If you’re like lots of other folks come January, you might be cutting back on this or that–maybe carbs, red meat, fat, sugar, or alcohol. Or did you make a commitment to increase your veggies? Sigh. Same here; I’m watching what’s going in with the hope of making up for the few extra pieces of bread and glasses of wine I enjoyed during the Mexican cruise. But there’s no need to suffer and every reason to adore the meals meant to increase health and decrease the waistline. This Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Broccoli Bean Bowl (how do I name these things?) is a new favorite at our house and because it’s made up of mostly pantry and colorful vegetable bin ingredients, it goes together pretty quickly and fills you up. While the Brussels sprouts and broccoli roast, there’s time to chop the rest of the vegetables and grab the last few ingredients that serve as a dressing. Garnishes of juicy cherry tomatoes and perky olives top the whole thing off and, while I didn’t think hard about it at first, this vegetable-heavy meal scores at the checkout, too at about $4 or less per serving (depending on how you make it or which sales you hit.) And if that’s not enough, you’re getting about 15 grams of protein in each 2-cup serving! Between the tender-crisp roasted sprouts and broccoli, the crunchy fresh vegetables, the creamy beans, the bright lemon, and the briny high notes, my bowl sings of balance, textural difference, and colorful vibrance. Since the ingredient list isn’t terribly short (chop, chop, chop), I offer a quicker option without a few of the fresh vegetables. (Perhaps as a side for a game day spread? Add feta for fun.) Many home cooks look at long ingredient lists and quickly move on, so I offer this option if that’s you. I keep any number of vegetables at one time because I like God’s own garden in my salads and a mixed variety of choices for dinner without making another grocery run. And, as a mostly retired person, I don’t mind lots of chopping. I know not everyone is like that. Ti piace, as my choral conducting professor at University of St. Thomas (St. Paul, Minnesota) used to say. You like it! Do as you please. Make it just the way you want it. (Or, as we Americans might say, “do it your way.”) Ti piace always sounded better!Jump to Recipe
I roasted the Brussels sprouts and broccoli in the oven on its convection setting, which is basically the same thing as a big air fryer. You’re welcome to use your counter-top air fryer (which is just a smaller, stronger convection oven), but you’d probably have to work in batches as this is a bunch of vegetables. The regular oven will, of course, work just as well, albeit more slowly. You’re simply oven-roasting vegetables. Here’s what the easy process looks like after it’s all done. This doesn’t take long and it’s a bit amazing!
DO-AHEAD TIP: Roast vegetables the night before to decrease cooking time for dinner.
What Is a Convection Oven? Very simply put, a convection oven has a fan and exhaust system that a regular oven does not. The fan and exhaust help blow hot oven air over and around the food, then vent it back out. As a result, this hot air surrounds the food so that it cooks evenly and more quickly. A great way to describe this comes from Fine Cooking: “To help understand this, consider wind chill: When cold air blows against you on a blustery winter day, you feel colder more quickly than you do on a windless day of the same temperature.” The same applies with heat and convection cooking! Turn on the setting and the fan and exhaust kick into gear. Read up all about the convection oven here. Thanks to kitchn.com for this info. What's the difference between a convection oven and an air-fryer? (EatingWell)
Now that you have all that straight, try this:
Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Broccoli Bean Bowl
- ¾- pound 12-ounces Brussels sprouts, trimmed and cut in half
- Olive oil
- Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
- ½ pound 8 ounces broccoli crown, trimmed and cut into florets
- 1 15-ounce can each: chickpeas and cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- ½ medium red onion, sliced thinly
- 1 large, plump clove garlic, minced
- ½ yellow bell pepper, sliced
- 1 large stalk celery, sliced thinly
- ½ cup sliced hearts of palm, could substitute marinated artichoke hearts
- Small fennel bulb, trimmed, cored, and thinly sliced
- Handful minced parsley
- Zest of one lemon
- Juice of one lemon
- 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons minced pepperoncini or chopped capers
- Pinch crushed red pepper or to taste
- 12 cherry tomatoes, sliced in half lengthwise (garnish)
- 1/2 cup sliced kalamata olives (garnish)
- PREP: Set oven to convection mode and preheat to 400 degrees. Line a half-sheet pan with foil and spray with cooking spray. Set aside. Note: You can also do this in an air fryer, though many aren’t large enough to hold all of the vegetables, so you’d need to work in batches. Each batch should take 2-3 minutes less. You can also roast in a regular oven at 425 degrees F, though it could take longer.
