How to Eat Flower Sprouts – For Breakfast!
Anyone who follows me on Instagram cannot fail to have noticed that I am a tad obsessed with flower sprouts. So much so that I even snack on them – crisped from a quick roasting and dunked in hummus.
“But Kellie, isn’t this a bit strange? Nice little side dish, of course; great with Other Things. But snack? Isn’t this the opposite of a snack, eating what is basically, um, cabbage?”
The roasted, frilly, green and purple leaves of this British-made cross between kale and Brussels sprouts are the perfect way to get a satisfying – and filling – dose of our favourite healthy dip. Nature’s perfect little scoops.
Another favourite of mine is roasted and eaten with some creamy-white Marcona almonds. I have to portion control this snack in a small bowl so I don’t eat not only a whole tray of the sprouts, but also a whole bag of almonds.
Roasting is a bit key for kale flowers – also coyly known in the US as “kalettes” (which sounds like kittens who twirl batons to me) – to be a snack. As much as I love their mild, almost nutty flavour, munching on them steamed, boiled, or raw, just isn’t going to cut it as a snack. That seems too diet food to me, and food to glow does not do diet food.
I may just convince you of the merits of flower sprouts as snack, but are you ready to think breakfast?
Over the years I have asked you to make kale smoothies (here’s my simplest green smoothie) for the most important meal of the day. I have even asked you to try lentils for breakfast. But this is pretty advanced I would say; for the true aficionado of the brassica only. If that’s you, you will love this. If you are that person who looks at kale in the same way that many of us do politicians (don’t like/don’t trust/no good use for them), this isn’t going to convince you. If this is you (and you have read this far) do try this breakfast recipe without the sprouts and sub in some wilted spinach – or even something completely different, like roasted peppers.
Are you crushing on flower sprouts? How do you like them?
Flower Sprout, Salt & Vinegar Shiitake, Quinoa and Egg Breakfast
This is a half lazy, half hands-on protein-packed breakfast for anyone who loves a savoury start to the day. And it’s a damn good way to promote the fashionably frilly flower sprouts from side dish to centre of the plate.
PS the quantities are not particularly important – use your hands, appetite and eyes to decide how far to go. xx
Double-cupped handful of flower sprouts – washed and dried in a clean tea towel; “bottoms” trimmed
3/4 tbsp olive oil – divided use
3/4 tbsp cider vinegar (or any non-flavoured vinegar you like)
Good pinch of flaky/sea salt
Handful of shiitake mushrooms – brushed of any soil
75g of cooked quinoa
1-2 organic eggs
Freshly ground black pepper
Dried seaweed flakes (kombu or wakame) – optional
Preheat the oven to 200C/400F.
Toss the flower sprouts with about 1 teaspoon of the oil; in another bowl toss the mushrooms with about 1 teaspoon oil, all of the vinegar and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Lay these vegetables separately on a baking tray and roast for 10 minutes, turning the vegetables as needed.
While the vegetables are in the oven, heat the remaining oil in a small skillet or sauté pan. Add the egg(s), pop on a lid and steam-fry until the white is firm and the egg is still a bit wobbly (gently shake the pan to test “for jiggle”). Carefully lift the eggs from the pan and set on a plate, or in the oven on the tray with the vegetables if the vegetables are done and the oven is off.
Add the cooked quinoa to the pan and heat through, stirring. When it is warmed through add in the roasted flower sprouts, mushrooms and top with the egg(s). Season with more pepper and some dried seaweed flakes if you have them.
Vegan Variation (+): I also like this with smoked or marinated tofu instead of the egg; spring onions give a different kind of bite, and I like them sautéed with a touch of Old Bay seasoning (a classic American seasoning blend); squeeze over a scary amount of sriracha sauce if you need a good wake-up call.
Nutrition: Essentially, since these are the love child of kale and Brussels sprouts, you have a ridiculous amount of Vitamin K (so be careful if you are on blood thinners), Vitamin C, folate, fibre, calcium, manganese, potassium, magnesium, iron and various carotenes. One serving is 80g. Eat as part of a balanced diet.
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