My mom is from Texas, and I lived there for four years, so I am a bit of a Southern girl at heart. I like fried okra, really hot weather, and smiling at people I don’t know (not as much of a thing here in Boston, unfortunately).
As a true Texan, my mom gets really excited about greens, but I was never able to share in her excitement until now. When I was a kid she often worked to recreate the greens my grandmother used to make, which started with salt pork and reportedly ended up as a fabulous and memorable side dish. I never had the chance to try my grandmother’s greens, so I can’t really say how my mom’s versions compared, but as a child I felt exasperation and dread whenever my mother picked up those gargantuan leaves at the store. I just didn’t like collard greens.
This quick and easy bacon, arugula, and avocado salad is packed with flavor and tossed with a sherry vinaigrette that’s amazing on almost anything.
My last post was about inspiration, and this one is about exhaustion. Not the discouraging kind of exhaustion that makes you feel like there’s no end in sight, but the kind of exhaustion that leaves you cheerfully spent at the end of the day–content, but without much left to offer.
I started my first external placement for graduate school last week, and I’m in schools working with kids and teachers four days a week for ten hours a day. (In case you haven’t heard me mention it, I’m working on a master’s in speech and language pathology with dual certification as a reading specialist). I am learning and doing so much that I do not know where to put all my thoughts and ideas. I have plenty of notebooks and folders, but there’s not enough space and time to capture everything I want to hold onto. Do you ever feel that way? Please tell me about your own exhaustion in the comments so I can feel a little less alone!
I’ve made it to Day 10 of my Whole30! It feels good to be 1/3 of the way there, and I am loving eating so many vegetables. I’m not loving being the only one who can’t have any bread when we’re out to dinner, but so far the pros outweigh the cons. I like how the Whole30 forces me to be creative in the kitchen, finding new ways to make meat, eggs, and vegetables extra delicious.
As a kid I never liked brussels sprouts, because I’d only tried the mushy, boiled ones. The first time Ben made me Brussels sprouts, I was totally surprised. I LOVED them. He pan-fried them in a skillet until they were browned and crisp around the edges, and sprinkled them with plenty of Cajun seasoning. It’s a simple technique, but somehow it never tastes as good when I try to make it.
Since I’m not the best at making sprouts Ben’s way, I decided to think of a new way to prepare them. I love roasting vegetables because it’s so easy, and a parchment-lined cookie sheet means minimal cleanup. I was inspired by the huge box of oranges I have to create an easy glaze with fresh orange juice and zest, coconut aminos, and chili paste. The results were so delicious that I ate the entire batch for lunch! The glaze is spicy and sweet, and since the Brussels sprouts are roasted instead of cooking in the sauce, they retain their nice crispy edges.
Someday soon, I hope to use this recipe to convince a new person that they love Brussels sprouts. Maybe it will be you!
If you already love Brussels sprouts, what’s your favorite way to prepare them?
We’re going nose-to-tail with our zucchini today! I saw these charmingly small organic zucchini at Whole Foods, and was inspired to cook them without trimming the ends off, chopping them up, or turning them into noodles. Sometimes, we just have to let zucchini be! It’s a beautiful vegetable, and when it’s browned like this and braised until tender, you can eat the whole entire thing.