Brussels Spouts, Miami and Boobs
We never know where inspiration will come from. And when the usual tactics don’t work, we have to find new ones. I’ve been called a “free spirit,” which I don’t like, as it brings up insecurities about being flaky, which I suppose we all can be at times. But in the best sense it means to follow ones heart. I like to think of myself as a curious meanderer. Miami doesn’t really lend itself to my normal curious-meandering habits. Translation: I don’t walk very much here because, aside from the beach and the malls, there aren’t many places to do that. So I don’t get the opportunity to stumble upon hidden treasures on the streets or inside of little shops, or talk to locals with old stories to share.
The other day, on a desperate search for inspiration, I went on a long bike ride, then walked around most of South Beach. True, the art deco buildings are stunning, and the bungalow;s truly charming, but I wanted city, shops and people. So I walked Ocean Drive, and honestly the only thing I came up with was a photo of a mannequin with big boobs, wearing a t-shirt that said, “I’m sexy and I know it.” Don’t get me wrong, South Beach has its true beauty and soulfulness – it’s just different. So when here, I must look for inspiration on a different plane.
So I did. I looked to winter vegetables and a new client, figuring if I couldn’t find anything outside, I’d get inside the head of someone new. As a Nutritional Muse, I inspire health for a living. Putting together a plan for someone is like piecing a puzzle together. It begins with figuring out their likes and dislikes, which gives clues as to how the pieces fit. Figuring out a person’s palate, and how they react to foods, heat or cold, for example, offers clues about what they might need or not need in their diet, as well as what spices might benefit them, that they might also enjoy. But I can’t honestly give you a formula at this point – it’s become very instinctual. Often I can guess what people will eat or gravitate towards just by looking at them, and this was exactly the case with my new client, and Brussels sprouts.
Winter vegetables can be hit or miss with many people. They can be overcooked or stewed and become heavy. I prefer most raw but this can be an acquired taste – it’s not often that Brussels sprouts get served as crudités. But this was the veggie I was motivated to try for my new client. I had a feeling it was one he’d love, and given their enormous health benefits, one he could use.
Health Benefits of Brussels Sprouts
Brussels sprouts are a rich source of minerals like copper, calcium, potassium, iron, manganese and prosperous.
They’re a member of the cruciferous veggie family, along with broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage. This fiber-filled group is high in folic acid and foliate, which can ward off cancer as well as up your red blood cell count.
They are an excellent source of Vitamin K. This is essential in bone formation and can be beneficial for brain health and for keeping Alzheimer’s at bay.
The spices used in the following recipe also hold immense healing and health benefits. They enhance the flavors but also elevate the nutritional value of a dish. Please have a look at the On Spices section on my website for a full description.
Roasted Brussels Sprouts & Mushrooms with Moroccan spices
1 lb. fresh Brussels sprouts, sliced in half (tip removed)
1 lb mixed mushrooms (add after you rub the spices – you don’t want the mushrooms to get wet)
1 red onion
1 clove garlic, smashed
1 t. ground coriander
1 t. cinnamon
1 t. ground cumin
1 t. turmeric
1 t red chile flakes or ½ t chile powder
1 tsp. sumac
3 T. olive oil
Juice and zest of one lime
Salt and pepper to taste
Mix all the ingredients, except for the salt and pepper, in a blender or a bowl. Adjust seasoning to taste. If using a bowl, chop the garlic before hand.
Gently rub the Brussels sprouts with the mixture and put on a baking tray lined with parchment. Add the mushrooms, then salt the entire dish.
Cook at 400 for about 30 minutes, periodically checking to see if the mixture needs stirring. The veggies should get crispy so if it does start to brown, it’s ok.
I like to overcook these, as they get crispy and the mushrooms taste extra roasted.
Toss and adjust salt and pepper, and add extra red chile flakes if you like the heat as much as I do.