Butternutty Couscous + Brussels Sprouts

Poor Topanga, man.

She hasn’t gotten a blog shoutout in a hot minute.

Topanga is our 12yo shihpoo. She’s as cranky & cynical as you can imagine.

But she’s our sourpuss & we love her! Well, Garr & I love her, Lou is tolerant. Mainly because Topanga growls at her every time Lou is within 3 feet. I digress. This pup is in desperate need of a teeth cleaning. They are just…rotting in her head. & her breath! My God, I thought mine was bad. My stank mouth has nothing on Topanga. We’ve finally gotten her in for a teeth cleaning soon & I am just fearful she’s going to lose her mind. Like she’s such an indoor, lazy beast, anytime we break her routine of…nothingness, she freaks. The groomer is an event. This will be nothing short of the worst day of her life.

Honestly, she’ll probably figure out a way to escape the vet so she can find a family with no children to live with.

Time: 45 minutes (prep + cooking) | Serves: 2

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of couscous, uncooked
  • 1 package of frozen butternut squash cubes
  • 1 package of Brussels sprouts, trimmed + halved
  • 1 tbsp of maple syrup
  • 2 tsp of yellow mustard
  • 1/2 cup of almond milk
  • 1 shallot, diced
  • 1 tbsp of garlic, minced
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 3 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 tsp of crushed red pepper
  • S+P, to taste

How to:

  • Preheat oven to 400
  • In a bowl, combine 1 tbsp of olive oil + maple syrup + mustard + S+P
  • Add Brussels sprouts + mix to combine
  • Spread on a lined baking sheet in an even layer
  • On another baking sheet, arrange butternut squash in an even layer + drizzle with 1 tbsp of olive oil + S+P
  • Roast both for 30 minutes, tossing once in the middle
  • Meanwhile, heat remaining olive oil in a pot over medium heat
  • Add shallot, cook 2-3 minutes
  • Add garlic, cook another minute
  • Add couscous + S+P, cook another minute letting toast
  • Add water + cook couscous to package directions
  • Once squash is done, combine with almond milk in a blender until smooth
  • Add to the warm pot with cooked couscous + adjust seasoning to taste, adding red pepper flakes if you’d like
  • Stir in lemon juice with the heat turned off
  • To serve, scoop some couscous into a bowl + top with crispy Brussels
  • I know it’s still sweltering out there, but make a bowl of this + welcome the autumnal vibes

Adapted from here!

Dolmas Salad

I’m really sick and tired of being the selfless one in this family.

I give until it HURTS.

And I ask for so little in return.

For example, we asked our pals to come over and take some photos for a Christmas card yesterday. Yes, I know what you’re thinking. Rachel, hire a professional to take some nice photos you will cherish forever. Yeah, that sounds nice and all, but my daughter is a terrorist and I am the cheapest person you know so. Here we are. We take a few shots. All is well. I’m flipping through them and I find one where I look just absolutely STELLAR. Like, I’m not a photogenic person (or maybe I just refuse to believe I actually look the way I do), but in this shot, I was on POINT. I show it to Garrett to get his approval and he’s like, “….Rachel, my eyes are closed.” I just don’t see his point. This isn’t about you. People need to hang this photo of ME on their refrigerators!!! I was so peeved. I pick a back up that is like OK I guess and he’s all, “But Topanga isn’t in that one.” I truly get no respect.

Then we have another discussion about why I don’t zoom in on anyone else in photos before declaring my favorites and that is just more than I can handle in a day.

Time: 30 minutes (prep + cooking) | Serves: 2-3

Ingredients:

  • 6-8 dolmas, chopped up (I find mine at Trader Joe’s)
  • 1 can of chickpeas, rinsed + drained
  • 2-3 rainbow carrots, sliced in thin rounds
  • 4-6 mini bell peppers, sliced thin
  • 1/4 cup of kalamata olives, chopped
  • 2 mini cucumbers, sliced thin
  • 1/4 cup of dill, chopped
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup of olive oil
  • S+P, to taste
  • 4-6 cups of arugula, for serving

How to:

  • Preheat oven to 400
  • Arrange chickpeas + carrots on a lined baking sheet
  • Drizzle with 1-2 tbsp. of olive oil + S+P, roast for 25 minutes, tossing once in the middle
  • Meanwhile, combine lemon juice + remaining olive oil + dill + S+P, stir well
  • Combine peppers + olives + cucumbers + pour dilly lemon dressing on top
  • To serve, arrange some arugula on a plate + top with roasted chickpeas + carrots + marinated veggies + dolmas
  • Snarf this baby down + then wash it down with the remaining dolmas in your can


Roasted Cabbage + Sweet Potato Salad

Guess what the cat dragged in???
My mother.
You guessed it. Susan is a Colorado resident!!!
Sound the alarms! The band is back together. & we celebrated with a big ole Target run. We did some DAMAGE in the baby section. We probably would have gone harder had there been a better selection, but we’ll get them next time. It is just so neat-o having her right down the street. We haven’t lived near a parental unit in 7 years. Susan & I still haven’t gotten used to it, though, because we keep calling each other every couple of hours like we still live hundreds of miles apart. We need to invest in a walkie talkie system.

Which would make Garr even happier than he already is to be living down the road from his mother-in-law.

Time: 45 minutes (prep + cooking) | Serves: 2-3

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 head of cabbage, chopped
  • 1 sweet potato, peeled + chopped
  • 1 can of chickpeas, rinsed + drained
  • 1 cup of quinoa, cooked
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tbsp. of olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. of apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. of whole grain dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp. of garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. of cumin
  • 1 tsp. of chili powder
  • 1 tsp. of smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. of Italian seasoning
  • S+P, to taste
  • Arugula, for serving

How to:

  • Preheat oven to 425
  • Arrange cabbage + sweet potatoes + chickpeas on a lined baking sheet + drizzle with 1 tbsp. of olive oil + S+P chili powder + cumin + smoked paprika + Italian seasoning
  • In a bowl, combine remaining olive oil + apple cider vinegar + mustard + garlic + S+P
  • Drizzle that on your pan + stir
  • Roast for 30-40 minutes, tossing halfway through
  • Serve warm atop some arugula + with some quinoa
  • Curl up on the couch with a plate of this + a viewing of Halloweentown

Adapted from here!