Helping you to make healthy choices at Christmas

The festive time of year is often a struggle - money is tight, as we desperately try to travel around to share in cheers with everyone, buy gifts, stock up the bar and ... the cupboards and fridge! It’s also a struggle to keep off those extra pounds and get out in the cold, wet, windy weather for some extra exercise - it is quite literally the LAST things anyone wants to do (I love to run but have been once in two weeks...). So what I hope to do here, is suggest some healthier alternatives because, let’s face it, we know we are going to want to enjoy this break (we deserve it!) so we may as well do it well.

First up - something you might not be expecting... how to make those bland, nutty Brussels something of a hit at the dinner table or as a party salad. Party. Salad. They shouldn’t go together but with this cheeky little recipe they do! You’ll have your friends asking you where you found it. Send them here of course ☺️

By buying local and fresh Brussels will get you vibrant colors and flavors but this recipe tastesequally super ‘lekker’ (Dutch for tasty) if you are trying to use up some of those Christmas dinner leftovers! I try to buy organic wherever possible but I stick to within my means and can’t be bothered with official weights and scales... so like  me, measure with your hands and eye - you know better than anyone else what size portion you need so adapt the recipe accordingly.
 You’ll notice there’s a salad or side dish option - both work wonders however the salad is uncooked and the side dish is served warm.
Salad/Side Dish:
1 handful walnut pieces
2-3 handfuls brussels sprouts
1 handful chickpeas

1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 apple, chopped
150g goat cheese, crumbled (optional for salad option but I wouldn’t recommend it for a side dish)

For dressing:
4 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper
½ tsp honey or maple syrup

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together all the dressing ingredients and set aside.
  2. Wash and tail the Brussels. 
  3. For a salad, with a sharp knife thinly slice brussels sprouts. For a side dish, cut them in half to keep a bit of bite. Thinly slice red onion and chop apple and keep aside,
  4. For a salad, place all salad ingredients in a large bowl and toss until combined.
  5. For a side dish, melt some butter in a small frying pan. Add the red onion, keep it moving so it doesn’t burn. After 3mins add the Brussels - keep the mix moving. I like to add a splash of water or, if I have it, potato or veg water. Adding a splash will stop the onion and Brussels from catching and also keep the mix moist and tasty). Simmer gently until the Brussels are just tender (not super soft). Leave in the pan til you’re ready to serve. Add the apple at the end and/or the goats cheese (I tend to leave it out of the warm dish).
  6. Before serving toss the Brussels mix in the dressing so they’re coated. Perfect! Mooi! - “Mooi” is Dutch for beautiful 😉

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