What was your least favorite vegetable when you were a kid?
Broccoli? Green beans? Spinach?
Mine was onion. I couldn’t stand “crunchy” onion in or around my plate. I was okay with well cooked onion to where it was soft and hidden in a casserole or soup, but crisp, fresh onion was a no-go.
That was when I was a kid, this is now. Most people (except for my boyfriend) grow out of their vegetable-loathing phases. Along with crunchy onions, I also used to despise coconut, hated potato salad, and cringed every time my mother laid a plate of pot roast in front of me. Now, I love them all.
But if there is one vegetable people can’t seem to grow to like, it’s probably the Brussel sprout. I have friends and coworkers who adore the little stumpy, green vegetable—they swear by cooking it with fatty bacon—but most of the people I know won’t go anywhere near a Brussel sprout with a fork.
Confession time: I had never tried a Brussel sprout until about a year ago.
I had heard horror stories about how it was bitter, or slimy, or gritty, or tasteless—and just steered clear from that section at the grocery store. I’ve lived my entire life without Brussel sprouts, I thought. I can live the rest of my life without it, too.
…until a coworker showed up with a pan of roasted Brussel sprouts and pancetta at work one day.
I was sold within the first bite. It tastes just like little cabbages! I exclaimed. I LOVE cabbage, so of course I loved these little mini-cabbages.
Within the next year, though, I did encounter some underwhelming Brussel sprout dishes. When my job catered a Thanksgiving feast from Whole Foods over the holiday, it came complete with roasted Brussel sprouts that tasted like bitter ash. Now I can understand why this vegetable is so loathed—it really all depends in how you cook the little guys. I’m sure most of the people you know that hate Brussel sprouts have probably had something akin to the bitter ash ones we got for Thanksgiving. Blech.
My first time to cook Brussel sprouts for myself was born from a purely impulsive purchase. While shopping at Crest a few weeks back, I found a package of shaved Brussel sprouts in the produce section. They were already cut and cleaned (I had no clue how to work a Brussel sprout into cooking) and it looked exactly like sliced cabbage! I know how to cook cabbage, and had a recipe that called for cabbage, so I decided to buy them and make a new recipe with them.
Hungarian Paprika Noodles
- 8 oz. wide egg noodles
- 2 TBS. olive oil
- 9 oz. sweet Italian sausage
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 TBS. paprika
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1 small head of cabbage, sliced
- 2 cups shaved Brussel sprouts
- 1/3 cup sour cream
- 2 TBS. fresh dill
Skill Level: Super, super easy. This is basically beginner-level cooking right here. As long as you can cook noodles correctly, you’re pretty much golden. It doesn’t take very long to put together, too, so it would be the perfect meal for meal-prepping.
Taste: I used some of my Hungarian Hot Paprika, so not only was my dish creamy & sweet, but it also had a little kick to it too! I highly recommend using Johnsonville Sweet Italian Sausage—I know it’s nothing fancy, but it is seriously some of the best Italian sausage I’ve ever found. I use it for everything that calls for Italian sausage now. Not only that, but my favorite Bratwurst is Johnsonville brand brats, too!
Versatility: If you truly do not like Brussel sprouts, just take them out of the recipe. The original recipe doesn’t call for them. I liked the Brussel sprouts so much that I’ll be using them in this recipe from now on. Other than that, this recipe isn’t very versatile. There’s no way to make it vegan or gluten-free. Or are egg noodles gluten-free? Nah, they can’t be.
End Score: A++. This simple dish is not only easy and tasty, it gives you a different flavor-profile for your weeknight dinners. Enjoy!