Roasted Brussels sprouts sprinkled with pomegranate seeds. Little pitcher of lime, maple syrup & sriracha dressing. Roasted, caramelized pearl onions & cipollini onions in deep magenta, purple and whites with rosemary sprig. On square white plate over weathered white wood. Overhead view.

Roasted Brussels sprouts sprinkled with pomegranate seeds. Served with lime, maple syrup & sriracha dressing. Slow-roasted, caramelized pearl onions & cipollini onions in magentas and whites.

Wholesome comfort food. It’s what we’re craving these days as the days grow dark and cold. Roasted veggies prepared simply, bring out hidden sugars. They fill the air with the promise of flavour and nutrition.

Have you ever gnawed on a raw Brussels sprout? Roasting transforms Brussels sprouts from hard, bitter nuggets into nutty, sweet bites. Who would have known all that flavour is packed inside waiting to be released? Okay you maybe, but not me :) Crispy leaves scattered among the roasted Brussels sprouts are little bonus treats.

Pair Brussels sprouts with roasted, caramelized pearl onions. Onions are delicious tossed in oil, then left to sweeten in a slow oven. They are simple to prepare and easy on the brain but full of flavour when at last! you get to eat them. Roast onions till the outer layers caramelize but the inner bulbs are slightly firm like the ones pictured here if that’s your preference. (They’re Gord’s fav too), or keep onions in the oven longer until they melt in your mouth. 

Do some days ever feel like you have way too much work to do and you haven’t come near to tackling it? You want to reward yourself with nourishing food but you don’t have the energy to think about cooking. Roasted vegetables are perfect. Simple prep and flavourful results let you know you’ve given yourself the care you deserve today. Roasted veggies work when you’ve got company too. As my amazing grandma used to say to us, “Eat!” The world feels a whole lot kinder when you’re nourished. <3

The Recipes

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Lime, Maple Syrup & Sriracha Dressing

Closeup of caramelized Brussels sprouts on white plate, sprinkled with salt and pepper. Garnished with pomegranate seeds.

Caramelized Brussels sprouts roasted at high heat in avocado oil, sprinkled with salt and pepper.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Lime, Maple Syrup & Sriracha Dressing
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Roast Brussels sprouts at high heat to bring out their nuttiness and sweetness.
Author:
Recipe type: Vegetable Side Dish
Cuisine: Wholesome comfort
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • BRUSSELS SPROUTS
  • BRUSSELS SPROUTS
  • 1 lb Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved lengthwise
  • 1 lb Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved lengthwise
  • 3 tbsp Avocado oil or other high smoke-point oil
  • 3 tbsp Avocado oil or other high smoke-point oil
  • ½ tsp Kosher salt
  • ½ tsp Kosher salt
  • A few turns of ground black pepper
  • A few turns of ground black pepper
  • Handful of pomegranate seeds
  • Handful of pomegranate seeds
  • DRESSING
  • DRESSING
  • 3 tbsp + 1 tsp Fresh lime juice (approx. 1 juicy lime)
  • 3 tbsp + 1 tsp Fresh lime juice (approx. 1 juicy lime)
  • 1 tbsp + 1 tsp Maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp + 1 tsp Maple syrup
  • ½ tsp Sriracha sauce (or more to taste)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 450 F. Place rack in middle of oven.
  2. Pour oil over Brussels sprouts in medium bowl. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss to coat. Lay Brussels sprouts cut side down on baking sheet lined with parchment that is a little bigger than the baking sheet.
  3. Cook for 15 minutes. Turn oven down to 375 F. Remove Brussels sprouts from oven and flip over. Return pan to oven for 15 minutes. Serve Brussels sprouts hot out of the oven. Sprinkle with pomegranate seeds.
  4. Dressing: Mix all ingredients together. Drizzle over hot Brussels sprouts just before serving.
Notes
Hint: Trimmed Brussels sprouts and dressing are quick to prepare and cook. But (there's always a but) trimming Brussels sprouts is more time consuming than you expect. If you can, trim the Brussels sprouts before cooking day.

Roasted Pearl Onions

Closeup of roasted, deep purple & caramelized white pearl onions, and little cipollini onions with rosemary sprig.

Red & white pearl onions, and little cipollini onions. Slow roasted in rosemary olive oil.

Pearl Onions Roasted in Rosemary Olive Oil
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Caramelize pearl onions over low heat and bring out the sweetness.
Author:
Recipe type: Vegetable Side Dish
Cuisine: Wholesome Comfort
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 1.2 lb (540 g) Pearl onions, peeled
  • 1.2 lb (540 g) Pearl onions, peeled
  • ¼ c Olive oil
  • ¼ c Olive oil
  • ½ tsp Kosher salt
  • ½ tsp Kosher salt
  • Several small sprigs of fresh rosemary
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 250 F.
  2. Thinly slice off tops and bottoms of onions.
  3. Pour oil over onions and rosemary in medium bowl. Sprinkle with salt and toss to coat. Lay onions on baking sheet lined with parchment that is a little bigger than the baking sheet.
  4. Roast onions for 40 minutes. Remove from oven and flip over. Return to oven for 40 more minutes, checking halfway through. Onions will be like the ones pictured here. If you like highly caramelized onions that melt in your mouth, cook for an additional 40 minutes, checking every 10-15 minutes. Red onions burn more quickly than white.
Notes
If you're lucky at the store, get more than one colour and type of small onions. I found fresh, beautiful red and white pearl onions, and little yellow cipollini onions. Prep is very fast - except for peeling those little suckers. (Why doesn't someone tell you this?) I used a sharp knife to score the papery skin and tore it off one fussy onion at a time while watching Netflix. But you can hurry up the procedure I'm told. Place onions in boiling water for 30 seconds, plunge them in ice water, then squeeze and the skins (are supposed to) pop right off in a jiff. Martha Stewart has a video.
White and red pearl onions with little cipollini onions, tossed in rosemary olive oil. Sprinkled with salt and fresh-ground pepper. On parchment-lined burnished baking sheet with rosemary sprig. On white, weathered painted wood.

Mixture of white and red pearl onions with little cipollini onions, tossed in rosemary olive oil. Sprinkled with salt and fresh-ground pepper. Ready to roast.

Quote

–when LeBron James was 9 years old playing football:

…during the football season, when opposing coaches started to complain about his size and demand his birth certificate, James sloped his shoulders and dipped his knees in the huddle.

“What the hell are you doing?” [coach] Kelker asked him.

“Trying to blend in,” James said.

“You ain’t ever going to blend in,” Kelker told him. “And that can be a good thing.”

On LeBron James in fourth grade.

In conjunction with the Akron public school system, in 2018 the LeBron James Family Foundation opened the IPromise school. It randomly selects children who are at least two levels behind their peers and gives them a first class education. James leverages his celebrity to encourage corporate sponsors to contribute experiences to the students like a visit to Goodyear plant. Students are expected to give back to their own and other communities.