Sunday, January 29, 2012

Brussels X Sprouts

I hate to exercise.  As far as I'm concerned it's two 4-letter words joined at the hip:   EXER*CISE;  F*** THIS. Same thing.

So you'll probably be surprised to discover that I joined a new gym this weekend: X SPORTS.  It has  free weights, stair climbers, tread mills, ellipticals, circuit training, spin classes, zumba, body sculpting, 3 lap lanes, and a juice bar.  It's open 24/7, 365 days a year.  It's close to home, and it's relatively cheap.  I can get a massage, a pedicure, and exercise outfits right on site.  In short, they've taken away just about every excuse I can come up with not to exercise.  And there's probably less than 50% chance that I'll last a month.  I'm amazed at those people who thrive on exercise.  They bop around "feeling the burn."  They like to sweat.  They seek their endorphin rush like I seek a cosmo at Happy Hour.  I don't get it.  

 I've always thought of exercise as a really nice idea.  I suppose that's the problem.  I love thinking about being active.  In the last four years, I've thought about, and actually tried: ice skating, running, tennis, kayaking, bikram yoga,  PX90 (think Jack Lalane with a serious ADHD issue) and rock climbing.  (Rock climbing was inspired by a woman rock-climber I once met with arms to rival Michelle Obama's. I lasted about as long as it took me to get up 15 feet on a rock-climbing wall, at which point I panicked from the height--not proud here--and had to get back to tierra firma via the rappel of shame while 50 teen-aged Girl Scouts snickered and laughed.)  Did I mention that I'm not a jock?  Truth told, I'm a complete abject woosie.

But in 6 short months I'm headed to a sunny Caribbean resort on an equally sunny Caribbean island.  I may be middle-aged and have 3 kids, but I'm damn well wearing a bikini.  It's important to have goals, you know.  Given my lack of athletic prowess, there's really only one way to make this happen, and it isn't in a gym.  You don't lose weight at the gym.  You lose weight at the grocery store, the restaurant, and in the kitchen.  It's what you put in your mouth, stupid.  And if I'm going to get into that bikini, what goes in my mouth better well be a whole helluva a lot of vegetables. I'll start with Brussels sprouts. This is hard core.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts (serves 4)

1.  Buy about 16 Brussels sprouts.   That's the hardest step.

2.  Cut them in half.

3.  Place them in a roasting pan and generously season them with salt, and olive oil.  Don't be stingy on the olive oil.  For God's sake, you're preparing BRUSSELS SPROUTS.  Make sure they taste good.  Put on some more olive oil.

4.   Roast at 375 degrees for about 30 minutes.  They should be all nice and toasty brown--naturally caramelized, but to just make sure that they taste appropriately sweet, toss them with about 1 Tbs of sugar and 1 Tbs of maple syrup right before you pull them out of the oven.

5.  Unfortunately, these actually turn out so well that when you pair them with roasted potatoes, tarragon carrots, roasted pork tenderloin, and a lovely pinot noir, well, you need to get yourself to a gym.  Damn.


  1. Excellent post. My feelings exactly, but you nailed it!


  2. I've been looking for a Brussels sprout recipe Cynthia, so thanks for making finding one easy, and good luck with your goal. - Scott Dack

  3. Ooooo, I'm with you about the gym, Cynthia, although I'm going to TRY to make a go of it at the Y - they have a pool, and the only things I actually Like to do are bike and swim. I've always hated Brussels sprouts - wouldn't sit near them at the table when I was a kid - but on the other hand, my mom Sure Could Ruin A Meal (bless her heart); she would boil broccoli until it turned into so much olive colored slime. I recently steamed some Brussels sprouts for my opossum and timidly tried a leaf. To my surprise they were Not Bad! Going to try this recipe soon - if nothing else, the MArsupial Princess will eat them, LOL.

    BTW, been dying to talk to you about my most recent discovery, flat iron steaks.