By Molly Patrick
Nov 27, 2021,
Do you know what it takes to flood your body with fancy-sounding nutrients, like isothiocyanates, phenolics, and carotenoids, that in my mind sound like they definitely belong in a porn movie?
It takes eating food that grows in the ground of the very thing that gives us life: planet Earth. I’m talkin’ veggies, fruits, beans, grains, nuts, and seeds. Unprocessed and not fucked with.
It takes splashing some water on your face, throwing your hair into a bun, putting on some pants (I mean…), leaving your house, and going to that special place where groceries are exchanged for money.
It takes crushing on the produce section and having a hot fling in the bulk bin aisle, right between the brown lentils and the red quinoa.
Then it takes going home, taking a pee, and spending quality time in the magic room.
The room where carrots, onions, potatoes, turmeric, and cashews are transformed into cheesy sauce to drown your pasta and smother your potatoes.
Where tofu reshapes into plant based ricotta to top cold, crisp romaine.
Where corn, zucchini, bell pepper, butter beans, and spices ascend into a skillet of orgasms for your mouth.
This isn’t just a room with a stove, a fridge, and that one drawer that surprisingly holds five times more things than it has room for, including your mom’s potato masher from 1972 that has a light green handle and a worn black burn mark on the side.
This is the room where all of your dreams begin. This is the room where you take back your life. This is the room where you leave feeling-like-crap at the door, and in its place you uncover energy, purpose, pride, love for yourself, clarity, direction, and feeling better than you’ve felt since 1985 when John Hughes was on repeat, your hair had its own zip code, and leotards ruled the world.
This is the room where everything starts to change.
But this room can’t make magic with ingredients alone. It needs the secret sauce. And that secret sauce is YOU, showing up to make the magic happen.
Yes, it might take putting on pants, figuring out where to track down turmeric, wrestling with that one drawer for 13 actual minutes before you unlodge the potato masher while scraping your left knuckle, discovering your blender needs the lid on before you start blending, and doing way more dishes in a day than is reasonable for one human wearing pants.
But the reward?
Oh, my friend. The reward is pornographic-sounding nutrients flooding your body. Every. Single. Day.
THIS is your superpower.
THIS is what you will thank yourself for 20 years from now.
THIS is what keeps you young as you age.
THIS is what helps you sleep soundly.
THIS is what keeps you from being bloated.
THIS is what gives you the energy to play with your kids and grandkids.
THIS is the thing everyone will notice but can’t quite put their finger on. They will call it a glow, and you will feel it inside out, head to toe.
Welcome to the first day of the rest of your life.
- 3 tablespoons orange juice, freshly squeezed (zest before juicing)
- 3 tablespoons 100% pure maple syrup
- 3 tablespoons tahini
- ½ tablespoon ume plum vinegar
- ¾ teaspoon dried rosemary, ground or finely-crushed
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper (about 10 turns)
- ⅛ teaspoon cinnamon powder
- 1 pinch cayenne pepper (less than ⅛ teaspoon)
- 6 cups brussels sprouts, trimmed and sliced (600 g / stems and any yellow outer leaves removed, then sliced in half lengthwise. If some fresh outer leaves fall off while slicing, include them with the rest of your brussels.)
- 5 cups butternut squash, peeled and cubed (650 g / directions below)
- 1 heaping teaspoon orange zest
- spinach, for serving (optional)
- toasted pecans, for serving (optional)
- Preheat oven to 425°F (220°C). Line one large baking sheet or two smaller baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the orange juice, maple syrup, tahini, vinegar, rosemary, salt, garlic powder, black pepper, cinnamon, and cayenne powder. Add the sprouts and toss to coat.
- Cut about ¼-inch off both ends of your butternut squash, then using a peeler or sharp knife, remove the peel. Be SUPER careful when you do this. Cut your squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Cut the squash into 1-inch pieces and place them into the mixing bowl with the sprouts. Toss and stir to evenly coat the veggies with the orange juice mixture.
- Transfer the veggies to your baking sheet(s) in a single layer. Roast for 20 minutes, then stir and flip the veggies over and roast for an additional 10 minutes, or until the veggies are tender and golden brown. If both baking sheets can’t fit on the same oven rack, we suggest moving the top baking sheet to the bottom rack and the bottom baking sheet to the top rack after you stir and flip them. This will help your veggies roast more evenly.
- Remove the baking sheet(s) from the oven and sprinkle the orange zest over the veggies. Gently stir to combine, then cool to room temperature and promptly store in your fridge.
- Serve over spinach and top with toasted pecans.
Wishing you a happy week. May it be filled with magic.
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I didn’t think this sounded like a great combination but your fine photography is saying something different, so now I have to give it try!
Went out and bought a butternut pumpkin and Brussels and made this recipe today. Here down under these two ingredients are out of their season but still available so although not at their best, the flavours of the dish are superb and made up for any lack. Will certainly use this recipe for Christmas in July.
I omitted the OJ but this recipe is now a go to in our house!
Awesome, Kendra! We love it when people make our recipes their own! So glad you and your loved ones enjoy it.
The flavor profile was spot on. The issue I ran into is, butternut squash that didn’t hold it’s shape, it was mushy and there was no crisp edges or formed pieces. Any suggestions on how to improve this issue? I followed the recipe exactly.
Thanks for checking out this recipe, I’m happy to help. My suggestion would be to spread the veggies out a bit more so there’s more space for them to roast. You may need to use multiple pans or roast in batches. If the pan is crowded, the veggies will steam rather than roast, so they tend to get soft and there’s no caramelization. 🙂
I hope this helps.
What is ume plum vinegar? Where do I find it, specialty food store, trader Joe’s?
Any substitutions for this vinegar if I can’t find it?
Ume plum vinegar is a bit tricky to find. Members find it in health food stores such as Whole Foods or a local natural grocer. We haven’t seen it at Trader Joe’s. Brown rice vinegar would be a great substitute until you’re able to find it