I’ve been to three restaurants in the last two weeks and roasted Brussels sprouts with bacon were on all of the menus. Each time it ticked me off because I LOVE roasted Brussels sprouts, but I don’t eat pigs, so unfortunately I couldn't order them.
I get that the salty, smoky, and savory taste that is bacon is the perfect partner for roasted Brussels sprouts, however, bacon is NOT good for your body in any way, shape, or form, and I happen to love pigs as much as I love dogs, so for me, it was all about finding a good alternative. And that I did!
This delicious brunchy recipe was inspired by the tofu “scramble” (the tofu wasn’t scrambled) that I had on Sunday after my 20 mile run along Chicago’s beautiful lake shore—more on that Friday. It was also inspired by the side of roasted Brussels sprouts that I saw on the menu but couldn’t order.
If you’ve been following this blog or my Instagram or Pinterest accounts, you know that one of my post popular recipes is my Portobello mushroom “bacon.” Everyone who makes it loves it. It’s really good and you should try it. Here’s the recipe. The smoky bacon flavor in the mushrooms come from two things, liquid smoke and maple syrup. Together, they make magic.
Because the mushroom “bacon” turned out so well, I thought, why not try and replicate the Brussels sprouts recipe that I keep seeing in restaurants? It worked out perfectly. Instead of oven roasting the sprouts, I pan roasted them on the stovetop with slivers of red onion. Once the onions and sprouts where caramelized and began to get crispy on the edges I added the liquid smoke and maple syrup mixture to the skillet. It sizzled and smoked and the fragrance was tantalizing. A few grinds of sea salt and black pepper and they were ready to eat.
You guys, these little cruciferous babies are amazeballs! I couldn’t stop eating them. If you serve these to your carnivore friends, don’t mention the word vegan until they finish the last one. Then surprise them with the fact that they just ate something wonderfully delicious and animal free. I’m going to bring a big batch to a party I’m co-hosting on Saturday. I guarantee you that they’ll be gone before any of the other side dishes.
Okay, the tofu stir-fry side of the recipe is about to begin.
Like I said before, I had a tofu scramble on Sunday and it was delicious. The veggies and the sauce were divine, and the squares of tofu were perfectly seared. I’m not sure why they called it a scramble, but it really didn’t matter, it was super yum.
As wonderful as it was, my mind kept going back to the sprouts on the side dish part of the menu. It must be because I’m in fall food mode and Brussels sprouts are—in my mind—a fall food. Anyway, I had a block of sprouted tofu and brussels sprouts in my fridge yesterday, and I thought, yaassss, let’s make a “bacon” flavored tofu stir-fry with those green balls of glory!
This is super easy to make. All you’ll need to do is press the excess water out of your tofu, trim the ends off of the sprouts and cut them in half, slice an onion, mix up the liquid smoke and maple syrup, and get cooking.
Instead of roasting the sprouts in the oven, sizzle them on the stovetop so you can have better control of how brown each side gets. Frequent stirring will ensure that they brown evenly and won’t burn.
This makes a great breakfast, lunch, or dinner. It’s hearty and full of fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants. Brussels sprouts are an excellent source of vitamin K, C, folate, manganese, and other nutrients. And tofu is good for you as well, it’s high in calcium, manganese, copper, and protein, among other things.
Make this for brunch on Sunday, and make extra roasted maple bacon flavored Brussels sprouts to snack on throughout the day.I sprinkled a little vegan Parmesan on top for added flavor.
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Bacon Flavored Roasted Brussels Sprouts Stir-Fry
- 1 pound of Brussels sprouts – cut off the ends and cut in half
- 1 small red onion – peeled and slivered
- 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons of liquid smoke
- 2 tablespoons of pure maple syrup
- Sea salt and black pepper to taste
- 1 block of extra firm tofu – pressed and cut into cubes
- 1 cup of cherry tomatoes – cut in half
- Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a medium iron skillet (iron works best but you can use what you have) on medium heat. When the oil is hot add the onions and Brussels sprouts and stir to coat with the oil. Stir frequently so that they brown evenly. Cook for approximately ten minutes or until you can easily pierce the sprouts with a fork.
- Mix the liquid smoke and maple syrup together in a small bowl and add to the pan with the sprouts and onions. It will sizzle and the smell will be amazing. Stir to coat the veggies and let the sauce reduce. Add salt and pepper to taste. Turn off the heat and remove the sprouts and onions.
- Using the same skillet to cook the tofu and tomatoes, turn the heat on to medium and add the second tablespoon of olive oil and spread it evenly in the pan. Add the tofu cubes when the oil is hot and sear each side until golden brown. Approximately three minutes per side. When you flip the sides of the tofu add the tomatoes. You don’t want to cook the tomatoes, they should just warm through and soften a bit. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Plate the sprouts, tofu, and tomatoes and enjoy!
- The sprouts will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to five days. For best results reheat in the over or on the stovetop.