Sunday, May 12, 2013
I had a wonderful couscous dish last week after I saw "Girl with a Pearl Earring" at the deYoung museum in San Francisco. The painting was incredible, full of light, yet bursting with various colors. The couscous dish was similar, light, yet bursting with a variety of colors, and flavors. I've made this with Israeli couscous, which reminds me of pearls, or with whole wheat couscous, or as in these photos, with Trader Joe's Harvest Grains, which includes Israeli couscous with garbanzo beans and quinoa. I also vary the vegetables I add, depending on what is available in the frig or the garden. However, I always keep the sweet nuggets of raisins. Their sweetness make this such a delight.
1 cup water, low sodium chicken or vegetable stock
3/4 cup couscous
1/4 cup raisins, golden raisins, or currants
1/4 cup carrots, quartered lengthwise and cut into 1/4 inch pieces
1/4 cup zucchini, cut into 1/4 inch lengths, then 1/4 inch pieces
1 Tbs red onion, diced
1 Tbs minced parsley
1 Tbs minced mint
2 Tbs lemon salad dressing
1 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp cumin
2 Tbs toasted, slivered almonds or toasted pine nuts
salt and pepper to taste
Directions: Heat water or stock to a boil, add couscous, raisins, and carrots. Return to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 10 minutes, or until the couscous is tender. Add remaining ingredients, stirring to combine. Taste, adding salt and pepper, if necessary. Salt and pepper might not be needed if stock is used. Enjoy either warm or refrigerate and eat cold.
Serves 4 as a side dish or 2 as a main dish
Stealthy Cooking Tip: Add vegetables that you like. I think it would be good with pieces of broccoli and red pepper, asparagus, or peas and water chestnuts. Using vegetables that excite you adds a new dimension to your cooking.
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Here's a quick dinner, ideal for those nights when there's not much time to spend in the kitchen. Truth be told, I broke my foot a couple of weeks ago, and find that any time in the kitchen is too much! Consequently, I've been mastering quick, quick things to make for any and all meals. That, or it's out to eat. We had salmon the other night (grilled salmon is another meal that's quick, especially when my nice husband does the grilling), so I used leftover salmon in these quesadillas, canned salmon would work equally as well.
1 tsp olive oil
1/4 cup diced zucchini
1/4 cup diced red or yellow peppers
1/4 cup diced red or yellow onion
1 cup flaked salmon
1/2 cup grated cheese
2 tsp minced cilantro
1 tsp butter or olive oil
2 whole wheat tortillas
3 lemon or lime wedges
3 dollops of plain Greek yogurt
3 Tbs of guacamole
3 Tbs or more of tomato salsa
Directions: Heat a skillet over medium high heat. Add olive oil, then vegetables. Cook for about 3 minutes, until the vegetables give up their juices. Add the salmon and heat. Remove the vegetable and salmon mixture to a plate. Return the skillet to the stove top, adding the second teaspoon of oil or butter. Place one of the tortillas on the skillet. Spread half of the vegetable salmon mixture over half of the tortilla. Top with 1/4 cup of the cheese and 1 teaspoon of the cilantro. Fold the tortilla in half. Cook for about 1 minute, until light brown, then turn over and cook the other side. Repeat with the second tortilla. Cut each tortilla into thirds, serving with lemon or lime, yogurt, guacamole, and salsa on the side.
Serves 3. Easily doubled.
Stealthy Cooking Tip: Add a green salad for a complete meal. Here's a perfect example of how to increase your veggies and barely know it. Many quesadillas have on vegetables in them at all. The addition of some veggies to the quesadilla increases your vegetable intake. Another advantage of increasing the vegetables, is that you're able to cut back on cheese with very little notice. Try using a "scant" 1/4 cup of cheese, not a heaping 1/4 cup.