Popular Recipes

4 Winter Brussels Sprout Side Dishes

Winter Brussels Sprout Salad3

Brussels sprouts are easily one of my favorite vegetables. Whenever I hear someone say they don’t like them I think “they must not have had them cooked right.”

My last recipe for Life by DailyBurn was a Winter brussels sprout salad that I’m sure could turn around even the biggest picky eaters. It has walnuts, apples, and a little lemon for tartness in addition to savory roasted sprouts and would fit into any Christmas or holiday menu. 

If–for reasons unexplained–those aren’t the right brussels for you, here are a few other recipes that might suit your sprouty palate:

Fennel Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Fennel roasted brussels sprouts is a new favorite that actually makes me want to put fennel into my grocery cart. Because of the honey and cranberries, this dish is a little bit sweeter than the rest. 

Maple roasted brussels sprouts are better for a picky palate. Their simplicity makes them a crowd pleaser while still having just the right sweet & salty balance.  

Balsamic brussels sprouts with red wine is the tangiest of these dishes. It’s great for a dinner or hearty meal, especially paired with whichever wine you cook with. 

Maple Vanilla Oatmeal

Maple Vanilla Oatmeal

Some meals are too simple to ever justify paying for them; oats should be at the top of that category. In the corner restaurant near my apartment, cinnamon is considered a premium topping right next to blueberries and strawberries. Would you really pay extra for a finger-tip worth of cinnamon? Put that wallet away.

If you don’t have a go-to oatmeal recipe, Winter’s a good time to pick one up. It’s warm, hearty, and filling but quick and easy to put together for 1 or a crowd. You can dress this recipe up with walnuts, raisins, sliced apples, or any number of different mix-ins, but on its own it’s good, too. 

The vanilla in this recipe adds a slightly savory and complex flavor to cut the sweetness of the maple, but if you’re making this for a picky palate you might want to leave it out.

Maple Vanilla Oatmeal

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 5 minutes

Ingredients(Makes 2 Servings):

  • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 Tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Method:

  1. Combine the oats, salt, and 2 3/4 cup water in a medium pot on the stove.
  2. Bring the pot up to a boil over medium-high heat stirring occasionally. Leave uncovered.
  3. As the water boils stir more constantly with a wooden spoon.
  4. When the oats have cooked and stick together, turn off the heat. Add in the syrup, salt, and cinnamon and continue stirring for 20 seconds.
  5. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly before scooping into 2 bowls.
  6. Serve warm with brown sugar and cinnamon on top. 

Fennel Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Fennel Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Brussels sprouts are one of my–like so many others’–favorite vegetables. Fennel? Not so much. It’s a vegetable I’m slowly growing to like that’s better sweet than savory.

These sprouts are a little sweet and a little salty; its a tasty balance that’s also healthy. This time of year you could probably also find fresh cranberries and make this recipe a little more natural, but I love eating the extra craisins while I’m cooking for something to chew on.

You can serve this hot or cold but I prefer it hot. It really depends what you’re eating it with.

Fennel Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 45 minutes

Ingredients(Makes 6 Servings):

  • 4 cups Brussels sprouts, washed and halved
  • 1 fennel bulb sliced
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup craisins
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons honey

Method:

  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Toss the sprouts, fennel, oil, and salt in a large bowl.
  3. Lay the sprouts out in a pan or cast iron skillet.
  4. Roast for 30 minutes, then mix the sprouts with a utensil and roast for 15 minutes more.
  5. Once done, remove the sprouts from the oven. Sprinkle on the craisins and drizzle the whole pan with honey.

Homemade Honey Walnut Cream Cheese

Homemade Honey Walnut Cream Cheese

People tend to think that when you’re gluten-free you spend your life missing all carbs. That’s certainly not true, but I definitely miss certain carbs like cinnamon crunch Panera bagels smothered in sweet hazelnut cream cheese.

Some things are hard to make at home(like bagels, unless you’re looking to give away an afternoon for amorphous doughballs). Other things are super easy; you can make this cream cheese in 5 minutes and actually be excited about a weekend breakfast at home.

Adding salt and vanilla might seem a little strange, but it helps round out the flavors of the honey to be salty-sweet and a little savory. Toasting the walnuts is well worth the effort for the overall flavor. This recipe works perfectly with full-fat cream cheese, low-fat cream cheese, or non-dairy alternatives. 

