Brussels Salad with Bacon, Avocado and Lime

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Caramelized brussels sprouts with bacon served with avocado and lime. 

Now that Thanksgiving is over, I know exactly what you need.

More Brussels sprouts.
Is there such thing as too many Brussels sprouts.  I certainly don’t think so.  If Brussels sprout toxicity was an actual thing, surely I would have already succumbed to it.  They’re delicious (when you don’t boil them to death), a rich source of cancer fighting nutrients and detoxifying glucosinolates, which if we're being honest, I could use a good dose of after last week.
Speaking of Thanksgiving, how’s everyone feeling coming off the turkey and dressing bender?  Personally, I’m not doing so hot.  Not only did we have Thanksgiving, but we had friends in town for Clemson vs. USC, so our holiday lasted all through the weekend.  No physical ailments I can complain of, but I feel pretty miserable nonetheless, almost as if I’m in a fog.  I can’t concentrate.  I feel anxious.  Forming simple sentences is proving to be an impossible task, something the participants in my Monday morning diabetes class can attest to.  My energy level is near all time low.  It's nothing I would ever go to a doctor for, I just feel blah.
Judging by how I feel, I can see why so many people slip into unhealthy patterns of eating after a  holiday.  When you feel like poo, getting the motivation to cook a healthy meal and exercise can require what feels like indomitable willpower.   I could hardly get out of bed without hitting the snooze button a fourth time, never mind getting up early to practice yoga and whip up a cleansing green smoothie.  So much easier to grab a slice of pumpkin pie…

As miserable as I feel, I have a renewed sense of enthusiasm for my lifestyle and career.  I am so glad we finally polished off the last bits of Thanksgiving leftovers so I can start over with clean, mostly vegan dishes.  All day yesterday I was checking the clock, antsy for my yoga class after work.  It's been hard to contain my enthusiasm at work, knowing how amazing my clients will feel after cleaning up their diet - one guy asked me if I had five cups of coffee this morning or six.  Oops.Have you been beating yourself up for overindulging on Thanksgiving?  Just stop.  I always tell my clients if you learn from your mistakes, then it's no longer a mistake.  Think about how you've felt since Thanksgiving, both mentally and physically.  Do you really want to live your life in a fog?  Are headaches a fun thing to wake up to?  Don't your, ahem, bathroom issues hinder your ability to do, well, everything?Chances are, you want energy, vitality and normal gastrointestinal habits.  So instead of feeling guilty, use your holiday overindulgence to reaffirm your healthy eating habits.  Remind yourself of how truly amazing you can feel when you eat a clean diet, packed with plenty of plant-based foods.  Get back in that kitchen, and make yourself some greens!

 

Brussels Salad with Bacon, Avocado and Lime
Author: Rachael Hartley, RD, LD, CDE
Serves: 4
For a vegan option, substitute one of my favorite recent discoveries, tempeh bacon, which you can purchase premade or make your own. Cook the sprouts in extra-virgin olive oil or coconut oil and crumble in the tempeh bacon at the end.
Ingredients
  • 2 slices nitrate-free, preferably local, organic bacon, sliced
  • 2 lbs Brussels sprouts, cored and shredded
  • Pinch or two of crushed red pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • 2 avocados, peeled, pit removed and sliced
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Place a large skillet on medium heat. Add bacon and cook until crispy. Remove with a slotted spoon to a paper towel lined plate.
  2. Pour off the bacon drippings until you have about 1 tablespoon in the skillet. Add the sprouts and crushed red pepper. Cook over medium heat until the sprouts are lightly browned and tender, about 8-10 minutes. Add garlic and cook another minute. Squeeze in lime juice and cook another minute.
  3. Crumble in bacon and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Either toss in the avocado towards the end of cooking to warm, or serve it sliced over the salad.

 

Adapted from The Little Red House