This year, our health insurance company set up a reward scheme where you get a gift card for completing modules about health and setting wellness goals. Although I already have healthy eating habits and exercise daily, I signed up for the program since LL Bean was one of the participating merchants and I wanted a Waterhog floor mat. So I clicked my way through several PowerPoint presentations (key points: portion control is important, fruits and vegetables are good, exercise is good, deep fried Twinkies are bad), made up some random goals, and got my floor mat.
But it didn't end there. Every time I wiped my feet on my rugged and durable new floor mat, I felt a twinge of guilt that I had gamed the system. My health insurance company had given me a place to wipe my feet, but what had I done for them? I wasn't actually working towards any of the little goals I set to become a healthier person with fewer health insurance claims (granted, I am fortunate to be very healthy and we never even hit our deductible). One of my goals was "Try a new fruit or vegetable" so I decided to do that to assuage my guilt. The only problem is that exciting fruits and vegetables are difficult to find in Minnesota this time of year. So I found myself in the frozen vegetable section contemplating a package of Brussels sprouts. Mike was about as encouraging about the Brussels sprouts as he was about kale. His dire predictions actually served to pique my interest (after all, the kale was much, much better than he led me to believe) so I placed them in the cart with conviction.
I started off by steaming the frozen Brussels sprouts in the microwave and found that I really enjoyed them. It made sense: they're basically miniature cabbages, and I really like cabbage. But as I ate my way through freezer bag after freezer bag of Brussels sprouts, I decided it was time to branch out and try something new.
This recipe is adapted from The Duluth Grill Cookbook, by Robert Lillegard. I confess that I have never actually been to the Duluth Grill, but after trying these Brussels sprouts it is a priority on my next trip home. Mike's verdict? "They're edible, and they're good for me. And I ended up eating way more Brussels sprouts in one sitting than I ever thought I would." Sometimes it's the hard-fought victories, however small, that mean the most.
- 1 pound fresh Brussels sprouts
- 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 tablespoons honey
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, using conventional bake setting (not convection).
Trim ends off Brussels sprouts, cut in half, and remove outer leaves.
Combine olive oil and honey in medium sized bowl (tip: measure the olive oil first, and then the honey. The honey will slide right off of the oily measuring spoon). Add Brussels sprouts and toss to coat.
Spread the Brussels sprouts onto a foil-lined baking sheet, and bake for 30 minutes. Switch oven to convection setting, and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for an additional 5 minutes.
Enjoy your oh-so-edible Brussels sprouts, secure in the knowledge that you are not bilking your insurance company out of a floor mat.