Friday, October 24, 2014

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Avocados and Pecans (Low-Carb, Gluten-Free, Paleo)

Roasted Brussels sprouts with avocado and pecans
Roasted Brussels sprouts are already amazing, and they get kicked up a notch with avocado and pecans!

(For Phase One Fridays I feature Phase One Recipes from the past that have been my personal favorites. Phase One Recipes are also Low-Carb and Gluten-Free.  This would be a great option if you're looking for Thanksgiving ideas, or just serve as a nice side dish for dinner.)

For years I wasn't much of a brussels sprouts fan, and then I tried roasted brussels sprouts.   Roasting them gave the brussels sprouts an amazing nutty flavor (and the fact that the recipe had balsamic vinegar, Parmesan, and pine nuts didn't hurt a bit.)  Since then I've made two more variations of roasted brussels sprouts, both equally delicious, so I probably didn't really need this recipe on the blog.  But when I spotted a recipe in Food and Wine for Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Avocados and Pecans, I couldn't get that flavor combination out of my mind.  

Of course I had to put my own spin on it.  I increased the ratio of avocado to brussels sprouts, because after all, this is getting filed with Thanksgiving Recipes.   I also changed the preparation method quite a bit to make this a Thanksgiving-friendly dish; for my version you just cook the brussels sprouts in the hot oven after you take out the turkey.  For anyone who likes brussels sprouts, avocado, and pecans, this recipe is a must.  In fact, don't wait until Thanksgiving to try it; you can thank me later.

Preheat the oven to 450F/230C (or if you had a turkey in the oven, turn the oven up to that temp when you take the turkey out.  When the oven is hot, put the pecans on the baking sheet you're going to use to roast the brussels sprouts and roast them 3-4 minutes, or until they start to get browned.  Put the nuts on a cutting board to cool.

Trim the stem end of the brussels sprouts and cut them into half, or quarters if they're large.  If you need to wash them, be sure to spin until they're very dry or they won't roast properly.  (If you can do this early and let them air dry for an hour or so, that would be great.

Whisk together the balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, and olive oil.

Toss the brussels sprouts with the balsamic mixture.

Spray the baking sheet with non-stick spray and spread out the brussels sprouts and roast cut side down for 15 minutes.

While they cook, coarsely chop the pecans.

Peel and dice the avocado and toss with 2 teaspoons of lemon juice and a little Vege-Sal or salt.

After 15 minutes, use a turner to toss the brussels sprouts, trying to get most of them turned over.

Roast about 10 minutes longer, or until they're nicely browned (as brown as you can get them before they start to burn.)

Toss the Brussels sprouts with the avocado, season to taste with Vege-Sal (or salt) and fresh ground black pepper, arrange on serving dish, and sprinkle over pecans.  Serve hot.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Avocados and Pecans
(Makes 4-6 servings; adapted from a recipe in Food and Wine by Jean-Georges Vongerichten.)

1/4 cup pecans
1 lb. fresh brussels sprouts, stems trimmed and cut in halves or quarters
1 T balsamic vinegar
1 T + 1 tsp. olive oil
1 tsp. + 2 tsp. fresh-squeezed lemon juice (I used my fresh-frozen lemon juice)
2 medium avocados, peeled and cut into small dice
1/2 tsp. Vege-Sal, plus more to taste
fresh-ground black pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 450F/230C, or if the oven has already been in use, turn to that temperature.  Put pecans on the baking sheet you'll be using to roast the brussels sprouts, and when the oven is hot put the baking sheet in and roast 3-4 minutes or just until the pecans barely start to look browned.  Remove from oven and put the pecans on a cutting board to cool.

Trim the stem ends of brussels sprouts and cut them in half, or in quarters if they're large.  Most brussels sprouts don't need to be washed but if they do, use a salad spinner and spin them very dry or they won't roast properly.  (If you can wash earlier in the day and let them air dry, that would be ideal.)

Whisk together the balsamic vinegar, 1 teaspoon lemon juice, and olive oil.  Put brussels sprouts into a bowl and toss with the balsamic mixture.  Spray the baking sheet with non-stick spray and spread the brussels sprouts out and turn each one cut side down.   Roast brussels sprouts 15 minutes.

