Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Brussel Sprouts and Kale? Oh my!

As many of you know, I love bread. I don't just mean, prefer it over other things - I mean love it. Stomach hurts? It's time for bread and ginger ale! Staying in for movie night? How about a warm grilled cheese? In fact, back in the old days (read: a few years ago), if I had a bad day at work, I would stop and pick up a loaf of warm french bread from the market, come home, and eat the whole damned thing. Not a great habit.

For Crossfit, I signed up for my I Am Crossfit Challenge - the same one I did last year, but in a heavier/harder weight class. Not that I'm heavier (though now that I think about it...) but I'll be using heavier weights, and having to do band pullups instead of jumping. Running portion is still the same, though I hope to not stop to walk at all this year. That's a big goal for me in and of itself. In order to not revamp my whole eating style when this kicks off this weekend, I've been sneaking in little changes here and there since after Christmas.

Currently, I'm opting for a more paleo/zone style of eating. No bread. None. It's a little rough the first week, but now I'm rocking! :) In this quest, I have discovered that I actually like brussel sprouts. No really. I do. Same with kale! You might not want this recipe as it's got some fat going on (DELICIOUS!) but it's a good way to start expanding your circle of veggies in a delicious way.

Kale or Brussel Sprouts with Pancetta, Shallots and Garlic

  • Either one bunch kale or half pound of brussel sprouts
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • One shallot, minced
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2-3 ounces of thickly sliced pancetta (you can sub bacon!)

If you're using kale - make sure you rip the leafy parts off and discard the stem. It's very, very bitter and doesn't cook into anything you'd want to eat. If using brussel sprouts, cut them either in half length-wise, or in quarters length-wise.

Turn your stove on medium heat, and melt the tablespoon of butter in the pan. Once this is melted, toss in your pancetta and let it cook 5-7 minutes or until they're deliciously cruchy browned bits. Add in the shallots and the garlic and stir around for a minute or so until they start to soften. Do not let the garlic burn!

Now, if you're using kale - you toss it in here and let it cook for 6-8 minutes until it's turned a deeper, electric green color and is wilted and cooked. Raw kale is not great. Make sure you're moving the pancetta and the garlic and tossing it all together. This will make sure that the garlic doesn't burn and that your leafy greens are covered in deliciousness.

If you're using brussel sprouts, toss them in the pan and leave them alone for about 5 minutes. You want to stir them once to make sure they're covered in the butter/rendered pancetta. You want to get those crispy brown spots on the brussel sprouts. If you're worried that you're going to cook them too long - you can always cook them before the garlic and shallots, and then add those last (make sure to cook the garlic for at least 2 minutes to get rid of that raw garlic taste!)

I promise, it will taste much better than you think!

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