Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Summer Vegetable Couscous (sort of)

I modified this recipe so much I feel like I can barely post it, but figured it's still worth sharing with others.  It's from The Classic Zucchini Cookbook.

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, slivered
1 green or red bell pepper, diced
2 medium-sized yellow summer squash or golden zucchini, quartered and sliced
2 medium-sized zucchini, quartered and sliced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1.5-2 cups cooked or canned chickpeas, drained
1.5 cup seeded and diced tomatoes (fresh or canned)
1 cup water
1.5 cups couscous
2 1/4 cups boiling water
1.4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Directions: Cook the onion and pepper for 3-5 minutes until soft, then add the rest of the vegetables and spices and saute for 5 minutes, then simmer for 30 minutes.  Stir in cilantro.  Cook couscous separately and serve together.

This was sort of a thrown together meal from things I had around the kitchen.  I didn't have couscous, so made it with quinoa instead.  I didn't have a pepper or cilantro, so I just left those out.  I didn't have summer squash, so I just used lots of zucchini.  So I'd basically call this "Zucchini and Chick Peas with spices over quinoa."  I also used a ton of chickpeas, since we had a 7-pound can in the pantry older than my youngest child that I was happy to finally open.  (As I've explained to Josh, just because you can get something really cheap at Costco, it doesn't mean we actually need it.)

The meal turned out OK.  It's something I would make again if I had all the ingredients on hand, but wouldn't necessarily shop for.  Since I probably doubled the amount of chickpeas, I should have used more tomatoes and spices to make the meal more flavorful.  I think the pepper and cilantro (which I left out) probably would have added some nice flavor as well.  There was a note saying you could substitute mild chiles for the pepper, which I meant to do, but then forgot about.  

If you try this recipe and actually follow the directions, let me know how it turns out!

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