Thursday, December 2, 2010

A total BS entry (aka Not a Food Blog)

As you know from this blog, its not a Vegan recipe or Food blog. Yes I talk about it a lot (continuously sometimes). But tonight I'm going to take a slightly different approach on my veganification.  I'm not going to stray too far off the course, but I did get into a bit of a discussion the other night with my "vegans" on twitter.  The subject was the elusive Brussel Sprout.  I say elusive because this particular veggie is something that I have not encountered much in my life.  I'll have to ask my mom and dad if perhaps they didn't like them, which is why we never had them.  I could probably count on my hands the number of times I've had them, but for the life of me, I cant remember when I have.  It has to be at least 20 years.  I'm not saying I've never had them, its just been so long, that I have no memory of them.  My good friend Derek in Waukesha WI has a couple of strange kids.  I say that because these kids love most things your typical kid does not.  Brussel Sprouts (BS) happen to be one of their fav's.  He always raved about them, but I wasn't having any part of it.  Not until I was up there a few months back, and this came up for discussion again.  I distinctly remember him discussing how he roasted them.  I swore now that I went vegan, I would be having them soon.

So a BS conversation starts up on twitter and I decide that this is going to be the night.  I would never consider making a special grocery store run for these, but as luck would have it, my wife was going to Krogers, and when she asked me (as she always does) what I want from the store.  The only thing I ask for is Brussel Sprouts.  She gives me an odd look, but I confirm "oh you heard me right, there will be some sprout roasting tonight", and I saunter back to my office. (ok, it didn't really happen exactly like that).

So by now the the sprout talk is getting pretty hot, thanks too @hillarylibby, @greenvegnliving, @IEatTrees, and  @MegVegLibrarian.  Everyone is getting rather psyched about this potential sprout fest.  I got a lot of support, but Meg sent me this somewhat complicated, but nevertheless a recipe I felt I could follow.  Be prepared for a lengthy read, but by all means, check it out here.

So this is what I had to start with.  Ok, one ingredient down.  Now time to to hunker down and dig into this recipe and see what we need to do..... better pour a tall one, this one is going to take a while.....

Ok, it seems these little guys need some work first.  Meg says to chop off the stems and the remove the little leaves of the,.. what???  The whole thing is covered in little leaves, how do I discriminate?  Ok, I'm tempted to take a picture, and tweet it and ask wtf, but I dont want them to think I am incapable, so I will forge ahead.

Ok, I'll start with this little bad biy

And turn him it into this

Clearly I didn't realize that I would be working on these individually. One after another after another... As I mentioned, this recipe is NOT for the faint of heart.  Mind you I was cutting these little imaginary stems and so called leaves for what seemed like six or seven minutes.  Oh crap, the oven.... Must preheat....

As you can see by the clock, I've been at this a while now, but before too long, I turned that bag of tiny cabbage into a,... bowl of slightly tinier cabbage halvsies.

Ok, this is where it gets tricky.  Olive oil,... extra virgin of course (who really buys, regular virgin, or god forbid the trampy olive oil).  Ok, drizzle and toss... sounds more like morning radio show personalities, but here I am coating these little half cabbages in a oil, laying them out on a pan, and applying a little sea salt.  I'm thinking this might work out pretty well after all.

So after laying them all out, they go into the oven looking like this

And then about 20 minutes later, the house aroma changing to an odd smell that I cannot place, although my wife claims the smell is somewhat "farty".  Not what I would advertise, so pretend I didn't say that.  Nevertheless, they came out looking like this:

So its now about 9:30, normally I would be snacking on something else, but this is what I have assembled for this evenings nosh., passion

I seek out a particularly caramelized one for my first sample.  I must admit this is really an interesting moment.  Something as simple as a Brussel Sprout has evoked such emotion, passion and conversation between a number of people spread out all over the country.  In all of my years, I would have never guessed that I would have such a conversation with a group of people about a vegetable.  A particularly underrated one that gets a rather bad rap, and then cook, document, and write about.  This truly is a by product of turning vegan that I did not anticipate.

Never the less, it was a big moment for me, so I could not pass this up without documenting the entire process. Oh yes, I'm trying the very first one....... such anticipation

Not bad at all.  Nice flavor, love the caramelized crunchy parts, interesting earthy flavor, and yes nice and salty, as I applied the sea salt a little more liberal than I probably should have.  I like it that way though.

So over the next 20+ minutes, I snacked on BS, and reflected back on my omnivorous life, and wondered what other little treasures were out there waiting to be eaten by me.  So many vegan fares,.. so little time.

Sorry Toby, no sprouts for you.


  1. It seems like learning to cook & enjoy Brussels sprouts is a sort of rite of passage for many vegans! My personal "holy crap I'm so vegan" moment was directly tied to the realization that I love beets, but I think Brussels fulfill a similar role for lots of people. :) Welcome to the wonderful world of Veggies With Undeserved Bad Reputations!

  2. OMG, that was the funniest thing I've read all day... makes me sad i was too distracted by other crap to join the the sprouts roasting discussion on twitter, i saw it & was perplexed...

  3. Yay! I'm so glad it was a success! Now, what else can we evil vegans convert you into liking? :)

  4. YUM! Great job! I love roasted brussels spouts. If you like spicy food, try them with sriracha sauce. Mmm Mmm!

  5. Haha! Love it! Alright, now what else haven't you tried that we can harass you about?

  6. Yay! BS Success! Roasted Brussels sprouts are the best. I never, ever ate them as a kid; they were never featured on the family dinner table. I feel like I just started eating them this past year. They're good in foil pouches on the grill, too!

  7. Awesome! How did I miss the *hot brussels sprout talk* This post is hysterical. I like your glasses btw.

  8. Yay for a food post. Hilarious as must make about okra next?

  9. I HATE BS, that's all.

  10. I love blogs that are not only food/recipes. So write away about whatever!

    I am a little scared of brussel sprouts too. Only because I have some issues with certain cruciferous veggies. But maybe roasting them might take the edge off. If you are brave enough to try them, I will take a chance.

  11. Love it! Congrats on expanding the horizons. Really important to eat a big variety of foods now that you're vegan. Keep up the good work. :D

  12. thanks for all the comments, you may have noticed i used original pics as well, usually i am scouring the internet for appropriate pics. we'll see whats next. okra? kale? who knows :)

  13. Thanks for the smile! I love brussel sprouts and have one of those strange kids like your friend- she is 8 and she loves them too! My twelve year old, not so much. And my 50 pound English Bulldog Bertha- well no sprouts for her either!!

  14. Most hilarious thing I've read today (and I rarely ever comment on fellow bloggers posts - too many blogs, too little time).

    They ARE time-consuming, though it does get faster... Even so, my extended family (of 22) decided they liked my BS (heehee, sorry) so much they wanted me to do them for Christmas Dinner. I'll have to start cutting-trimming-preparing them at.... oh.... around 3am I'm thinking!

  15. Ha! This reminds me so much of the Twitter Event that was my first artichoke experience, nearly a year ago. Several Twitter folks urged and admonished me along the journey, and I posted pictures to show them I wasn't eating the spiky parts. Sadly, I did not blog the Event for posterity, as you did.

    I'm tackling brussel sprouts next, so thank you for sharing your BS deflowering story!