Eat Your Brussels Sprouts

My goal? At least one serving of cruciferous vegetables a day.

Why? Because a fertility nutritionist told me that cruciferous vegetables contain a compound that helps with estrogen metabolism and hormonal balancing. If my hormones are balanced, I may have a better chance of conceiving.

First, I Googled cruciferous vegetables to evaluate my options. Here are three:

Broccoli ~ Not a good start. A long, long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, I ate plate of broccoli for dinner and barfed. I’d caught the flu. My bad stomach bug probably had nothing to do with broccoli, but I haven’t eaten it much since that night 25 years ago. Next!

Cauliflower ~ Much better. I love cauliflower. I will eat it roasted, steamed, pureed, and raw. Check!

Brussels sprouts ~ Ah, yes. I remember those little green balls. My mom used to make them for family dinners. I’m pretty sure I refused them based solely on looks and color. What can I say? I was 8.

This week I tried them again. A whole pound of them seasoned with salt, pepper, olive oil, and butter. “I don’t know if I can eat these,” I said to Ron. They looked so…so…so vegetable-y. That first night, I munched my way through them. “Meh. Not bad,” I said. “I like them,” Ron said. The next day, I re-heated them on the skillet, turning the round green heads with tongs. This time, I cleared my plate. The perfect crunch. The perfect sweetness. Plus, they were a nice compliment to our pan-seared turbot. By the third day, I was craving them. I couldn’t wait to eat more. So I made them for lunch. I wanted them again by dinnertime. Who would’ve guessed I love Brussels sprouts? Maybe you and your kids will, too. And just maybe, next week, I’ll try broccoli.

Sauteed Brussels Sprouts

(recipe courtesy of The Food Sherpa)

Add 1 pound of Brussels sprouts (rinsed and cut into quarters) to a pot of salted boiling water. Cook until just fork-tender then shock in ice water to stop the cooking. Drain and reserve in a colander to dry out. Meanwhile, heat 1/2 T of extra virgin olive oil and 1 T of organic unsalted butter in a skillet over medium-high heat until the oil shimmers and the butter just begins to brown. Add the sprouts, season with 1/4 t sea salt and 1/8 t freshly ground pepper, and sauté until lightly caramelized, turning often. Serve immediately or reserve to cool for later service. Re-warming the Dish: Warm a skillet over medium heat. Add the Brussels sprouts and warm for 3-4 minutes, turning frequently. Serve immediately.

About Jenny Rough

Jenny Rough is a lawyer-turned-writer. Visit her on the web at

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