It’s Friday! I totally forgot about Wednesday until I got out of the shower and Josh yelled to me, “Did you know today is Wednesday? You didn’t put anything together for your blog.” Yeaaahhh, well… Oops? This week has just felt so weird. I just know you were all sitting there anxiously waiting on Wednesday for a recipe that never came, so… Sorry! I’ll try to do better next time. Luckily this isn’t homework and no ones going to knock me down a letter grade for missing the deadline 😉
One thing I can’t forget? This Brussels sprouts recipe. A few weeks ago, I tried Brussels Sprouts for the first time in a vegan mac and cheese. All I’ve ever heard is how gross they are and what a weird texture they have, so my expectations were very low, but I couldn’t resist trying them out. And they were amazing. I was so upset at the world for steering me wrong for 24 years, I needed more Brussels sprouts in my life, ASAP.
I immediately bought another pound and they sat in my fridge for another week with me staring at them longingly, trying to figure out a recipe to do them justice. I happened to also have a fifth of Maker’s Mark on top of my fridge – another one of those tried it and immediately had to buy a big thing of it, only this has sat there for well over a year at this point. I knew these two ingredients were destined to be BFFs, and trust me, they definitely get along amazingly. This is one of my new favorite veggie recipes – which is really saying something!
3 Strips veggie bacon (or pre-cooked real bacon, or bacon bits), optional
Liquid smoke, to taste (use more if omitting the bacon)
Feta to top, optional (I used about 2 tbsp total)
Salt and pepper to taste
Clean and cut the Brussels sprouts into uniform sizes – I cut mine in half.
Heat a nonstick pan over medium heat. Spritz with nonstick spray and place the sprouts cut side down. Let cook for ~5 minutes without stirring.
Meanwhile, whisk together the syrup through cayenne, adding more cayenne if you want more than just a hint of spice.
Sprinkle sprouts with salt and pepper and stir. Cut side should have a nice brown color on it. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes or until sprouts have almost reached desired texture.
Chop up veggie bacon into small pieces and add to sprouts – don’t worry about getting them crispy, the sauce will make them soggy again. Just cook through, 1 – 2 minutes.
Reduce heat and add maple sauce. Cook until reduced and slightly stick, ~ 5 minutes. Add liquid smoke to taste (I used a few good shakes, use more if omitting bacon).
Turn off head and sprinkle with feta, if using. I highly recommend leaving some of the pieces big, as they are amazing when coasted with sauce! Mix gently and serve.
Taste the sauce before and after adding liquid smoke. Add more bourbon, maple or seasonings as desired.