brussels sprouts salad with purple cabbage and sweet chili sauce

Brussels sprouts salad with red cabbage and sweet chili sauce
Brussels sprouts salad with red cabbage and sweet chili sauce

It was a crisp night. The clicking of our boots and laughter nearly drowning out the city noise. The energy and roar of the night was palpable. Philadelphia, people, life. Maybe it had to do with the few glasses of wine we'd had beforehand but I was dizzyingly giddy. A strange reunion with myself.  

I have children...small ones. Life is usually pretty chaotic. Not necessarily in a bad way but in a "day is filled with crying, laughter, tantrums, messy and beautiful moments" way. It's how life with kids is. I wouldn't change any part of it. 

But every now and again, I get the opportunity to jump ship for a night, and reconnect with the person I used to be prior to kids. That one generally wants to have a few drinks and dance until her legs give out. I'm completely unapologetic for wanting the mom in me and the me in me to coexist. There's room for both and I don't want to neglect the me self at the expense of my mom self.

We arrived at the restaurant, the host lining up flutes shortly after noticing our champagne bottle. BYO is wonderful. It was late. I couldn't recall the last time I had dinner at 10 o'clock but it didn't matter. Hungry, excited and appreciative of every moment of the evening, I took it all in. Sushi chefs assiduously preparing rolls; fluidly laying out rice, fish and vegetables. People walking in and out, and my group discussing various topics.

Our table was ready. Going out to eat is not challenging but it requires a bit of inquiry about the way food is prepared. A Brussels sprout salad with sweet chili sauce and sushi were going to do it for me. 

The provocative conversation and luscious champagne temporarily faded in the background once I took the first bite of the Brussels sprouts. My friend looked at me all smiles, knowing that I'd love it. While everyone was eating and chatting, I took it upon myself to disect the salad. Notes were in order. I couldn't stop thinking or talking about how insanely delicious this Brussels sprouts salad was. Everyone agreed...it was spectacular. 

We stayed up late, danced until we couldn't anymore and at close to 3am I found myself thinking about how potentially awful I would feel the next day/the Brussels sprout salad. 

When you're into food, you sort of really geek out on that kind of thing. I own it...

So it had to be recreated. I took shortcuts. I didn't make my own sweet chili sauce from scratch but it is on my to do list.  For now a bottle of the deliciously pre-made stuff did the job. 

From what I was able to pick apart at the restaurant, there were red onions, Brussels sprouts, carrots, purple cabbage, shallots and scallions. And of course that delicious sticky sauce. I made it, I swooned and now I want to share it with you. 

Brussels sprouts salad with red cabbage and sweet chili sauce
Brussels sprouts salad with red cabbage and sweet chili sauce
Brussels sprouts salad with red cabbage and sweet chili sauce

brussels sprouts salad with purple cabbage and sweet chili sauce

  • prep time: 10 minutes

  • cook time: 25 minutes

  • total time: 35 minutes

Ingredients

  • 12 oz bag of Brussels sprouts, thinly sliced

  • 3 small carrots peeled and cut into small strips

  • 1/8 purple cabbage, thinly sliced

  • 1 shallot, thinly sliced

  • 2 tbsp finely chopped red onion

  • 2 tbsp coconut oil divided

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 1/4 tsp pepper

  • 2 tbsp sweet chili sauce

Equipment:

  • large cast iron frying pan

Directions:

Preheat cast iron pan. Add 1 tbsp coconut oil, shallot and a pinch of salt and cook on medium until shallots are crispy but not burned - about 5-7 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.

Add remaining coconut oil along with red onion. Cook for 5 minutes until onion is soft, stirring regularly. Add Brussels sprouts, carrots, salt and pepper and cook for 10 minutes, stirring regularly. Add purple cabbage and cook for another 5. 

Next turn off heat and add sweet chili sauce. Combine well. Top with crispy shallots. 


