Brussels Sprouts Salad with Candied Bacon

Life, right? I had the best intentions of sharing this recipe with you all before the holidays and then whoooooosh there they went. But there is no reason why Brussels sprouts and candied bacon can’t happen now.

If you’ve not jumped on the raw Brussels sprouts bandwagon I hope this salad can convince you. They are great in just about any salad. They hold up well which I always see as a major salad bonus. When slicing my tool of choice is the mandolin (this one is my favorite). When candied bacon isn’t an option I also like to combine some frilly shaved Brussels sprouts with white beans or chickpeas. I always find a crumble of cheese like feta or flecks of Parmesan is nice and toss it all together with a shallot vinaigrette or just lemon and olive oil.

You can find the recipe on the Electrolux site.

Before you leave though can we get real for a moment? I mean I know salads are real but I wanted to check in with you and see how you are feeling about this week? It’s kind of a tough one isn’t it? Last week on my Insta-story I sat with you in a puddle of my honesty and sought your guidance. The only question I could muster was, “What can we do?” What can we do in a world where it feels like hate and division are winning? How can we be a stronger voice for love, peace, and grace in this broken place filled with us; broken people?

Many of you are in the same place I am. Hurting, broken, and at a loss for what we can do to help our country heal. We are in this together and together we can do great things.

There are many great and beautiful things happening right now. Let’s talk about those things. Let’s focus on those things.

Here are a few of my responses to the question, “What can I do?”

First of all I have a renewed passion for gathering people at our table. Long lingering meals where people feel at home in ours. Where one meal trickles on to the next and the food just keeps filling the table. Sometimes this feels too small but I’m constantly reminded of the power of the table and I plan to continue to further invest in that mission.

“We are all broken by something. We have all hurt someone and have been hurt. We all share the condition of brokenness even if our brokenness is not equivalent.” Bryan Stevenson writes this in his book, Just Mercy. He continues. “I began thinking about what would happen if we all just acknowledged our brokenness, if we owned up to our weaknesses, our deficits, our biases, our fears. Maybe if we did, we wouldn’t want to kill the broken among us who have killed others.” I want to continue to be open in my brokenness and believe in my own healing and forgiveness so I can do the same for others. We are all broken and I believe love to be the only salve.

I get so excited about fostering the community that this site built. Some of you might come here just for the recipes and that’s totally fine, you are welcome. But it’s always been more than that for me. This used to simply be my place of rest and light while deep in the throes of raising young children. It was where my creativity lived while scrubbing crusted cereal off the floors. It was the happy place my mind wandered to while reading Brown Bear, Brown Bear for the 1,000th time. Part of my day is still spent scrubbing crusty cereal off the floor but they’re also quite capable of doing that themselves. All of that to say now I feel more able to help and serve you all. One of my main goals in this place has always been to inspire you to get food on the table and to enjoy it; the food, the process, all of it. Finding the beauty in the everyday as always been a part of my mission through the recipes, words, and images that live on the site. I’m ready and excited for more of that and to make this place more helpful for you.

The current political climate has ripped the scales from my eyes and revealed the work that needs to be done. I’m sorry for those who have been hurting for a long time while I sat by doing and saying nothing. No more. A friend of mine said the other night that she is tired of cowering and is ready to take up more space in this world. I love that. My voice will be louder and I will take up more space for the purpose of loving and serving the broken (all of us).

There are many incredible organizations to give to and that is, of course, a wonderful action to take right now. Many of you know that a portion of our each sale from our shop goes directly to an organization that we love, First Aid Arts. Right now my heart is bursting at the seams to tell you about a fundraiser that my sweet oldest son has come up with. After reading about mosquitos and how they are the deadliest animal on the planet he was moved to action. He has set a goal to raise $2,000 which will be enough money to provide 2,000 (!!) mosquito nets for families around the world. I’ll be sharing more about this as we continue to think through our fundraising plans. In the meantime feel free to check out his amazing website he and Gabe made. You guys, love bombs are bursting all over the place!! This, this gives me so much hope and happy, gushy feelings.

Finally, in that Insta-story I mentioned earlier, my new friend Shaina from Shaina Saw had the amazing idea of flooding the Internet with images of love on Friday (or maybe all week). She suggests “family, weddings, children, accomplishments, stores. Whatever love means to you. All day. We don’t buy in to the negativity. We project the values we hope to see in our country.” Damn. You guys are amazing. I love this! Who’s in? We’re using the hashtag #sharethegood so we can all follow the love train. Let’s let that be the prevailing message.

Brussels Sprouts Salad with Candied Bacon

Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad with Candied Bacon and Cranberries

Find the recipe here.

29 Responses to “Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad with Candied Bacon and Cranberries”

  1. 2pots2cook

    Thank you for the words of inspiration ! Love and serving others are the only way to survive as a truly human being. Thank you dear. I will be back for more.

    • Laura

      On the contrary, finding new ways to help people and spread love are some of the most mature, adult ways to express our emotions. We’re not going to build any bridges ranting and raving–or by leaving rude comments on people’s personal blogs 🙂 I say bravo to this post.

