Sometimes things just hit you upside the head.  Like finally realizing your mother DID know most things.  Or driving with the windows down and the air conditioning off does NOT give you better mileage.  Or, maybe understanding, and appreciating what you have is more important then what you want.

And this time, it was testing a Kung Pao sauce and recognizing I will never buy it again.  And it goes on virtually everything.  Chicken, shrimp, veggies, pork tenderloin.  It will NOT work on popcorn.  Not at all.  Though I am working on a spice mix that will give the same type of flavor profile.

So, I offer you this recipe.   But triple the sauce.  And don’t eat the peppers.  Unless you are a true daredevil.



Kung Pao Sauce with Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Almonds.


2 lbs.  Brussels sprouts

2 cloves Garlic  (Hack: use minced garlic in the jar.  Drain well.  Use 2 T.)

3 Green onions, sliced on diagonal.  Use white and bright green parts.

1/4 cup slivered Almonds, toasted

2 tsp Apple cider vinegar

2 tbsp Olive oil

1 tbsp Sesame oil

2 tsp Garlic chili paste

1 T Hoisin sauce

1/2 cup Soy sauce

1 tspBlack pepper, Freshly ground

1 T  Swerve granulated.  (Note: if you are not making this Keto, use brown sugar)

1 T Cornstarch

1 tsp Kosher salt

3 dried Chile de Arbol, lightly crushed

1 tsp sesame seeds for garnish.


Putting it Together:

Turn on oven to 425F.  Clean and thoroughly dry the Brussels Sprouts.  Cut off ends and slice in half horizontally.  Put on rimmed cookie sheet.  Drizzle with olive oil.  Place into oven for 15-25 minutes.  Should be browned and have crispy bits.


While the Brussels sprouts are cooking, make the sauce.

In a medium sauce pan, add the sesame oil.  Add minced garlic to sesame oil and heat till fragrant.  Should be 1-2 minutes.  In a separate cup, whisk the cornstarch and water together.  Be sure to slowly add the water to avoid lumps. Set aside.

Add Soy, vinegar, hoisin, Swerve or brown sugar and chili paste to pan.  Stir well.  Add the lightly crushed, (big pieces-like 2 or three per chili), salt and pepper.  Add the cornstarch slurry to the pan.  Turn heat up to medium and bring to boil.  It will thicken in about 2-3 minutes.


Remove Brussels sprouts from oven.  Put in bowl or platter.  Drizzle with sauce.  Top with almonds, sesame seeds and green onions.


Serve with extra sauce.  Eat and Repeat.




Sometimes it is important to lighten up. And that could be via commitments, partners, “so called friends”, food, jobs, cities. So many things weigh us down and perpetuate drama that we don’t need.. The energy that is drawn away from elements in our lives that actually add positivity and value often gets lost in the mire of every day life and societal commitments. It’s OK to say no. Or begin to cull what is truly important. Focusing on quality of engagements vs quantity is truly what it is about. Take the time to prioritize your life. Go for what makes you happy. And norms be damned.
I love to eat light in the summer. Quality food that gives me energy and pleasure is where I like to be. I recently came across such a recipe. And I could eat it every day. It is truly a labor of love. And pairs well with glazed salmon. Or a grilled chicken with lemon chive marinade. I say it is a labor of love because it takes a while to prep and slice the snap peas. I wouldn’t want to take this to a party unless I sincerely care about the people I am with. Or family.  Or your really want to impress someone.  With love.


And one picture for pure beauty’s sake. Because everyone needs beauty in their life.


Sugar Snap Pea Salad with Buttermilk Dressing (Courtesy of Bon Appetit) With adjustments.
3 T Whole milk Greek Yogurt
3/4 C buttermilk
8 oz. sugar snap peas, ends and string removed
3/4 c buttermilk
2 T lemon juice (use fresh. Makes such a difference)
Zest of a lemon, split into two equal parts.
2 heaping tsp of minced garlic (can use jarred to save time and effort)
1 tsp minced dill
Olive Oil + some for drizzling.
Salt and pepper. Be generous.

Putting it Together
Start with making the buttermilk dressing. In a medium sized bowl, add buttermilk, yogurt,  garlic, and a pinch of kosher salt, whisk together. Add lemon juice and whisk again. Add ½ of zest, dill, salt and pepper and whisk again. Set aside.

After you have cleaned and prepped the snap peas, slice each one horizontally. Should get about four to five slices in each one. This is the labor of love component I was telling you about.

Toss the peas with olive oil and other half of lemon zest. Pour buttermilk dressing onto platter. Place dressed snap peas on top of dressing. Drizzle with olive oil.  Salt and pepper to taste.


Lovely, fresh and I could eat it every night. No really. Every night.