“Guys what are we having for dinner tonight?”
I looked up from the textbook as I heard my younger sister call out from the room next door. I glanced at the clock: 7pm. It was dinnertime.
Sighing, I scanned around the room. Textbooks sprawled over the floor. Dishes in the sink. Laundry to fold. Empty luggages to fill. Bathroom to clean. It was finals week. My body felt slightly weak and my arms tired. There was still so much to be done.
My younger sister had come to stay for a week with us. We were so excited to have our baby sister with us for the week but what we had forgotten was the part about having to take care of her – which included making dinner, washing her clothes. Not to mention my best friend was getting married in 2 days and we were all flying back to Hong Kong in 3 days time.
Trying not let my never-ending list overwhelm me, I walked into the room where she was calling out from. I smiled as I found her curled up in her blankets. Memories flashed in my mind as I saw an 8 year old girl with chubby cheeks and mushroom haircut, fast asleep in her pink bed. When we were younger, one of my favorite things to do was waking her up every morning – playing with her hair and showering her with kisses. She would always make the same disgusted face as we kept trying to hug her. It had been a long time since I’ve been able to do that to her. As I looked at her peaceful, now slimmer, more mature face, a sense of gratitude overcame me. Despite my hectic schedule, I was thankful that I was still able to witness these precious moments again. She really had grown up a lot.
It was then I was reminded of what really mattered most.
One thing, my younger sister requested when she visited was that we would have a “sisters time” every night and do what we loved most together – movies and eat. Trying to decide what to make for 3 girls wasn’t the easiest of tasks, but we finally settled on making cauliflower couscous. I’ve always wanted to try it, but never had the time to do it. We started off with following some internet recipe we found, but it eventually turned into just throwing all our favorite things into a mixing bowl. A handful of Sun-dried tomatoes, half a can of corn kernels, chopped avocado, toasted almonds, finely julienned mint and grated lemon…and it was done.
As I looked over at my younger sister, her eyes glued to the television screen and her mouth furiously munching down the couscous, I couldn’t help but smile. It was really good to have her with us. I missed her a lot. Even if I had a million tasks to do, it was worth it just to be able spend time with her again. I hoped that this would just one of the many snapshots of life I would cherish and remember.
Ingredients – serves 3-4
- 1 head cauliflower
- 1/2 cup sundried tomatoes, chopped
- 1/2 can corn kernels, drained
- 1.5 avocados, finely sliced
- 1 big handful Handful of Mint Leaves
- 1 tsp dried Oregano
- Juice 1/2 big lemon + lemon zest
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp of whole black peppercorn, crushed
- 1 tsp garlic, crushed
- Options: Toasted almonds, walnuts, fresh basil, diced red onion
How to Make:
- Put cauliflower in a blender and pulse till fine bits. (Make sure its not pulsed till mushy, so stop every so often to check on it until it reaches the texture and size you want it to be)
- In a large mixing bowl, pour in the cauliflower.
- Then add in everything except for the almonds and avocados. Mix Well.
- Taste and adjust seasoning.
- Finally, right before serving mix in the toasted nuts and avocado. (This is to avoid the avocado from browning and to keep the toasted nuts crunchy)
How to Serve:
Traditional Method: Couscous comes from the Arabic word Keskes. It is a mixture of unhusked and crushed semolina of hard wheat – that is eaten as staple food across North Africa and Morocco. Different parts of the world serves this slightly differently. For example, in Libya or Tunisia couscous is often served with vegetables or meat. In Egypt, Anergia and Morocco couscous is often made into popular desserts. Couscous is meant to soft and fluffy, hence cauliflower is a great substitute for this.
Our Method: Unfortunately, couscous is not gluten free or paleo. All over the internet, you will find a recent craze for cauliflower couscous. Our version allows this meal to be more like a salad. However despite substituting this grain with a vegetable, this salad was definitely more filling than I imagined it to be, due to the balance of protein from the nuts, fats from the avocado and carbs from the corn. Definitely give this a try!
Nuts: you can omit this if you’re allergic to nuts
Vegetables: Add anything you like or anything you have in the fridge!
Herbs: Coriander, basil, parsley would make great substitutes
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