walnuts on another cookie sheet and roast for 6-7 minutes (nuts are not to be neglected, watch em so they don’t burn!).
  2. Remove both from oven and set aside.

Brussel Sprouts: 

  1. Place on a cookie sheet (once shredded) or jelly roll pan and toss with olive oil and pepper to taste. Roast for 10 minutes to start. Toss halfway through. Add on another 5-10 minutes or so if they haven’t quite cooked. Once done, set aside. (I kept mine in the oven while making the pesto).

I just love this pic of the soba noodles.

For the Noodles:

While the brussels are roastin, place 6 cups of water on the stove and heat on high til it’s boiling. Add the soba noodles and cook for approximately 4-6 minutes. Drain.

For the Pesto: (which can be made in advance).

  1. Add walnuts, arugula, garlic and salt to food processor and whirl it all up til a nice pesto-ey pile forms. As processor is processing, add olive oil.
  2. Scrape the sides and bunch it all up in a bowl, then add parmesan cheese and mix to combine. (take a whiff of the utter goodness).

For the finale:

Plate some noodles on something pretty, add some pesto and twirl with a fork to combine, (alternatively you can just add the pesto and soba noodles in a bowl and combine all like one big happy family) then toss some brussels on top and perhaps a bit more parmesan cheese (truffle oil anyone? just a smidge-omg).

ENJOY!

-Jen

Genius Thoughts (I can’t stop myself):

  • Use that pesto as a pizza topper (do I even need to tell you to add it to the squash pizza?)
  • Use the pesto as a veggie dip.
  • Use the brussels as a side dish (p.s. they’re fun to eat-but you might find some in your hair later). I might even toss some maple syrup on them next time if I serve alone.
  • Try other nuts. Pine Nuts are a traditional pesto maker, almonds or papitas would be fun! Mix your greens and try spinach, maybe a little fresh basil or cilantro (just watch the bitterness factor).

Also, don’t forget to subscribe for FREE updates if you like what you see here (top right corner), connect with me on facebook and twitter! I noticed some new lovely people following me on pinterest. It’s quite the addiction now isn’t it?

TELL ME

Are you a fan of pesto? Are you a fan of brussel sprouts? What’s your favorite way to use either? 

The non pizza, pizza. Squash style.

This is what I think is going on mid-December. 

1) Your eyes are glazed from slamming back loads of holiday cookies. Or you’ve sunk so low you’re eating them for breakfast, lunch, afternoon snack and sneaking one more for dinner. What the hay?! Right? Oh boy.

2) You’re singing joy to the world cause you’re drunk on holiday cheer (or eggnog).

3) You’re working out every day cause you don’t want to let the holidays bring you down from all the hard work and efforts you put in eating healthfully and exercising tons. Hmmm.

OK, so if you’re the number 3 person, bravo, but “sometimes one should eat a cookie, or at least some rum infused eggnog or a peppermint martini.” Just sayin.

Today I decided you all probably need to add a little holiday health or just a reminder about your health. Oh and if you are having trouble controlling yourself this holiday season, read this Part I.

Anyway,you know I eat pizza (as evident from this post, and this one), but I knew I could concoct (love that word) something with a squash and make it taste beyond….well a veggie.

I know some of you don’t even like the word vegetable, but you’re here to learn.

What I don’t know is what people think of when they hear the word spaghetti squash. It’s weird, I’ll admit that. I assume “squash” stands out, but the spaghetti part leaves one guessing.

TIDBITS:

The yellow football of a squash is mild tasting and once you string it’s guts you can pretty much flavor its insides to whatever your hearts desire (ummm, not so much like tofu but close enough). Oh, and it will never taste like cheesecake but you catch my drift eh? It’s high in fiber (bonus), Vitamin C, low in carbohydrates and low in calories (not that anyone’s counting). It’s good stuff, got it?

While I created this idea all up in my head my aunt Josie helped me figure it out and gave me the basic recipe. Props to her.

So put down the breakfast cookie and mug of I dunno….gingerbread eggnog latte whatever and make this!

Serves: Depends on the size of slices, it can be quartered, halved or eaten with a fork and the pie plate in your lap (ooooh that’s naughty and not portion controlled, use a plate, preferably a WHITE PLATE as this article suggests-re: how the color of your plate effects how much you eat).

Time: Pre-roasting the squash takes 45 minutes ( I roast it on 400 degrees F on a cookie sheet sliced in half). You can do this the day before and save almost an entire half of squash for another meal like this one. This meal takes ~35 minutes.

Pre-heat oven: 400 degrees F

Ingredients:

  • 1 spaghetti squash (roasted and forked so stringy innards are scoopable)
  • 1-2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (I used part-skim)
  • 2 eggs (or 1 egg and 2 egg whites)
  • 1-2 teaspoons fresh or dry oregano
  • 1/4-1/2 cup of tomato sauce (home made or I like Muir organics or Pomi)
  • pepper to taste
  • your choice of toppings

Assembly:

  • Place 3 cups of squash, 2 eggs and shredded mozzarella cheese in a bowl. Stir to combine. (p.s. you don’t have to beat the eggs, just combine).

  • Place all in a pie dish, bake  at 400 degrees F for 10 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and top this puppy with whatever you desire (ummm, not chocolate). I ran out of spinach yesterday, but sauteed spinach and garlic would’ve been a perfect addition if I don’t say so myself.
  • Bake another 25 minutes and tada!!!! Holy smokes it smells like a pizza kitchen in here!

SLICE AND ENJOY!

Go a step further:

  • Let’s talk TOPPINGS. I mean, add more veggies to the veggie, hello! Mushrooms, spinach, arugula, tomatoes, butternut squash puree? OMG.
  • Try different cheese combos.
  • Pesto would’ve been a unique topping all by its lonesome. Pesto Pizza!
  • Make it mexican style and add a bean/salsa topping? Ole!

So, when you need a healthy, simple and oh so yummy dinner (or a break from the cookies)….here it is.

Recent enthusiasm occurred over these posts:

47 + healthy holiday recipes

The healthy deconstructed apple pie

Stewy Greek Beans (seems to be a fav)

OH, and YOUR WELCOME!

-JEN

What’s your favorite pizza topping?