I have come to terms with the fact that no matter how hard I try, I am never going to be a chef. But, that’s ok when I have friends like the amazing Emily Welsh to look to for cooking advice. Emily is the LA Marketing Manager for the Wall Street Journal and in her free time writes about cooking on her blog, To Catch A Cook, where she is always using fresh ingredients and finding a good balance between tasty and healthy. Thanks to Emily for coming on as our GirlAT Resident Chef! We hope you enjoy her as much as we do.
It’s that time of year – spring is here (and spring = bikini time just around the corner). It’s hard to back away from those warm and comforting winter dinners, but let’s be honest: we need to put on our game faces, and start concentrating on well-balanced, low-cal meals with lots of vegetables. This recipe is perfect, and conveniently enough, it’s tagged in “The Food Lovers Cleanse” – proving that something that may sound a little “too-healthy” can be just as satisfying to cook and eat.
(serves 2 with 1 leftover for lunch)
6 carrots, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch chunks
4-6 parsnips, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch chunks
1 cubed butternut squash (this is also available in the frozen aisle!)
5 shallots, peeled and chopped
1 lemon, zested
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp red chile flakes
1 cup Israeli couscous
Low Sodium Chicken Stock
Flat Leaf Parsley for garnish
Salt, pepper, olive oil
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Place the carrots, parsnips, shallots and butternut squash on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, salt, pepper, half the lemon zest and spices and mix with your hands. Bake for about 40 minutes or until the vegetables are softened.
About 15 minutes before the vegetables are ready, cook the couscous according the package directions and substitute Chicken Stock instead of water, once the stock is boiling, add the cranberries and cook with the couscous. Trust me – it’s much better!
Place the pecans in the toasted over for 1 – 2 minutes until just fragrant. If you don’t have a toaster oven, you can do this in a dry pan on the stovetop for 1 – 2 minutes.
Once the vegetables, couscous, and pecans are complete, combine in a large bowl. Check for seasonings and add salt and pepper if needed. Squeeze with the juice of the lemon and garnish with the chopped parsley.
Oh, By The Way: If you’re trying to cook with more veggies, then you must get Stella McCartney’s new cookbook, Meat Free Monday.
Let’s Be Honest: Tastes good, and low-cal…I’m in!
Look cute while you’re cooking with the Lacy Jacquard Apron from Anthropologie
And if you’re cooking for that bikini body, then you better look cute at the beach with a DVF Lorena Printed Swimsuit
Check out more of Emily’s recipes on To Catch A Cook.