For about a year now I have been trying to eat as many greens and brassicas as I can, though some days contain more than others. I kind of eluded to this at one point or another but a couple of years ago I started to feel generally unwell. Actually, now that I am feeling better, I dare say I was feeling quite unwell.

For half of my life I remember feeling like I had stomach problems. At one point in college I was fairly certain it was serious and felt so unwell that I actually gave up my soda habit and completely overhauled my diet and became kind of unhealthily obsessed with a no-fat, low calorie way of eating. From time to time I would have symptoms again but by the time I hit 23 and we had our first child, I was eating mostly real foods and hadn’t really had a relapse… until a few years ago.

That’s when I figured out that it was not, as I thought, my stomach but rather my gallbladder. It was sort of tied in with a food sensitivity, hormone imbalances, and a fatigue that had me propping myself against the kitchen sink most days just trying to get through the dinner dishes.

So I read up on gallbladder and liver health and so long as I avoid some foods and make an effort to eat others, my symptoms have greatly improved. Food is medicine… or poison, depending on what you are eating.

What’s so great about brassicas?

As you may have guessed, brassicas, also known as cruciferous vegetables (and greens in general) are on the list of medicinal foods I have been trying to eat regularly. These are the cabbage family vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, collards, kale, cabbage, and my very favorite Brussels sprouts.

We all know that broccoli and kale are good for us, right – probably mostly because people keep saying they are. But there is more than just hype to these little guys. It seems they have liver-detoxing, cancer-fighting, microbiome-feeding compounds and fibers that we could all greatly benefit from.

This article and many others have full details about the many benefits of brassicas. Needless to say, my seedling shelf is now loaded with cabbage, collard, and kale seedlings.

What About the Thyroid?

At some point I had read somewhere – was it Nourishing Traditions? – that these vegetables contain goitrogens which can negatively impact your thyroid health. I think that deterred me, somewhat, from eating these nutrition-packed veggies.

I have since learned that unless you have a serious thyroid problem or iodine deficiency, these foods are fine to eat every day. There is more information in this article but essentially, eating more of them cooked than raw is also supposed to help neutralize the compounds in question. And avoiding them really doesn’t seem a good solution for most people.

One Pan Meal: Two-Brassica Skillet

To sum it up, I am trying to eat a meal or two per day that include a good amount of these veggies… as I can. But I rarely cook separate meals just for me, so making these guys appealing to the whole family keeps this simple. This dish does just that. Use leftover diced chicken or cook ground beef right into this dish.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup coconut oil or lard
  • 1 small head cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 lb meat – either cooked leftover and chopped or raw ground beef
  • 4 medium russet potatoes, chopped into 1/2″ dice
  • 1/2 large head of cauliflower or 1 head broccoli
  • 2 Tablespoons sweet paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 cup homemade broth
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • sour cream to serve

Directions

In a 12-inch cast-iron skillet, melt the coconut oil or lard over high heat. Once the skillet is hot, add the thinly sliced cabbage and leave to cook for 4-5 minutes before stirring. Add the onion, and raw ground beef if using, and cook with the cabbage for five more minutes or until beginning to brown and wilt.

If using leftover chopped chicken, beef, or pork, add this to the skillet along with potatoes and cauliflower. It will mound up well above the rim of the pan. Season with paprika, garlic powder, and salt and pepper. Pour broth over the whole thing, give it a careful stir and place the lid on the pan.

Turn the heat down to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10-15 minutes or until the potatoes and all other veggies are tender. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper as needed.

Serve with sour cream and a sprinkle of parsley and paprika, as desired.

