A few months ago, we were about to leave for a 2 week vacation, so I forced myself to not go grocery shopping and tried to eat every last scrap that we had in our fridge. The last days before any trip always turn out some interesting combinations of fridge scraps and pantry staples.
Earlier in the week I had roasted off an entire 10-pound bag of Costco organic sweet potatoes, because sweet potatoes are good any day, every day, and for any meal. The only fresh vegetable that I had left before I started to hit my frozen reserves was a bag a Brussels sprouts.
I usually prepare Brussels sprouts roasted with balsamic vinegar, but I was feeling lazy and didn’t want to turn on my oven. So, I decided to just water sauté chopped sprouts with garlic, and some condiments I had in the fridge. I grabbed some good Dijon, maple syrup and we had something delicious. To make it pop even more, I added in some fresh lemon juice which brightened up the sweetness from the syrup. They were pretty tasty on their own, but I wanted to add more bulk, because well, we like to EAT. So, I added a can of chickpeas and served it with fresh black pepper.
Served over steaming re-heated sweet potatoes, I shuffled it to the table and reminded my husband that I was trying to clean out the fridge and to not expect anything wonderful. After the both of us scraped the plates of our second helping, we turned to each other and decided that this was pretty damn good!
It’s funny how some of your favorite meals or snacks can come from a mindset of pure laziness and not having enough time. Which brings me to my next point, food does not have to be an extravagant, well planned, and perfectly executed dance. Food, especially healthy plant-based food at its core should be simple. Because the easier it is to make, the more likely you are to eat it.
My favorite parts about this meal:
and it’s beautiful.
I hope you enjoy this combination of sweet, tangy, and bright! Here’s to healthy and delicious food, made for the lazy cook in all of us!
Maple Mustard Brussels Sprouts with Chickpeas
A simple and quick throw together meal utilizing staples you almost always have in your pantry and fridge. Light, flavorful, tangy, and FAST!
- 4 c. brussels sprouts
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1-2 Tbsp maple syrup (start with one, add the other if you like it sweeter)
- 2 Tbsp dijon mustard
- 1/2 lemon juiced
- salt & black pepper to taste
- 1 14oz can chickpeas drained and rinsed
- roasted sweet potatoes (optional)
Trim the ends off the brussels sprouts, then cut them in half, and then cut those halves into thirds. (You can also just leave them halved or chop them into small pieces if you don't like their texture.) Set aside.
Reheat your cooked sweet potatoes in the microwave. (optional)
In a medium sauce pot, bring the minced garlic and a few tablespoons of water over medium high heat. Add the brussels sprouts, and stir until the sprouts begin to soften about 3 minutes. Add in another splash of water so that the sprouts don't stick to the pan, then add in the maple syrup, Dijon, and chickpeas. Stir for another 3 minutes until they are tender. Take off the heat and stir in the lemon juice. Adjust salt and pepper according to your taste.
Place the greens and beans over your roasted sweet potatoes and enjoy!
*This recipe can be great on its own but is exceptional with roasted sweet potatoes. To make delicious, oil-free sweet potatoes preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Run the potatoes under water and scrub off any dirt or strings. Pat them dry with a towel and place them on a lined baking sheet. With a sharp knife make a few punctures in the potatoes, a couple on each side, this prevents the potatoes from exploding and creates an escape for the sugar to come out. Bake for 45-50 min (maybe add 20 minutes if they are particularly large) then turn off the oven and let the potatoes rest in the oven another 20-30 minutes, this lets the sugars develop and helps separate the skin from the flesh. When cooled store in the fridge until later use.