Something I tend to waste a little bit of time on that I don’t really tell people about: creeping people’s healthy grocery hauls on Instagram, their blogs etc. I’m also a big tome cart-glancer at Costco, Whole Foods, any grocery-selling store really. Surely this can’t just be me? I feel like it offers so much insight! I also get some surprising recipe inspiration from dreaming up what people are doing with these hauls. Also, when I see chocolate pudding and salty snacks nestled up against giant bags of sweet potatoes and 4 types of greens, I can relate.
I like to think that Jeanine and Jack from the Love & Lemons blog have some particularly excellent grocery/market hauls. I’ve been a fan of their work since always. I love Jeanine’s fresh combinations that have just the right amount of effort and plenty of style. The easy elegant. That’s my favourite approach with plant-based food.
I’ve been cooking from their new cookbook for a couple weeks now with great results–and total ease, too! I made the carrot spelt waffles for a weekend breakfast, and then the quinoa taco salad for a light weeknight dinner, and now this creamy miso pasta with brussels sprouts. I plan to just keep going, too. Jeanine employs a “cook backwards” strategy that really works for my cooking style and kitchen equipped-ness. The book is composed of produce-specific chapters with recipes, great one-off ideas, and storage/procuring tips. I had beautiful asparagus, carrots, hot house peppers, brussels sprouts, and zucchini in my fridge. Once I went through the chapters (and noted that my pantry stock is strikingly similar to the L&L team), I realized that there were so many things I could make.
This pasta was so creamy and it had a satisfying depth of flavour from the miso. It sounds silly, but I had never cooked non-shredded brussels sprouts in a pan over high heat. I usually just go the oven-roasted route, but I liked these so much better. The super hot cast iron gave them crispy edges but they stayed nice and moist throughout. I don’t know if I can turn back now. Best part: this whole thing was ready in 20 minutes.
There’s still so many recipes that I need to try from this book. It’s kind of the perfect companion for when local produce really starts coming on. Highly recommended if you love bold doses of visual inspiration and plenty of tasty and healthy things to eat.
CREAMY MISO PASTA WITH BRUSSELS SPROUTS RECIPE
From Love & Lemons: An Apple to Zucchini Celebration of Impromptu Cooking
Print the recipe here!
Notes: Jeanine notes that if you aren’t using a high-speed blender for the sauce, you may have to blend it an extra minute or so to get it nice and creamy. In the original recipe, fettucine is used as the pasta. I used brown rice spaghetti because that was the only long pasta I had on hand. It was still great, but I think a thicker/wider noodle would have been even better from a textural perspective.
½ cup raw cashews, soaked 3-4 hours, preferably overnight, drained, and rinsed
1 tablespoon white/mellow miso paste
1 small garlic clove, peeled
¼ teaspoon Dijon mustard
½ cup filtered water
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
Sea salt, to taste
FOR THE PASTA:
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 cups brussels sprouts, sliced in half
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
8 ounces long pasta (I used brown rice spaghetti)
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Chili flakes (optional)
Make the sauce: in a high-speed blender, puree the cashews, miso paste, garlic, Dijon mustard, water, lemon juice, olive oil, and a pinch of salt until smooth. Taste and adjust the seasonings.
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the brussels sprouts, cut side down, along with a pinch of salt. Let them sear until the cut side becomes golden brown, 2-3 minutes. Toss and continue cooking for an additional 7-10 minutes, or until tender.
Add a squeeze of lemon juice to the pan, toss once more, then remove from the heat and transfer to a plate.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Prepare the pasta according to the instructions on the package, cooking until al dente. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water. Drain and return the pasta to the pot. Stir in the sauce, adding pasta water as needed to thin the sauce and make it creamy. Add the brussels sprouts and toss until heated through.
Serve pasta hot with freshly ground black pepper and chili flakes, if using.