In the spirit of starting off healthy in the new year, we've tapped celebrity chef Sam Talbot to share some delicious recipes to kickstart cooking better for ourselves.
In his book, 100% Real, Talbot encourages people to spice it up in order to save themselves from bland, boring food. All you really need are "a great fat, some good acid, and a nice seasoning," Talbot tells me. If the flavors of your dish aren't shining through, what's usually missing is either salt or acid.
Talbot prefers adding acid to his dishes in lieu of more sodium. One of his favorite ways to elevate food is with yuzu, though he also uses a lot of homemade chile vinegar—white vinegar plus chiles and (maybe) some herbs—in his day-to-day cooking.
In the recipe below, Talbot uses a combination of preserved lemon and apple cider vinegar to tantalize your taste buds. The curry is bulked up with cauliflower "rice," which "adds fiber, vitamins, and potassium, while letting you cut carbs," according to the book. "You can use cauliflower rice as an easy side that goes with anything you normally would serve with regular rice. One head of cauliflower gives you about 4 cups of 'rice.'"
Easy Cauliflower Rice With Roasted Vegetables And ChickenExcerpted from 100% Real by Sam Talbot. Copyright © 2017 Oxmoor House. Reprinted with permission from Time Inc. Books, a division of Time Inc. New York, NY. All rights reserved.
Hands-on Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
1 pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed, halved lengthwise
1 (8-ounce) package peeled baby carrots with tops, halved lengthwise
1 small red onion, halved, cut into 3/4-inch wedges
1/4 cup olive oil
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 rotisserie chicken
2 tablespoons finely chopped jarred preserved lemon
2 tablespoons finely chopped shallot
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon coconut sugar
1 teaspoon Madras curry powder
1 head cauliflower (about 2 pounds), cut into florets
1/4 cup chopped, roasted unsalted cashews
1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Toss together the Brussels sprouts, carrots, onion, 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of the black pepper in a bowl. Spread the mixture in an even layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven until the vegetables are tender and caramelized, about 25 minutes.
2. Remove and discard the skin from the chicken. Remove the meat, and shred to equal about 2 cups. Whisk together the preserved lemon, shallot, vinegar, coconut sugar, curry powder, and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a small bowl. Toss the shredded chicken with 3 tablespoons of the dressing.
3. Pulse the florets in a food processor until the cauliflower is finely chopped and resembles uncooked rice or couscous. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high; add the cauliflower and remaining 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper, and cook, stirring once or twice, until just beginning to brown, about 8 minutes. Divide the cauliflower evenly among 4 bowls; top with the caramelized vegetables and chicken, and drizzle with the remaining dressing. Sprinkle with the cashews.