I had an epiphany last week. I seem to have a lot of them lately. They are true lightbulb moments that I sometimes look up to see if a lightbulb just flashed over my head.  I’m wondering if epiphanies come with age or I need maybe I just need to be medicated.  (Now I’m thinking of one of those medicine commercials advertising a drug for epiphanies and wondering what kind of a face an actor would make to show that emotion.)

I digress.  I usually write a birthday blog but this year, I just couldn’t.  It had nothing to do with becoming a year older (because let’s face it….I don’t look my age…or act it.)  It had more to do with what this last year was all about.  I can’t say I will remember my 47thyear as a happy one and I didn’t really want to write a blog trying to sugar coat it.

With that part aside, I really want to start experimenting in the kitchen again.  (Not like a meth lab experimentation….my chemistry days are long behind me.)  I want to get back to learning about taste combinations and the excitement of cooking. (And eating!!!)

So, last week, I was making a very basic teriyaki pork for dinner but I wanted a zazzy side other than just rice. When I cook Asian food, my vegetable is usually bok choy, pea pods or spinach but last week I did Brussels sprouts!!!!

Okay, eating Brussels sprouts is not rocket science…..but….wait for it….I made them with pineapple chunks!!! I thought to myself that Brussels sprouts are known for being bitter what do you add to bitter?  Something a little sour, a little sweet and thought pineapple.  (I also liked pineapple because it goes so well with teriyaki pork.)

I also find bitter veggies really favor umami, saltiness and sour so a nice lemon/soy glaze after roasting would really be a way to bring alive all my taste buds.

The best part of all of this is that this was simple and an exciting change to my weeknight dinners. (At 48, I’m taking excitement where I can.)

All I had to do is roast the Brussels sprouts with the diced pineapple.  I loved the char on Brussels sprouts and the caramelization of the sugars on the pineapple.  When it was done cooking, I drizzled a mixture of soy, honey, lemon over the top and gave it a good toss.  A dash of salt and a few toasted almonds for texture and it was that moment I had been waiting for since my last birthday…..I felt like a foodie again.  🙂

With all that said, the only part of not writing a birthday blog I missed was the opportunity to than those of you who take time read my thoughts each week.  I appreciate your support and I can’t wait to explore some new food combinations in this next year!!!

Brussels sprouts with Pineapple
Great side for simple dishes like teriyaki pork. (Also the leftovers were great mixed into a rice bowl.)
  • 1 lb brussels sprouts
  • 1 cup diced fresh pineapple
  • Olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon
  • Juice from ½ a lemon
  • 1 tablespoon ponzu or soy sauce
  • Handful of sliced almonds
  • Sprinkle of sea salt
  1. Preheat Oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Trim off hard ends of Brussels sprouts and cut them into quarters. Place in a medium bowl. Add the diced pineapple and a swirl of olive oil and coat evenly.
  3. On a baking sheet with a piece of parchment, spread out Brussels sprouts and pineapple. Give a sprinkle of salt. Roast for about 20 minutes. (If you see parts charring too fast, feel free to give them a stir at the halfway point.) You want the sprouts to be tender with a little char to them. (I always taste one before I remove the pan from the oven to make sure they are tender enough.)
  4. While those are cooking, mix together the honey, lemon juice and soy/ponzu. Another sprinkle of salt if you think it needs it.
  5. Drizzle on the Brussels sprouts IMMEDIATELY when it comes out of the oven. Sprinkle with some almonds if desired.