While the brussels sprouts roast, coarsely chop the pecans.  Peel the avocados and cut them into small pieces.  Wash out the bowl you tossed the brussels sprouts in, put the avocado into the bowl, toss with the 2 teaspoons lemon juice, and season with 1/2 teaspoon Vege-Sal (or salt) and some fresh-ground black pepper.

After 15 minutes, remove baking sheet from the oven and quickly use a turner to turn the brussels sprouts over (they don't all have to be turned over; just turn as many as you can do quickly.)  Put the baking sheet back in the oven and roast the brussels sprouts about 10 minutes more (or until they're nicely browned, as brown as you can get them before they would start to burn.)  

Gently toss the hot brussels sprouts with the avocado.  Season to taste with a little more Vege-Sal (or salt) and fresh-ground black pepper.  Arrange on a serving dish, sprinkle pecans over, and serve immediately.

South Beach Suggestions:
Brussels sprouts, avocado, and pecans are all good choices for a low-glycemic diet.  Although this recipe would be approved for all phases of the South Beach Diet, avocados are a limited food and pecans also contain fat, so use portion control.  But if you're having this for a Thanksgiving treat, this is so much better than many foods traditionally eaten that day, I wouldn't worry about it a bit.  

Nutritional Information?
I chose the South Beach Diet to manage my weight partly so I wouldn't have to count calories, carbs, points, or fat grams, but if you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into Calorie Count, which will calculate it for you.

More Roasted Brussels Sprouts to Enjoy:
(Recipes from other blogs not always South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pecans - with or without Gorgonzola Cheese ~ Kalyn's Kitchen
Maple Cayenne Roasted Brussels Sprouts ~ Rachel Cooks
Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Balsamic, Parmesan, and Pine Nuts ~ Kalyn's Kitchen
Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Ponzu ~ Healthy. Delicious.
Shredded and Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Toasted Almonds and Parmesan~ Kalyn's Kitchen
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)

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Posts may include links to my affiliate account at, and Kalyn's Kitchen earns a few cents on the dollar if readers purchase the items I recommend, so thanks for supporting my blog when you shop at Amazon!
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  1. Whoa! I love my roasted Brussels sprouts also, but I would not have thought to pair them with avocado! Pretty cool stuff.

  2. I would never have thought to combine Brussels sprouts and avocado. Now I can't wait to try it (and I'm not a huge sprouts lover, either, so I always roast mine).

  3. I guess this is one of those times when I'm bummed that I'm the only Brussels sprouts fan in the house. Of course, I could just halve the recipe and make it for myself, right?

  4. Joanne, I agree, such a good idea!

    Lydia, this is great with the roasted flavor of the brussels sprouts.

    Mom Chef, absolutely, that's what you should do! I can relate; not too many fans in my family either.

  5. Great twist on a hated veggie, but I actually happen to love Brussels sprouts... I never roasted them, just sliced thin and stir fried, very delicious that way too

    But I bet the roasting will be my favorite and with nuts and avocado, you had a winner!

  6. I definitely need to try the sliced thin and stir-fried. Bet I would love that one too!

  7. I can't imagine a better side dish!! Avocados and brussels are two of my favorites!!

  8. Becky, me too, and I loved this. Just ate the leftovers for lunch today!

  9. Whoa. Can't wait to try this for Thanksgiving and including it in a blog post today. Thanks! So many good recipes at your site.

  10. Dear Pete, thanks so much; really appreciate the nice feedback.

  11. I love roasted Burssels sprouts. I never would have thought of adding nuts and avocados. Next the the avocados go on sale I want to give this one a try.

  12. I want to try this and toss in some pomegranate into the mix before serving. Yummy!! : )

  13. Terri, what a brilliant idea! Love it.

  14. I can't wait to try this! I am with the Brussels sprout lovers already and never thought about adding avocado. What an I interesting combination!

  15. Could this be made into a main dish by adding some chopped rotisserie chicken? Looks yummy.

  16. I don't see why that wouldn't be delicious, but I'd add the chicken the last few minutes of the roasting time so it doesn't get dried out. Let me know how it turns out if you try it!

  17. I'm a huge fan of roasted Brussels sprouts and the addition of pecans and avocado is brilliant. Gotta try this recipe. Thanks for sharing!

  18. This was absolutely DELICIOUS!!!!!!! Even family members that don't normally like brussels and avocado liked it...thank you for sharing, making this AGAIN tonight :)

    1. So glad to hear that; thanks for letting me know!


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