on making time

what a whirlwind the start of 2017 has been. i feel like i've been bouncing in so many different directions. work has been insanely busy - tons of good stuff going on, but my day-to-day projects have me solidly stacked, and by night i have a few work side projects that keep me busy while i netflix every nature documentary available, or the americans, but that's feeling a *little* too close to home right now.

non-work-related, i feel like it's been a part-time job just trying to keep up with all the news. so much is changing, and as a result, i've been spending quite a bit more time marching in the streets and calling senators. there's also tons of cooking (both for the blog and with matt, a la the amazing cubans we made last weekend for which matt smoked pork). 

and of course there are books to read, friends to visit, errands to run, trips to plan. all important things - and all things that are very much coming at the expense of sleep (arguably another very important thing). will hermoine give me her time traveling watch? it would solve everything!

turmeric couscous bowl with cauliflower, pomegranate and mint || planting my roots

preparing for weeks when i know i'm going to be booked - professionally, personally or otherwise - cooking is my ultimate stress relief. it's colorful and creative; it's comforting and best of all - in the moment it doesn't require any screens. as a result, you may notice a trend that so many of my recipes talk about meal prep and making sure you enjoy your food, even if you need to eat it at your desk. 

i've been realizing too that cooking has provided me a much-needed distraction from the increasingly distressing headlines, tweets, etc etc. people have been talking a lot about self care lately, and i think cooking fits the bill for me perfectly for self care...not only because it nourishes you, but because it allows you to disconnect for a bit and savor something. 

turmeric couscous bowl with cauliflower, pomegranate and mint || planting my roots

this bowl, in summary, hit all the right notes for me. it makes for a perfect weekday lunch (which i need to be quick and easy to toss in my bag before i head to work), is packed with vibrant flavors and colors, and abounds with the healthiest ingredients. developing the recipe for this unfolded slowly on a saturday, when i had bread baking in the oven and a spotify playlist serenading me. it was exactly the way i want a weekend day to be.

i also love the versatility of this bowl. you can enjoy a big bowl for a main course, or smaller portion as a side (i think it'd be fabulous with salmon!). i've tossed it on top of a bed of arugula and feta, which makes for a lovely salad. you could also serve it warm with a scoop of greek yogurt and lemon. heck, make it an even heartier dish and toss in some roasted chicken too! if i wasn't totally enthralled with the new netflix doc i'm watching on how baby animals survive in the wilderness, i'd probably turn this into an exhaustive listicle of every variation on this recipe i can dream up. long story short, these flavors are on point and this meal will power you through everything on your to-do list. 

turmeric couscous bowl with cauliflower, pomegranate and mint || planting my roots
turmeric couscous bowl with cauliflower, pomegranate and mint || planting my roots

turmeric couscous bowl with cauliflower, pomegranate and mint

serves 4

what you'll need:
1 head cauliflower, chopped into florets
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 yellow onion, finely diced
3 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 1/2 cups couscous
2 tsp turmeric
1/8 tsp garlic powder
3/4 cup golden raisins
3/4 cup fresh mint, julienned
arils of 1 pomegranate
kosher salt
black pepper

what you'll do:

  1. preheat oven to 350° fahrenheit. on a baking sheet, spread cauliflower florets and toss with 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus a generous pinch of kosher salt and crack of freshly ground black pepper. put baking sheet in oven and roast for 25 minutes. carefully remove from oven to toss cauliflower, then cook for 25 minutes more. remove from oven and set aside to cool.
  2. in a small sauce pan, warm 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil over medium heat for about 1 minute. add in chopped onion. sauté for 6-7 minutes (or until onion is tender, but not fried), stirring occasionally. add in stock and bring to boil. stir in turmeric, garlic powder, couscous and kosher salt and pepper to taste. immediately remove from heat and cover tightly with lid. let rest for at least 10 minutes, or until the stock is fully absorbed. fluff couscous with fork. set aside to cool.
  3. in large bowl, toss cauliflower, couscous, golden raisins, mint and pomegranate. add kosher salt and pepper to taste.