Written by Mina, The Graves' Disease Chef
The last time I wrote for Thyroid Trust, I shared my Dutch Oven Pumpkin Spiced Chili recipe. Think all plant-based chili with tons of aromatics, flavour and yum. Everyone loves a generous bowl of chili with all the fun toppings.
Thought I’d share a different type of recipe today given that the weather is getting even colder here in Northern California and I’m thinking more comfort food would be a nice welcome. Rather different from the dishes I used to prepare when I lived on an island.
It’s wild to think that a little over one year ago. Life was very different. I was living on a remote island in the heart of the Philippines and so much was going on in my little part of the world. We had just moved back to the U.S., after island living for almost two years. Going from warm and balmy tropical days of paradise living, to the wintry cold and stormy weather in the States was quite a shock to the system. As you can probably imagine.
Gone were my “we wear short shorts,” crop tops, bikinis and flip flops. Incoming were winter coats, bulky sweaters and fleece lined boots, hats and gloves. Bye-Bye to A/C on high nonstop and hello to central heating - round the clock. I didn’t care though because I knew I was finally home safe and sound and exactly where I belonged - near our boys - sharing meals, love and laughter again. And… life was just as it should be. The freezing temps were intense to say the least but one of the first comfort food dishes I created upon return was that very spiced chili that I last shared on the Thyroid Trust blog. Did you try it? It’s quite the colourful comfort food dish. If you didn’t catch it, let me know and I’ll send over the recipe.
In keeping with tradition to share yet another wintry recipe, I thought, why not a seasonal inspired dish because I love sharing the delights of plant-based dining and using local, fresh ingredients for each dish. There’s that and because I get weak in the knees for Thai food. I’ve come to discover, traveling the world and experimenting with international flavours, near everyone seems to love Thai food. Why not share something you might not expect you can do with Brussels Sprouts and give it a Thai twist. Brussels Sprouts? Hah! Yes. Thai influenced. Why not?!
Since Brussels are in abundance here, I developed this Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Cannellini Beans and Thai Peanut sauce dish. The peanut sauce is featured in The Graves’ Disease Chef Cookbook, “How to Master Simple to Gourmet Plant-based Flavours from Around the World” in the Sauces, Drizzles and Marinades Chapter. I thought it might be fun to give you a little sneak peek tasting of what you’ll find in the Cookbook.
This Thai Peanut sauce is beloved and one of our all-time family favourite Asian sauces. If you ask any of our four sons, they’ll tell you it rivals any Mom and Pop or high end Thai restaurant because it’s as authentic as it gets. The major difference being that the ingredients in my recipe are much healthier and cleaner and all organic and yes, all plant-based. You’ll be hard pressed to find that in most any Thai restaurant from the peanut butter and “fish” sauce to the coconut cream and red curry base. Pairing it with Cannellini Beans and Brussels Sprouts topped with toasted almonds and gluten-free breadcrumbs takes it to a whole different level of yum when you think of Brussels or Thai cuisine for that matter. It’s quite the winter party in your mouth.
If you ask me, I have to admit, I was never a fan of Brussels Sprouts. Frankly, I’m not a big fan of most any boiled veggie unless I’m under the weather and need something bland and boring but even then, Brussels never made it on my “gotta have it” list. In fact, I never chose to cook with Brussels during my years of recipe developing for Graves’ Disease until one day, I happened to taste them as an appetizer – roasted, slightly charred, nutty and perfectly crispy. Oh. My. Yum. There wasn’t that distinctive, familiar, overwhelming sulphur odour and bitterness. I was hooked on what I once thought to be an utterly boring, tasteless, smelly green cruciferous vegetable. The secret I discovered is in how you prepare those little round balls of Brussels.
I don’t know if you fancy Thai dining or Brussels and Beans but I do think you’ll enjoy this one. I had quite a bit of fun developing this dish to share with you so I hope you’ll give it a go in your own kitchen. Introducing my Roasted Brussels Sprouts + Cannellini Beans generously smothered in Thai Peanut Sauce - topped with scallions, fresh mint, Serrano slices and toasted almond and sourdough breadcrumbs. Served with a side of freshly steamed Thai Jasmine rice – it’s delish. I couldn’t decide if I wanted to enjoy it with plain Jasmine rice or fancy it up even more with Thai Fried Rice, so I tried it both ways and both ways did not disappoint. The Thai Fried Rice recipe is also featured in the Cookbook along with 76 other plant-based international gourmet flavours from around the world – not just Thailand.
For those who may not know, I came out of retirement to share my story about living with Graves’ Disease, ditching the dyes and embracing my silvers and the beauty of aging. Learning along the way how to find wellness and healthy again. These days, you can usually find me on social media under the moniker, The Graves’ Disease Chef, sharing cooking demos and things you didn’t know you could do for a healthier, happier you especially if you suffer from Hyperthyroidism, Graves’ Disease.
May you have an amazing New Year filled with love, peace and healthy eats. Remember, if you’re not having fun embracing a more whole foods, clean organic lifestyle the way nature intended, you’re not doing it right. Have some fun and try making this dish, especially if you’re not a fan of Brussels, this’ll change your mind.
Here's the recipe:
Thai Inspired Brussels and Beans with
Spicy + Sweet Peanut Sauce Drizzle
Mina Grace – The Graves’ Disease Chef
Roasted Brussels Sprouts
1 lb. - Brussels Sprouts
2 TBSP - Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 - garlic cloves, finely minced
½ tsp - fresh ginger, finely minced
¼ tsp - chili flakes
¼ tsp - Sea salt
Freshly cracked peppercorns, to taste
Mina’s Signature Thai Sweet and Spicy Peanut Sauce
(As featured in The Graves’ Disease Chef Cookbook, “How to Master Simple to Gourmet Plant-Based Flavours from Around the World,” available now at www.thegravesdiseasechef.com)
1 - 14 oz can Coconut cream
½ cup – Crunchy peanut butter (no salt or sugar added)
2 TBSP – Vegan “fish sauce” (can substitute with ground Nori powder or Mushroom powder found in most Asian markets)
2 TBSP – Coconut sugar
2 TBSP – Thai red curry paste
4 tsp – Chili garlic paste
2 TBSP – freshly squeezed lime juice
Almonds and Breadcrumb Topping
½ cup - Raw Almonds
2 slices – your favorite gluten free bread or sourdough (stale is best)
1 to 2 TBSP – Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Cannellini Beans and Plating
1 15 oz can - Cannellini Beans, drained and rinsed
2 scallions - sliced thinly on the diagonal
¼ cup - fresh mint leaves, chopped
1 to 2 - serrano pepper, thinly sliced
On a final note, just in case you didn’t already know, here’s a nutrition tip.
Brussels Sprouts are rich in a wide variety of nutrients including antioxidant carotenoids, B-complex vitamins, and vitamins A, C and K. They help reduce the risk of cancer, lower your blood pressure, lower cholesterol levels, strengthen your bones, manage your blood sugar levels and diabetes symptoms plus they help reduce inflammation, especially chronic inflammation.
Eat your veggies, including your Brussels. Your body will thank you!
Mina Grace – Your Graves’ Disease Chef and fellow Graves’ Disease Warrior
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