A Daughter’s Culinary Tribute to Her Father

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Lisa Corwin is president of The Comfort Company in Miami, where she serves as a food consultant. She began her 25-year career as a chef, “drawing inspiration from the immigrants and ethnic neighborhoods that peddled and prepared real food and medicinal herbs,” she tells Organic Authority. “First and foremost, I love fresh, organic, high-quality food. Watching the world fall ill around me from the processing and adulteration of the modern food industry, it became very clear to me to heed the call to preservation and make healing foods a delicious way of life.”

Lisa, who prepares meals, caters parties and “walks clients down the food aisle so they can say ‘I do’ to a healthier lifestyle,” responded to my call for Brussels sprouts recipes just before Thanksgiving. She wanted to share her thoughts with Organic Authority readers this holiday season, so I’m turning the rest of today’s blog entry over to her.

“I was deprived of Brussels sprouts as a child because they were verboten at our dinner table,” Lisa writes. “I had a father who suffered from ‘Brussels sprouts sickness’ while serving overseas in England during World War II. But I became secretly enchanted with these mini-cabbages as a vegetable-loving young adult and would soon sing their praises as a healing-foods chef seeking wisdom from nature’s medicine chest.

“Every Thanksgiving and on other auspicious occasions throughout the year, I honor my late father with shining little examples of Brussels sprouts perfection. I know the lowly sinking sprouts that sat simmering and stinking on a hot steam table in an Army mess hall would be enough to have the most stalwart soldier bending at the knees.

“Not only delicious and fragrant when cooked properly, these mighty little heads are loaded with calcium, potassium and vitamin C, and they’re packed with fiber. I encourage my clients to eat them, as well as all their cousins in the cruciferous family (broccoli, cauliflower, mustard greens, turnip greens, collards, etc.) because they also contain indoles, which protect against certain types of cancer—particularly cancer of the reproductive organs. One can visualize these mini-‘super sprouts’ attacking and obliterating destructive cancer cells and leaving the body perfect, whole and complete!

“I like to cut large sprouts into bite-size halves. Whether blanched or steamed, here are a few deliciously simple ideas:

  • Toss sprouts with walnut oil and a squeeze of lemon. Garnish with chopped toasted walnuts.
  • For an Asian flair, prepare a dipping sauce made with shoyu (naturally brewed soy sauce), a little chopped garlic or grated ginger, a dash of rice wine vinegar and a pinch of organic sugar. Garnish with snipped chives or green onion tops.
  • Blanched Brussels sprouts are great when sautéed in organic olive oil and garlic and then baked with a breadcrumb and grated-cheese topping. Ideas for this tasty vegetable are as endless as the fresh or dried herbs that you have on hand, combined with a little butter or oil.

“There is a Zen-like quality to vegetables like Brussels sprouts, which require arduous manual labor to clean and trim. One can have a lovely meditation while prepping them or can share the experience with a kitchen companion. If you are lucky enough to find them still on the stalk, it is well worth rearranging your refrigerator to accommodate them until used.

“Thank you for reminding me that the season for Brussels sprouts is upon us, and as I give thanks with friends and family, I will raise a glass of crisp chardonnay to my father and his ironic inspiration.”

Please check out our top chefs’ recipes for Brussels sprouts:

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