Let’s add different textures to complement the flavors, and experience bliss.
Cruising through social media, or perhaps it was an email from my former vegan meal kit delivery. You know, the rise in-home delivery of contents and recipes to make your own; as a pandemic brought many to their new lives indoors. And when one year, 2020, lasted 1460 days.
When folks who usually ate out in hospital cafeterias, or deliveries to work, and home. Restaurant frequent rewards to those who dined out during weekends, or even happy hours. All caput, gone, done.
But, I digress. I saw the image of walnuts, goop, and artichoke hearts and my tongue tingled. I remember making it, but it was a long time ago. I knew I would have changed the recipe, either when I opened the kit, or on a second run making it.
So, I looked in my fridge and cabinets. Rather than read this recipe provided, or look for my notes, I scanned my shelves and had an idea.
And, noticed the brussel sprouts that came in my last Misfits produce delivery. The cutest veggie on earth—and I placed one order and was given so many. I thought it looked like over 100 of those cuties, but probably 20.
Still taming my pitta after a year plus of overconsuming hot stuff, I needed to chill and not go spice crazy. Just a little heat.
Put on your apron, or skip it and let’s get cooking.
Ingredients and miscellaneous supplies:
Walnuts: I used raw organic and already out of the cranium-looking shell.
Artichokes hearts: water-packed in glass, or canned.
Brussel sprouts: I had fresh; frozen would need some thawing and change the density.
Maple syrup: this can be substituted with any sweetness you desire.
Spices: red pepper flakes, parsley (optional), salt and pepper to taste or skip.
Dijon mustard: or make your own mustard using ground seeds with water.
Lemon: juice from about a half of one.
Misc.: sauté pan, cutting board, chef’s knife, cooking utensils, small glass bowl, creativity, love, spoon holder, mat or towel to place washed veggies. Distilled white vinegar to clean countertops; cats removed from countertops. Potholder if needed. Serving plates, uplifting and yet soothing atmosphere.
Mise en place all of the above. Minus the cat.
1. Remove all jewelry from hands and wrists and wash those mitts. Sing a song while doing so. Your neighbors love it; well mine…I doubt it.
2. Put the mustard, lemon juice, red pepper flakes and parsley, black pepper, salt in a glass bowl and fold the mixture well. Note: I did not use parsley, pepper, or salt.
3. Chop the walnuts and place into the mixture and combine again. Chopping is not needed if you bought walnut pieces. I used a mortar and pestle, but have used the side of a heavy knife and pressed it over the nuts.
Oh dear, just had a memory of getting mammograms. And the hilarious cartoons of men getting them for their down—their private parts.
Seriously, though, proceed.
4. Wash the brussel sprouts and cut the stem to easily remove their jackets. Slice in half lengthwise. Place the artichokes gently on the towel and only lightly pat. The water adds moisture to the cooking process if you are not using oil.
5. Preheat the pan.
6. Lay the artichoke hearts in the mustard walnut concoction, and with your fingers fold them around and coat them well. Wash your hands.
Using hands, clean, of course, is an amazing feeling of oneness with the food. These days it may be the closest we get to being and giving touch.
7. Place the brussel sprouts, curved side down in the heated pan, and form a circle around the periphery. Drizzle the maple syrup slowly over them. Yum, savor the sweet stickiness caressing the firm bitter veggie.
8. Scoop the entire mustard walnut-covered artichoke pile into the center of the pan. No special reason, although it makes it easier to flip the brussel sprouts. When to flip the brussels? Well, do you like them hard, or soft?
9. Occasionally give the middle mix a stir, or just move them around to prevent sticking to the pan.
10. To oil or not, that is the question. Not using oil will mean you need some kind of liquid: water will work, constantly moving stuff around in the pan aids in this. From a health perspective—for both you, and Momma Earth, seek greenware. Also, consider stainless steel. There are many choices.
I have not had stainless steel in a long time; it is difficult to cook without oil, for me. However, I just bought a deep 10-inch one yesterday and will be trying an oil-free meal this week. Wish me luck. Side note: the mercury ball test only works in stainless steel and I am eager to play with that as I move to more naked cooking.
FYI: I did cook an oil-free veggie meal in my new stainless steel pan, and it was easy-peasy.
Ready? I hope you cleaned up the kitchen as you prepared, and cooked. It does make everything easier and keeps you engaged in the experience and mindful in the process.
Now take the pan, and with love and gratitude, plate this amazing meal of love. Find your favorite spot, ground-sitting is a nice change if you are a chair sitter. Maybe lay a table cloth, light blanket, or your mat on the floor in your home, or on your patio and sit your bum on the ground.
As always, no critters were harmed at any stage of this process. One more win for the animal kingdom. Another win for Momma Earth, our tiny blue marble.
For a whole bunch of delicious recipes, scroll through my author page.