Eating healthy without trying too hard, that is. Last month was quite a month. I went to Sydney and Melbourne for 2 weeks and then to warm my butt for a week in KL then hop on the next flight to Seoul. Honestly, in that short period of time, I understand frequent flyers. But it’s way too stressful for my skin and (ahem) my appetite. I ate so much in Sydney and Melbourne that I kept my meals in Seoul minimum, which is really rare.
When I came back, I felt that I need to detox a bit but not too extreme. I can’t do the whole green juice for 3 days nor sugar-free detox, but rather decide on fresh produce and more greens, and homecooked meals. Throughout the times when I was daydreaming, or walking alone, I managed to “detox” my brain for a bit and think of what I want to do with this blog and why I still keep this blog after 10 years of blogging. In the next few months, I will be making some changes on this space and focus only on food (recipes) and travel posts; on what I do best. And I’m still fixing the index that’s taking forever.
Incase you’re still wondering what is cauliflower couscous ? It’s basically, just cauliflower! This underrated vegetable is really popular amongst paleo eaters as it work wonders. It can be used in replacement of rice, couscous and even pizza crust. My dear cauliflower, what can you NOT do ? The easiest way to cook is really put cauliflower florets in the food processor with the blade attachment and pulse till its grainy. There you have it. As I’m not really a fan of couscous, I enjoyed this quite well sans the guilt, especially with the crispy salmon skin for some texture.
You can cook it or eat it raw but I prefer to cook it. Then, add in tomato, corn, chickpeas or other vegetables which you like into the caulicous (typing cauliflower couscous is like a tongue twister for the fingers) and toss with some salad dressing if you want to, like a dijon mustard dressing ? with some lemon juice squeezed in. I think if you add an egg into this, you can form it into a croquette and fry it. (Just saying, don’t take my word for it)
As for the salmon, I find the foolproof way to get crispy skin is to use a cast iron skillet. I used non-stick pans before but the crispiness doesn’t maintain. I think my trusty Le Creuset cast iron skillet is mostly used for making crispy skin salmon. Haha. Kidding, not. Maybe I should make a Dutch pancake with next.
So this is how it’s going to go huh, from cauliflower to dutch pancake. This could be a great meal if you are cooking for a party or a group of people. The cauliflower couscous can be whipped up in 5 minutes and I’m sure you don’t need long to cook salmon. But the dish packs alot of flavours and nutrients (and it fills up your vegetable quota of the day pretty quickly). So the next time you see cauliflower in the market, grab 1 (or 2) back because there’s alot you can do with it. It’s magical. Haha
Before I go on with the recipe, I just wanna talk about the chickpeas. Usually when I use chickpeas, they are in the can (like for hummus). And I don’t cook alot of chickpeas because most of the time, I am cooking for 1 or 2 and it doesn’t keep well in the fridge. So I was elated when I saw this roadside stall selling Malay kuihs that had steamed chick peas for only RM1 (less than USD 0.30) a packet. If I didn’t found the chickpea stall, I wouldn’t add chickpeas in the couscous. You could perhaps replace with something you have, like bell peppers or zucchini. Remember, cooking is about adapting so if you can’t find something, replace it.
- ¼ head cauliflower, cut into florets
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half
- ½ cup chick peas (cooked)
- ½ cup corn kernels
- 2 tbsp pine nuts
- 2 tbsp butter
- 2 salmon fillet (about 120g-150g each)
- a bunch (8 stalks) of asparagus
- salt and pepper
- *cayenne pepper - optional
- 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- ¼ tsp dijon mustard
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- pinch of salt and pepper
- 2 tbsp grapeseed oil (or extra virgin olive oil)
- To make the dressing, combine lemon juice, mustard, garlic in a bowl. Drizzle in oil while whisking. Adjust with seasonings if needed. Set aside.
- Cut cauliflower to florets. Put in a food processor with the S blade and pulse till it is grainy. Do not leave it on to pulse continuously as it may turn out too creamy.
- In a pot, add in 2 tbsp butter. Add in cauliflower couscous and stir. Cover with a lid and let it cook for 2-3 minutes. Remove lid, add some salt and fluff up the cauliflower couscous with a wooden spoon. Pour into a bowl.
- Heat up the skillet, while skillet is heating, add in pine nuts just to toast it for 1 minute. Once it looks toasted, remove from skillet and add into the cauliflower couscous. Set aside.
- Sprinkle salt and pepper on each side of salmon fillet. Next, drizzle some oil in the skillet, put the salmon skin side down on it. Let it cook for 4 minutes then flip over and cook for 2-4 minutes depending on how thick your salmon is.
- After you have flip the salmon in the skillet pan, make a little space on the side so you can add in your asparagus, chick peas and corn for a light toast, it should just take less than a minute.
- Add the chickpeas and corn into the cauliflower couscous. Add in cherry tomato and toss gently. The heat will warm up the tomato releasing its juices. Add in the dressing, reserve ¼.
- By now, the salmon should be cooked.
- Plate up with some couscous salad, asparagus and salmon and drizzle the remaining dressing over.