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Cooking has become rather ceremonial to me. But as life would have it, I don’t have as much time as I’d like to whip up elaborate meals. Although I’m beginning to realize that similar to yoga or meditation, it isn’t about how often or for how long we practice but simply that we show up. Whether it’s cooking a four course meal for friends or a fridge-clean-out dinner, I practice being present and connected.

Whole food has vitality. It has life. The more we are able to connect with it, the more useful it is to our bodies.

Cooking our own meals creates space for the connectedness between ourselves and food. The eating experience becomes much more meaningful after cooking a meal created from scratch. When we cook, we also subconsciously prepare our bodies for food. The sights and smells we take in during the cooking process fire up our digestive juices, making our bodies all the more capable to break down, absorb, and metabolize nutrients.

Cruciferous vegetables like Brussels sprouts (also broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage to name a few) consist of sulfur-containing nutrients that, when eaten, are broken down into biologically active compounds known to possess anticancer properties. Not only that, cruciferous veggies are among the healthiest foods we can eat; high in carotenoids, vitamins C, E, and K as well as a handful of minerals, they pack a powerful and healthful punch. And I want to be knocked out.

Knowing the positive impact conscious and connected cooking creates, we can take the most complicated or simple recipe (like this one!) and our takeaway will be the same: a satiety that not only fills our stomach but our mind and soul, too.

Garlicky Lemony Roasted Brussels Sprouts (Yield: 2 side servings Total Time: 45 minutes)

The Ingredients

  • approx. 1lb Brussels sprouts
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • coarse sea salt and pepper, to taste
  • generous pinch cayenne
  • 3-4 wedge lemons
  • 1 bulb garlic, separated into individual cloves

The Directions

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F

2. Rinse Brussels sprouts and pat dry

3. Groom them by removing the outermost leaves, trimming the bottoms, and slicing in half lengthwise from the top

4. Place in a bowl and drizzle over olive oil, fresh lemon juice, salt, pepper, and cayenne

5. Transfer to a baking sheet along with lemon slices and garlic cloves and place in oven for 30 minutes. If crispy and golden on the outside, remove from the oven. If still bright green, flip ’em and place back in the oven for an additional 10 minutes

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