Homemade Honey Walnut Cream Cheese

If you’re not a fan of honey you can also use an equal amount of maple syrup. Try using peanuts instead of walnuts for a different flavor or just leave them out completely for a nut-free recipe and you’ll still have a delicious spread.  

Homemade Honey Walnut Cream Cheese

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 0 minutes

Ingredients(Makes 12 squares):

  • 1 block cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/3 cup walnuts
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract

Method:

  1. In a large bowl, beat together the honey and cream cheese until well-mixed.
  2. Heat up a small pan over a low burner. Add in the walnuts and toss until they’re toasted.
  3. Add the walnuts, salt, and vanilla to the honey cream cheese and fold the ingredients in.
  4. Serve immediately or store refrigerated in an air-tight container. 

Fat-Free Sweet Potato Soup

Fat-Free Sweet Potato Soup

Normally I wouldn’t drop off the face of the earth for 3 weeks but moving has that effect. While my pots and pans are still in boxes, I thought I’d share this recipe I wrote for Life By Dailyburn.

Any trip to Panera will show you soup’s one of those healthy-not-so-healthy foods that always sounds like a good idea at the time. Meanwhile, you don’t need a fancy immersion blender to make your own at home; anyone with a food processor or high-end blender can healthify their favorite soups.

Sweet potato is a great base for a soup because it’s naturally fat-free and creamy. Instead of fake cheese and artificial ingredients this recipe celebrates vegetable broth and fresh vegetables to give it a healthy dose of flavor. It’s also a decent defense against the office cold going around with vitamin C and vitamin K.

Check out the full recipe on Daily Burn’s blog and let me know if you try it!

Halloween Chex Mix

Halloween Chex Mix

Candy corn is a polarizing food. People usually either can’t get enough of it or can’t stand the stuff.

I love it and would eat a whole bag in one sitting. Since that’s probably not the best idea you have to find ways to mix it up and make it a little more filling. This Chex mix isn’t health food but it’s just the right balance of sweet and sweeter for a party or just an afternoon. 

Coating some of the Chex cereal with melted chocolate adds an unexpected layer and makes it slightly more decadent. You can make this more fun at a Halloween party by creating different names for the ingredients like bat droppings and witch’s nails. 

Halloween Chex Mix

A note from the last batch of Halloween Chex Mix I made: If gelatin’s a problem ingredient for you, some manufacturers don’t use it in their candy corn. Instead of Brachs, try CVS store brand candy corn. 

Halloween Chex Mix

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 0 minutes

Ingredients(Makes 12 squares):

  • 2/3 cup chocolate chips, divided
  • 2  1/2 cups Chocolate Chex, divided
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 1 Tablespoon milk
  • 1 1/2 cups Vanilla Chex
  • 1/2 cup candy corn

Method:

  1. Melt 1/3 cup chocolate chips gently, set the rest aside.
  2. When melted, stir in the butter and milk until silky and smooth.
  3. In a large bowl, mix 1 1/2 cups Chocolate Chex cereal with the melted chocolate until covered.
  4. Lay the cereal out on a non-stick tray and refrigerate for 10 minutes until the chocolate has set. Once set, break apart any clusters of cereal stuck together. 
  5. In a large bowl, toss together the remaining chocolate chips, remaining Chocolate Chex, Vanilla Chex, and candy corn. 
  6. Serve or store in an air-tight container at room temperature. 

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Spice Loaf Cake

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Spice Loaf Cake

Baking is just more fun in the Fall and Winter. You get to stand near the oven to stay warm, make something delicious, and wear oversized sweaters to hide how much you’ve been eating. What’s not to love?

My favorite things to bake on the weekend is anything I can have for breakfast or take to work and eat with a cup of coffee. Put this next to a cup of coffee and a spoon of almond butter and you won’t be disappointed.

Pumpkin spice is just a mix of a bunch of other spices, so if you don’t have it on hand just use cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and/or cloves. This recipe doesn’t actually have any pumpkin in it but neither do pumpkin spice lattes and that’s never bothered anyone.

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Spice Loaf Cake

I really liked this more like a crumb cake with chopped pecans and raisins to add some texture, but it’d also be great without any mix-ins and covered with a cream cheese frosting.

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Spice Loaf Cake

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes

Ingredients(Makes 12 squares):

  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup all-purpose gluten-free flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 Tablespoon pumpkin spice
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts or pecans(optional)

Method:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together all of the sugar, flour, and baking soda.
  3. Add in the milk, butter, eggs, extract, and spice and mix well until it forms a batter.
  4. Mix in the chopped nuts if using.
  5. Grease an 8 x 8 baking pan thoroughly.
  6. Pour the batter into the baking tray.
  7. Bake for 25-30 minutes until the center is cooked through.
  8. Remove from the oven and let cool before cutting.

