If you haven’t figured it out already, Jason is the cook in this household. His concoctions and machinations are, we suspect, the reason why we have so many friends who are so adamant about sticking around.
He’s not simply a guy that likes to cook though. He’s a person who strives to understand the science behind a reaction and perfects recipes over multiple months by controlling one variable at a time. He doesn’t actually use recipes though and would rather volunteer to cook for an entire 12-person camping weekend than deal with splitting up responsibilities.
The first [or 12th] of hundreds of loaves of bread in Jason’s never-ending quest to make the perfect loaf. [circa 2014]
He’s also an insufferable date. We rarely go out to eat, not because we’re stingy, but because Jason spends most of the meal deciphering the ingredients of a given dish and announcing that he could make it too [or better].
[So if we take you out to eat when you visit us, know that we’re taking you somewhere Jason can’t recreate!]
But for all of his qualities that are simply lost on me, there is one thing I can wield that he cannot: social media.
Jason hasn’t been on any type of social media platform since 2009, a trait I truly admire about him. But what that means is that I have the upper hand in not only always knowing peoples’ birthdays, but also having access to some of the most expertly crafted food images out there.
Bon Appétit, Martha Stewart, Beautiful Cuisines, Tasting Table, and Jamie Oliver… the veritable food porn littering my Instagram account is enough to keep me hooked on the platform—that and the infinite world travel photos and snarky and hilarious memes via @thefatjewish:
So while Jason has the inner genius to make any culinary masterpiece, I have an entire network SPANNING THE WORLD and can thus bring my own [ahem, borrowed] ideas.
Which is exactly what happened on Sunday.
Jason asked me what I felt like for lunches this week, and my verbatim response was: “Hold on. Let me check for inspiration” [pulls out phone and opens Instagram].
Luckily, I had remembered stumbling upon one of the more attractive food accounts just the previous day called @desklunches. These gals take pictures on their iPhones of their homemade #desklunch ideas made in their tiny NYC home kitchens. I want to eat ALL of their food, guys. Even Jason agrees that they’re good.
So I went back to their account and found the perfect “comfortable but challenging” source of inspiration: these Rosemary Roasted Vegetables.
It was comfortable because we eat roasted vegetables all the time, and challenging because it included three items we would not have thought to use: turnips, couscous, and cider vinegar.
We didn’t have an exact recipe—we just kind of went for it, even though neither of us had cooked with turnips or prepared couscous before. And the product was marvelous, full of flavor and substance, yet healthy and light. Here’s how we went about recreating it per our imaginations:
Rosemary Roasted Vegetables with Couscous
1 lb. Brussel sprouts
6 large carrots
1 red onion
5 cloves garlic
Olive or avocado oil
Salt and pepper to taste
2 c. couscous
3 c. water
A few sprigs of parsley, chopped
1 T. apple cider vinegar
- Preheat oven to 400-degrees F.
- Chop all of the vegetables into chunks or cubes of comparable size to ensure even roasting. [Tip: treat the turnips like potatoes.]
- Peel and mince garlic and add to vegetables. [Don’t like peeling garlic? Here’s a tip: throw your garlic cloves into a saucepan, close the lid, and give it a good, strong shake. Voila! Peeled!]
- Spread out all of the vegetables onto one or two roasting pans and drizzle with oil.
- Chop the rosemary and sprinkle over the veggies alongside the salt and pepper. Stir to coat.
- Roast for about an hour until they get nice and caramelized. [Ours took longer because we had so many veggies!]
- Meanwhile, prepare the couscous by bringing the water, a few tablespoons of olive oil, and a dash of salt to a boil.
- Add the couscous, stir, and remove from heat. Let sit covered for 10 minutes then fluff with a fork.
- Serve the roasted vegetables and couscous together with some chopped parsley, a drizzle of olive oil, and a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar.
Not too shabby, eh?
We hope you enjoy it as much as we did and that we encouraged you to challenge yourself with a new ingredient, new concept, or new Instagram feed to follow. Because honestly, not all of us are like Jason… but at least we can try to be like Martha:
Martha’s avocado toast
Our [sub-Martha, but still delicious] avocado toast. At least we tried!