October 05, 2011

Thanksgiving Week - Day 4: Brussel Sprouts Toss with Caramelized Tofu

I always appreciate having a light, fresh salad to go with my Thanksgiving meal so that I'm not just eating lots of heavy dishes. So for Day 4 of Thanksgiving Week, I wanted to do a different take on a salad option - warm brussel sprouts.

I know brussel sprouts have a bad reputation, but once you actually try them, I bet you will be surprised at how good they can taste! It was actually at one of our Thanksgiving meals a few years ago that I first tried brussel sprouts and loved them, and I've been a fan ever since!

I found this recipe for a warm brussel sprouts toss on the blog The First Mess (check out her blog for more unique and seasonal vegetarian recipes - I want to try them all!)  In this recipe, the brussel sprouts are shredded and tossed with lots of other tasty Fall ingredients - pecans, shallots, maple syrup and grated sweet potatoes. The sweet potato was my own addition, and I really liked the extra colour and taste that it gave the salad (not to mention the added nutritional benefits!)

I thought all of these ingredients combined with the maple dressing came together perfectly to make a warm and delicious salad, and covered up any potentially strong taste of the brussel sprouts. This was pretty easy to put together and would make a great side dish along with the rest of your Thanksgiving dishes!

Another option is to turn this salad into a main dish by serving it with caramelized tofu on top, like this recipe from 101 Cookbooks.  I made this for dinner for myself two nights in a row, and each time, I couldn't stop talking about how good the meal was! The sticky, sweet pieces of tofu really went well with the rest of the salad.

So whether you make this without the tofu to serve as your Thanksgiving salad, or with the tofu to make a dinner for yourself any other day, you can't go wrong!

Brussel Sprouts Toss with Caramelized Tofu
Adapted from The First Mess and 101 Cookbooks

For the tofu:
1/2 lb firm tofu, cut into pieces
1-2 tbsp natural cane sugar or palm sugar
pinch of salt
olive oil

Heat a medium skillet on medium-low heat. Add the tofu along with a pinch of salt and a splash of olive oil. Cook, flipping the tofu occasionally, for about 4 minutes, or until lightly browned.

Stir in the sugar and cook for a few more minutes, until the sugar bubbles and coats the tofu completely.

Remove from heat and set aside.

For the salad:
~ 1 tsp vegetable oil
1 shallot, peeled and sliced
1-2 cloves garlic, smashed
1/2 lb brussel sprouts
About 2/3 cup peeled and grated raw sweet potato
About ¼ cup chopped pecans
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
2 tsp pure maple syrup
1/4 tsp paprika
salt and pepper

Trim the outer leaves and stem off the brussel sprouts. Cut each one in half, then slice vertically to create shreds.

Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the shallot and smashed garlic and paprika and stir. Cook, stirring, for a few minutes, until the shallots and garlic are lightly browned.

Add the brussel sprouts and a splash of water to the pan. Stir and toss with tongs for about one minute.

Season with salt and pepper and add the vinegar. Stir for a few more minutes, until it the mixture starts to turn bright green.

Remove from heat and stir in the grated sweet potato and maple syrup.

Garnish with chopped pecans and top with the caramelized tofu (if using).

Makes 2 servings as a main course, or 3-4 as a side dish. 

Don't Miss:
Thanksgiving Week - Day 4 Recipe on Once Upon a Cutting Board - Pumpkin Mixed Greens Salad with Maple Vinaigrette - another tasty salad idea full of Fall ingredients!

1 comment:

  1. I love that the tofu is caramelized, it adds to the deliciousness of it. Now this dish has a lot of greens that I find quite mouthwatering. Will try this recipe and maybe it'll help with my own weight loss wars.



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