Another year gone. I swear, the older I get, the faster the years zoom by. What’s with that? It hardly feels like any time at all since Finn and I started toying with the mere idea of starting a food blog. That was 10+ months ago? Whoa.
It’s been a couple of weeks since my last post, but now it’s time to settle back down into the daily routine, back to reality, back to the norm. Sigh.
I have to admit, the break was nice. I definitely needed the time to recharge; not having to go to work or do any food blogging gave me plenty of time to catch up on reading, immerse myself in Netflix, and do some great hikes with Matt & Parker. I really should have been baking/cooking/preparing recipes for the blog to have ready to go in the queue, but it was really hard to get off my butt to do anything productive.
I did happen to spend four glorious days in Tofino over New Years with a couple of close friends. It was such a blast! This time of year is considered “storm watching season” over there, so I was prepared to hole myself up inside the whole time, playing puzzles and reading. I was actually excited for the down time, but as luck would have it, it ended up being gorgeously sunny (albeit freezing), no clouds the entire time we were there. We ate lots of good food, had plenty of great company, and Parker had an absolute blast running along miles and miles of West Coast beaches.
Vacation time is much too short.
I’m not a huge fan of making resolutions, opting instead to make them on my birthday, if I end up making them at all. But come the new year, it’s hard not to get swept up in the Resolution Craze.
Can I give a shout out to Finn for a second, for having joined a gym? Congrats, girl. Maybe one day we can take the dogs for a run together! And then go get a burger. And fries.
Instead of making a resolution to completely eat healthier in 2015 (which, by the way, is impossible for me. I can’t deny my sweet tooth), I’m just going to try and spend the month of January eating well and drinking less. The holidays are made for gluttonous consumption of food and drink, and I don’t think I could eat another sugar cookie or have another glass of wine for at least a couple weeks (although ask me again on Friday, I may have changed my mind).
So this January, less carbs, more salads. Less starch, more grains. Less sugar, more fruit. We’ll see how long this lasts.
This apricot couscous salad is a great way to ease into this whole ‘salad’ thing without having to eat a head of watery lettuce. It’s surprisingly filling, with juicy chicken, crunchy walnuts, sweet apricots, and grainy couscous.
It will also help with these post-holiday winter blues – how is there three months of winter left!?!
I will admit that this salad is more on the mild side, with subtle flavours that won’t offend anyone. If you’re looking for something with a bit more kick, I’d advise doubling the quantity of spices. I like the recipe how it is, though, and it’s even better a day or two after you make it, once the flavours have all gotten cozy and sat for a bit in the fridge. Great for work lunches!
On another note, I’d like to give a ginormous hug and kiss to Matt, for getting me a super sexy (and undeserved) macro lens for Christmas. I’m so lucky to have such a supportive guy who thinks this whole food blogging thing is actually kind of cool.
Okay, that’s about as sappy as I’ll get, but prepare yourself for some up-close-and-personal food photos in the next couple posts, because this macro lens is rocking my world.
|Moroccan-Inspired Apricot Couscous & Chicken Salad|| |
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- ½ tsp tumeric
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp pepper
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1½ cups chicken stock
- 1½ cup couscous
- 1 cup dried apricots, cut in strips
- 1 tsp grated orange zest
- ¼ cup orange juice
- ½ cup slivered almonds, toasted
- ⅓ cup parsley, chopped
- Lemon and orange wedges, to serve
- In a bowl, combine 2 Tbsp of the oil, cumin, coriander, tumeric, ¼ tsp of the salt, cinnamon, and pepper. Set aside 1 Tbsp of mixture for the couscous; use remainder to coat the chicken.
- Grill chicken on medium-high heat on a greased grill, about 6 minutes per side until no longer pink inside.
- Meanwhile, in a heavy-bottomed pot, bring chicken stock to a boil. Add couscous and apricots and stir; remove from heat, cover, and let sit for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork.
- Whisk together orange zest, orange juice, remaining oil, and reserved spice mixture. Using a fork, mix into couscous along with the almonds, parsley, and remaining salt.
- Divide salad among plates. Cut chicken into thick slices and place on salad. Serve with lemon and orange wedges, if desired.
*Adapted from a Canadian Living recipe.