Seared Scallops with Roasted Squash, Brussels Sprouts, and Cranberry Beans

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Today’s recipe is another way to enjoy a few fall favorites like butternut squash, Brussels sprouts, and fresh cranberry beans. Throw in a few sweet scallops and drizzle with a maple dijon vinaigrette and you’ve got one more dish in your repertoire to celebrate autumn’s glorious flavors.

If this recipe is reminiscent of my butternut squash salad with dried cranberries, rosemary roasted onions, and mustard greens with that very same vinaigrette, that’s because the idea stemmed from my leftover squash sitting in the fridge. But I hadn’t yet made Brussels sprouts this season and I had also picked up a few cranberry beans (i.e., borlotti) from my local market. Put it all together and you have a fantastic dinner that’s plant-based, includes a lean, sustainable protein, and screams out autumn in a seafood-y kind of way.

Waaaaah! I Hate Brussels Sprouts and Beans!

What are you, ten? It’s time to bring your palate into adulthood and the 21st century. These are fantastic, healthy foods that are really tasty if prepared the right way. Roasting brings out flavors—these sprouts are caramelized, crispy, and sweet—and a zesty maple dijon vinaigrette brings all the ingredients together beautifully. Give it a chance, friend. Give it a chance. (And that generally means more than once as your palate adjusts to new tastes.) For the how-to and nutrition notes, check out the following posts:

After roasting and simmering, toss the non-scallop ingredients together in a bit of vinaigrette before plating. You can omit the beans if you like, but the cranberry variety adds such a pretty color and wonderful texture to the dish. (And fiber. And other good stuff found in beans.) You can use canned if you prefer, but make sure to select a no-salt added brand. Fresh will give a firmer, less mushy texture, though, and all you need to do is remove them from the pods, rinse, and simmer on the stove for 20 minutes or so until cooked. Easy. 

This mixture would make a lovely little salad all on its own with a few greens, now, wouldn’t it?

So that’s what happens when you start with a leftover ingredient and obtain a little cruciferous and leguminous inspiration from the local market. Oh, and have a husband who’s crazy about scallops. Though I’ll bet tofu would work just as nicely in this dish if you want to keep it all veggie, especially in a warm salad. Hmmm…

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Dr. P.K. Newby is a nutrition scientist, speaker, and author with expertise in all things food, farm to fork, whether preventing obesity and other chronic diseases through diet or teaching planet-conscious eating. As a health expert and food personality, she brings together her passions for food, cooking, science, and sustainability to educate and inspire, helping people eat their way towards better health, one delectable bite at a time. Healthy Hedonism (TM) is her philosophy: Because healthy food shouldn’t suck.

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