Here is a snippet worth considering from The Christian’s Reasonable Service by Wilhelmus à Brakel:

Let us first consider the will of God’s decree. As God is sovereign Lord over all His creatures, His will is therefore also sovereign over all that happens to His creatures and extends to what they do and refrain from doing. Acknowledge then with your whole heart the supreme authority and absolute freedom of God’s will. Approve of His will with delight and joy by saying: “Amen, yes Lord,” Thy will is sovereign, being the primary, supreme, and only reason why everything must occur. It is Thy prerogative to deal with all Thy creatures, with all men, and with me and my household, according to Thy will. I rejoice in the fact that it is Thy prerogative to do with the army of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth according to Thy will, and that there is no one who can stay Thy hand or say, “What doest Thou?” It is Thy free will to make a vessel unto honor or unto dishonor from the same lump of humanity, and to show Thy wrath and power on the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction, as well as the riches of Thy glory on the vessels of mercy which afore have been prepared unto glory (Rom 9:21-23). Thy will is sovereign to give kingdoms to whomsoever Thou wilt (Dan 4:17), and to turn the hearts of kings whithersoever Thou wilt (Prov 21:1). Thou art free and hast absolute power and jurisdiction, on the basis of Thy will, to exalt the one and abase the other, to fill one with joy by giving him the desire of his heart, while overwhelming others with various vicissitudes and sorrows and withholding the desire of their hearts from them. I rejoice in the fact that Thou art not accountable to anyone for the diversity of Thy actions. I rejoice in the fact that Thy will extends to other creatures, and even to me, and that therefore a creature, including myself in all that I encounter, may not end in anything else but Thy will only, finding delight in it.

Should Thy will even be contrary to my natural desires, grant that in such circumstances I may persevere by focusing upon Thy will, recognizing it as Thine. May it be my confession, “Not my, but Thy will be done;” I desire to subject myself, just as I am, to Thy hand, bowing under Thy sovereign will. May Thy will be fully accomplished in me, whether it be according to my wishes or not. In all the turmoil of the world, in stormy winds, in the destruction and sinking of ships, in floods of water upon earth, in the burning of cities, in regional upheavals due to earthquakes, in destructive warfare, in victories and defeats, in the oppression and persecution of Thy church, in the poverty and tribulations of Thy children—yes, in all of this I perceive the accomplishment of Thy will, and therefore I worship, bowing before Thee, and silently confessing, “Amen, so be it, for this is the Lord‟s will.”

“With respect to the future,” everything will also transpire according to Thy will. All the tumultuous activity of man, all their schemes and intents, will not transpire except it be according to Thy will, as Thou dost govern everything. This I acknowledge, this I desire, and in this I acquiesce. This I desire to do in reference to all things, particularly in reference to myself—not because I feel that Thy will can be opposed, neither because I believe that all occurs due to an unavoidable fate, nor because I believe all things must work for good both for the church as well as for myself, but rather because it is Thy sovereign will. This suffices for me and therefore my confession is, “Amen, Thy will be fully done!”

In regard to the future I shall be without concern; in prosperity and adversity I shall rejoice and be glad. “If it pleases the Lord to avail Himself of means in the accomplishment of His will to enable me to discern His will that much more clearly in the final outcome, I shall evaluate and also use such means, since it is God’s will that I use them, recognizing them to be merely means rather than the cause of things. I shall not depend upon them in such a way as if the final outcome were dependent upon them. Rather, I shall focus upon His will, and in retrospect, when the matter has come to a conclusion, and via the means which have served the accomplishment of Thy purpose, I shall ascend to Thy will by acknowledging that Thou hast accomplished the matter, and thus be satisfied.” “If it would please the Lord in His goodness to use me in the accomplishment of His good pleasure, then I offer myself willingly: “Here am I; send me” (Isa 6:8). Use me. For that purpose I am willing to sacrifice myself, my family, and all that belongs to me, as long as Thy will may be fully done by me and through me.” In addition to the acknowledgement of the sovereignty of God’s will, the believer has the insight that all which God wishes to accomplish will be to the magnification of His power, justice, and goodness. It will be perceived by angels and men who will rejoice in the revelation of God’s perfections and give Him honor and glory, saying, “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power: for Thou hast created all things, and for Thy pleasure they are and were created” (Rev 4:11). Such is the desire and delight of a believer which causes him to say all the more, “Thy will be done!” Furthermore, the believer has the promise that all God intends to do and will do, however contradictory His ways may seem, will be for the best advantage of His church, of the elect, and of himself in particular. In spite of all that transpires he beholds the promise, believes it, embraces it, is satisfied with it, and entrusts its accomplishment to the goodness and wisdom of the Lord, saying, “Thy will be done!”