So… You think you hate brussel sprouts?
About a week ago, I was fixing dinner with my friend Jessica (who, you should know, is a very good vegetable eater) when she started rifting through my fridge. She came across a bag of raw brussel sprouts and this is what she said…
Jessica: Now, that’s one thing I’d like for you to make for me.
Me: What’s that? (I’m busy stirring something on the stove while she peruses)
Jessica: Brussel sprouts. I’ve never liked them before.
Me: (Laughing) Oh! So you want ME to fix them for you? To see if I can get you to eat them?
Jessica: (pleased with herself for being a good communicator) Yes.
Pretty simple conversation, but she gets some bonus points. Let’s identify some things she did really well…
1) Word Choice
Did you notice how she phrased her sentence about disliking vegetables? She said, “I’ve never liked them before.” She’s a smart lady. Too often, I hear the words “I don’t eat brussel sprouts” or “I don’t like them.”
DID YOU KNOW THAT I DON’T BELIEVE YOU????
Especially if I ask you this…
“Have you tried them in the past three years?”
And you follow up with this…
“No.” (looks at me like I’m crazy)
Come on! Doesn’t everyone know (by now) that your taste buds turn over every three years? If you haven’t had something in the past three years, how do you KNOW if you don’t like it? You have all new taste buds. You really CAN’T know how it tastes because your tastes CHANGE.
2) Getting over it
There are some foods that are worth TRYING to like. These are foods that are a benefit to your health/body.
If you don’t like healthy foods… you should try to “Get over it.”
I wouldn’t work really hard to like cupcakes if I disliked cupcakes because cupcakes are not a magical food that heals my body (some of you might disagree – but you’re wrong). I WOULD, however, work to like a vegetable because vegetables have magical healing powers.
3) Try it a different way
Notice she is asking ME to fix it for her. Not someone else. She’s asking me. The vegetable connoisseur. That was a wise choice.
Let me ask you this… if you were trying wine for the first time, would you ask a beer drinker for a wine recommendation? No. That would be silly.
I know what you’re thinking… what if I don’t HAVE a friend who loves vegetables? If that’s true…
WHAT KIND OF PEOPLE ARE YOU HANGING OUT WITH?!?!?
Just kidding. But, seriously. You need a friend who loves vegetables. Who else are you going to invite over for your healthy dinners?
Back on track: Yesterday = Jessica turns Twenty-seven
My friend was right to ask me to help her. Help her, I did.
Last night, she had no idea that I would be bringing her brussel sprouts. Nobody knew. Many people would have guessed that they wouldn’t be liking them. Many were surprised to find that they absolutely liked them. Many asked to know how to make them.
Good news. It’s really easy.
All of this to say – I am an amazing brussel sprout artist… and you can be amazing at brussel sprouts, too!
The best way to eat brussel sprouts… in my opinion… is to eat them with bacon.
Pan-Seared Brussel Sprouts with Bacon
- Brussel Sprouts, washed, left whole
- 3 slices of bacon
- 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
- Salt and Pepper
- Boil water in a medium saucepan. When water is boiling, add 1 Tbsp salt and brussel sprouts (whole). Let boil for ~5 minutes or until brussel sprouts appear to turn bright green. They should still be somewhat firm.
- Remove from heat. Drain water and cut in half. Set aside.
- In a large skillet, fry three pieces of bacon. Once bacon is cooked crisp, remove from skillet, drain some of the fat but leave the drippings. Add olive oil to the hot pan. Immediately, add the halved brussel sprouts and then let cook (WITHOUT STIRRING) for about 5 minutes or until brown and carmelized. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Toss in the pan and let cook again for about 5 minutes without stirring.
- Remove from heat. Sprinkle crumbled bacon pieces on top.