Side Dish ~ Brussels Sprouts with Bacon, Garlic and Shallots

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I met some friends for a Saturday morning bike ride at Lake Natoma, and then happened upon the Sutter Street Farmer’s Market at the end of the ride.  Without a shopping list or recipes in mind, I went about purchasing some wonderful local fruits and veggies to take home.  I highly recommend you checking out this open air market if you haven’t yet.  It is smaller than many, but really fun to wander around with live music, food samples, etc. The next day I decided to cook up the Brussels sprouts that I had bought a handful of and went to the web for inspiration.  I didn’t have to go far, because I had “liked” the Cooking Light Magazine Facebook page, and there in front of me on my Facebook “wall” was a delicious looking recipe entitled Brussels Sprouts with Bacon, Garlic and Shallots (http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/brussels-sprouts-bacon-50400000116749/).  I didn’t have all the ingredients on hand, but with a little improvising, I think I made it abit healthier and easier to prepare, while still retaining the deliciousness.  First off, I didn’t have enough Brussels sprouts so I had to quarter the recipe.  I also had no bacon on hand, but I did have a jar of Hormel Real Bacon Pieces available, which contains 50% less fat.   So I skipped the first step and added in a tablespoon of olive oil to replace the bacon drippings that are called for.  I added 2 tablespoons of the bacon bits to the dish when I added the chicken broth (which was regular chicken broth, not lower-sodium).  When it was done, I added a couple grinds of the salt and pepper mill to the mixture.  These were wonderful, but the recipe comes with a warning from me:  these bacon-y, garlic-y, onion-y little gems could easily become addicting!  And I’m afraid, very afraid, to try the original, unmodified version using real bacon! =:-O

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