It is much easier for me to be active and healthy in summer than in winter. In the summer the days are long in Vancouver, and I frequent the farmer’s market to pick up the freshest local produce and make healthy dishes. When it’s sunny outside, it makes me want to go for a run, play tennis or do anything that makes me sweat!
Now that it’s winter, the days are getting shorter. It gets dark by 4 pm and it is getting harder to motivate myself to be physically active. Most of my outdoor activities have ceased, so I try to hit the gym at least five times a week.
For me, being healthy is all about being in a positive cycle. If I work out and stay active, it makes me want to eat healthily. In the winter, if I have skipped physical activities for a couple of days, I automatically turn to comfort foods and a glass of wine at the end of the day. This in turn makes me more sluggish the next day. It takes extra motivation to be in a positive cycle in the winter.
So recently I have been extra conscious about making some healthier dishes that would help me stay on track. While the fresh berries and vibrant greens are gone with the summer, there is plenty of healthy produce that grows under the soil which is equally good for you! I love cooking with beets, carrots, sunchokes, and other roots during the winter season.
One of my favorite vegetarian recipes is roasted carrots served with cauliflower couscous. If you are tired of boiling or steaming your cauliflower, this cauliflower couscous is for you! Cauliflower is full of antioxidants and helps detox your system. And didn’t your mom tell you to eat your carrots?! Carrots are rich in alkaline elements which purify and revitalize the blood. The potassium in carrots helps balance the high levels of sodium in our bodies.
So here is hoping that this dish will help you start or stay in a positive cycle this week! Enjoy!
Roasted Carrots with Cauliflower Couscous
12-15 small carrots
1 tbsp ghee/coconut oil
1 tbsp honey
1 tsp lemon zest
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp cardamom powder
1 tbsp sesame seeds
salt & pepper
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Wash carrots thoroughly, wipe and chop in medium cubes if they are large in size. Make a marinade by combining ghee, honey, lemon zest, salt, pepper, cumin, paprika and cardamom powder. Rub the carrots with marinade and lay them on a baking sheet. Sprinkle sesame seeds on top. Roast them in the oven for 15-20 minutes until the edges get golden brown.
1 head of cauliflower
2 tbsp capers
1/2 cup of fresh herbs – mint, cilantro and basil
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup almonds
1 tbsp ghee/coconut oil
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
juice of 1 lemon
salt and pepper
Cut the cauliflower in small florets, discard stalks. Place florets in a food processor. Pulse food processor until florets become little grain-like couscous.
Heat ghee in a saucepan on medium heat. Add raisins and let them soak in hot ghee for 1-2 minutes. Add turmeric powder, cook for 10 seconds and add cauliflower couscous to pan. Mix well until all couscous is covered with turmeric color. Remove from the heat and add fresh herbs, capers, almonds, lemons juice, salt and pepper and mix well. Serve warm with roasted carrots and yogurt.
Mirjam Leslie-Pringle says
They keep getting prettier! Looks stunning and yummie!
Gorgeous photos as always and the dish looks beautiful and paired so well. Cauliflower couscous seems to be catching up fast. I saw two other recipes and would love to try it.
Its funny how in one part of the world it is cold and days have become shorter whereas here in the tropical coast of India, the sun sets after 6 and I am still using air conditioning!
I lived in Florida for a few years before moving to Vancouver. I miss the tropical weather in winters, but I shouldn’t be complaining – Vancouver is one of the warmest places in Canada!
Lan | morestomach says
i have a love/hate relationship with carrots, it’s a long story involving carrot juice as a teenager to improve eyesight. anyway, intellectually speaking, i understand the health benefits of them and i do add them in where i can at least mask it with something else, like cauliflower which i do like.
in making this, what is the texture of the cauliflower that we’re going for? does it still have crunch to it, or is it soft?
I drink a lot of carrot juice, but I agree I like carrots mixed with other flavors!
We do want a grain like crunchy texture for the cauliflower. I only cook cauliflower for a few seconds until it mixes well with the ghee and turmeric.
This dish is an absolute winner, love all the flavors.
You did motivate me to get up and go for a run today when it’s dull and cold. I guess workout is the best addiction ever.
Dixya @ Food, Pleasure, and Health says
I am exactly the same way – its so easy to fall into comfort food, PJs and now there is Christmas tree I want sit by all evening. I have yet to make cauliflower couscous. Those carrots look so pretty.
You are a very creative chef, I must say. I never knew that couscous can be made from cauliflower. Lovely combination with carrots. Winter is the best time in India, when we can have fresh carrots and lots of other veggies. It’s a fun time to cook and we are inspired by your cooking style. Love your photography. perfect presentation 🙂
Roasting vegetables makes their flavor more profound! I love this dish. It is simple yet delicious!
This makes my mouth water, it’s so beautiful! I love the pairing of cauliflower couscous with the carrots, the earthiness of both complement each other. The addition of raisins and capers also helps to build the complexity, amazing! If I had better looking carrots, I would make this in a heartbeat.
Laura Anna says
The photography is what drew me in. Based upon that alone, I will be giving this recipe a go this weekend. I can hardly wait!
Laura Anna says
I made this tonight and it is AMAZING! I cannot stop eating this.
I am glad you tried it, and even happier that you liked it!
What inspiration! there is hardly any winter where I live in Bombay but still as soon as I see red carrots flooding the markets around this time of the year I celebrate by making fattening Gajjar ka Halwa and with Christmas round the corner oh theres too much wine and rum and rum balls….
You go girl! hitting the gym 5 times a week is amazing! I agree when I work out I eat healthy and the days I dont then its all just downhill!
Cauliflower couscous sounds like a very good idea! shall try….big hug
Sini | my blue&white kitchen says
I totally agree with you that it’s so hard to get motivated during these dark days. It’s crazy how short the hours of daylight get – it’s already dark at 3.30 pm! A photographers nightmare.
You have created such a beautiful dish. I’m sure it also tastes great. Oh and I totally love the pictures of the carrots! So sweet.
mahendra thaker says
great chef–great dish..come up with few more in this winter..
its feast to eyes..
Lail | With A Spin says
I agree. It’s so hard to be motivated to do something during winter in the dark. I need daylight to do outdoorsy activities. Now that couscous sounds delicious. Love roasted vegetables.
This looks delicious! I’m going to pin it 🙂
I agree with you about the weather, although I’m moving back to Toronto at the end of the month, so I’ll be bundled up and braving the Canadian cold with energetic motivation from other like-minded movers like you. Cheers!
Stay warm, Mel!
Katie @ Produce on Parade says
Your photos are completely gorgeous, as always, and the couscous looks amazing. Yum!