Sweet & Spicy Brussels Sprouts

You. Guys. This recipe might be my favorite on the blog yet. * gasp* I know. Bold claim. But I promise these Sweet & Spicy Brussels Sprouts are about to rock. your. world.

Sweet & Spicy Brussels Sprouts | AreYouKitchenMe.com

Lately, the only thing John and I have been making for dinner is pan after delicious pan of various roasted vegetables. Seriously, the after-work chatter has turned from “What’s for dinner?” to “Whatcha wanna roast tonight?” And the thing is, I’m not even a little bit mad about it. Roasted veggies are my spirit animal.

Sweet & Spicy Brussels Sprouts | AreYouKitchenMe.com

So the other day, when we were peeling and halving Brussels sprouts, casually going about our evening, I was blissfully unaware of the magic about to befall us…

Can we try putting maple syrup on them?” he said…

*questioning glare*… *pause*… “Hmm… What if we add chili flakes?

Sweet & Spicy Brussels Sprouts | AreYouKitchenMe.com

BOOM. Magic. See what happens when you cook together?! So we tossed them together, threw them in the oven, and crossed our fingers. The end result was crispy, sweet, salty, spicy, and ummm… Perfect. They were so good that the next day I went to the store, bought two pounds more, and made them again. Oh, and ate an entire baking sheet of them at 9:30am. True life.

Sweet & Spicy Brussels Sprouts | AreYouKitchenMe.com

After realizing I had to share this magic with the world, my mom and I decided to add it to the Thanksgiving dinner menu. You should too. Trust me, it’s essential.

Sweet & Spicy Brussels Sprouts | AreYouKitchenMe.com

Sweet & Spicy Brussels Sprouts

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Yield: 4-6 servings

Sweet, spicy, savory, and perfect for a unique Thanksgiving side! Sure to please traditionalists and adventurers alike!

Ingredients

  • 3 cups Brussels sprouts, halved
  • 1 Tbs. olive oil
  • 2 Tbs. maple syrup
  • ½ tsp. sea salt
  • ½ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425F and line a baking sheet (or two) with foil; coat well with oil or spray.
  2. Toss all ingredients together in a large bowl and space evenly on tray(s), making sure to not overcrowd. Roast for 30-40 minutes, tossing once, until caramelized and very brown. Enjoy immediately!
http://www.areyoukitchenme.com/sweet-spicy-brussels-sprouts/

Sweet & Spicy Roasted Brussels Sprouts | AreYouKitchenMe.com

Roasted Beet Hummus

I had a revelation of sorts last week. It’s completely unrelated to the delicious recipe I’m sharing today, but I feel compelled to tell you all about it. Can you hang tight with me for a few? I promise to reward with Roasted Beet Hummus for your patience.

Roasted Beet Hummus | AreYouKitchenMe.com

On to my revelation… A few months ago, I took a temporary job. I knew it was a risk and that I could end up jobless during the holidays [gulp.]… But I followed my instinct and I’m happy to say I don’t regret it. But here I am, holidays approaching faster than Santa’s sleigh, job searching.

After some pretty sharp rejection, I’ve been hard on myself. Normal feelings, I think. But I got a pretty big boost the other day in the break room at work….

I was chatting with a potential employer, essentially having a phone interview, in the lunchroom at my current office. I knew I didn’t exactly have the experience they were looking for but the job sounded like something I would really love.   I ended up having a great conversation with the lady and felt pretty good. But the best was yet to come.

Roasted Beet Hummus | AreYouKitchenMe.com

I had been only peripherally aware of the intern sitting in the break room with me during this phone call. When I walked back in an hour later to fill my water bottle, she chimed in through the silence of my deep thoughts.

I hope this doesn’t sound creepy but I just want to say you killed that interview earlier.”

*looking around behind me* “Who, me??”

Yeah! Seriously, you were so confident and totally convinced her that you could do that job even though you don’t have the exact experience. I want to learn to be like that. You could get any job you want.”

*still not sure she’s talking to me* “Wow… Thank you…

Roasted Beet Hummus | AreYouKitchenMe.com

I was stunned. This girl not only made my day, but left me completely reeling. How could I be feeling so crummy, yet she perceived me as confident, charismatic, and convincing?! It took me until the next day to figure out what I wanted to say to her. And it went a little something like this…

“You made my day yesterday. You single-handedly made me rethink my whole perspective on my current situation. I’ve spent a lot of time doubting myself. But don’t you ever waste your time with that shit. I had to just step up and tell that lady I was great even though I’m not sure it’s true. Don’t doubt yourself, girl, you can be like that.”

Roasted Beet Hummus | AreYouKitchenMe.com

Takeaway. Even if you pretend to change your attitude, people will notice. Negativity and self-doubt are toxic and people can sense that. By exuding positivity and confidence and poise (even if you don’t believe it yet), you can change peoples’ perspective of you. And who knows, maybe that person will speak up and change your perspective on yourself too. Like my brilliant mother always said, “fake it ‘til you make it!”

Was that boring? I hope not! But either way, here’s a delicious appetizer perfect for any holiday party. It’s festive, flavorful, and can be made ahead! Making your own hummus may seem like a lot of work, but throwing everything into the processor couldn’t be easier! I brought this to a party with some crudité and it was a hit!

