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? 

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Morroccan Millet Stew

My kitchen staaaaiiiiinks again. But I’m okay with that because the aroma of onion, garlic, cinnamon and cumin merged into one good meal.

So, today I played with parakeet feed.

AKA: MILLET!

I caps locked that because now you imagine me sort of yelling out the word Millet, right?

Anyway, I’ve been meaning to mess around with this seed for awhile.

Did you know that millet is a staple for almost 1/3 of the world’s population? Particularly in Asia and Africa. Source: Food Lover’s Companion.

I recently had it at one of my favorite spots in NYC-Angelica’s kitchen and it reminded me how much I like the texture. You all get that I’m going to drill it into your heads to try new foods, right?

Anyhoo, I’m pretty sure I left home today smelling like all sorts of spices and when I hit the gym and started running….let’s just say a hint of curry might’ve come out of my pores. That’s kind of gross. Oh well, sorry to the poor souls next to me.

INGREDIENT HIGHLIGHT: MILLET 

NERDY INFO

For starters, it’s gluten free. And while it’s referred to as “bird seed” in America there are actually many varieties of millet, most of which are rich in protein. The one we use in the U.S. is proso millet.

Medicinal Benefits/Nutritional woohoo: Food is medicine and millet has been used to treat blood sugar imbalances, and cooking it with winter squash (as I did today) increases it’s medicinal value to the earth element organs (little bit of ayurveda for you folks), it also reduces kapha (think lazy people treatment).

Nutritionally: it has one of the richest amino acid profiles (protein my people) and highest iron content (good for vegans: aka non-carnivores). Also rich in phosphorus, magnesium and B vitamins.

Use: The reason you might want to choose to use it is because it’s pretty bland all on it’s own, but once you dunk it into other flavors it makes a great “background” to other seasonings. Try using it in pilafs, hot cereal, millet pudding (coconut millet breakfast pudding?). Ground millet flour can be used in puddings, breads and cakes. 1 cup of millet: 2 1/4 cups of water = grainy, pilaf like. 3 cups of liquid: millet ration= creamy and smooth like polenta (Yes please!).

Storage/Buying: It’s got a fragile shelf life, so purchase it in small quantities if you can at a natural food store with a high turnover and store it in a cool pantry or refrigerate it for months.

RECIPE

Serves: Definitely 2, possibly 4.

Time: 30 minutes for each, so you’ll multitask here. (Roasting spuds & squash, millet, and stew).

Ingredients:

  • 1 sweet potato, peeled and cubed (you can pre roast the squash and potato as I did)
  • 1 cup butternut squash, peeled and cubed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced (the more the merrier-just make sure you all eat garlic tonight)
  • 1 cup tomato sauce (I use POMI)
  • 1-14 ounce can of chicpeas (or navy beans, really any bean)
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon of garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger (I was out of the fresh stuff, but grate fresh ginger-1 Tablespoon if you have it)
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric (click on link for another recipe)
  • more cinnamon (why not?)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 heaping handfuls spinach (optional-but I wanted a color besides tan and red in my meal)

For the millet:

  • 2 1/4 cups low sodium vegetable broth (chicken broth)
  • 1 cup millet, uncooked
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric (makes it sunset yellow)
  • salt and pepper to taste

METHODS: (trust me, it’s a simple process, otherwise I would’ve tossed this idea out the door).

  1. Heat a large saucepan over medium heat. Add olive oil. Let heat for a minute. Add onions and garlic. Saute for about 5-6 minutes until onions are translucent.
  2. Add all other ingredients except for the spinach (add that towards the end) and stir to combine. Let simmer for approximately 30 minutes on low heat.

If I could chew on this, I would.


Meanwhile:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Toss sweet potato and squash on a cookie tray and drizzle with some olive oil. Roast for approximately 30 minutes, or until a the fork you poke it with goes through easily (while the chicpea combo is cooking).
  2. Once the spuds and squash are done roasting, simply add them to the bean mixture and stir. Then add the spinach and stir until it wilts.

 NOTE: the mixture will be thick, you can add more tomato sauce or water to thin it out.

While the spuds are roasting and the sauce is saucing:

  1. Bring 2 cups of broth to a boil.
  2. Take 1 cup of uncooked millet and toast in a fry pan until browned. Approximately 5-6 minutes. Do not burn this stuff. However, the pleasant aroma that’s somewhat cornbread like will fill your kitchen. Take a deep inhale….ahhhh.
  3. Place the toasty millet in the boiling water and allow to simmer for 30 minutes. Toss a pat of butter in there for additional creaminess (why not?).
  4. Add spices and stir to combine.

Place a scoop of the millet on a cute dish, scoop the stewy spuds over the millet and serve.

ENJOY!

-Jen

Tips:

  • Flavorwise you’re going to have to play. Whether you like it spicier or more on the mild side is all up to your hands in the kitchen. I think I added more turmeric and cinnamon.
  • Use just butternut squash or sweet potatoes, whatever you have really.
  • Use another grain. Couscous would be nice, or some jasmine rice. (Oh that rhymes, hahaah).

Have you used moroccan spices or millet?