Seasonal eats: Brussels sprouts with dried cranberries in a walnut caramel sauce


Chef Judi Varga-Toth

If you’re finding it tough to eat seasonally at the end of a long Ottawa winter, take heart. “There are still plenty of seasonal ingredients out there,” says Chef Judi Varga-Toth of Credible Edibles, an eco-catering service that prepares tasty, healthy, plant-based meals for meetings, schools,  daycare, and soon, for take-home.

Varga-Toth showcases two winter ingredients — Brussels sprouts and cranberries – in this nutrition-packed recipe. Brussels sprouts belong to the brassicacea family, which also includes cabbage, collard greens, broccoli, kale, and kohlrabi. They can be steamed, roasted or sautéed, and pair well with salmon, chicken, pork, and even pasta. Brussels sprouts contain vitamin A, vitamin C, folic acid and dietary fibre and are believed to protect against colon cancer.

Cranberries also contain vitamin C and fibre, along with essential micronutrients. In addition, they’re a source of the compounds called polyphenol antioxidants, shown to play a role in preventing cancer and cardiovascular disease.  

About the chef

Judi Varga-Toth has been involved in the environmental and social justice movement for nearly 20 years, focusing in particular on the connection between our food choices, and our own health and the health of the planet.

 She opened Credible Edibles in 2006 to share her knowledge of and passion for delicious, healthy, sustainably produced food.  Through school and day care lunches, catering, employee health and wellness programs, cooking workshops, presentations and private consultations, Credible Edibles works to create simple solutions that improve health and respect the environment.

Note: Credible-Edibles has two cooking workshops coming up next week: Eat from Crete on Monday, March 4, and Spice it Up! on Thursday, March 7, 2013. See the complete workshop schedule here.

Brussels sprouts with dried cranberries in a walnut caramel sauce

Serving size: 2

 12-14 per person Brussels sprouts per person

10 walnuts, ground

2 tbs safflower or sunflower oil

1 tbs brown sugar

1 tbs maple syrup

1/2 tsp salt

pinch of cayenne

1/4 cup soy cream or soy milk

walnuts, chopped

dried cranberries for garnish


1. Place the oil in a small saucepan.

2. Grind the 10 walnuts to a powder using a coffee grinder.

3. Put the ground walnuts in the oil, and bring to low heat.

4. Add the brown sugar, maple syrup and salt.

5. Heat until the mixture becomes smooth.

6. Add the soy cream or milk and mix well.

7. Season to taste with additional salt or brown sugar and a pinch of cayenne.


 1. Clean the Brussels sprouts and cut an X on the bottom stem part.

2. Steam the Brussels sprouts for 5-7 minutes until they are soft, but still bright green.

3. Put them in a bowl and drizzle them with the caramel sauce.

4. Garnish with the chopped walnuts and dried cranberries.

5. Serve warm.

What seasonal dishes are you cooking?

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2 Responses to “Seasonal eats: Brussels sprouts with dried cranberries in a walnut caramel sauce”

  1. Janet McKeen-Peterkin says:

    Thanks for the recipe, which sounds fabulous. My sister and I are always looking for brussel sprout recipes for family dinners. We are bound to find one that works and looks easy.


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