Adventures in Trying New Foods: Brussels Sprouts and Cabbage Update

You know what’s funny? Even after I had January’s experiment of trying out kale successfully knocked out of the way, by the time February had rolled around, I had to literally force myself to pick up that month's food in the grocery store. When I wrote “Brussels sprouts” on my grocery list, I gagged a little.

That’s why I’m glad that I made this goal to try one new food each month. (You can see my original list of all the foods I’m planning on trying throughout the year here.) It’s not much, but it’s the motivation I need to actually do it. Otherwise, I’d still be gagging and sautéing green beans instead of Brussels sprouts or chopping up lettuce instead of kale.

With February, when I was trying out Brussels sprouts, I wanted to ace having them roasted, since that’s one of my favorite ways of preparing veggies. The first time I roasted them (quite simply by halving them and roasting them in a dish with olive oil, salt and pepper), I didn’t give them enough time so they were still tough. The second time, I let them bake a lot longer—almost an hour, I think—until they were crispy out the outside edges and fall-apart-soft on the inside. That was a lot better!

The third attempt I made for the month was a slight variation on the simple approach, which was to drizzle some balsamic vinegar over them once they were roasted and to make a sort of salad with them, mixing in walnuts and raisins, thanks to a recipe I ripped out of a random magazine.

Pretty good!

I’d still like to try to some more adventurous recipes with Brussels sprouts, but before I could, March was here and I was still trying to use up the last of my Brussels sprouts. Then we went out of town for a few days. And you know, other stuff happened, too.

Which meant that I never got around to picking up the cabbage that I was supposed to try for March. I guess that’s real life for you, huh? Sometimes even with the best of intentions we fall a little short.

Regardless, for April, I’m going to try to make up and double-up and try both lentils and cabbage. Think I can make up for lost time? Well, I’ll let you know how that goes in a few weeks. If you have any cabbage or lentil recipes, please let me know! I can always use all the help I can get!

You can read about why I started this goal to try a new food each month (as well as a list of the different foods I aim to try out each month), and you can follow some of the recipes I want to try on my food adventures Pinterest board.

Related Posts
My Goal to Try a New Food Each Month
Adventures in Trying New Foods: Kale Update


  1. Interesting ideas for Brussels in the UK they are a staple on Christmas Day. I like cabbage chopped finely and stir fried with thinly sliced carrot, ginger, chicken and noodles. With the lentils maybe you could make daal and have an Indian-themed meal?

  2. April isn't necessarily soup weather, but my husband has successfully added lentils to his recipe for beef vegetable soup. Just be careful, as too many lentils = many trips to the restroom the next day for some people. : )

  3. Cabbage is one of my favorite veggies, you can make it in curry, salads, tacos, with corned beef, I just love it! Lentils! This is the perfect time for lentils. I love it in a soup! I would boil the ham bone from easter with some carrots, celery, tomatoes and lentils. Yummy.

  4. Oh my goodness, I'm Polish, so cabbage is one of my FAVORITE foods! You should make golubki! I'll try to type up my grandma's recipe for you!

  5. Oh, thanks for the all the ideas, ladies. I have seen a couple of cabbage soup recipes on Pinterest but haven't tried them yet. I have tried a cabbage salad recipe that turned out really well. So keep the ideas coming; I appreciate it!!

  6. I have 2 lentil recipes for you Carmen! Both have made it into regular rotation at our house :)

    First is lentil tacos (excuse the cookbook they come from!)

    Second is One Pot Chicken and Lentils (as easy as it sounds!) I blogged about this recipe here:

    Good luck trying them! Also, have you thought of cabbage rolls..? I could slip you the family recipe if you want ;)

  7. Oh, thanks for the ideas, Melissa. I definitely want to try the lentil taco recipe! Yum! And please do pass along the cabbage roll recipe if you have a chance. I had not considered making those; are they easy? Sounds a little complicated to me! :)

  8. I used to think they were too - they were something my Mom and Auntie only made for holidays. I made them myself this Easter and was shocked at how easy they really are! Cabbage rolls every weekend!! Ha ha Should I post it here, or email you somehow?

  9. Awesome! Either one will work, whichever is easiest for you. My email is lifeblessons at gmail. Thanks so much!!

  10. Well it's super easy, so I'll just type it out here :) These are traditional German cabbage rolls.

    1 head of cabbage - put the entire head in the freezer (wrapped in plastic wrap) for 2-3 days. Take out and leave in sink to defrost overnight the day before you make them.

    1 lb hamburger
    1 pkg bacon
    2 cups cooked rice
    1 large onion
    i can tomato soup
    i can crushed tomatoes

    Cook rice, set aside

    Cook hamburger and onion together in a skillet, drain grease, set aside.

    Cut up bacon into small pieces, and cook.

    Mix all ingredients together including the bacon grease - I know, I know. SO not healthy, but it not only gives a ton of flavor, but also holds the mixture together really well.

    Take your cabbage head and peel off a leaf at a time. Put about 2-3 tbsp of the mixture in the middle, wrap the bottom (stem) up first, then the sides in, and then roll like a burrito.

    Place the rolls in a large roaster dish, in two layers. Once filled, top with tomato soup and crushed tomatoes. Put a lid on, and bake at 350 for approx 2.5-3 hours. They are done when you can poke a fork through the cabbage skin without any trouble.

    Ta da! Delish!!

    Keep in mind this makes a TON of cabbage rolls. If you are not having a lot of people to come share them, you can make them in smaller batches and then bake what you want to eat that night, and freeze the rest!

    Let me know if you try them and what you think :)

  11. Ah, thank you so, so much for typing that up and sharing it, Melissa. Mmm... bacon grease! Ha! But it sounds delicious. I just used up the last of my cabbage last night (mission accomplished!!), but next time I pick one up at the grocery store this is definitely on my list. It sounds so perfect for the current cold snap we've been having!


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