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Food Synergy
by Elaine Magee MPH, RD
I wish I could take credit for dreaming up this side dish, but I saw something like it in a deli and reproduced a light version at home. It features Brussels sprouts dressed up with sauteed sliced shallots, minced garlic, toasted pecans, and bacon bits.
This dish packs the synergy of a cruciferous vegetable plus a little smart fat from canola oil and the phytochemicals in onions and nuts.
Makes 8 servings


    • 8 cups Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
    • 4 slices turkey bacon
    • 1 tablespoon canola oil
    • 1 cup sliced shallots
    • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
    • 3/4 cup pecan pieces, lightly toasted in a nonstick skillet
    • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
    • Salt and ground pepper (optional)


Steam the Brussels sprouts by microwaving on high in a covered dish with a few tablespoons of water for 6 minutes, or until just barely tender. Drain and set aside.

Meanwhile, in a large nonstick skillet coated with canola-oil cooking spray, cook the bacon over medium-high heat, flipping often, until crisp. Cool on a paper towel, then chop into small pieces. Set aside.

Add the oil to the same pan and heat over medium-high heat. Add the shallots and cook, stirring frequently, for 2 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 to 2 minutes more, or until the shallots are golden. Stir in the Brussels sprouts and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, or until the sprouts begin to brown.

Sprinkle the pecans and sugar over the top and stir to blend. Reduce the heat to medium-low and continue to cook for another minute, stirring occasionally. Add salt and pepper to taste, if desired. Transfer to a serving bowl and sprinkle with the reserved bacon.


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