We went out for dinner last weekend at a fabulous little restaurant. They had the most delicious maple glazed brussel sprouts and with one bite I knew exactly what I’d be doing with the bag of brussel sprouts I had in my fridge at home. Unlike a restaurant, I can’t easily bring myself to smother things in butter like they do, but my results were pretty darn good. I steamed my vegetables first because I was making a huge dinner that required lots of hands on time, but you could do the whole thing in a skillet for that extra caramelization. Just saute until the vegetables are tender (maybe 20 minutes).
1 lb brussel sprouts, ends trimmed and then halved
4 carrots, peeled, and cut into 2 inch strips
1/4 cup real maple syrup
1/4 tsp salt
1. Steam the brussel sprouts in a steamer (don’t know how to steam? Check out my cooking lesson below) until tender (about 10-15 minutes).
2. In a large skillet, heat the syrup over medium-high heat. Add in the steamed brussel sprouts and carrots. Season with salt and cook until the vegetables begin to caramelize (about 5 minutes).
How to steam vegetables:
Steaming vegetables is a healthy way to cook vegetables. It requires no additional fats and the steaming process helps the vegetable itself to retain more nutrients and flavor. There are a few different methods you can use.
There is an actual specialized kitchen appliance you can buy called a steamer. It has a base, a steaming basket, and a lid. You just fill the base with a couple inches of water, put the veggies in the basket that fits over the base, put the lid on, heat the water to simmering, and steam away.
2. Makeshift Steamer
A makeshift steamer can be made using a pot, a colander, and a lid that at least somewhat fits. You’d put an inch or two of water in the pot and then put the colander over it. The colander should be able to fit over the pot without touching the water in the base. Then cover it with a lid. It doesn’t have to be a prefect fit. Just as long as it traps most of the steam inside.
The pan method isn’t perfect, but it does work. Pick a saucepan that is big enough to fit all your veggies in it. Put a half inch of water in the bottom and bring it to a boil. Add in your veggies, put the lid on, and reduce the heat to low so it just simmers. The water will create enough steam to cook the vegetables, but the veggies that actually touch the water might get a little soggy or overcooked.
Use a microwave safe bowl and just put a little bit of water in to cover the bottom of it. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and poke a couple holes in it to allow some steam to escape. Microwave until desired done-ness is reached.