Introduction: Brussel Sprouts? Eww to Oooh!

A great side dish to get kids to try brussel sprouts or for those who dislike brussel sprouts but want the benefit of eating a healthy, dark green leafy vegetable. Only a few ingredients, inexpensive to make, and only a little "bad stuff" to enhance the flavor. This is a side dish that has been put into regular rotation at our house.

Please expand and adapt this recipe to how your family likes it and let me know what you come up with, I'd love to try your version!

Step 1: Bacon-y Sweet Brussel Sprouts

This is a recipe I made up the other night out of desperation to get my kids to eat some green vegetables. We didn't have our usual safety net of green beans on hand, only (kids quaking with fear) brussel sprouts to have with dinner that night. A one-hit wonder? Not this time! Turns out, my whole family enjoyed them to the point of my 5-year old asking if there were any more "bwussel spwouts." Chalk up a win for brussel sprout growing farmers and dads everywhere!

Time to prep: 10 minutes

Time to cook: 25-30 minutes, depending on how tender you like your sprouts. I cooked these for 25 minutes which left them tender, but al dente.

Cost: Estimated about $5.50 for four side-sized servings. The 'sprouts were $4.99.

Step 2: Ingredients:

Always remember, any brands will work fine. Use what you like, no need to purchase what I used!

- 12 oz. container of brussel sprouts

- 1 strip of bacon

- 1 tsp. olive oil

- ½ cup of applesauce

- 1 1/4 cup beef stock

- 1 pinch each of salt, pepper, and cinnamon

- 1 tsp. maple syrup

Step 3: Utensils and Pan Needed

a sauté pan or something similar

a wooden spoon or something to stir with

a sharp knife, the sharper the better, 'sprouts are tough before they're cooked

a plate

a cutting board

Step 4: Getting Started

Turn the burner on you wish to use on high on the stove and place your sauté pan on it to get warmed up for 3 minutes.

While the pan is heating, prepare your brussel sprouts on the cutting board. Cut off the stem end then cut the sprout in half lengthwise. Throw the stem ends away. Place the sprouts on a plate or in a bowl, you'll need the cutting board again for cutting up the bacon.

Step 5: Mmmm... Bacon

Take your strip of bacon and lay it out flat on the cutting board. Cut it into 6ths or 8ths depending on long the piece of bacon is. Place your pieces of cut up bacon into the sauté pan and cook until almost crisp.

Add the olive oil to the pan.

Step 6: Everyone in the Pan!

Don't know how all that code got here, but it's gone now!

Add the 'sprouts to the pan. They will pop and hiss for about a minute and then settle down. Let them cook for about 3-4 minutes, stirring or tossing once or twice. You want the 'sprouts to caramelize.

Add the pinch of salt and pinch of pepper, toss or stir to distribute evenly and then lower the heat to medium/medium low.

Step 7: Finishing Up and Serving

Add the beef stock and let everything simmer until most of the stock is absorbed/evaporated.

Add the applesauce and sprinkle the pinch of cinnamon in. Toss or stir to coat everything. Let it cook anther 3-4 minutes, stirring once or twice.

Drizzle the maple syrup over everything and toss or stir to coat.

Cook for one more minute then remove from heat and serve.

I hope this will help some frustrated parents out there who have fussy eaters at home to at least TRY a green vegetable. It worked in my house, hopefully it will work in yours too. Now, if I could just get them to eat some kind of seafood...