Year of Wellness: Dynamic veggie duos: Brussels sprouts and Kimchi

Brussels sprouts are often overlooked and overcooked or not properly cooked, but they are considered to be one of the most nutritious vegetables.

By Kalli and Laura Swanson
For the Headlight-Herald

Brussels sprouts are also readily available during much of the winter, even from our local gardens.  In early January, we harvested several pounds of Brussels sprouts from our garden and adapted a “Bon Appetit” recipe (Kimchi and Vegetable Soup), using our favorite veggies.  In addition to the powerhouse Brussels, it also includes lots of garlic and kimchi (fermented Chinese or Korean cabbage).  We called it Brussels sprouts Soup, and it’s an easy recipe to adapt to your family’s favorite veggies.  It’s gluten-free, and you could also make it vegan by using vegetable broth.  The fun of this soup is making it your “own.”
In fact, Brussels sprouts are a storehouse of several anti-oxidants, and an excellent source of vitamin C; 1 cup of sprouts provide about 75 mg or 124 percent of the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA). Together with other antioxidant vitamins such as vitamin A and E, it helps protect the human body by trapping harmful free radicals. It is one of the excellent vegetable sources for vitamin K; 1 cup provides about 156 micrograms or about 200 percent of RDA. Vitamin K has potential role in bone health by promoting bone formation and strengthening.  The sprouts are notably good in many B-complex groups of vitamins such as niacin, vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine), thiamin, pantothenic acid, etc., that are essential for turning food into energy. They are also rich source of minerals like copper, calcium, potassium, iron, manganese, and phosphorus. Brussels sprouts are incredibly nutritious vegetables that offer protection from vitamin A deficiency, bone loss, iron-deficiency anemia, and believed to protect from cardiovascular diseases.
Garlic is an excellent source of minerals and vitamins that are essential for optimum health. The bulbs are one of the richest sources of potassium, iron, calcium, magnesium, manganese, zinc, and selenium. Selenium is a heart-healthy mineral, and it contains many flavonoid anti-oxidants like beta-carotene, and vitamins like vitamin C. Vitamin C helps the body develop a healthy immune system.
And then you add in the nutritional value of kimchi a low-calorie, high fiber and nutrient-packed dish of fermented cabbages.  It is a storehouse of vitamins such as vitamin A, vitamin B1, vitamin B2 and vitamin C. It has an impressive assortment of powerful antioxidants and provides an additional benefit of probiotics.
Seasoned with ginger and turmeric, vegetables sautéed in coconut oil provides additional nutritional punch and lots flavor.
This is an easy, exotic Asian-style soup that your family will enjoy customizing to their own tastes.

Brussels Sprouts Rice Noodle Soup

Based on recipe from “Bon Appetit.”

¼ cup coconut oil
1 pound Brussels Sprouts, halved
6-8 pearl (or small onions), halved or quartered
2 bulbs/heads of garlic (about 20 cloves) – minced
1” knob of fresh ginger, grated or minced
1.5 quarts of stock (shellfish, chicken or beef)
1 cup kimchi, roughly chopped
2 teaspoons kimchi brine
2 teaspoons turmeric
8 oz. rice noodles
Thinly sliced vegetables, 1 to 2 cups of each – such as scallions, radishes, kale, sweet peppers, spinach
Chile sauce or dry chili powder, to taste
Soy sauce, to taste
Option  – poached or soft cooked egg (per dish)

In large sauce pan or small Dutch oven, heat coconut oil over medium heat.  Sear Brussels sprouts and onions cut-side down until they are caramelized, about 10-15 minutes.
Add garlic and ginger.  Cook for another 5-10 minutes.
Add stock and bring to general simmer. Once the Brussels and onions are tender, add kimchi and kimchi brine from jar.
While this simmers, boil thin rice noodles according to package instructions, strain. Make egg.
Place nice mound of noodles in bottom of bowls, cover with scallions, and other thinly sliced vegetables. Add egg. Then gently pour the hot soup in the bowl covering the contents, sprinkle chili powder or sauce lightly, to taste, and a splash of soy sauce.
Store left over noodles separate, and heat the leftovers up for lunch or snack.
Serves 4-6