This Brussels sprouts salad with purple cabbage, crispy shallots and sweet chili sauce is truly a dance of flavors in your mouth. It's vegan, gluten and dairy free and so easy to make. #calmeats, #salad, #brusselssprouts, #veganlunch, #vegan, ##dairyfree

spinach and fig salad

spinach and fig salad

When it comes to cooking, I would call myself an intuitive cook. I'm pretty awful at planning just the right ingredients for what I'm going to make. I work a little backwards if you will. I prefer going to the market, finding one or two ingredients that stand out and trying to figure out what I can do with them. 

This week it was figs...figs for everything! I used them for my most recent magnesium post and decided while I was at it, that I would make a magnesium salad. What? By that I mean, after eating this salad, you can be fairly certain that you're meeting your magnesium daily value intake.  If you care about that sort of thing, of course. 

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avocado and egg salad cups

When I think about my style of cooking and eating, it's generally uncomplicated. Too many steps and ingredients and I can quickly abandon a recipe. Don't get me wrong, from time to time, it's extremely rewarding tackling a complicated meal, but for the most part, I enjoy the simplicity of good ingredients. 

egg boats (1 of 2).jpg
egg boats (2 of 2).jpg

Most of my ideas come to me when I'm not searching for them and am absorbed in something entirely different, such as playing pirate ship with my son. (Yes, I do that from time to time). Since I make a variation of avocado and egg nearly every day this was a natural to me. Put egg in avocado. Perfect. Since I've abandoned bread and the egg salad sandwich is out of the question, an avocado boat is a very nice alternative. I will take this any day over a slice of bread.

I always have hard boiled eggs on hand as well as avocado.  The only thing that may be a little time consuming is if you don't have hard boiled eggs on hand. But I'll provide the instructions below. 


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avocado and egg salad cups

  • Prep time: 5-10 minutes

  • Cooking time 15 minutes

  • Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 4 chopped hard boiled eggs

  • 2 tbsp good mayo (I use this brand)

  • 1/2 tsp dry dill or fresh if you have it on hand (fresh always tastes better)

  • 1 tbsp finely chopped home made pickle or store bought

  • 1 tsp dijon mustard (I like this brand)

  • pinch salt

  • dash pepper

  • 1/4 tsp turmeric

  • 2 avocados

Equipment:

  • sauce pan

  • medium bowl

  • optional: egg slicer

Directions

Easy to peel eggs: Bring water to boil, add eggs gently with a strainer or something other than your bare hand. Cover and boil for 10 minutes. Place under cold, running water for a minute. Once the eggs are cool enough to handle, peel under cold water and set aside to further cool. This method will give you easy to peel eggs every time!

In a medium bowl, combine, mayo, mustard, dill, chopped pickle, salt, pepper and turmeric. 

If you haven't chopped your eggs yet, do so and add them to the bowl and incorporate well with the mayo mixture. 

Cut your avocado in half and using a knife carefully remove the pit. Using a spoon, gently scoop the avocado flesh out and set on a plate. (Tip: To ensure that your avocado stays nice and green, feel free to use a few drops of lemon and gently rub over the avocado) 

To assemble, scoop some of the egg salad on the avocado. You can serve it over greens or with fresh tomatoes. 


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summer watermelon jicama salad

  • Prep time: 5-10 minutes
  • Cooking time: none
  • Serves 4

Ingredients: 

  • 2 cups cubed watermelon
  • 8 thin slices of jicama cut into matchsticks
  • 8 slices of cucumber cut into small pieces
  • 6-8 cherry tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp honey
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp chili powder
  • juice of  1/2 lime
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • optional - if you're not paleo, AIP or dairy free, you can add crumbled goat cheese 

Directions: 

Cut watermelon into cubes and place on plate. Cut jicama into matchsticks and layer on top of watermelon. Cut cucumber into small pieces and scatter on top of melon. Next cut the cherry tomatoes into quarters and liberally add to plate. In a separate small bowl, mix together olive oil, honey, lime juice, chili powder and whisk until incoorporated. Pour over melon salad and sprinkle with dressing. Optional to top with goat cheese if there are no dietary restrictions.