Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Life In The Fast Lane


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The Eagles got nothin' on a Tart. Especially one who also happens to be a new mom. They thought their lane was fast? Try making dinner while br**stfeeding and changing a baby, doing laundry, cleaning the house, revamping a computer, grocery shopping, working and oh yeah, attempting to spend quality time with what's-his-name? That guy? You know, the one who helped make the baby? You think you live in the fast lane, Don Henley? I don't think so.

This week, we're posting something simple...in honor of you moms out there who want something easy, delicious and nutritious that you can whip up in a snap. This couscous is from one of our favorite finds, Veganomicon. This book is packed with delicious, vegan recipes that you can serve to any palate and without the fear they're thinking, "WTF?!"

We served this between 3 of us along with some sautéed kale and it was plenty. But if serving solo for more than 2 or 3 people, we'd suggest doubling the recipe. And if you've never tried Israeli couscous, you're in for a real treat! Similar to Italian orzo, this wheat-based baked pasta is shaped into little pearls and therefore is also referred to as pearl couscous. Check the bulk section of your grocery store as it's hard to find a boxed version with 2 cups in it. For a gluten-free version, we'd suggest substituting brown rice. Just adjust the water and cooking time.

Israeli Couscous w/Pistachios & Apricots

2 Tbsp. vegetable oil (we used olive)
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups Israeli couscous
2 1/2 cups water
1 cinnamon stick
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. ground cardamom
several pinches of freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
zest from 1 lime
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
1/2 cup chopped dried apricots, chopped to the size of raisins (we used Turkish)
1/2 cup shelled pistachios
Juice from 1/2 lime

Preheat a large heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-low heat. Place garlic and oil in the pan and sauté for 1 minute. Add the couscous, raise the heat to medium and stir constantly for 4 to 5 minutes; the couscous should start to toast.

Add the water, cinnamon stick, cumin, cardamom, pepper, salt and lime zest. Raise the heat and bring to a boil. Once the mixture is boiling, lower the heat again to as low as possible and cover. In about 10 minutes, most of the water should have been absorbed. Add 2 Tbsp. of mint, all the apricots, pistachios and lime juice. Stir, cover and cook for 5 more minutes. At this point, the water should be thoroughly absorbed. (We didn't go the full 5 as it was starting to stick. Just eyeball it.)

Remove the cinnamon stick, fluff the couscous with a fork, garnish with remaining mint and serve. This is sooooooo good!

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Try not to eat it all before serving.

I see you, Erin. I'm right here...

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Okay, clearly you're not getting it. I WILL drink all your wine. Oh, wait, I already did. Oops!

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