I LOVE a good life surprise! That is, a surprise from some degree of chance, whether completely or partially where I had some say in making it happen. This past weekend, I got one of the better ones I can remember in a while, and it had to do with me finding some brussels sprouts on sale at Wal-mart, getting it, now loving it, and super excited to be incorporating it heavily into my future diet!
I try to buy a new food product an average of every week or two to keep my diet and cooking interesting. So when I saw the bag of brussels sprouts last Saturday at Wal-mart, discounted and only costing a few dollars, I figured, there’s nothing to lose to buy and see what I could do with them. See picture below that is eight sprouts short from me having cooked them already before thinking about getting a photo for a blog post.
Well, maybe I did have something to lose once I thought about it, but nothing substantive. Just a chunk of my tendency to throw out only about $10 of food each year from not being able to consume them. However, I’ll take it as a challenge not to with enough time to consume these sprouts.
My history with brussels sprouts is ultra sparse. I’ve known about them for most of my life, though I don’t remember ever eating them, which meant I would hardly know how to prepare them. I only thought about steaming them in my InstantPot and eating with other foods like pasta salad, pasta with tomato sauce, or with rice and simple dip mix of soya sauce, lemon juice, and diced white bulbs of green onions as a Shōjin ryōri (Japanese style of simple “devotion” cuisine).
Having read that brussels sprouts are sweet with a little bitterness to them, I immediate thought of Chinese broccoli or gai lan, which I use a fair bit of in the same ways mentioned above for what I thought I might make with my newly bought brussels sprouts. One dish that was sure to mask that taste, should I not like it, was my “not so instant” noodles, cooked in a pot rather than having boiling water poured on to it. There was far too much to heat up for just boiling water alone to do the trick. That, plus I use about four or five “noodles” in it. In the picture below, there is angel hair pasta, vermicelli pasta, real rice noodles or vermicelli, and the actual instant noodle from the package.
The strong and spicy flavouring of the right types of instant noodles soup base can help mask foods with challenging tastes to make them more appetizing, so that’s why I went to this for my first go with the brussels sprouts. Much to my surprise, though, I could barely taste any bitterness in the brussels sprouts. However, I could certain taste the sweetness of the brussels sprouts, and what a delicious sweetness it was! I also love its layered texture that breaks apart easily to spread out the greens more than just the pieces into which I originally cut the brussels sprouts. It reminded me of artichoke hearts, which I have never cooked but at least remember enjoying it whenever I had it, so that will be my next vegetable to try!
I loved the brussels sprouts in my not so instant noodles so much immediately that I could not wait to make it for my pasta salad work lunches! There, I swapped out my yu choi for them, like below, steaming just about everything except the grape tomatoes and green onions in my InstantPot, including the penne rigate in the picture below. I’ve even made one with boiled eggs as an extra ingredient, and man, do they ever taste good! I loved it so much I had to restrain myself from eating the next day’s portion!
So, what’s next then, you ask? Well, I’m going to put it through with my pasta with tomato sauce, devotion cuisine meal, and some stir fry, that are among the main dishes I cook. This little surprise is going to turn out to be a small life changing surprise as brussels sprouts will now become a regular food in my diet!
And as a result of this surprise, I’m finally going to go for some artichoke hearts and see how steaming them goes. I’ve had them before in pasta with cream sauce and loved the taste and texture, so expectations are high! If it works as expected, I might just put, both, the brussels sprouts and the artichoke hearts into one for what should be some interesting dishes. That’ll have to wait for next week, though, not only for my next grocery shopping trip to get the artichoke hearts, but to also get more brussels sprouts because I am out already! Twenty in just five days! I don’t know if an apple a day will keep the doctor away, but I definitely feel four brussels sprouts a day will keep the diseases out! Ha!