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Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Coconut Bacon

I love brussels sprouts, especially the roasted variety. Like radishes (yes, radishes. try roasting them!), the process of roasting brussels sprouts turns them into a completely different vegetable. They become tender and sweet, losing their bite/bitterness, they can even char or caramelize depending on the heat and length of time you cook them for. Because brussels sprouts have that notorious bitter tang, I find they're often best when prepared with other salty and sweet flavours to balance them out.

The addition of coconut bacon to delectably roasted brussels is a stroke of genius, it brings a wonderful smokey taste to the dish along with a super satisfying crunch. I was pleasantly surprised how easy it was to make the "bacon", in fact the entire recipe was fairly simple and quick. Make it as a cozy side dish or do as I did and enjoy the whole plate as dinner all on its own. This recipe comes from one of the best plant-based cookbooks around - Oh She Glows Everyday.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Coconut Bacon

2 pounds brussel sprouts, trimmed & halved

1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 Tbsp maple syrup

2 cloves garlic, minced or grated on a microplane

salt & black pepper

1/8 tsp cayenne pepper or 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)

1/8 – 1/4 tsp garlic powder

1/2 cup unsweetened large flake coconut (not shredded)

1 1/2 tsp tamari or coconut aminos

1/2 tsp maple syrup

1/8 tsp paprika

1/8 tsp liquid smoke

Pinch of salt

Pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)

Preheat the oven to 400°F

Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper

Place the brussel sprouts in a large bowl. Add the oil & maple syrup & toss to coat. Sprinkle on the garlic, & toss again to coat. Season with salt, pepper, cayenne (if using), & garlic powder. Spread the brussel sprouts over the prepared baking sheet in an even layer

Roast for 15 minutes, then gently stir/flip the brussel sprouts & roast for 10 – 20 minutes more, until lightly charred in some spots & fork tender

Directions – Coconut Bacon

In a bowl, stir together the large flake coconut, tamari, maple syrup, salt, paprika, cayenne, & liquid smoke. Scoop the coconut mixture into a large skillet & toast the coconut over medium heat, stirring frequently for 5 – 10 minutes

Immediately remove the coconut from the pan & place it on a parchment paper lined plate so it doesn’t stick to the skillet as it dries

Spoon the brussel sprouts into a serving dish. Sprinkle the coconut bacon on top. Season with additional salt, pepper, & garlic powder. Serve immediately

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