Vegan “Gratin” with Vegetarian Options
This makes a scrumptious side dish – or, if you are doing a low carb or plant-based diet, scoop a generous helping of these over the salad to make it infinitely more appealing! Roasted brussels sprouts anytime are a resounding Yes! But this gratin-style vegan or vegetarian combination is everything your palate craves: Sweet, Savory, Spicy, Smoky – and oh yes, Fatty!
We are gearing up for our 30-day March Reset, where a group of our Natural Wellness Academy coaching candidates and Facebook friends and family will be challenging ourselves to avoid gluten, sugar, dairy and leaning toward plant-based main meals (it’s a totally flexible, judgment-free zone, where that can be interpreted however one likes). Feel free to join us as it’s fun to have the support and sharing of recipes, tips and techniques.
Whenever we do these group challenges, which can vary from a deep detox, to green smoothie fasts, to raw food fusion, I always work on finding healthy and enticing substitutes to avoid falling into a deprivation pattern, which is a “death spiral” to any diet or lifestyle change.
This is super simple; You can use “regular” mayonnaise if you want it vegetarian, but I use a vegan one – this one has an olive oil base, but I also like the grapeseed one. You can find a plant-based mayo on most supermarket shelves these days. It’s fully optional, but I added a couple of tablespoons of nutritional yeast, which gives it a “gratin-like” finish and also adds vitamin b12. Or, if making it vegetarian, you can add a little fresh parmesan or pecorino before broiling.
First step is washing the sprouts and cutting off the dark root at the bottom. I had gotten one of these “Clever Cutter” a couple years ago at Bed, Bath & Beyond and realized that it might be easier for snipping off that tough stem. Worked very well as it eliminates the need for a cutting board!
NIFTY TIP: Whenever I roast vegetables, I add a full head of garlic that I chop off either the stem part or the pointed part at the front and place in the roasting pan. I demonstrate this technique in this blog and the TV show I had for that roasted vegetable dish. Whether you want your sprouts garlicky, you can always find a use for some luscious roasted garlic in your weekly meals, right? This keeps the garlic perfectly soft and roasted without burning the cloves, which makes them very bitter. It gives the vegetables the aroma and essence of garlic without over-seasoning, too.
Oils for Roasting: I recommend that for roasting your sprouts you use either avocado, sunflower or coconut oil. Olive oil imparts a wonderful taste, but the high heat of roasting oxidizes the oil and that means that the carmelization is actually releasing free radical molecules through your bloodstream. Oils (like those mentioned above) that perform better at high heats are preferable. Sometimes I drizzle a little organic Tunisian extra virgin olive oil over the top once I take them out of the oven, just for the flavor and nutritional benefits, but this recipe already has a lot of fat.
I put in 1-2 tablespoons at the bottom of the roasting dish and 1-2 tablespoons on top, sprinkle with salt, pepper and any other spices or seasonings that you love. COVER with aluminum foil and roast at 425 degrees for about 40 minutes. You should have some browning but not too much and they should not lose their shape as you will be broiling them with the sauce and you don’t want to overcook or have them fall apart.
Maple Siracha Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Note: Measurements are approximate and this definitely should be made to taste; Some prefer sweeter, some spicier. Salt is optional as there is already salt in the mayonnaise (vegan or vegetarian)
1 lb. of brussels sprouts, cleaned and roasted in 2-4 TB. oil. See above for tips. (Let cool while making the topping)
4-5 TB. mayonnaise (vegan or vegetarian)
2-4 TB. pure maple syrup
1-2 TB. siracha (again, these are strictly suggestions – add or subtract, according to your taste)
2-3 TB. nutritional yeast.
Lemon is for garnish, but a squeeze or two gives it a nice kick and extra Vitamin C.
Directions: Preheat the broiler in your oven or toaster oven. In a mixing bowl combine all of the ingredients, starting with the smaller measurements and modify according to your taste. Spread evenly over roasted sprouts. If you feel like it’s too much, reserve some for aioli and don’t over-sauce! You can also sprinkle some nutritional yeast on the top but I prefer it mixed into the sauce. If you want to add cheese, sprinkle over the top.
If your sprouts have gotten cold or you want them a little warmer, pop them in the oven for about 3 minutes before putting on the sauce. I don’t recommend microwave, though.
Broil for about 5 minutes until the top is brown and bubbly.