Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Cranberries & Pancetta

I love recipes that look like the holiday they celebrate. Brussels sprouts and cranberries bring the green and red for a festive Christmas dish.

For this recipe I chose pancetta rather than bacon. Like bacon, pancetta is made from pork belly and cured but it is not smoked. There are lots of flavors happening in this dish and I didn’t want bacon overpowering it.

The fresh cranberries are quite tart so go ahead and add a bit more maple syrup if it’s too much for your palate. Dried cranberries work perfectly as a substitution, just toss them in after everything else has roasted.

Enjoy!

roasted brussels sprouts with cranberries & pancetta

roasted brussels sprouts with cranberries & pancetta

roasted brussels sprouts with cranberries & pancetta

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Cranberries & Pancetta
Serves 6
Roasted brussels sprouts with caramelized onions, pancetta, fresh rosemary and fresh cranberries.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 cups brussels sprouts - sliced in half
  2. 1 cup pancetta - cubed into small pieces
  3. 1 cup onions - thinly sliced
  4. 1 tbsp lard or coconut oil
  5. 1 tsp salt
  6. ½ cup fresh cranberries - sliced in half*
  7. 4 sprigs fresh rosemary
  8. 1 tbsp maple syrup
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375F.
  2. Blanch the brussels sprouts for 2 minutes. Remove from heat, drain in a colander and run cold water over them.
  3. Melt the lard. In a large mixing bowl, toss brussels sprouts, pancetta, onion and cranberries with lard and salt.
  4. Divide everything among pans so that it is evenly spread out and touching the bottom of the pan. This will ensure that the brussels sprouts stay crispy.
  5. Roast for 20 minutes, tossing everything halfway through cooking.
  6. Discard rosemary sprigs. Stir in maple syrup and serve hot.
Notes
  1. *Substitute the fresh cranberries with dried. Just don’t roast them. Toss them with the vegetables after roasting.
Sparkle Kitchen http://sparklekitchen.com/
roasted brussels sprouts with cranberries & pancetta

Spicy Cajun Salmon Dip

A little late for Mardi Gras but I’m always in the mood for cajun spices. My foodie palate was set by my parents, who where heavily influenced by the flavors of New Orleans. We would take weekend trips to the festive city, solely for the purpose of eating. The weekend was spent feasting on the city’s finest. Oysters, jambalaya, blackened fish and world famous gumbo. Those cajun flavors will never leave me.

This recipe is made with canned salmon to keep things simple. It’s one of those items I always have stocked in my pantry to ensure I eat enough omega 3s. The nutrition power that is omega 3 fatty acids continues to amaze me. Some psychiatrists are even beginning to prescribe omega 3 fats as a substitute or enhancer for antidepressant medications, 1 gram per day of EPA or EPA+DHA. Our brains are 80 percent fat, the highest of any organ, and a high proportion of these fats are the long chain omega 3 (EPA and DHA). So omega 3s are critical for normal functioning of adult brains.

Wild caught canned salmon has a high percentage of omega 3s than the farmed variety. Use this guide to help you find one. Two brands I trust are Wild Planet and Vital Choice. Many offer it with the bones still in as well. This is the one you want to buy. All those bones provide extra calcium and if you have difficulty getting enough of this important mineral, canned fish is a good way to get it. Four ounces of canned fish with bones provides a third of the 1000 milligrams you need in a day.

For the mayo in the recipe, I recommend making your own. Watch my 1 Minute Mayo video and see the magic of emulsifying!

Spicy Cajun Salmon Dip

Spicy Cajun Salmon Dip

Spicy Cajun Salmon Dip

Spicy Cajun Salmon Dip
Serves 6
Spicy salmon dip with cajun flavors.
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
10 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 15 oz can wild caught salmon - with bones
  2. 2 tbsp mayo - homemade preferred
  3. 1 tbsp canned coconut cream
  4. 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  5. 1 tsp dijon mustard
  6. 3 tsp hot sauce
  7. 3 tbsp finely chopped celery
  8. 3 tbsp finely chopped onion
  9. ¼ tsp salt
  10. ¼ tsp pepper
  11. 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  12. ½ tsp garlic powder
Instructions
  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients and stir well. Remember to keep the bones in the mix for extra calcium! They dissolve with enough vigorous stirring so you’ll never taste them.
  2. Serve with raw celery, red pepper and carrot sticks.
  3. Keep refrigerated for up to 1 week.
Sparkle Kitchen http://sparklekitchen.com/

Resources:

The Jungle Effect: Healthiest Diets from Around the World–Why They Work and How to Make them Work for You by Daphne Miller M.D. 2009.

Spicy Cajun Salmon Dip

 

Spicy Cajun Salmon Dip

Video: How to Make Homemade Mayo

1 minute. Honestly. It will take you longer to watch this video than to make this recipe.

Condiments overflow my fridge. Right now, ten kinds of hot sauce, five specialty mustards and three types of salsa line the inside doors. The shelves are sparse though. The Hubs and I share food control issues. If it’s there, we eat it. Keeping food in our house is hazardous to our health. So instead we indulge in condiments.

Our fridge was missing out on mayo for years though. I could never find a store-bought brand that satisfied my criteria. Most contained soybean or canola oil. Go read the label of your store-bought brand. What’s in it? If it says soybean, toss it. You can find out all the oil facts in this past post

Making mayo can be a complicated science experiment. Julia Child’s famous recipe accounts for whisking precision, perfect temperature, a full moon and all the stars aligning to create the emulsion magic. I do not have the patience for that. Sorry Julia. 

Then I discovered another kind of magic, the immersion blender. Thank you, technology!  

Olive oil is my choice for mayo. But that’s because I can never get enough of it’s robust flavor and I like it’s nutritional profile.  If the taste is too pronounced, you can neutralize it by replacing half the oil with avocado oil. This version will be more similar to the store-bought jars. I must caution against using coconut oil though. It was one of my failed attempts in this recipe trial! 

My fridge now includes a permanent place for mayo to be among it’s fellow condiments friends.


 

Paleo Homemade Mayo

Homemade Mayo
Yields 8
1 Minute Mayo made with Olive Oil, salt, lemon and egg.
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Prep Time
1 min
Cook Time
1 min
Total Time
2 min
Prep Time
1 min
Cook Time
1 min
Total Time
2 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 large fresh egg - preferably from your local farmer
  2. 1/2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  3. 1 cup olive oil - I recommend organic and extra virgin
  4. 1/2 tsp salt
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients except the egg in a 2 cup measuring cup.
  2. Then add the egg and wait a few seconds. You want to make sure the yolk is resting at the bottom of the jar.
  3. Insert the immersion blender into the jar so that it touches the bottom.
  4. Now turn it on and watch the magic happen! It almost becomes creamy instantly.
  5. Move around the blender so you get all the sides incorporated.
  6. That’s it! Homemade Mayo!
  7. Store in a mason jar and keep it in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
Notes
  1. Make some homemade fries and use the mayo as a dipping sauce.
Sparkle Kitchen http://sparklekitchen.com/
Paleo Homemade Mayo

I’d love to hear how this recipe works for you. Please share with me below!