Last week I was in Michigan with friends and family for a wedding. It was a lot of fun! When I got back this week I was excited to eat healthy and cook again though. So this whole past week I have been eating super clean and hitting the gym every day. Now that I’m rested and refreshed, I’m excited to share a new healthy recipe: crispy Brussels sprouts with spicy aioli.
The Brussels sprouts were baked with red wine vinegar to give them a bit of a tangy taste. Paired with the aioli drizzled on top, this dish makes a great snack or side dish for any main meal!
Health Benefits of Brussels Sprouts
You know how it goes while traveling – you eat out at restaurants way more than normal, your workout routine gets interrupted, and sleep schedules often get thrown off. That’s why I always try to cook as healthy as possible when I return home from a trip. When I got home I went to the grocery store and loaded up on as many bright, vibrant green vegetables as possible – one of them being Brussels sprouts.
As far as vegetables go, Brussels sprouts are a total nutrition powerhouse. They’re often touted as one of the world’s healthiest foods, as they’re packed full of vitamin K, C, fiber, antioxidants, and so much more. Brussels sprouts support detoxification in the body and are known to be very protective against cancer, among many other amazing things. Because they’re so healthy for you, I was excited to try creating a new side dish with them, and this is what I came up with.
Oil Free Crispy Brussels Sprouts
That’s right, I concocted perfect crispy Brussels sprouts without using any oil or frying! I do this with all of my vegetables actually. If you bake vegetables in the oven at a certain temperature, for a certain length of time, they can come out crispy and blackened just as if you had used oil. So why use oil at all if you don’t have to?
Cooking without oil has made me feel so much better physically. My meals feel lighter, I feel lighter, and so I always try to avoid using oil when cooking at home. If you’ve never tried roasting vegetables without oil, I say give it a shot! You’d be surprised how crispy and delicious they can turn out still!
Let’s get on with the recipe though. First, cut your Brussels sprouts into halves or quarters. When you buy Brussels sprouts at the store sometimes you get a wide variety in size. They can range anywhere from the size of large golf ball to the size of a small marble. So for the tinier ones I cut them into halves, and the larger ones are quartered. I removed the stems for all of them.
I ended up having about 5-6 cups worth of chopped Brussels sprouts after I was done prepping. Some of the leaves fell off of the sprouts, and this is totally ok! They can still be baked and turn out extra crispy like potato chips (sprout chips?). : )
Add them to a large mixing bowl and toss them with about 2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar and a dash of salt (optional). Spread them out on an large plain baking sheet and sprinkle them with fresh ground pepper. Then bake! I happened to have red wine vinegar on hand, but I think white wine vinegar would be tasty too. Really any kind of vinegar will do. It is meant to only just barely coat the sprouts so that they have a hint of tangy flavor that is not too overpowering.
Spicy Aioli Sauce
While the Brussels sprouts are baking you can prep the spicy aioli. Really all you need to do is add everything to a bowl and whisk it together. If you would like the ingredients to be mixed more thoroughly (I usually do) you can add it to a blender. If you decide to sub out the cashews in the recipe for more hummus, or your favorite brand of vegan mayo, mixing by hand should work just fine though. If you end up using the 1/4 cup of cashews, you will need a blender!
The nice thing about this sauce is that it’s oil free and low fat just like the sprouts. I think that makes it the perfect healthy sauce to compliment the healthy oil free crispy Brussels sprouts.
Crispy Brussels Sprouts Recipe
As you can see, it’s a pretty easy recipe with few components. It can be whipped up in 30 minutes, and be eaten as a snack or side dish with a main meal. It’s healthy, low fat and full of flavor. I love roasting vegetables without the oil, and I hope you give it a try if you haven’t yet! This dish turned out spicy and delicious in my opinion. I hope you enjoy it as well.
- 5-6 cups of chopped Brussels Sprouts*
- 1-2 Tbs of red wine vinegar*
- ¼ teaspoon of salt
- ½ cup of hummus (oil free if possible)
- ¼ cup of soaked cashews*
- 1 Tbs of Sriracha
- 2-3 Tbs of lemon juice
- 1 tsp of smoked paprika
- 2 tsp of maple syrup
- 1 tsp of apple cider vinegar
- Preheat oven to 375 F
- Chop your smaller Brussels sprouts into halves, and the larger ones into quarters
- Add the sprouts to a large mixing bowl with the vinegar and salt. Mix with your hands
- Arrange the sprouts on a baking sheet, sprinkle them with some fresh pepper and bake for 30 minutes
- Combine all of the ingredients in your blender or food processor and blend until smooth.*
* I used red wine vinegar. I think white wine vinegar would be a good one too.
* Soaking cashews in water beforehand softens them up to blend better!
* If you don't have access to a blender, you can take the cashews out of the recipe and replace them with more hummus.