Brussels sprouts, anyone?

jen's splash

RECIPE: Cranberry almond Brussels sprouts over barley.

Lunch. I’m working to be much more proactive about lunch, making healthy, fresh meals that last all week. I’ve been known to rely on cans of soup for lunch. (Boo cans.) But I’m doing so much better lately. Recently? Brussels sprouts and barley with toasted almonds and cranberries. Ooh.

I’ve read a few similar recipes and thought it would give it a try. Besides, Ken is anti-Brussels so I know it can’t appear on a dinner menu.

I didn’t have barley. But I had a mix of barley and other grains. So that counts, right?

Toss in olive oil and salt and pepper. And I added balsamic vinegar, too. One recipe I found called for maple syrup. To cut the sugar, I used the balsamic instead. The best part? Once one side has seared on the stove-top, the cast iron pan goes n the oven.

I wish I had fresh cranberries. But dried will do (left from my supply for making granola, of course!). It’s a warm, filling meal. Perfect for a chilly spring.

RECIPE RATING: 4 of 5 glasses of wine. It’s a fab healthy meal with great flavors. I could have used more olive oil and balsamic- the sprouts were a bit dry. But they’re better than any pre-packaged/canned preservative-filled lunch. Hooray. Another great recipe inspired by Cookie and Kate. I even added feta to the packaged lunches: excellent addition.

Roasted Brussels sprouts with cranberry, almond and feta over barley
Thanks Cookie and Kate for the recipe.
  • 1 pound Brussels sprouts, tips cut off, discolored leaves removed and sliced in half
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • pinch of salt
  • 2/3 cup fresh cranberries (or 1/3 cup dried cranberries)
  • 1/3 cup crumbled feta
  • 1/3 cup almonds (the original recipe called for pecans)
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked barley (that’s one cup of dry barley,cooked in 2 1/2 C water and simmered for an hour, until water is absorbed)
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  1. Start cooking your barley ahead of time. And wash and cut the Brussels sprouts.
  2. Preheat your broiler.
  3. Toss the prepared Brussels sprouts with olive oil, balsamic vinegar and salt in a medium bowl. Toss well, so that the sprouts are evenly covered.
  4. Warm a 12-inch cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. I let mine get too hot. MEDIUM-high, remember. Once the pan is hot (2-3 minutes), dump the sprouts into the pan and quickly rearrange them so the flat sides are face down. Let them cook for two minutes.
  5. Toss the fresh or dried cranberries into the pan and transfer the pan to your broiler. (The pan will be hot! use an oven mitt.) Let the Brussels broil for about two minutes. Add almond slivers to the top of the pan and continue cooking for another minute. Check the sprouts to make sure they’re done—their tops should be a little browned and the bottoms caramelized.
  6. Top your barely with the sprout mixture and add the feta cheese.
  7. Enjoy!


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