Easy Maple-Curry Acorn Squash

Maple Curry Acorn Squash

When you live in the city, it’s sometimes hard to tell exactly what season it is. That’s what Starbucks limited edition drinks are for.

After I saw it was pumpkin spice latte season already, I knew it was time to start digging up old squash recipes. This recipe I’ve posted an annoying amount of times but still come back to again and again.

It’s one that I always make because I know how easy and delicious it is. Using curry powder to flavor the squash adds an untraditional kick that keeps the squash anything but boring. Still it’s familiar enough that semi-picky eaters will enjoy. 

Maple Curry Acorn Squash

You can really use this coating on any type but I prefer acorn the best for this since I think it has the mildest flavor. Butternut and winter squash tends to be sweeter on their own. 

Maple-Curry Acorn Squash

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 45 minutes

Ingredients(Makes 4 servings):

  • 1 Large acorn squash
  • 3 Tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 Tablespoon curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt*

*omit if your curry powder is already salted.

Method:

  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees and line a baking tray
  2. Cut the squash in half to remove all the seeds. Once de-seeded, cut along the ridges into thin wedges.
  3. In a large bowl, toss the wedges with the maple syrup, curry powder, and salt so that the squash is evenly coated.
  4. Lay the squash out on the baking tray and roast for 45 minutes or until fork tender.
  5. Remove from the oven and serve hot.

Pumpkin Spice Caramel Sauce

Homemade Pumpkin Spice Syrup

We’re really spoiled at my office. We have a Keurig machine and 2 Nespressos with a built-in milk foamer; there’s no excuse to go to Starbucks ever.

That being said, there are certain drinks I always crave, like sweet lattes with rich caramel sauce swirls. Even if it’s not worth standing in line 20 minutes and shelling out $5, it’s certainly worth taking the time to make it at home for pennies and an infinite supply.

I’m not a pumpkin-spice fanatic, but I do love the earthy flavors in coffee, especially mixed with rich, buttery caramel. I tried Ina Garten’s caramel sauce last year, loved it, and vowed to make it again and again. This was the first time I made it since then(oops). It’s amazing that a little salt and spice changes the flavors completely. This could go in anything from coffee to oatmeal to even squash. 

Pumpkin Spice Caramel Sauce

I don’t recommend using a candy thermometer for this because by the time you have it calibrated right the caramel will burn. It’s best to just watch it closely, use your judgement, and buy an extra set of ingredients because it’s the easiest thing in the world to mess up the first time(but worth giving it a second try!).

Pumpkin Spice Caramel Sauce(Adapted from this recipe)

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 15 minutes

Ingredients(Makes about 1 1/2 cups):

  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 1/4 cup heavy cream, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin spice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Method:

  1. Combine and mix the sugar and water in a medium-sized pot.
  2. Bring the sugar water to a rolling boil and maintain. Once the water is boiling make sure not to touch it with a utensil.
  3. While the water is boiling, mix the vanilla and cream in a cup.
  4. Watch the sugar water carefully as it changes from white to a soft green to a hazelnut. When it turns a reddish-brown, remove quickly from the heat. Don’t let it get to a solid brown or the sugar is too burnt.
  5. Off the heat pour in the cream and vanilla extract. Stand back as it sizzles and may splatter.
  6. Once the caramel’s calmed, return it to the heat and start stirring as it’s just below boiling point. The caramel will have clumped and hardened.
  7. Continue stirring until the clumps have dissolved into the cream and it’s an even color and consistency.
  8. Remove from the heat and add in the spice and salt. Continue mixing as it cools to get the clumps of spice out.
  9. Once cooled, store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. 

How To Make Blender Salsa

Blender Salsa

Salsa is by far my favorite condiment. I average between 1-2 jars a week from my everyday lunch and working it in to dinner some nights. I always used to think jarred salsa was “good enough” until I made my own and now I’m hooked.

Last week I shared my 2nd recipe on Life by Dailyburn, an easy 5-minute blender salsa recipe that you can make 3 ways. I pretty much insist that you not just look at it but make it, too. It’s about as easy as can be and well-worth the effort. Serve it to some guests and they’ll think you stole it right out of a Mexican restaurant’s kitchen.

Check out the recipe, give it a try, and tell me what you think!