Brussels Sprouts for Self Love

 Penel’s Best Brussels

To serve 2 veggie lovers, or 4-5 begrudging eaters*

*next time the latter group will probably need a double recipe because this preparation will make them love brussies!

-1 tablespoon olive oil
-1 small red onion, sliced
-2-6 cloves garlic (depending how much you like it), minced
-1 pat butter (or plant based substitute
-1/2 t thyme
-1/2 t oregano 
-1/4 t paprika
-a dash of hot sauce (optional, I use Cholula)
-1 lb fresh Brussels sprouts, cleaned and cut into quarters
-1 t salt 
-1/2 t (or several fresh grinds) black pepper
-dry white wine for deglazing the pan, maybe about 1/2 a cup

-Heat olive oil on a medium flame in a large sauté pan of your choosing (I prefer cast iron)
-sauté sliced onion until just starting to get translucent, about 4 minutes 
-add garlic, butter, thyme, oregano, paprika and hot sauce (if using). stir and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute
-add Brussels, salt and pepper, toss to combine, let cook about 1 minute
-add the wine to deglaze the pan, stir and make sure to scrape up the yummy bits stuck to the bottom of the pan. 
-cover and cook 5 minutes, then remove cover and cook about 5 minutes more, regularly stirring/tossing/giving a nice shake to the pan. the wine should reduce down completely during this process. 

Brussels are ready when there is some visible caramelization and they are just stab-able with a fork - think al dente, but for a vegetable. Add salt and pepper to taste, and serve immediately. 

Cooking is a great way to love on yourself and the people in your life. Making great meals that feel good in my body is the best way I’ve found to work on healing my toxic relationship with food. This is a lifelong process for me! I think a lot of people find this to be true for themselves. 

Personally, I feel best when my food pyramid has veggies at the top, with protein and healthy fats right below. My body feels good with the less processed starchy foods like quinoa, fresh corn, and potatoes. My mind, my mouth, and my pleasure center want ALL THE BREAD. Not the healthy nourishing sprouted seedy kind. I’m talking baguettes and peasant loaves and I’m talking covered in butter. True gratification. Sigh. Unfortunately for me, one slice of bread leads to three or four which usually leads to a loaf a day. I’m a compulsive overeater! That’s why I can’t really deal with eating bread. I love it, I highly recommend it to those who like how it feels in their bodies, but I just feel better when I shy away from it. 

Lately I’ve been on a crazy bread binge. In the face of all the covid-related anxiety I’ve been experiencing, I turn to bread and slather it with butter, consider myself too full for a proper meal, repeat the whole process several more times throughout the day, and then wonder why I’m feeling creaky and uncomfortable. My mom calls this “magical thinking”.   I honestly made myself cry recently just feeling sorry for my body and how I’ve been cramming it full of food that makes it feel bad! I decided to plan my shopping for this week around protein and veggie based meals, because that’s a formula I know from experience will make my body feel good. 

To start my week, I served these Brussels sprouts up with love to myself and my ma alongside a rare New York strip steak and a glass of red wine (gotta keep up my health with the antioxidants, duh). This meal was amazing. These brussies would go great alongside your favorite protein or as the 💫 STAR 💫 of a yummy grain bowl or warm salad topped with some Parmesan perhaps? Please send me your serving suggestions!!


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