Happily Whole

Living well from the inside out

Walnut Oil Sautéed Brussels Sprouts

I never ate a sprout of any kind, unless it hid in the depths of a dish, until adulthood. Those little baby cabbage-like things looked less than appetizing to me. So, I walked past their produce bin disregarding the plethora of health benefits in those green, leafy little balls called Brussels sprouts.

It’s like that with a lot of things in my life actually. I unknowingly walk past little pieces of life, bins filled with blessings, without realizing what I’ve missed.

A time not long ago stands out in my mind. Kevin left almost two years earlier, he now living in heaven and us here at home, the home he and I built together. The girls still too young for full comprehension of how our family changed in a matter of months. But certainly old enough to feel my frustration and sadness manifesting in the form of mounding stress. Yeah, rounding the corner of two years a widow was when my wherewithal to maintain strength and sanity waned.

The wintry months and lonely mundane days wore on me as something nagged within me. Looking back I believe it was my heart yearning for more than the stagnancy grief had given me.  Life around me moved on but my mind remained as the wife I was.

My heart yearned for more. I was missing something as a mom. I stood still in a life buzzing with hope, dreams and desires I kept walking past.

I slowly started stepping out of my comfort zone. I treated us to our first little family of three weekend away to a waterpark. It felt surreal and a little alone as seemingly the only single mom watching my girls in the water like a hawk…or a shark more appropriately!

I stepped even further away from what life was. That’s where this wonderful little passion for writing, sharing and giving my story away all started. Not necessarily feeling talented, but definitely tempted to try. Little by little I gave pause to the words piling up in my mind. I paused to pray and find purpose more and more…I paused to glean the nourishment writing gave me.

And I think that’s really when I started living well, when I stopped walking past my new passions and started digging into a new kind of nourishment.

Now back to the Brussel’s sprouts. Such a simple way to touch on a serious lesson of mine….walking past the bin of nutrient boasting Brussels Sprouts without realizing what they offered all along.

When the timing was right, I tried something new to nourish my body, please my palate and nurse my passion. I stopped sauntering past the bins of the unknown to start living well from the inside out.   

What unknowns are you walking past or even away from? Perhaps the timing’s right to take notice of a new soul sustenance or novel body nourishment. Start with something simple… a new real-food recipe like this Brussels sprouts one overflowing with what your body needs.

Then move on to something more…

Where do I start? Brussles sprouts boast plant based nutrients galore from an abundance of vitamin K for bones, tissues and anti-inflammation to vitamin C for immunity, folate for neurological health, fiber for digestion and antioxidants to fight free radicles. But the biggies for me are the cancer fighting glucosinolates and their subcategory sulforaphane known for powerful effects on heart and cardiovascular health. It’s a mouthful…but all you need is a mouthful of these to know how tasty good health really is! 


  • 1 pound Brussels Sprouts, cleaned, ends cut off and coarsely chopped
  • 3 teaspoons walnut oil*
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ yellow onion chopped into small pieces
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons vegetable broth
  • ¼ teaspoon Celtic Sea salt or pink Himalayan salt
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ¼ cup chopped walnuts or almonds, toasted or raw**
  • ¼ cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese or hard goat cheese, shredded***

Recipe Instructions

  • Heat oil in a large skillet or sauté pan over a low heat (if you choose coconut oil, you can use a higher heat). Add onions, garlic and sprouts to the pan. Sauté for about 4 minutes.
  • Add spices (salt and nutmeg). I sometimes give this dish a couple twists of fresh ground pepper too. Sauté another minute.
  • Add broth one tablespoon at a time. It will help the sprouts soften up. Cook and stir frequently until crisp-tender or they reach your desired consistency. Usually another 5 minutes.
  • Stir in nuts. Scoop into a serving dish and top with cheese. 

Recipe Notes

*You can substitute organic unrefined coconut oil. I just like the taste of walnut oil. A tip for cooking with walnut oil: keep the heat low and cook longer to maintain the healthy properties of this delicate oil. 

Buy toasted walnut oil here. I love this kind! 

Buy coconut oil here. 

**In these photos I used sliced almonds because I had them on hand. However, toasted walnut pieces taste lovely too! To toast small pieces of almonds or walnuts, simply place in a dry pan and cook over a low heat stirring frequently to avoid burning. It only takes a few minutes.

***I used a hard goat cheese for this recipe but you can use whatever hard, sharp cheese you prefer. We often choose goat cheeses due to them being more easily digested. 

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