How do you get nutritious food that tastes amazing? For me, I visit my dearest friend. You see, I can tell you how to make a nutrient-dense meal, and my friend and her roommate are both connoisseurs of great flavors and fine cooking. The complement is perfect. I had the rare pleasure of visiting them all the way in St. Paul, Minnesota last weekend, and let me tell you: there were many-splendored feasts of all kinds.
Not only did we get to cook together a little, but we spent two hours at the local Farmer’s Market (yes, this is what I do for fun even when I can’t buy any produce – she made a Farmer’s Market Bingo for 5-year-old Paul that I hope to offer as a free download sometime soon); had an amazing dinner at a local restaurant that served grassfed beef and had chicken and duck liver pate on the menu in two places, which pretty much tells you everything; discovered a tiny bakery that only makes traditional sourdough bread with spelt and rye (I had a conversation with the owner about sourdough rise times, coconut oil, and soaking grains, oh, yes I did!); and relished the fact that at midnight, we were flipping through recipes and talking about food.
Above are our meals out Saturday night. A-maze-ing. I truly savored every bite (and not only because no one asked me to refill their milk). My first experience with fennel, and I’m a big fan as it turns out!
These girls are amazing: they threw a St. Joseph’s Feast Day dinner party that would make St. Joseph himself proud (and satisfied and nourished, too!). Someday I’m going to get them to guest post about how they throw a dinner party…maybe a week-long series with a wine pairing lesson.
Vacations and kindred spirits do a soul good! (And so does four hours of alone time on a Sunday afternoon, during which I managed to eat lunch, go for a bike ride, shop at my favorite spice store, read a spiritual book and a food book while laying in the sun at a park, go for a half hour walk, visit the cathedral to pray, chat with a friend on the phone, AND lay down for a 20 minute rest. I kid you not. It’s amazing what a mom can do when she has no kids around!)
I also had the pleasure of meeting Micaela Preston, author of Practically Green and Mindful Momma, in real life. We “talked shop” while our boys played on the most incredible playground I’ve ever seen…and neither of us took a picture. What kind of a blogger meets another blogger and doesn’t take a picture? (The distracted kind who like to talk. Me!)
But I digress. I’m seriously digressing. This post is supposed to be about brussel sprouts. Brussels sprouts? Apparently they’re “Brussels sprouts,” as a red line spell checker and a Swagbucks search just taught me. Huh. Now I’ve learned something new.
I don’t remember when I learned what Brussels sprouts (they sure sound like “brussel sprouts”!) actually looked like, but I’m pretty sure I was a full grown adult. I always thought the famed sprouts of hated childhood fare were the little sprouts on a salad bar and proudly proclaimed that I liked them.
Who knew they look like little tiny cabbages on a stick?
They taste like cabbage, a little bit, and they’re actually divine when properly prepared. This recipe is my friend Cheryl’s standby, which she will make every week until Brussels sprouts go out of season at the market. It’s from a cookbook by Diane Rossen Worthington called Seriously Simple
Recipe: Tasty Brussels Sprouts
1. Drizzle some olive oil in a skillet. Add a pat of butter and heat both on medium.
2. Slice your sprouts in half lengthwise and arrange face-down in the pan.
3. Once they begin to brown, use a spatula to mix them up. (I used to turn them all individually to get both sides, but this is lots of unnecessary work.) The cookbook says it’s all about the browning, that this is the step that takes a hated childhood side veg and vaults it to its spotlight placement.
4. Add 1/4-1/2 cup chicken broth and a pinch or to taste of sugar (less than a Tablespoon).
5. Grind on some salt and pepper.
6. Cook on medium high one minute.
7. Cover and cook two more minutes.
8. Uncover and turn the heat up a bit to get rid of the excess liquid and finish the carmelization.
9. Serve. Mmm…mmm…good!
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- Drizzle some olive oil in a skillet.
- Add a pat of butter and heat both on medium.
- Slice your sprouts in half lengthwise and arrange face-down in the pan.
- Once they begin to brown, use a spatula to mix them up. (I used to turn them all individually to get both sides, but this is lots of unnecessary work.) The cookbook says it’s all about the browning, that this is the step that takes a hated childhood side veg and vaults it to its spotlight placement.
- Add 1/4-1/2 cup chicken broth and sugar.
- Grind on some salt and pepper.
- Cook on medium high one minute.
- Cover and cook two more minutes.
- Uncover and turn the heat up a bit to get rid of the excess liquid and finish the carmelization.
- Serve. Mmm…mmm…good!
No brussels sprouts for your kids? What ARE you going to pack in their lunches? Find TONS of ideas by clicking here: Healthy Lunch Packing Ideas.
Be honest now…you’re salivating over these pictures of Brussels sprouts, aren’t you? They look SO good! I am getting better at food photography, in spite of my ancient camera (pats self on back…taking care not to drop said camera…again).
If you’re not sure how to pick great Brussels’ sprouts, talk to your local farmer at the Farmer’s Market. Use these 10 Questions to Ask Your Farmer as a guide to strike up a conversation!
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