- ROAST BRUSSELS SPROUTS: In a large bowl, toss Brussels sprouts with one teaspoon olive oil and ¼ teaspoon each kosher salt and fresh ground pepper. Place cut side down on the top half of the prepared sheet pan, leaving the bottom half empty (you'll add the broccoli in a few) and roast 10 minutes. Remove from oven and turn sprouts over.
- ROAST BROCCOLI: In the same bowl, toss broccoli florets with another teaspoon of olive oil and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper. Add to the empty bottom half of the sheet pan and roast with the Brussels sprouts for 10 more minutes or until the vegetables are tender-crisp or done to your liking. Remove and rest on a rack for several minutes to cool.
- MIX THE VEGETABLES AND BEANS: In the same large bowl, mix together the Brussels sprouts, broccoli, drained chickpeas and cannellini beans, onions, garlic, yellow pepper, celery, hearts of palm, fennel, and parsley. (Skip yellow pepper- fennel if making the short version.)
- ADD LEMON ZEST-CRUSHED RED PEPPER; GARNISH and SERVE: Top the vegetable-bean mixture with the “dressing” ingredients: lemon zest, lemon juice, red wine vinegar, minced pepperoncini or chopped capers, the crushed red pepper, plus another teaspoon of olive oil and one last ¼ teaspoon each kosher salt and fresh ground pepper. Stir well. Taste and adjust seasonings, remembering to also add more red wine vinegar or lemon juice if needed. Divide into four bowls, top with cherry tomatoes and olives. (If serving at a buffet, spoon into a large serving bowl and top with garnishes.) Serve at room temperature. Store well-covered in refrigerator 3-5 days. Do not freeze.
Change it up by adding pasta, quinoa, avocado, chopped boiled eggs, artichokes (marinated or fresh), cubes of feta, tuna, chicken, or shrimp. Other vegetables such as carrots, zucchini, summer squash, spinach, jicama, cooked winter squash or potatoes, etc. could substitute for some of the listed vegetables or be added. If you do make substantial additions, be sure to increase seasonings, oil, lemon zest and juice, and red wine vinegar–particularly if you add a good amount of pasta or grains. Including pasta or grains may increase the number of servings the recipe provides.
Why so little olive oil? We all need some low-fat, high fiber, high protein dishes in our repertoire and this is one of mine. I particularly like the fresher, crisper profile. Do add more olive oil if you want, remembering olive oil racks up the calories at 477 for just 1/4 cup! Yes, even though it’s good for your heart, it’s caloric. My own cardiologist tells me he and his spouse “water-sauté” their vegetables to cut down on calories. You can also use broth, etc., which is what I do occasionally for a really low-fat soup. Other folks use cooking spray. Cooking Technique: Healthy Sautéing/AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION
LIFE GOES ON:
One of my favorite people ever, Jacque Franklin, retired from First Congregational Church of Colorado Springs at the end of December. Best hub Dave and I “worked” her retirement party, serving drinks, keeping lines moving, chatting up guests, etc. last Sunday. I’d say a good 200 folks showed and I was glad they hired a caterer and I wasn’t schlepping in food for that number. Fun evening marking a huge change in our lives and we came home and pretty glad to put our feet up. I’m sure Jacque and Tom did, too. I told Jacque, “I can’t wait to see what you’ll do.” I’ll let her breathe awhile before I hit her up for a lunch date.
I hope you’re staying warm wherever you are and that these weeks of dark, deep winter aren’t getting you down. Take good care of yourself. Plan your garden or vacation. Order seeds. Bake something yummy. Make easy, healthy food like this bean bowl. Do some you tube exercise if you can’t get out! I do a variety of workouts from Yes2 Next right on youtube, but there are tons more — lots that are more difficult or strenuous, of course.
Thanks for visiting my kitchen; you’re always welcome! I’m grateful for the company and the encouragement.
Tucker (golden retriever, 13) and Rosie (flat coated black labradoodle, 8) staying warm together: