Blerrrgh-free sprouts for Christmas

My mum always said to try things I didn’t like once a year. For many Christmases this meant trying brussel sprouts. Every year I confirmed my suspicion that they were mushy and bitter and not worth eating.

All this changed when, mid-winter, I purchased some sprouts at the farmers market and munched on one raw. Crunchy like little baby cabbages, spicy like horseradish or wasabi. Entirely delicious and so far removed from what my Mum served ever Christmas. Could it just be a case of treating them gently?

My quest for the perfect cooked sprout began. Being like a cabbage I suspected that they’d taste amazing cooked in bacon fat. Indeed they do. It is Christmas after all so go ahead and treat yourselves if you wish. For the rest of you, who are exercising a bit more moderation I still have an exciting and ‘non-mushy’ way to cook your sprouts.

  • 500g brussel sprouts
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ⅛ teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
  • a pinch, cayenne pepper
  • a big pinch, fine salt flakes
  • 1-2 teaspoon butter
  • ½ a lemon
  1. Trim the bases off the sprouts. Remove any loose outer leaves and cut in half, lengthways.
  2. Mix all the spices together and set aside.
  3. Place the sprouts, cut sides down in a medium size fryingpan. Add ¼ cup of water and cover with a tight fitting lid. Place on the stove over a medium heat and cook until the water has evaporated and the flat sides have started to become golden. This should take about 5 minutes.
  4. Add the spices to the pan. Toss the sprouts to coat and re-cover the pan for 1 minute. Increase the heat and add in the butte. Toss the sprouts in the butter until the butter becomes golden. Serve with a light squeeze of lemon.

About Michelle

Michelle is passionate about showing people how easy it is to prepare food that is healthy and packed full of flavour. She has just completed her first recipe book, Healthy Helpings: fast food for fit physiques. She began sharing her love of food in 2007, when she produced two series of the online cooking show ‘Healthy Helpings TV’, making fast food healthy and healthy food fast. In 2008 she competed in bodybuilding as a novice figure shaping competitor and she remains passionate about physique sports. She was a 2009 Australian Masterchef semi-finalist, and contributes articles to Oxygen Magazine Australia. Michelle lives with her husband on the Fleurieu Peninsula in South Australia, where she loves to search out new ingredients and food ideas from local farmers markets, health food shops and ethnic grocers, and take her two dogs on long rambles through the vineyards. Find out more about Michelle's book