Thursday, February 14, 2013

Recipes: Company Couscous

I named this recipe Company Couscous just now (like, right this second) because it occurred to me that my usual naming convention of just listing the main ingredients was a tad, well, boring (i.e. I used to call this recipe Mushroom and Zucchini Couscous - snore, right?) Also, this is totally a dish I would (and have) served to company, so the name fits. It has a lot of veggie power, snappy flavors, and involves couscous which is one of my very favorite things. If you're not already cooking the hell out of couscous on a regular basis, get with it! Couscous is ready in like 5 minutes, guys. It's AMAZING. Anyway, this is a dinner staple at our house which we eat as our main dish, but it would also make a great side dish so, be creative!

Company Couscous

1 cup chicken broth (vegetable broth may be substituted)
1 cup uncooked couscous
2 1/2 TB olive oil, divided
3/4 tsp salt, divided
3/8 tsp pepper, divided
3/4 TB lemon juice
3 medium zucchini, chopped into bite-size pieces (about 2 1/2 cups)
4-5 portobello mushroom caps, chopped into bite-size pieces (about 2 1/2 cups)
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese plus 2 TB for garnish
1 TB chopped fresh chives (optional)

1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 TB of olive oil. Next, add the mushrooms and season them with 1/4 tsp* of salt and 1/8 tsp* pepper and combine thoroughly (*these amounts are approximate, use your judgment and season them as you would any regular sauteed veg). Saute, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms are softened and have released liquid (about 5 minutes). Pour cooked mushrooms and all liquid into a bowl and set aside.

2. Put the skillet immediately back over the heat (no need to rinse) and add 1 TB of olive oil. Bring to heat and then add the chopped zucchini, 1/4 tsp* salt and 1/8 tsp* pepper (*approximates) and stir to combine well. Saute, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes.

3. After you get the zucchini going, bring 1 cup of chicken broth (or vegetable broth) to a boil in a small saucepan. When the broth begins boiling add 1 cup of couscous and stir. Then cover the pot and remove it from heat. Wait at least 5 minutes. Uncover the pot and add 1/2 TB olive oil, 3/4 TB fresh lemon juice 1/4 tsp of salt and 1/8 TSP pepper. Fluff/stir with a fork to combine well.

4. Once your zucchini has softened, add the mushrooms plus liquid back into the pan and cook together for a couple of minutes, then turn off heat.

5. Pour the couscous mixture directly into the pan along with 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese and the chopped chives (if you have them available - which I did not). Stir to combine thoroughly. Serve warm with a smidge more Parmesan cheese on top. This recipe makes 4 servings at 320 calories and 13 grams of fat a piece.

Everyone should eat more veggies - so give this a try instead of a typical meal with meat. I hope you like it!

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