Finding veggies that kids will eat is a tough business. My kids are great eaters, but I suppose it’s just one of those unwritten rules in parenthood that kids will fight their parents about veggies. Of course, as long as the green stuff is mixed up with something gooey or sweet (or both), we’re usually in the clear. So it stands to reason that if I’m going to get my kids to eat Brussels Sprouts, we’ve got to have both…and then some.
I’ve seen some great recipes lately for Brussels Sprouts with bleu cheese, which I can’t wait to try. In fact, I got so excited about Brussels that I bought a whole bag at Sam’s. But after my vision cleared, I realized there’s no way my kids will roll with bleu cheese, especially not mixed with an undesirable vegetable, so I needed to find something milder that I already had in the fridge. If I had feta, I would have used it, but no dice. After some digging, I found light cream cheese…jackpot! Sprinkle a few bacon bits on top…the happy kid vibe was beginning to gel.
The weather was fabulous yesterday, so we decided to grill salmon. While I would normally roast Brussels Sprouts in the oven, I figured we might as well wrap them in foil and throw them on the grill with the fish. (Foil = one fewer dish to wash.) Plus, my kids at least want to love anything that comes off the grill. Thank you, hot dogs and cheeseburgers.
Brussels are a little tricky because if you overcook them, they start to taste like sulfur mush, but if you undercook them, they are still too bitter. For years I undercooked them for fear of overcooking, but I learned from Karla at The Culinary Enthusiast that you’ve got to cook them long enough to bring out the sweetness. She’s got a great recipe for Balsamic Brussels with Bacon and Apples.
As for our grilled Brussels from last night, Jake had devoured them before I could look up, and Jane ate them (with only one gentle urging to “please eat those yummy Brussels”), so I figure that’s a good sign. Michael and I both loved them. Maybe not as much as I would have with bleu cheese, but I’ll save that one for a grown-up night. And then the kids can eat hot dogs and cheeseburgers with no Brussels in sight.
Baby steps. Now shake that booty!
Grilled Cream Cheese Balsamic Brussels Sprouts
- Prep time: 5 minutes
- Cook time: 20 minutes
- 1 pound fresh Brussels sprouts, halved
- 3 to 4 oz light cream cheese (or feta)
- 3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- Optional garnishes – walnuts and/or bacon bits
- Trim and cut Brussels in half, then stack them in the middle of a large sheet of heavy duty foil
- Pull cream cheese into small chunks, and dot Brussels evenly with chunks
- Drizzle evenly with balsamic vinegar, and sprinkle with salt and pepper
- Fold up foil around the Brussels but leave the top open
- Grill on medium heat for 20 minutes
- Remove from grill and stir until Brussels are coated with cream cheese (and sprinkle with walnuts and/or bacon bits if you feel the urge)