You know when you’d sit at the dinner table as a little kid and hear…
Eat your vegetables.
You have to eat your vegetables.
Eat your vegetables… or else! No dessert.
Like it’s some kind of punishment.
It’s no wonder most of us have a terrible relationship to eating veggies.
And that’s if you were lucky enough to have parents that cared enough to enforce the rules. Well intentioned. But maybe sending a slightly funny message.
Sweets and treats are a reward and vegetables suck. You must power through to get to the “good stuff”.
Yet, if you only changed ONE thing in your daily routine, I’d seriously think that eating more vegetables– even if you kept everything else the same– would have you feeling better, more energized, more satiated, digesting better, and with cleaner tastebuds. Not to mention less inflammation and pain all over your body. Clearer skin. Less drastic hunger signals. The whole thing.
And let me clarify:
This is not the same as eat your fruit and vegetables.
They are not equal, and not in the same category of food. Succinctly: If you ate lots of fruit but little or no vegetables at all, you’d miss out on a lot of the critical nutrients, minerals and enzymes it takes for our bodies to run efficiently.
If you ate a lot of vegetables and no fruit, you’d still have all of those nutrients taken care of.
So, it’s important to eat them.
Daily. At every meal if you’re more advanced in your healthy routine.
It’s also important to like them.
To actually enjoy eating them.
So, you’ll want to eat them more.
And even more, after you notice how they make you feel. So, you do. And you like to do so, because of those things.
That would be a good relationship to eating healthy food.
So, here’s one to practice on today. Because this month will be full of other options, but if you can at least get (and stay) on the daily veggie train, and keep it creative and fresh [aka not another plain salad or slimy bag of baby carrots] , you’ll be amazed at what it can do.
So, today. A fun one. And a healthy one. That doesn’t feel like punishment. Eat it cold the first few days and then saute it up if you want to get a little crazy.
Shaved Brussel Sprout Salad with Pine Nuts + Pecorino
adapted from a Not Without Salt recipe
Makes approximately 4 large servings
5 cups brussel sprouts (larger are easier to cut if you can find them)
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts (or walnuts, slivered almonds, pistachios)
1/2 cup pecorino cheese (or parmesan)
1/2 cup chopped tarragon or basil (optional)
1/3 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1 lemon, juiced
1 teaspoon honey (optional)
Chop the sprouts finely (or you can slice on a mandoline if you are very careful. The thought alone freaks me out, big knife it is). Add to a large bowl.
Toast nuts if you didn’t buy pre-toasted pine nuts. Heat a bit of olive oil in a skillet over low heat, add nuts, and cook for 2-3 minutes.
Whisk lemon, olive oil, dijon, honey, herbs, sea salt and pepper together. Pour over the top. Sprinkle nuts and cheese over the top right before serving.
If you want to save half of this salad for tomorrow and try it fried (in coconut oil or olive oil), hold off on the nuts and cheese, but dress and toss the sprouts to store. The next day, it tastes even better after the sprouts have had time to mellow.
Other great add in options to try: nitrate free bacon, white beans, garbanzo beans, shredded or grilled chicken or avocado pieces.
Then, you can say that you’re hardcore and have eaten brussel sprouts raw. And liked it. See?
You’re already on your way.