Sweet And Saucy Brussels Sprouts

Diana Helfand
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Wednesday - January 18, 2006
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Branden Frederick lives in beautiful Manoa Valley and is studying accounting at the University of Hawaii with the hopes of one day becoming a certified public accountant. In the meantime, he is working his way through school as a server at the Sheraton Moana Surfrider’s Beachside Café. Before coming to Hawaii, Branden worked in his family’s Mainland restaurants; at the age of 3, he started out bussing tables. Amazingly, although he is only 20, he has 17 years experience in the restaurant business! This column is dedicated to Branden.

After the holidays your pantry may be depleted of key ingredients, so make sure you have a supply of canned beans, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce or spaghetti sauce, tuna, chicken, condensed soup, canned fruit, chicken and vegetable broth or bouillon, dried pasta, rice, flavored vinegars, instant biscuit and easy cake mixes, chips, onions and potatoes - and don’t forget the staples, peanut butter and jelly.


In the freezer, you should have bagged vegetables, ravioli or tortellini, IQF (individually quick-frozen) boneless chicken pieces, shrimp, and prepared pizzas and pie crusts, waffles for a quick breakfast, and a few ready prepared lean dinner entrees.

Brussels sprouts are little powerhouses of nutrition, whose exact origin is not known. It is related to the wild cabbage and thought to have been developed a few hundred years ago close to Brussels, the city for which it is named. Brussels sprouts resemble small cabbages, and are usually harvested when they reach a diameter of about one inch (the tenderest size). To prepare, remove any loose or yellowing leaves, and wash well under running water to remove any debris that may be in the leaves.

When purchasing, choose firm compact sprouts that have no yellowing leaves. Try to select similar size pieces to ensure uniform cooking. They will keep for about four days, unwashed in a perforated plastic bag, in the vegetable drawer of the refrigerator. You may freeze them after blanching for three to five minutes, depending on the size of the sprouts, and will keep for about a year if frozen properly.

Brussels sprouts are an excellent source of vitamin C, folic acid and potassium. They also contain vitamin B6, iron, thiamine, magnesium, vitamin A, phosphorus and niacin. They are also thought to have cancer-inhibiting properties.


GLAZED BRUSSELS SPROUTS MANDARIN

* 3 cups Brussels sprouts
* 1/4 cup water
* 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
* 1 cup water
* 1 tablespoon Smart Balance margarine (melted)
* 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
* 1 can mandarin oranges

Cut bottom stems from Brussels sprouts and arrange in 11/2-quart covered microwave safe dish. Add water, cover, and microwave on high until sprouts are crisp tender (about 8-10 minutes). While sprouts are cooking, combine brown sugar with water and stir until dissolved. Add melted margarine and cinnamon, and bring to a boil. Turn heat to simmer and cook until sauce is slightly thickened, stirring a few times. When ready to serve, pour sauce over Brussels sprouts and stir to lightly coat. Add oranges and stir carefully to combine.

Makes six servings.

Approximate Nutrition Information Per Serving:

Calories: 180 Fat: 2 grams Cholesterol: 0 milligrams Sodium: 50 milligrams

(Diana Helfand, author of “Hawaii Light and Healthy” and “The Best of Heart-y Cooking,” has taught nutrition in the Kapiolani Community College culinary arts program.)

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