If you’ve been to Mexico, maybe you’ve seen an odd treat being sold on street corners. Fresh cut, juicy fruit… topped with fresh squeezed limes, chili powder and salt.
Why? I don’t know. It’s a national obsession. There is just something so invigorating about making your taste buds pucker up and then assaulting them with chili. And we don’t stop at just fruit. We add this citrus-chili combo to cucumbers, jicama, and corn on the cob. The first time my husband saw me drench my veggies in this combo he was confused. When he saw me tip the bowl back to drink the juice- pure lemon juice and chili- he knew he had married a Latina and there was no going back.
But as a Mexican-American, I’m proud to be bicultural and I’m going to take that spirit to my food. Brussels sprouts are a vegetable that you’ll be hard-pressed to find in Mexico. They thrive in cool weather places so it’s easy to understand why they’re not common south of the border. But what if we roasted them in the oven, tossed them with lemon juice, cayenne powder and pepitas? If vegetables could wear hats, these Brussels sprouts would wear sombreros.
Mexican Brussels Sprouts- Lemony, Spicy Roasted Sprouts
- 1 pound Brussels sprouts
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Juice of 1-2 lemons
- 1-3 teaspoons cayenne pepper
- 1/4 cup pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds)
1. Preheat the oven to 400˚.
2. Wash the Brussels sprouts and remove any older or tough outer leaves. If the stems seem tough, cut those off. Roughly chop them up.
3. Toss the Brussels sprouts with the olive oil and salt. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until they are tender.
4. Squeeze lemon juice over the Brussels sprouts. One lemon imparts a very mild citrus taste. Two lemons give this dish a real kick. I usually opt for 1 1/2 lemons.
5. Sprinkle cayenne pepper over everything. For me, 2 teaspoons is medium spicy. But, remember, you can always add more but you can’t add less. You may also want to put out cayenne pepper on the table so everyone can add their own.
6. Add the pepitas and toss everything to mix.
Note: Pepitas are also known as shelled pumpkin seeds. They are not, however, regular pumpkin seeds. They have become a staple at Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods. If you can’t find them, sunflower seeds are a good, and less expensive, alternative.
Yields 4 servings
Weight Watchers Points+: 4
Calories 137, Carbs 9g, Fat 11g, Protein 5g
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