Roasted Beet Hummus | AreYouKitchenMe.com

Make Roasted Beet Hummus for your next holiday gathering and always remember, life’s too short to spend one second doubting yourself!

Roasted Beet Hummus

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 60 minutes

Roasted Beet Hummus' vibrant color and flavor make a perfect holiday appetizer! Who knew adding veggies to hummus could be such a hit?!

Ingredients

  • 1 small bunch of beets, tops removed & scrubbed clean
  • 1 can chickpeas, rinsed & drained
  • ¼ cup tahini
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
  • 2 Tbs. za’atar spice blend (or sub your favorite spices)
  • 1 tsp. each, salt & pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400F. Rub the beets with a drizzle of oil and salt & pepper, then wrap groups of 2 or 3 in foil. Cook for 50-60 minutes, until fully softened.
  2. Remove beets from oven and allow to cool until they can be handled. Use fingers to peel beets, the skin should slip right off, and add too food processor.
  3. Add remaining ingredients to processor and blend until smooth, scraping sides as necessary. For a slightly thinner consistency, add water 1 tablespoon at a time. Chill and enjoy!
http://www.areyoukitchenme.com/roasted-beet-hummus/

Roasted Beet Hummus | AreYouKitchenMe.com

Creamy Spaghetti Squash Casserole

I love carbs. Love them. In fact, as a kid, my parents called me “Carb Queen” because my main food groups were cereal, grilled cheese, and pasta with butter. I was serious about my refined grains with bland dairy. Creamy Spaghetti Squash Casserole contains neither refined grains or fatty dairy but still satisfies this carb-lover’s appetite!

Creamy Spaghetti Squash Casserole | AreYouKitchenMe.com

Creamy Spaghetti Squash Casserole | AreYouKitchenMe.com

Spaghetti squash can be hit or miss for me. I like it, I do, but it just doesn’t hold a candle to my eternal lover, butternut. I’ve tried cooking it a couple different ways but my go-to is roasting it face down to lock in the moisture & flavor. You can even place a clove of garlic or some rosemary underneath the halves to pump up the flavor!

Creamy Spaghetti Squash Casserole | AreYouKitchenMe.com

Creamy Spaghetti Squash Casserole | AreYouKitchenMe.com

Plus, spaghetti squash totally kicks regular spaghetti’s boo-tay in a nutritional throwdown. Allow me to demonstrate…

1 cup spaghetti squash = 42 calories, 0g fat, 10g carbs, 1g protein

1 cup classic spaghetti = 210 calories, 1g fat, 41g carbs, 7g protein

Creamy Spaghetti Squash Casserole | AreYouKitchenMe.com

Speaking of flavor, the tofu “ricotta” in this recipe is busting with it! I adapted it from one of Alexis’ [aka Hummusapien, aka healthy dinner wizard] delicious recipes. However, if you eat dairy and want to skip the tofu step, feel free to use real ricotta instead. But buy the good [full fat, organic] stuff. Please. For me.

Creamy Spaghetti Squash Casserole | AreYouKitchenMe.comCreamy Spaghetti Squash Casserole | AreYouKitchenMe.com

What I love most about this recipe is how warm and comforting and hearty it is without all the processed pasta and fatty cheese. It seriously is so filling and satisfying, you and your family will think you’re being indulgent! Enjoy!

Creamy Spaghetti Squash Casserole

Prep Time: 45 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 6-8 servings

A baked spaghetti dish without all the refined wheat and fatty dairy! Sure to leave you full and warm but not crashing later! Try this Creamy Spaghetti Squash Casserole tonight!

Ingredients

  • 1 large spaghetti squash, halved & seeds removed
  • 4 cups baby kale (or chopped regular kale or spinach)
  • 1 can Great Northern beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • For the tofu ricotta:
  • 1 14 oz. package extra firm tofu, drained and pressed
  • ¼ cup hummus
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. salt + ½ tsp. pepper
  • For the cream sauce
  • 1 cup milk of choice (I used unsweetened almond)
  • 2 Tbs. cornstarch (or arrowroot)
  • 2 Tbs. nutritional yeast
  • 2 Tbs. tahini
  • 1 Tbs. apple cider vinegar
  • ½ tsp. salt

Instructions

  1. Begin by roasting the squash facedown at 400 degrees for 30 minutes. Let cool.
  2. Meanwhile, add onion to sauté pan over medium-high heat and cook until translucent, 5-7 minutes. Add garlic and cook for a minute more. Season with salt and pepper, add kale and beans, and toss lightly. Set aside.
  3. Prepare the tofu ricotta by adding all ingredients to a food processor and pulsing until combined.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk the cream sauce ingredients together until smooth.
  5. Use a fork to scrape the “noodles” from the squash. Toss with kale mixture and tofu ricotta. Add mixture to a greased baking dish (mine is about 12” across and 4” deep).
  6. Pour cream sauce over mixture and bake for 30-45 minutes, until beginning to brown around the edges. Enjoy!
http://www.areyoukitchenme.com/creamy-spaghetti-squash-casserole/

Creamy Spaghetti Squash Casserole | AreYouKitchenMe.com