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Brussels Sprouts with Currants and Pine Nuts
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This delicious recipe combines several heart-healthy ingredients in one perfect dish. It's a great accompaniment to holiday meals during the cool winter months.

Currants are dried, dark red or black seedless grapes. Dried black currants are a powerhouse of nutrition. They are low-fat, cholesterol-free and high-protein, with each cup of dried currants containing 5.88 grams of protein. Dried currants are also an excellent source of dietary fiber, copper, manganese and potassium. Prepared from the small, berry-like fruit native to Europe, dried black currents are often used as a substitute for raisins, dates or prunes in baked goods. The grapes were originally cultivated in the south of Greece, and the name currant comes from the ancient city of 'Corinth'. However, by the 17th century, trade shifted towards the Ionian islands, particularly Zakynthos (Zante), at which time it was named Zante currant, thus these currants are known as Zante currants in the States.

Brussels sprouts are leafy green vegetables resembling miniature cabbages. Potentially originating from Brussels, Belgium, Brussels sprouts were first produced in the U.S. by French settlers in Louisiana in the 18thcentury. To prepare Brussels sprouts, cut the buds from the stalks and cut away any loose leaves. Brussels sprouts can be boiled, steamed, stir fried, or roasted. Be careful not to overcook as they will turn gray and soft and produce both a strong flavor and odor. Overcooking may also leach anticancer agents from the vegetable. They are good sources of vitamin A, Vitamin C, folic acid, and fiber. In addition, Brussels sprouts contain vitamin K. Please note: Heart patients who are taking anticoagulants should eat Brussels sprouts sparingly.

Peel away the outer leaves from trimmed fresh Brussels sprouts, reserving the leaves and centers. This technique shortens the cook time and makes a nice presentation.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 pounds Brussels sprouts, trimmed

1 tablespoon pine nuts

1 tablespoon butter

1/4 cup finely chopped shallots

2 tablespoons dried currants

1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth

Directions:

1. Separate sprouts into leaves, leaving just the center intact. Set aside.

2. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add nuts to pan; cook 2 minutes or until toasted, stirring constantly. Coarsely chop nuts.

3. Melt butter in pan over medium-high heat. Add shallots to pan; sauté 1 minute or until golden, stirring frequently. Stir in Brussels sprouts centers and leaves, currants, thyme, salt, and pepper; toss to combine. Add broth. Cover, reduce heat, and cook 7 minutes. Increase heat to medium-high. Uncover; cook 4 minutes or until liquid evaporates and sprout centers are tender, stirring frequently. Remove from heat; sprinkle with nuts.

Nutritional analysis per serving: Calories: 90, Calories from fat: 32%, Fat: 3.2g, Saturated fat: 1.4g, Monounsaturated fat: 0.8g, Polyunsaturated fat: 0.7g, Protein: 4.5g, Carbohydrate: 13.9g, Fiber: 4.7g, Cholesterol: 5mg, Iron: 1.9mg, Sodium: 173mg, Calcium: 56mg

Source: Cooking Light

Servings:6 (serving size: about 1/2 cup)


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