Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Brussels Sprout Salad with Lemon and Mint Dressing


Happy new year, everybody.  I know a lot of you have probably made resolutions to clean up your diet in 2014, just like me, so here's a recipe that satisfies any bizarre parameters you might have concocted.  Be it paleo, gluten-free, or vegan, its a great way to start achieving your health goals.  There's a little cooking involved, but it is optional if you've decided to go raw.  Good luck to you.

In the last few years I've become increasingly into resolutions, probably as a result of being in a profession where everything has to be measured and goals are constantly modified so that they are essentially unobtainable.  So, in addition to shedding the pounds I've put on since August due to my physical activity haitus, in 2014 I also pledge to:

  1. Travel more, and travel different.  To continue to travel globally, and on a low-budget, but also to say yes to travel I should be doing - vising friends around the country.  This also might be the year of a solo trip, something I know I should do.
  2. Become fluent - or maybe just highly conversational - in a language.  I've already become addicted to the app Duolingo, which has helped me brush up on all the French I ever learned in 24 hours.  You should try it.  Then, to do something with my life that makes the language useful.
  3. To speak and act on my professional principles.  Education needs a revolutionary change, and I'm lucky to work at a school that can potentially make that happen.  Given the opportunity, I shouldn't silence myself.

And, despite a desire to always be taking up new hobbies at the expense of the old, I'd like to keep up the blog in 2014.  Happy first anniversary to the blog!

Ingredients (makes 3 large servings, 4 side salads):

  • 40 medium-sized brussels sprouts (1 1/2 - 2 lbs.)
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. tahini
  • juice of 1 large lemon (about 4 tbsp.)
  • 1/4 cup chopped mint leaves
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds 

Shred your brussels sprouts by first cutting off the bottom third of the sprout, and then using a good knife, mandoline, or food processor chopping attachment.  I have a pretty tool-less kitchen, and it took me about 15 minutes to shred them by hand.  
Once you have your shredded sprouts in a bowl, toss them vigorously to loosen any of the small core pieces from the shredded leaves.  Pick through the leaves to remove any pieces that might seem unpleasant to chew in a salad.
Now you want to cook through the salad just a little bit.  Over low heat, warm up a little olive oil in a large pan.  Add the shredded brussels sprouts and continuously stir over low heat until warmed through.  This will brighten and the color and the flavor.  I used my hands to stir, removing the sprouts from the heat as soon as they felt a little warm.  Keep in mind they'll to continue to cook a little once you remove them from the heat into the bowl, and you don't want a wilted salad.  Overall, the sprouts were on heat for about a minute.  Continue to toss in a bowl to cool down quickly.
Make the lemon-mint dressing by combining the olive oil, tahini, lemon juice, 1/8 cup of chopped mint, salt, and pepper in a blender.  Blend until smooth.
Toss the shredded sprouts in the dressing and add the remaining chopped mint and slivered almonds.  Salt to taste.  Serve chilled or at room temperature.


  1. I love Brussels sprouts but have never eaten them in a salad before. I was happy to see that you do cook them slightly as I am hypothyroid and need vegetables in the cabbage family to be cooked for all the nutrients to be absorbed properly by my digestive system. Mint is also a no-no for me as my tongue goes numb when I have it. I will simply substitute the mint with some other herb like basil or tarragon.