It’s Monday! And I feel ready for the week ahead because it’s full of lots of exciting things for me, and I was actually able to set myself up for success by taking care of me yesterday in all of the ways that I’ve desperately needed to. For one, I slept in hardcore. Like didn’t get out of bed til almost 11 hardcore. You guys…this is one of the hardest things for me to allow myself to do because I am a total morning person by nature, and because I struggle so strongly with giving up productive time by just sleeping. It seems completely indulgent for me to do. I would much rather wake up at 5, get in a good workout, do a little reading, and take in all of the beauty that the misty morning daylight has to offer as the sun just begins to peak. With a cup of coffee of course. That time of day is absolutely magical to me and I find myself feeling so much gratitude when my mornings begin that way. And those gracious mornings fill me up with so much positivity that the rest of my day seems to flow with much more ease.
However, I haven’t been sleeping well AT ALL to the point of feeling completely delirious on Friday and Saturday, and I knew that I had to give myself a break. So I did. And after catching up on some much needed sleep, I woke up to a warm and sunshine-y day and offered up the idea of heading down to the beach to paddle board, and then coming back here and making a fabulous dinner for two. So Matt and I headed down to check out the water, and then to the store for scallops and wine…and of course 10+ more things because when can I ever go to the store for just a couple of things?!? Answer: Never. And I’m ok with that…
So we both worked a little bit in the early afternoon and then went down to the water to just ‘be’. And it was amazing. There is something both comforting and rejuvenating to me about being in, on, and around the water, and it leaves me feeling completely light and fresh and new every single time. Not to mention the gift of watching the sun in its final stages of setting as it ever so slowly transitions between the most brilliant shades of orange. We went down so late in the day that it only made sense to stay and partake in this glorious act of nature. And we ended up being so glad that we did because the water became as flat as can be and we had such a peaceful paddle that it left us excited about the thought of going down and doing it again tonight…
So in giving myself permission not to only sleep, but to also get outside and do something for myself and my relationship, I completely recharged both my emotional and physical energy, which allowed the mental block that I’ve been carrying around to dissipate and make room for the creative energy that I’ve been CRAVING. And it feels so good…
Alright…let’s talk about food for a hot minute now that I’ve rambled on for what seems like forever…
This bowl is everything. It’s fresh, it’s healthy, it’s satisfying, and it’s full of all the flavor. I LOVE curry. And I LOVE Mediterranean style foods. The possibilities are endless and they always make me feel like I’ve treated myself kindly when I eat them. I’ve been wanting to share this naan recipe for awhile now because it’s so, so easy, and it’s so, so worth waiting for the dough to rise because there’s just something special about homemade bread every single time (you guys know I’m obsessed). Naan in the oven is completely simple and takes just a few minutes to bake, so you want to make sure you watch it carefully. Spread some garlicky hummus over that just out of the oven deliciousness and pile on all the freshness and you have yourself the perfect lunch or dinner. And I’m thinking this will travel well to the beach for a sweet little picnic…ENJOY!
Mediterranean Bowl with Oven Baked Naan and Curried Chickpeas
Sautéed zucchini and red onion
- 2 small zucchini, small diced
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced paper thin
- 1 small red onion, sliced thin
- salt and pepper to taste
- drizzle of olive oil
- 2-14 ounce cans garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or more to taste)
- salt and pepper to taste
- drizzle of olive oil
- 1/2 cup bulghur wheat
- 3/4 cups boiling water
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 1/2-2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1/2 cup scallions, white and green parts, sliced thin
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
- 1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 1 seedless cucumber, small diced
- 1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes, cut in half
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup feta cheese crumbles
For the naan
- 2 1/2 teaspoons dry yeast (1 envelope)
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 4 ½ cups all-purpose flour, more for dusting and rolling
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 3 tablespoons milk
- 2 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- To make the naan, mix the yeast and honey together with 1/4 cup of very warm water and allow to sit for 10 minutes until yeast is foamy. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the dough hook attached, mix together the flour, yeast mixture, salt, baking powder, milk, yogurt, egg, 2/3 cup warm water, and oil on low speed until well combined. Increase speed to medium and knead for 5 minutes until smooth.
- Remove the dough from the bowl and continue kneading for 3-4 minutes longer on a lightly floured surface until the dough is very smooth and elastic, but not sticky. Add a little bit more flour as necessary.
- Place the dough into a lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Allow the dough to rise until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours.
- Preheat oven to 500 degrees and set a pizza stone or large baking sheet on the center rack. Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces and roll out into round or oblong shapes, about 6 inches or so long.
- Place two of the rolled out pieces of dough directly onto the pizza stone at once and bake for 1-2 minutes each, watching very closely. The dough will puff up and brown very quickly. Carefully remove from oven and repeat with remaining dough until all is baked. Set aside.
- While the dough is rising, make the tabbouleh. Place the bulgur into a large bowl and cover with the boiling water. Allow to sit for 1 hour undisturbed. After an hour, gently toss the bulgur with the lemon juice, olive oil, salt, pepper, scallions, mint, and parsley. Fold in the tomatoes, cucumber, and feta.
- In a large sauté pan set over medium heat, sauté the zucchini, garlic, and red onion in a generous drizzle of olive oil for 5-7 minutes until vegetables are just beginning to soften. Season with salt and pepper and sauté for another minute or two, then set aside.
- In the same pan, sauté the garbanzo beans with the curry powder, cayenne, and another generous drizzle of olive oil. Cook the beans until fragrant and just beginning to brown. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Set aside with the sautéed vegetables.
- To serve, set out all prepared foods in a large serving bowl alongside hummus, extra cucumber slices and tomatoes, and red pepper flakes. ENJOY!