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I'm Crystal Vaughn

a classically trained chef taking holistic plant-based nutrition on a grand adventure through North America. When I’m not creating in our traveling kitchen, you can usually find me on my yoga mat or a hiking trail.

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I love Brussels Sprouts.  I think it is so great that they are showing up on more Thanksgiving menus.  Here is a recipe that would be a great addition to your holiday spread.

 

My favorite Brussels are served at a restaurant in Dallas, The Porch.  They are so delicious and I just can't get enough of them but when I would cook them at home they would always fall a bit short.  I have been trying to replicate this recipe for some time now. 

 

The Porches Brussels Sprouts come out looking like they are almost burnt.  At first glance you may be skeptical but once you bite into them you are totally convinced.  Best. Brussels. Ever.  They are slightly sweet but also have this vinegary tang.

I was having trouble finding the spot of perfectly roasted and caramelized but not overdone.  After trying and tweaking my recipe for years I finally came up with a method that worked for me.  I cut the Brussels in smaller pieces, I add flavor before, during and after I cooking and I leave them in for longer than used to feel comfortable.

 

I highly recommend you try this recipe.  The sweetness of the maple syrup and tartness from the apple cider vinegar plus the crunch of toasted hazelnuts will definitely make your mouth happy. 

What are your favorite methods for cooking Brussels Sprouts?  Any tips or tricks you use to make them come out perfectly?  I would love to hear from you in the comments below! 

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Hazelnuts
Serves 6-8

INGREDIENTS

2 lbs Brussels Sprouts

3/4 cup hazelnuts, chopped

5 tbsp maple syrup, divided

5 tbsp apple cider vinegar (or coconut vinegar)

Sea salt, to taste

Black pepper, to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Trim the bottom of the Brussels if it has turned brown.  Slice them from top to bottom in three or four sections depending on size.

2. Toss the  Brussels with 2 tbsp of maple syrup, apple cider vinegar and a pinch of salt and pepper.

3. Bake for 25 minutes at 400°.

4. Remove from oven and toss with 1 tbsp each of maple syrup and apple cider vinegar.

5. Bake for another 20-25 minutes.  Until the Brussels are browned and crispy.

6. Toast the hazelnuts in a small saute pan for 10 minutes.  Stirring occasionally until lightly browning.

7. Toss with 2 tbsp maple syrup, 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar and a generous pinch of salt and pepper.

8. Stir in the toasted hazelnuts.

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Nov 05, 2014

 

I have been sharing a lot of recipes calling for pumpkin purée lately but not all of them are created equal.  Most of them are loaded with pesticides and put in cans lined with toxic chemicals.  The good news is you can easily make it at home!  Here are the steps to do so...

 1) Cut the tops off of the pumpkins, slice them in half and scoop out all the seeds.

 

2) Cut the halves into wedges.

 

3) Roast in the oven at 350° for 45 minutes to an hour.  Until easily pierced with a fork.

 

4) Using yours hands or a knife, peel the skin away from the flesh. 

 

5) In a high powered blender (I use a Vitamix) or food processor blend the pumpkin until it's completely smooth.  If the pumpkin is a little dry you can add a splash of water.

 

Now it is ready to be used in your favorite fall recipes or frozen for later use.  Sometimes I put mine in ice cube trays and once frozen I move them into a container and store until I need some pumpkin.  This homemade purée really makes a big difference  from the canned stuff and you know that all that is in it is pumpkin.  It doesn't get much better than that!

After getting a lot of good feedback on my Vegetable Stock recipe I have considered doing more posts covering kitchen basics.  I would love to hear your thoughts on this in the comments below!

Pumpkin Purée
Makes about 5 cups

INGREDIENTS

2 small to medium baking pumpkins

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Cut the tops off of the pumpkins, slice them in half and scoop out all the seeds.

2. Cut the halves into wedges.

3. Roast in the oven at 350° for 45 minutes to an hour.  Until easily pierced with a fork.

4. Using yours hands or a knife, peel the skin away from the flesh.

5. In a high powered blender or food processor blend the pumpkin until it's completely smooth.  If the pumpkin is a little dry you can add a splash of water. 

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I never really understood the whole pumpkin craze that arose at the beginning of every fall.  The only pumpkin I would usually see came out of a can and ended up in a pumpkin pie, which I never really liked. 

The last couple of years I have been getting in the kitchen and experimenting with this seasonal vegetable and I am really growing to love it.  Here is another seasonal treat that is great for replacing your overly sugared and processed store bought cereals and granolas. 

This is a little more savory than most granolas and it is another reason I like it so much.  It is great for breakfast with homemade almond milk or as I have it here: served over a banana with a dollop of almond butter and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

As the days get shorter and the temperatures drop it is a perfect time to get inside and try some new recipes.  But still take some time to enjoy the autumn colors.  Bundle up and go for a hike!  We went exploring in the Dolly Sods this weekend.  Even though a lot of the trees had already lost their leaves it was a beautiful fall day to be outside. 

Pumpkin Spice Granola with Pecans and Cranberries
Makes about 5 cups

INGREDIENTS

1/2 cup pumpkin puree

1/4 cup maple syrup

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/8 tsp ground ginger

1/8 tsp ground nutmeg

pinch ground gloves

1/4 tsp salt

2 cups gluten-free rolled oats

1/3 cup quinoa or millet (uncooked)

1/2 cup pecans

1/4 cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds)

3 tbsp hemp seeds

3 tbsp flax seeds, freshly ground

1/2 cup dried cranberries (sweetened with apple juice)

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Preheat oven to 250°.

2. Combine pumpkin puree, maple syrup, vanilla, spices and sea salt in a small pan over medium-low heat.  Stir until combined and remove from heat.

3. In a large bowl stir together oats, quinoa, pecans, pepitas, hemp seeds and ground flax seeds.

4. Add pumpkin mixture to bowl and stir until thoroughly coated.

5. Spread mixture onto a large parchment paper lined sheet pan.

6. Bake for 1 hour or until starting to brown and get crispy.

7. Remove from oven and stir in dried cranberries.

8. Store in an airtight container for up to two weeks. 

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The information on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any health condition or disease. It does not replace medical advice from a licensed professional.