Couscous with Broccoli, Pecans, and Garlic

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I think it’s probably too late to say, “Happy New Year,” but I hope the first few days of your 2014 have been wonderful. I rang in the new year by going to bed right after midnight and waking up at 5:30 on New Year’s Day to ski. This is the second year in a row that I’ve skied on January 1st, and I think I want to make it a tradition. It feels so much better than waking up at 11am, groggy and headachy, lazing around all day and eating a big dinner. I’ve got the whole year to laze around, and I think dragging my butt out of bed on the first day of the new year is a good way to set the tone for the other 364 days ahead.

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Now that I’ve started my year off with a few go-get-it type of days, I hope I can keep it up in the coming months. This year I’m not making any resolutions, because those things don’t really tend to work anyway. They’re like the opposite of quitting a habit cold turkey. Starting a habit cold turkey. December 31st, I’ve spent the last two months not working out because I’m too busy Christmas shopping and eating too many cookies and pies, and now it’s January 1st and I’m supposed to be a paleo-dieting gym rat who always goes to bed at a decent hour and wakes up early to do yoga and make a super-healthy salad to bring to work for lunch? Yeah….not happening. At least not right away.

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So this year I’m focusing on the long term. Should I be healthier and create new, better habits and whatnot? Should I be on the lookout for ways to make myself and my life better? Sure, but it’s not going to happen in a day, a week, or even a month. This year, when I’m not feeling motivated to do anything or I forget to keep an eye out on my goals, I’m going to think back to the first day of the year when I woke up at 5:30, lay in bed for an hour debating with myself about whether the three-hour drive to the mountain was worth it, decided it was, and then when I got home at 8:00, realized that going was the best thing I could have done for myself. This year, I’m going to focus on making improvements simply by deciding to do things.

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This is a simple recipe for a quick, healthy, and satisfying dinner. The the broccoli will give you your vegetable for the day, the garlic adds a kick and the pecans make it seem richer than it really is.

Couscous with Broccoli, Pecans, and Garlic

serves 1

1/2 cup pearl couscous

2 tablespoons olive oil

pinch red pepper flakes

1/4-1/3 small head broccoli, chopped into bite-size pieces

handful of pecans, chopped (walnuts or almonds or cashews would work too)

2 cloves garlic, minced

In a small saucepan, bring some water to a boil. Add the couscous and let it cook until done, about 11 minutes.

While the couscous cooks, heat a frying pan over medium high heat. Add the olive oil to the pan. Once the oil is hot, add in the pepper flakes and broccoli. Cook until the broccoli is bright green, then add in the pecans. Cook for 3-4 minutes, then add in the garlic and cook for a minute or two more. Be careful to not let the nuts or garlic burn.

When the couscous is done, drain in a fine mesh strainer, place in a bowl, and stir in a small amount of olive oil or butter. Add in the broccoli mixture, salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.

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2 Comments on “Couscous with Broccoli, Pecans, and Garlic”

  1. Ani says:

    So simple, but so delicious!

  2. Haley says:

    Good combination of flavors. Hope you had good snow for skiing. Happy New Year!


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