I can’t help but draw a comparison between making a cookbook and having a baby. Now I have never had a baby, but hear me out. They are both very big endeavors, with long incubation periods. Once combined with everyday duties, keeping up becomes about twice as difficult.
I’m nearing my “due date,” and can hardly believe that I’ll have a finished cookbook someday. I’m scrambling and struggling and suffering from frazzled cookbook brain. I can’t wait to be done, but I’m also a little scared of what may come.
Watching friends produce cookbooks is also similar to watching friends have babies. They’re both stressed and excited, overwhelmed and hopeful. You don’t get the full picture of what they’ve been making until it’s all done and you are so very, very proud of their good work.
That’s exactly how I felt when Jeanine and Jack’s cookbook (they’re the couple behind the blog Love and Lemons) appeared on my doorstep. I think I texted her about ten high-five emojis in a row. The Love and Lemons Cookbook is just perfect—it’s overflowing with colorful photos, gorgeous high-contrast typography, creative recipes, and cooking variation charts that are as helpful as they are beautiful.
It’s truly “an apple-to-zucchini celebration of impromptu cooking,” as the front cover suggests. I flipped through the book and found this amazing Brussels sprout recipe, and I just happened to have everything in my fridge to make it.
Jeanine and Jack were working hard on the book last February, when Ali and I frequented their beautiful house in Austin for wine and snacks. Jeanine is a graphic designer turned food blogger and I knew her book would be spectacular. Her husband, Jack, runs a video game company and takes all the photos. They make a great team.
This Brussels sprouts dish jumped out to me when I first flipped through the book, and it’s just as delicious as it looks on their pages. I’m not sure I would have thought to combine mint, basil and avocado with coconut rice and seared Brussels sprouts, but they all came together perfectly, in Jeanine’s characteristic light and flavorful style. I’m sure you’ll see the combination again soon.
This recipe is a simple dinner or lunch. Fair warning: I couldn’t stop eating it and didn’t end up with as much leftovers as I’d hoped for! I made just a couple of minor substitutions, including swapping brown jasmine rice for white (it’s all I had). You can find Jeanine’s instructions for white jasmine rice in the recipe notes, in case that’s what you have at home.
I hope you’ll get a chance to try this recipe soon, and be sure to get a copy of their cookbook. The book officially comes out tomorrow, so hurry and pre-order it today! It’s a cookbook that you’ll want to leave out on your coffee table when you’re not cooking from it in the kitchen.
- 1 cup brown jasmine rice or regular jasmine rice*, rinsed
- 1¼ cups canned light coconut milk
- 2 teaspoons coconut oil
- 2 cups halved Brussels sprouts
- Pinch of salt
- ¼ cup chopped green onions
- ¼ cup torn fresh basil
- ¼ cup torn fresh mint
- 1 small avocado, pitted and diced
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
- Sriracha and lime wedges, for serving
- 1 tablespoon tamari or soy sauce
- 2 small garlic cloves, pressed or minced
- 2 teaspoons lime juice
- 2 teaspoons rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoons coconut sugar or cane sugar
- 2 tablespoons water
- 2 Thai chilies, diced, or ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- Cook the rice (see notes for white rice instructions): If you're using brown rice like me, combine the coconut milk and 2 cups water in a medium pot. Bring it to boil over medium-high heat, but stay nearby because it likes to bubble over. Add the rice, stir, and reduce heat as necessary to prevent it from boiling over. Let the rice simmer away, uncovered, for 30 minutes, then strain off any excess liquid and return the rice to the pot. Cover the pot and let it rest for 10 minutes, then fluff with a fork and cover again to keep warm.
- Make the sauce: In a small bowl, whisk together the tamari, garlic, lime juice, vinegar, sugar, water and chilies. Set aside.
- Cook the sprouts: Heat the coconut oil in a large skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add the sprouts, cut side down, along with a pinch of salt. Let them sear until the cut side becomes golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Toss and continue cooking for an additional 7 to 10 minutes, or until tender. Add the green onions during the last 2 minutes of cooking, then remove the pan from heat.
- Divide the rice into bowls and top with Brussels sprouts, sauce, basil, mint, avocado and sesame seeds. Serve with sriracha and lime wedges on the side.
*If you're using white jasmine rice, here are Jeanine's instructions: Combine the rinsed rice and coconut milk in a pot and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat, and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let it sit, covered, for 10 more minutes, then fluff with a fork. Alternatively, cook the rice in a rice cooker according to the manufacturer's directions for white rice, but use coconut milk in place of water.
Make it gluten free: Be sure to use a certified gluten-free tamari, not regular soy sauce.
Make it soy free: You might be able to use coconut aminos in place of the tamari.
Change it up: Jeanine suggests that asparagus, broccoli, shiitake mushrooms, red bell peppers and roasted butternut squash are all great in this dish.