19 March 2010

Two-Tone Couscous

Since we had a baby, time's been at a premium. I am given yet another reason to love couscous; it's definitely new-parent friendly with its quick cooking time. Lately, I've been eating whole wheat couscous, which I was delighted to find doesn't taste very different at all from regular couscous. More whole grains are always a good thing.

This recipe is really simple and fast, I'm guessing under 20 minutes although I wasn't watching the clock. Sadly, I don't have a picture of the finished product, largely because my camera ran out of juice after I took my 8 billionth baby photo. But this dish is pretty much all red and tan, which is why I called it two-tone couscous; you could throw spinach in there and have a nice thematically-colored holiday meal, if you wanted (Christmas couscous! wouldn't that make your season merry and bright?).

Okay, anyway, speaking of lack of sleep (we were, weren't we?), I'd better get this recipe written down before the baby wakes up again.

Two-Tone Couscous

1/2 c whole wheat couscous
3/4 c water
2 T olive oil, divided
~ 3/4 tsp oregano
~ 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 large roasted red pepper, diced
1 can garbanzo beans
1 14 oz can diced tomatoes
~ 1 tsp lemon juice
~ 1/4 c fresh cilantro, chopped
fresh ground black pepper & salt to taste

Put the couscous, water and 1 T olive oil in a small pot, cover, and turn on high. As soon as steam starts coming out, remove from heat, stir once, and cover again. Let sit for at least 5 minutes.

In a medium saucepan, heat 1 T olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and let cook for 3-5 minutes, until the garlic smells awesome. Add the roasted red pepper and oregano, stir, and let cook for another 2-3 minutes. Add the tomatoes, garbanzo beans, lemon juice, and smoked paprika, stir and cover. Let simmer for ~10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Taste, add pepper & salt, and adjust the other seasonings as desired.

Fluff the couscous with a fork and put in a serving bowl. Pour the sauce over the couscous. Top with cilantro.

Serves 2, unless one of you is breastfeeding, in which case it's all you.

15 March 2010

The bread o' the Irish

One of my favorite holidays of the year is fast approaching. Really, who doesn't love St. Patrick's Day? Let's drink some tasty stouts and listen to Celtic music. Sounds like a great plan to me.

In addition to some great beers and fast fiddlin', the rest of the world is lucky the Irish have shared another part of their culture: soda bread. I absolutely love Irish soda bread, especially when it's just out of the oven and you have some honey butter (or, separately, butter and honey) to put on it. So... tasty... *swoon*

I first posted this recipe way back in the summer of 2007, but thought I'd repost it in honor of the holiday. This recipe is adapted from the Moosewood Restaurant's Low-Fat Favorites cookbook and Bernard Clayton's Complete Book of Breads.


Irish Soda Bread

1 1/2 c unbleached white flour
1 1/2 c whole wheat flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 T packed brown sugar
4 T cold butter
1 egg
1 c buttermilk

Preheat oven to 375 deg. F. Lightly oil baking sheet. Mix dry ingredients. Cut in the butter with a pastry blender or using two knives.

In a separate bowl, mix wet ingredients. Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients, and pour the wet mixture into the well. Stir until evenly moist.

Turn onto lightly floured surface, kneading just a little. Mound on baking sheet into ~ 9" domed loaf. Lightly cut an X in the top with a sharp knife. Bake ~ 45 minutes.