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Chicken Blue Cheese Brussels Sprout Salad

It's that time of year, when we're transitioning from summer to fall. In Chicago, that transition happened rather quickly. Monday it was hot and humid, Tuesday was rainy and cold. Surprise! Fall is here. On those surprisingly warm days, an entree salad is still a nice dinner. But instead of the summer veggies, fall flavors really take center stage.

I had some brussels sprouts, and they were honestly the start of this meal. How often have I started a meal with just one ingredient in mind. I can get kind of focused on things - whether it's an ingredient that's going bad in my fridge, is on sale at the store, is seasonal, or just something that popped into my head. Anyone else out there start dinner this way?

Brussels sprouts are definitely one of the vegetables du jour. Like their relative the cabbage, Brussels have anti-cancer properties, benefits for heart health, and anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties.

From a macronutrient perspective, one cup of raw sprouts provides:

  • 40 calories
  • 0 g of fat
  • 8 g of carbohydrates (3 g of fiber)
  • 3 g of protein

In addition, that one cup of sprouts provides the following vitamins and minerals (among others):

  • Excellent source of vitamin K (137% DRI) and vitamin C (73% DRI)
  • Very Good source of folate, vitamin B6, choline, thiamine, potassium
  • Good source of iron, riboflavin, magnesium, vitamin A, calcium

Normally in the fall and winter, I like to roast my Brussels sprouts. On occasion, I'll sauté them on the stovetop. But I don't necessarily love them roasted on top of spring mix or romaine lettuce. Instead, I chose to shred the sprouts and make them the base for the salad.

You can shred them in a food processor, thinly slice them with a knife, or you can buy them already shredded at some grocery stores (Trader Joes sells them this way). I topped the salad with (left to right) dried cranberries, crumbled blue cheese, cooked bulgar, chicken and pecans. Delish. What truly stole the show, though, was the Lemon Agave salad dressing from Organic Girl. The fresh citrus plus a little sweet was the perfect balance for this particular salad. Thank you, Organic Girl, for sending this RD samples!

This was a super easy dinner recipe. The time suck for me was shredding the Brussels sprouts. The bulgar only took about 15 minutes to cook, which I was able to do at the same time as the chicken. With pre-shredded sprouts, you'd have this on the table in 30 minutes or less. Afterall, in these late summer and early fall days, you gotta take advantage of the last bits of sunlight and nice weather!