    • Emma

      Donna, I’m not sure if you feel she has slighted you with her words, but if you read them all the way through carefully, you will come to see that all she is advocating for is more love & togetherness….it shocks me that something like that would offend you.

    • Julie Hubert

      Wow Donna, that’s hurtful and unkind. I think Ashley is doing the opposite of “belly aching”. She’s being honest with her truth and calling us to rejoice in the good in our lives ultimately. to #sharethegood That’s awesome and I’m with her.

  2. Cynthia Schmidt

    I am a person in the “older” generation, and I have felt similar feelings as well. Thank you for voicing for all of us. I also have been moved to be more proactive in my community and in my actions by current events. It is heartwarming to see so much good coming out of all of this. And I love the ideas and am in for #sharethegood!

    • Ashley Rodriguez

      Thank you so much, Cynthia, for responding here. I am always so inspired to read about other people’s actions as a response. Can’t wait to watch #sharethegood spread on Friday!

  3. Ashley Benson

    Wonderful ideas for moving forward, creating good, and answering that question “What do we do?”.

    Here is another: recognize that there is no “other side” to the political debate, and reach across the metaphorical aisle. Are there Trump voters sharing meals at your table? Tea Partyers involved in your fundraising activities toward common goals? This is where we start. It is on us–the progressives, the liberals, whatever you want to call yourself–to bridge that divide. Bridge it we must, because anything else is just building walls.

    • Ashley Rodriguez

      Ashley, I absolutely agree and thank you so much for pointing this out. In no way do I want to add to the divisiveness of our country. I feel as if we are all in this together and the only way to close the divide is to find our common goals, be understanding in our differences and work together. I hope we can do that. That is my goal, my desire, and my mission. I’m guilty of being judgmental and hypocritical in all of this. That’s why I love so much Bryan Stevenson’s words on brokenness. We are all broken people – the more we lean into that the more we can be understanding of other people’s brokenness and all of our needs for grace. Thank you for adding your voice to the conversation.

      • Sis

        I think one of the ways to bridge a divide is acknowledgement of and respect for someone who thinks differently and therefore, voted differently. There has been so much subtle negativity or outright insulting all over the Internet – from all sides. There are a couple of food blogs I love but seriously am considering removing from my list because reading them made me feel so unwelcome. You make more sense at this point than many. Just what you are proposing, love, is the best medicine, because with love comes acknowledgment and respect.

        And action – I am taking fostering classes, and plan to foster children here in Louisiana in a few months. Also, I just became aware yesterday of a home for veterans with mental health problems, and plan on checking that out to see how I can get involved. There are sacrifices to be made of time, comfort, even sleep, haha. But isn’t that where we have to start, by giving first and not waiting on someone else to step up? Thanks for being one of the givers. XO

        • Ashley Rodriguez

          Sis, this is so beautiful. So incredibly inspired by your actions. And I totally agree – no matter where one stands on the political divide I think we all can and should recognize that our country is deeply torn. That is what I hope to correct. No action gets accomplished with division. Thank you for taking the time to share your heartfelt comment. I really appreciate it.

          • Ashley Benson

            Oh, this just made my gol’durn day, Ashley & Sis. 🙂 I needed these words and this sentiment, this affirmation that what I am feeling about love and respect and understanding and compassion being the only solution in this moment.

            I have had the same experience with feeling forced to unfollow blogs I love for fostering negativity post-election, and I am so grateful that NotWithoutSalt–and its readers–provides a virtual space that is doing just the opposite. Thank you, Ashley, for sharing the love and nourishing the good in the world. <3

  4. Julie Hubert

    I am in to #sharethelove ! Thank you for sharing your life with us here.

  5. Hannah

    Mm, that salad looks decadent. And you’re so right about being louder. This is a fantastic time to be outspoken and demand more thoughtfulness from our fellow humans. It’s wonderful that you’re using your voice to push for compassion. That’s how public opinion is shaped! Hopefully the next 4 years (or maybe 2? I’m wishful thinking) will spark an insurmountable movement for equality and compassion. Yay for fostering community and Brussels sprout salad!

    • Ashley Rodriguez

      Thanks, Hannah. I appreciate your words and encouragement. I’m so hoping that this amazing momentum is just building. I also hope that everyone – on either “side” feels loved and listened to.

  6. Lane @ With Two Spoons

    Ashley-I have loved your blog forever and your book is one of my favorite cookbooks of all times. Now I also thank you for your beautiful post. We all feel broken but we must rise above and come together. There is no place for divisiveness right now. I stand with you and pledge to #sharethegood like confetti-everywhere I can!

  7. Hajar Rinjani

    In Indonesia, meatball which is locally called “Bakso” is main dishes. Everybody like it. It is served with corn-noodle and hot sauce.
    I like yours, should try it for a new taste

  8. Bec

    Totally supportive – hugs!
    And my previous experience of brussel sprouts is so negative – over cooked, mushy at Christmas, and you had to eat them – so I am so open to trying a new take – one I might enjoy!