Zen and the Art of Preparing Brussels Sprouts

February 8th, 2011 | Posted by Alison Spath in Dinner Time

I’ve written casually about my favorite way to make Brussels sprouts before, but now I feel that this vegetable dish deserves an official post of its own because:

1.  I make them all the time and have therefore seriously improved my method

2.  I want to flesh out each step that goes into preparing Brussels sprouts in this manner

3.  Cooking vegetables can be highly meditative – as I will now demonstrate

OK.  Before we get started, let’s take a couple of deep, cleansing breaths.  In through your nose… out through your mouth. Yes, that’s it.  Very good.

Begin now by dropping your Brussels sprouts into a small pool of water; one by one.  Watch them bob and bounce as they are gently cradled and caressed by the rocking waves.  Trust that any dirt and/or supermarket grime will be released from their their sweet, leafy little heads with ease and grace.

Brussel Sprout Bath

Instead of feeling tense and anxious when you think back on all the time you’ve spent slicing these guys with a serrated knife by hand in the past, let go of what has been and accept what will be.  Be grateful for the new awareness your past experiences have brought to you.

Be here.  Be now.  Stay in this slicer-attachment, wonder of food processor wonders present moment.

Slicer Blade

Slicer attachment in place, load Brussels sprouts into the chute and prepare yourself to fully embrace the raw energy and incredible speed that is Cuisinart.

Into the Chute

Behold!  The marvelous pile of green shredded goodness that you (and the food processor) have manifested!

Shaved to Perfection

With your spine straight, hips tucked under, shoulder blades pressed down and into your back, move toward the drawer to now retrieve the shredder attachment for the food processor.  Shift your weight into your heels as you turn and swan dive into your produce drawer for a couple of carrots.  Let the spirit within you guide and move you to shred a bunch carrots while the food processor is out and now needs to be washed anyway.

In fact, “Spirit Says” – maybe even shred a couple extra carrots to set aside for your breakfast salad tomorrow, eh?

Good thinking, Spirit.  (and I didn’t realize you were Canadian.)

Grated Carrots

“Spirit Says” heat up a couple tablespoons of coconut oil and throw in a couple cloves of sliced garlic and one large, diced onion.

“Spirit Says” saute garlic and onions on medium heat until soft.

Garlic and Onions

Touch your toes.

Awwwww, I didn’t say “Spirit Says”!

(And if you did touch your toes, now go wash your hands.  I mean, “Spirit Says” – wash your hands.)

Return to your state of calm relaxation as you begin to load up a handful or two of shredded carrots and three-ish handfuls of sliced Brussels sprouts into your pan.

Fill the pan and do not be afraid.  Have faith and trust that they will condense down once they start to cook.

Veggie Pile

With awareness and compassion, gently fold these vegetables together as they intertwine and join to become one (incredibly tasty dish).

Stir to Combine

Cover and now take another deep, cleansing breath.




Notice with acute awareness the smells that are now filling your kitchen.

Garlic.  Onions.  Cabbage.  Oh my.

While the flavors melt into each other with explosive heat and intense passion, let go of any stress or tension about the gigantic mess you have made in the kitchen.  Accept yourself and your slobby cooking habits for all that they are.

Continue to allow your vegetables to cook on medium-low heat for about 15 – 20 minutes.  Stir occasionally to make sure they aren’t burning to the bottom of the pan while you’re off listening to the sound of one hand clapping.

Smile.  Your Brussels sprouts are ready.

Brussels Sprouts All Done

Enjoy now or put into the fridge to eat at another time.  Perhaps a future meal or snack that you have absolutely no attachment to.  See yourself using this side dish in place rice or pasta.  Give thanks that you now know how to spell “Brussels sprouts” without any help from spell check.

Ready to Eat

Welcome to The Land of Brussels Sprout Enlightenment.  You are now welcome to go in peace and become one with the washing machine as you run off and start a load of laundry.

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