no canned vegetables allowed
When I was growing up, we very seldom had fresh vegetables. No frozen vegetables either. Canned vegetables, that’s what we ate.
There was the occasional fresh corn on the cob, fresh tomatoes, potatoes and of course, lettuce – mostly iceberg. But tinny tasting canned veggies were king at our house.
- Canned peas (mushy with an unappetizing dull green-gray in color)
- Canned green beans (ditto)
- Canned beets (I can’t even!)
- Canned lima beans (Please, NO!)
- Canned spinach (especially tinny, watery and gray-green)
- Canned carrots (the worst of them all!)
- Canned corn (this is the only one that I will eat today – I admit to a strange weakness for canned cream corn)
Exceptions: Canned beans (pinto, black, kidney, etc.) and canned tomatoes – these are allowed in my pantry and in my cooking. Although I’m always using them as a component in a dish, not just heating them up and eating as is.
It goes without saying, that I hated most vegetables throughout my childhood and into early adulthood. And it took years to get up the courage to taste fresh versions of those canned nightmares.
It took decades longer to try “exotic” (think asparagus, Brussels sprouts and the like) vegetables. Today, I love most all vegetables. The only holdouts that I still can’t acquire a taste for are beets (taste like dirt to me) and carrots. I know, carrots, of all things, but I still don’t like them cooked or even raw.
I didn’t have my first Brussels sprout until 1999 or 2000 and I didn’t see them fresh on the stalk until 2013, when I posted this recipe. Seriously, I never had seen them on the stalk before that day when I walked into Trader Joe’s and there was that strange looking thing! Now they are one of my favorite, especially roasted, as in this easy side dish.
**Please feel free to share any of your childhood “food nightmares” in the comments section. I have more, a real whopper of a tale involving hot cereals.
*After all that nightmare talk, let me say that growing up in Scottsdale wasn’t all that bad. I mean when you wake up to a sunrise like this, from earlier this week, you know that life is nothing but good!
Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Sweet Chili Sauce
- 1 pound Brussels sprouts, stem ends trimmed and halved
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 5 tablespoons sweet chili sauce, divided
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Place one rack in the top third of the oven.
On a baking sheet, toss the Brussels sprouts in the olive oil to evenly coat.
Roast on the lower rack of the oven for 20 minutes, tossing after the first 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and turn broiler to high.
In a small bowl, whisk together the garlic, fish sauce and 3 tablespoons of the sweet chili sauce, then pour over the Brussels sprouts, tossing to evenly coat.
Broil the Brussels sprouts for 5 minutes or until the chili sauce is bubbling and caramelizing. Watch carefully so they don not burn. Remove from the oven, transfer to a serving bowl.
Toss with the remaining 2 tablespoons sweet chili sauce and sprinkle with cilantro, then serve immediately.