i've lost more than ten pounds since i moved to north dakota. it doesn't really match up when you consider that local cuisine requires creamy soups and pounds of butter and that all recipes for "salad" call for jell-o and/or cool whip. oh and i work in a bakery and i've yet to join a gym.

but i attribute my loose jeans to two things:

1. i no longer have a running list of new bakeries/ice cream shops/burgers to try, like i did in new york. (the last new restaurant that opened up in town was a panera, three months ago...) and afternoons with nothing to do can never turn into a donut tour of the village. occasionally it's a bummer, but for the most part i enjoy not having the pressure of needing to be in the know with the latest pastry. is that silly? is the pressure to be in the know about pastries the worst first world problem ever?

2. eggboy and his family are all about the vegetables. a typical meal includes vegetables as the main, and meat and grains as sides. one back in new york, i had this massive mac and cheese party and lived off the leftovers for days. afterwards i felt all gross and chubby, so i asked eggboy, the resident health nut in my life, what i should do. he reads a lot of health books and he said that i shouldn't think about eating less of anything, but rather i should think about eating a lot more vegetables. that did the trick! it was yummy and i felt way better. since moving here, i've had the time to plan and cook most of our dinners, and i've needed to pack eggboy full of nutrients for his long farming days... i suppose i've done this whole vegetable thing without totally thinking about it.

we love our brussels sprouts. 

multiple times a week, our dinner is roasted brussels sprouts and then whatever meat we have on hand. local turkey, fresh elk, or sometimes breakfast sausage. and i like to drizzle the sprouts with my favorite sesame sauce.

i've lately gotten into adding gochujang, a korean condiment made from fermented red peppers. it's smoky and spicy, but not too spicy, and a little bit sweet. it can luckily (and surprisingly?) be found at most grocery stores here, so my koreatown withdrawal hasn't been too bad. i like that gochujang adds a kick and another flavor dimension, and i think it goes really well with sprouts!

roasted brussels sprouts with sausage and gochujang

makes 2-4 servings


2 tb olive oil

3/4 pound brussels sprouts, halved

salt, to taste

2 sausage links, uncooked and with casings removed

2 tb soy sauce

2 tb tahini

1 tb gochujang, or more to taste

a drizzle of honey, optional



preheat oven to 400f.

coat the bottom of an oven-proof skillet with olive oil and place the brussels sprouts face down. depending on the size of the skillet, you may need to use two in order to fit all of the sprouts. sprinkle with salt and set over medium-high heat for 10-15 minutes, until bottoms are browned (do not stir the brussels sprouts, keep them face down).

once sprouts are brown, give them a little stir. if you used two skillets, combine the sprouts into one. stick them in the oven for about 15 minutes, until cooked through.

meanwhile, cook the sausage, breaking it into crumbles with a spoon. also, make the sauce by combining the soy sauce, tahini, gochujang, and honey. if it's too difficult to stir, heat it in the microwave for 20-30 seconds.

combine the sprouts, sausage, and sauce, and enjoy!