Thursday, March 26, 2009

Vegetable couscous

The other day I was working with some kids on the simple present tense. I think one of the easiest ways to do this is to have them talk about their daily routines. Here is what was said in one class.
Me: What time do you eat breakfast on Tuesday?
Boy: For Fridays I take couscous.

So then I spent the rest of the day thinking about couscous. I decided to make couscous for dinner. The problem is (as I have said before) that we have a poorly stocked kitchen. Plus spices here are ridiculously expensive. So while I found recipes that looked better, this is what I ended up making because I had at least 3/4 of the ingredients. :) It was good, and I am anxious to try other couscous recipes after I am back.

• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• 1 medium onion, diced
• 1/2 cup finely chopped carrots
• 1 large red pepper, thinly sliced
• 2 small zucchini, thinly sliced
• 1 teaspoon minced garlic
• 1 tablespoon Penzeys Turkish seasoning mix or see recipe below
• 1 can (14 ounces) fat-free chicken broth
• 3/4 cup whole wheat couscous
• salt and pepper to taste
• 2 medium tomatoes, seeded and chopped, optional
• 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint, optional
Turkish Seasoning Mix*
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 teaspoon cumin
• 1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
• 1 teaspoon sharp paprika
• 1 teaspoon oregano
• 1 teaspoon dried cilantro leaves
• 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
• 1/8 teaspoon cayenne red pepper
In a large heavy skillet, heat oil. Add onion and carrots. Cook until onions are translucent. Add pepper, zucchini, garlic, and seasoning mix. Cook 2 -3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add broth and cook over medium heat for 3 - 4 minutes or until vegetables are tender-crisp. Stir occasionally. Add couscous and stir to mix. Remove from heat and tightly cover skillet. Let stand 5 minutes. Remove cover and fluff with a fork. Add additional seasoning mix or salt and pepper to taste. Add chopped tomatoes and fresh mint if desired.
*To prepare spice mixture, combine all spices in a small custard cup.
Serves 6

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